Leicester defender James Justin paid tribute to his old club Luton after scoring in a 4-0 win at Kenilworth Road and receiving applause from the home fans.
The Foxes cruised into the fourth round of the Carabao Cup with two strikes in each half, but the story of the night was the debutant full-back.
After moving to the King Power Stadium in the summer, having helped Luton win back-to-back promotions to reach the Sky Bet Championship, Justin’s first outing for Brendan Rodgers’ side came at the home of his boyhood club.
He was warmly received before kick-off and even scoring in the 44th minute failed to stop his hero homecoming with the Hatters supporters applauding and then chanting for the 21-year-old seconds after his goal.
“It was unbelievable to be clapped by the home fans after scoring against them, so I’m just thankful,” Justin said.
“Obviously it’s a disappointing result for you guys, but I’m over the moon personally and it’s a debut I’ve always wanted to show everyone what I can do.
“I’m happy to get on the scoresheet and keep a clean sheet and if you look at our team, it’s scary really because we’ve made loads of changes, but the intensity was still there.”
Demarai Gray opened the scoring for Leicester in the 34th minute, curling home after a smart dummy by Ayoze Perez from Marc Albrighton’s corner and it was richly deserved.
The Foxes had dominated from the off and extended their lead when Youri Tielemans picked out Justin in the area and the right-back volleyed home before deciding not to celebrate.
It sparked an emotional response from the Kenilworth Road faithful, who chanted ‘James Justin, he’s one of our own!’.
He added: “It was a great reaction from the crowd and I just want to thank them for the last few years and how much they have helped the team get to the Championship.
“This season will obviously be a bumpy ride, but stick with it and you will come out on top.”
Leicester kept their foot on the gas after the break and grabbed two more goals during the final 11 minutes, which was just reward for a dominant performance.
Tielemans volleyed home with 79 minutes played from Gray’s cross, despite the best efforts of Alan Sheehan, before substitute Kelechi Iheanacho lobbed James Shea five minutes later for his first goal since September 2018.
Justin took part in a lap of honour at full-time before receiving praise from Hatters manager Graeme Jones.
“I think James Justin just showed what we have lost at Luton because I thought he was outstanding,” he said.
“The reaction was typical of Luton supporters. It’s a strange thing because he scored the second goal, but all of our bench almost wanted to applaud him for what he has done for this club.
“You realise tonight what we have lost because that is a proper physical Premier League specimen. He has no right to get on the end of Tielemans’ ball, but he can sprint, recover and do it all.”
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