Leicester 4 Sunderland 2: Riyad Mahrez brilliant for the Foxes but Claudio Ranieri still has defensive concerns

ANALYSIS: The view from the bench and the moment of the match

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The Independent Online

STAR PLAYER

Riyad Mahrez: The Algeria international ran Sunderland ragged all afternoon and deserved a hat-trick. His first-half brace put Leicester in complete control and he was only denied the match ball by the woodwork and fine saves from Costel Pantilimon. The Foxes need to prove they can maintain their form from last season and Mahrez, one of their stars from their Great Escape, will be key.

MOMENT OF THE MATCH

Kasper Schmeichel: Had little to do all game but he laid the foundations for Leicester's win with a vital sixth-minute save. Jermain Defoe had wriggled free in the area only to be denied by the keeper from point black range with the score still 0-0. Six minutes later and the Foxes' rout began but only after Schmeichel had given them a platform.

VIEW FROM THE BENCH

Dick Advocaat is third favourite to be the first Barclays Premier League manager to be sacked this season and his odds will not have improved after seeing his side's first-half collapse. Opposite number Claudio Ranieri could not have wished for a better start at Leicester after replacing Nigel Pearson this summer. The Italian needs to impress to silence the doubters after his surprise appointment and certainly got off to the best start.

MOAN OF THE MATCH

Claudio Ranieri will be delighted with a debut victory in charge of Leicester but is sure to be annoyed at conceding twice to a Sunderland side who were beaten inside the opening 25 minutes. There seemed little danger to the Foxes' backline but Jermain Defoe and Steven Fletcher pounced when the hosts switched off in the second half. It will only be a mild concern but Ranieri will want perfection from his new side.

PLAYER RATINGS

Leicester: Kasper Schmeichel 7, Ritchie De Laet 7, Wes Morgan 7,Robert Huth 7, Jeff Schlupp 7, Mark Albrighton 8, Danny Drinkwater 7, Andy King 7, Riyad Mahrez 9, Shinji Okazaki 7, Jamie Vardy 8, Yohan Benalouane 6, Christian Fuchs 6,  N'Golo Kante 6

Sunderland:  Costel Pantilimon 7, Billy Jones 5, Sebastian Coates 5, Younes Kaboul 5, Patrick van Aanholt 5, Jack Rodwell 5, Lee Cattermole 4, Sebastian Larsson 5, Jeremain Lens 5, Jermain Defoe 6, Adam Johnson 5, Steven Fletcher 6, Adam Matthews 6

NEXT UP

West Ham v Leicester (Premier League, Saturday August 15)

Sunderland v Norwich (Premier League, Saturday August 15)

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