Harvey Barnes’ spectacular second-half thunderbolt clinched Leicester a 2-1 win at Sheffield United and their first victory of the season.
Barnes, who signed a new five-year deal with the Foxes in June, crashed home a brilliant winner six minutes after stepping off the bench.
It was tough on Chris Wilder’s side, for whom substitute Oli McBurnie had headed a deserved equaliser after Jamie Vardy fired the Foxes ahead with his first goal of the campaign just before half-time.
The Blades gave another good account of themselves, roared on again by a partisan Bramall Lane crowd as they poured forward in search of a second equaliser.
But Leicester were the classier side and they held on for all three points after drawing their first two matches, while the Blades tasted defeat for the first time since winning promotion back to the Premier League.
The Blades started well, full of intent and well-organised, but Leicester’s added composure gave them the edge and they looked more likely to break the deadlock.
Headers from James Maddison and Vardy were both off target, while it took the home side 21 minutes to fashion their first chance, with John Lundstram’s fierce drive clearing the crossbar.
United defender George Baldock arrowed a well-struck volley straight at Leicester goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel as the Blades enjoyed their best spell either side of the half-hour mark.
But after Maddison’s free-kick had struck the wall, all of United’s good work was undone in an instant when defender Chris Basham was caught dithering on the halfway line.
FULL-TIME Sheff Utd 1-2 Leicester— Premier League (@premierleague) August 24, 2019
He was dispossessed by Ayoze Perez and Maddison pounced on the loose ball to clip a beautifully-weighted pass through for Vardy, who took aim without breaking stride and lashed the ball home.
Jack O’Connell squandered a golden chance to send the Blades in level at the break as he got his free header all wrong at the far post from Oliver Norwood’s deep corner.
The introduction of Blades pair Billy Sharp and McBurnie, for David McGoldrick and Callum Robinson, was met with raucous applause from the home end nine minutes into the second half.
The double substitution gave the Blades a lift and, after a spell of concerted pressure, they struck a deserved equaliser when McBurnie climbed highest to head home Baldock’s fine cross from the right.
But parity was short-lived. Christian Fuchs’ ball into the area was half-cleared and Barnes, who had replaced recent signing Dennis Praet six minutes earlier, crashed home an unstoppable half-volley from the edge of the area.
Lundstram thought he had fired another Blades equaliser from Sharp’s knockdown, but Schmeichel showed lightning reflexes to keep it out before the linesman flagged for offside.
90' FULL TIME! Not our day, The Blades battled hard all game but a Harvey Barnes wonder goal means United come away with nothing.— Sheffield United (@SheffieldUnited) August 24, 2019
Ravel Morrison made his Blades debut when he replaced Basham in the 78th minute and he had a late shot blocked as the home side laid siege to the visitors’ goal.
But the mercurial former Manchester United forward had little time to influence the outcome.
United forced several late corners before Norwood’s stoppage-time free-kick was deflected and the Foxes held firm.
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