Leicester City midfielder Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall struck two late goals as the relegated Foxes began life back in the Championship by beating luckless Coventry City.
Last season’s beaten Championship play-off finalists looked on course for a deserved three points when they led through Kyle McFadzean’s 47th-minute opener from a near-post corner.
The Gus Hamer-inspired Sky Blues also wasted good chances either side of the City skipper’s strike.
But Mark Robins’ men were made to pay when Dewsbury-Hall levelled on 77 minutes before being fed by new signing Stephy Mavididi to curl home an 87th-minute winner – and earn victory for new Foxes boss Enzo Maresca, in his first game in charge.
Both sides opted to play four of their summer signings from the start.
Leicester keeper Mads Hermansen, midfielder Harry Winks and striker Stephy Mavididi all came in to make their debust, as well as on-loan Manchester City defender Callum Doyle against the club where he spent last season.
The Foxes also gave young striker Kasey McAteer his first league start, while fit-again Danish defender Jannik Vestergaard made his first league appearance since February 2022.
Coventry, who had keeper Ben Wilson fit following a pre-season back injury, had three new defenders in front of him, Jay Dasilva, Bobby Thomas and Joel Latibeaudiere.
Ellis Simms started up front, while Hamer was also in the line-up despite considerable summer transfer speculation – and the Sky Blues had new record signing Haji Wright to bring off the bench.
They were much the better side from the moment Kasey Palmer’s chip went just over and he also had another shot deflected wide.
Two shots were then blocked from Simms and McFadzean in the same goalmouth skirmish from a Hamer corner just before the break.
Coventry continued to threaten from the restart and might have gone ahead through Simms, who skewed wide, before McFadzean peeled off his marker at the front post to power home Hamer’s left-wing corner.
Matty Godden, cleverly fed by Palmer, was denied by a one-handed save by Hermansen and then really should have done better from a great 50-yard ball from Hamer, but his low left-foot finish was poor – weak and well wide.
The visitors were made to pay for their profligacy when Dennis Praet crossed from the right for Dewsbury-Hall to power home an equalising header.
Coventry substitute Wright had a powerful shot deflected onto the bar by Hermansen, but Godden diverted the rebound wide, with the keeper beaten.
And, barely a minute later, Leicester went back up the other end to win it, with Dewsbury-Hall’s superb right-foot curler from 15 yards.
Leicester now face two away tests – a Tuesday night EFL Cup derby at Burton Albion before next Saturday’s trip to Huddersfield.
Coventry go to Wimbledon in the EFL Cup on Wednesday night before hosting Middlesbrough, the team they beat in last season’s Championship play-off semi-finals, at the CBS Arena.
- 21Ricardo Pereira
- 23VestergaardBooked at 52mins
- 5DoyleBooked at 68mins
- 25NdidiSubstituted forPraetat 62′minutes
- 22Dewsbury-HallBooked at 90mins
- 35McAteerSubstituted forChoudhuryat 90′minutes
- 9VardySubstituted forIheanachoat 75′minutes
- 28EcclesSubstituted forvan Ewijkat 71′minutes
- 38HamerSubstituted forKellyat 71′minutes
- 14SheafBooked at 89mins
- 45PalmerBooked at 90minsSubstituted forSakamotoat 90+2′minutes
- 9SimmsSubstituted forWrightat 71′minutes
- 27van Ewijk
- Darren Bond
Match ends, Leicester City 2, Coventry City 1.
Second Half ends, Leicester City 2, Coventry City 1.
Callum Doyle (Leicester City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Bobby Thomas (Coventry City).
Corner, Coventry City. Conceded by Jannik Vestergaard.
Substitution, Coventry City. Tatsuhiro Sakamoto replaces Kasey Palmer.
Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall (Leicester City) is shown the yellow card.
Foul by Harry Winks (Leicester City).
Matt Godden (Coventry City) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Substitution, Leicester City. Hamza Choudhury replaces Kasey McAteer.
Kasey Palmer (Coventry City) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.
Mads Hermansen (Leicester City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Kasey Palmer (Coventry City).
Ben Sheaf (Coventry City) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.
Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall (Leicester City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Ben Sheaf (Coventry City).
Goal! Leicester City 2, Coventry City 1. Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall (Leicester City) left footed shot from the centre of the box to the top right corner. Assisted by Stephy Mavididi.
Attempt missed. Matt Godden (Coventry City) right footed shot from a difficult angle on the right misses to the left.
Attempt saved. Haji Wright (Coventry City) left footed shot from the left side of the box is saved in the top left corner. Assisted by Matt Godden with a headed pass.
Attempt missed. Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall (Leicester City) right footed shot from the centre of the box is close, but misses to the right.