Ha’way back when: Sunderland lose season opener at Leicester

Costel Pantilimon makes a save at Leicester.
Costel Pantilimon makes a save at Leicester.
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Sunderland started the 2015/16 season with a 4-2 defeat away to Leicester - the scoreline not reflecting the difference between the two teams.

Claudio Ranieri’s tenure as Foxes manager began with a bang as the hosts scored three goals in the first 30 minutes.

Jamie Vardy’s header started the scoring before Riyad Mahrez headed home. Mahrez added his second from the spot after a Lee Cattermole foul on the Algerian.

Jermain Defoe gave the Black Cats hope with a smart finish that meant he had scored in 15 different Premier League seasons.

However, Marc Albrighton struck for the home side after some poor defending, leaving Steven Fletcher’s late header as little consolation.

Sunderland began the game with new recruit Younes Kaboul partnering Sebastian Coates - who made his loan move from Liverpool permanent during the close season - in the centre of defence, but the new-look partnership failed on the opening day.

Sunderland players show their dismay at conceding another goal.

Sunderland players show their dismay at conceding another goal.

“We clearly weren’t at it,” said Kaboul. “We were late for every ball. We conceded a lot and we were not sharp enough.”

Leicester’s attacking play was outstanding and they could have scored more. Shinji Okazaki missed a glorious chance in the second half, while Mahrez hit the woodwork after the break and also forced a fine save Costel Pantilimon.

Sunderland boss Dick Advocaat said: “After 10 minutes there were three crosses and three goals. At this level this cannot happen.

“You have to show every minute away from home and we didn’t see that in the first half. We have to wait (for new players). We struggled again. Everybody can see that we need more.”

Jack Rodwell in action at Leicester.

Jack Rodwell in action at Leicester.

Advocaat, having been persuaded to stay as Black Cats boss, was gone by October.

Leicester: Schmeichel, de Laet (Benalouane 75), Huth, Morgan, Schlupp, Albrighton, King, Drinkwater, Mahrez (Fuchs 77), Okazaki, Vardy (Kante 82). Subs not used: Hammond, Kramaric, Ulloa, Schwarzer

Sunderland: Pantilimon, Jones (Matthews 54), Coates, Kaboul, van Aanholt, Cattermole (Fletcher 30), Johnson, Larsson, Rodwell, Lens, Defoe.

Subs not used: Bridcutt, O’Shea, Graham, Giaccherini, Mannone

Ref: Lee Mason Att: 32,242