Foxes wantaway winger Riyad Mahrez scored a fine solo goal, after Jay Rodriguez had done the same for Albion in the Premier League Asia Trophy
RIYAD MAHREZ sent a timely reminder to Arsene Wenger he might just be worth Leicester’s £50million price tag after all.
The little Algerian lit up the Hong Kong Stadium with his skills and a sublime first half goal as to give the Gunners a glimpse of what they could have if they are willing to cough up the cash.
However it took a new-look ABBA style penalty shoot-out to decide the outcome of this Money-Money-Money-spinning pre-season Premie League Asia Cup contest – as Leicester became the first Premier League side to win by the new method.
Liverpool’s Asian supporters had willed ex-Manchester United stars Jonny Evans and Danny Drinkwater to fail but both kept their nerve to score.
And when West Brom kid Sam Field had his spot kick saved by Ben Hamer it was left to Marc Albrighton to create a little history as he slotted home his penalty to put Leicester through to Saturday’s final.
Craig Shakespeare sent a subtle reminder to Mahrez, in his first match since being confirmed as manager, of exactly who is boss by including him in a starting line-up made up mainly of stiffs and kids.
If that was a message to Mahrez his thoughts should be on proving his worth to Leicester rather than Arsenal, then the 26-year-old took certainly it on board.
The Leicester winger was outstanding and tormented the West Brom defence during his time on the park, scoring a sublime first half goal with a low shot which was rifled into the far corner beyond Ben Foster to send his fans in the Far East wild.
By then Albion were already a goal to the good as £12million summer signing Jay Rodriguez took less than 10 minutes to open his Baggies account.
The England international got off to a sensational start to his new job when he collected the ball and smashed an unstoppable shot beyond Ben Hamer which flew into the top corner from 25 yards.
However, having already thrilled the locals with his dribbling skills, Mahrez left to an ovation when Marc Albrighton replaced him three minutes after the break.
With the exception of record £13million midfielder Nacer Chadli, Tony Pulis went the other way, naming his strongest West Brom team from the start, including new Egyptian centre half Ahmed Hegazy, who made a good impression on his debut.
With both teams making full use of their bench and, numerous water-breaks, the match failed to flow. Mahrez almost added a second on the stroke of half-time but Foster got down well to turn his near-post shot wide.
Meanwhile Jamie Vardy passed up the best chance of the second half when he sprang Albion’s offside trap but fired narrowly wide of Foster’s far post when clean through.
What is this new ABBA penalty shootout?
It means the order of penalties taken in a shootout will be similar to the serve in a tennis tie-break.
So, rather than one team taking first and the other following, the idea is that one team takes a penalty, followed by the opposition taking two penalties.
Each team then alternates in taking two penalties until a result is achieved.
So the order goes: ABBA, ABBA, AB – and then into sudden death
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