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Aston Villa’s Ross Barkley strikes late to sink Leicester and keep up 100% record

The first goalless draw of this extraordinary season was looming like an unwelcome guest when Ross Barkley seized his moment. Picking up the ball midw

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The first goalless draw of this extraordinary season was looming like an unwelcome guest when Ross Barkley seized his moment. Picking up the ball midway inside the Leicester half in stoppage time, Aston Villa’s on-loan Chelsea midfielder strode forward and fired a drive from over 20 yards into the bottom corner. And with that, Villa had won their opening four matches of a campaign for the first time since 1930 and climbed to second place in the Premier League.

In what must have been one of the easiest team selections of his managerial career, Dean Smith opted to start with the same side that inflicted that vibrant, outrageous 7-2 defeat on Liverpool two weeks ago. Brendan Rodgers had no such luxury: the Leicester manager might have believed changes were necessary after losing 3-0 at home to West Ham in their last outing, but he would not have willingly forgone the services of Jamie Vardy. However, calf trouble deprived the hosts of their top scorer, which was good news for Villa, whom Vardy has a particular habit of persecuting, having scored four goals in two league meetings against them last season.

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