Souttar scores own goal on winning Premier League debut

Socceroo Harry Souttar has had an eventful Premier League debut for Leicester, scoring an own goal then earning praise for helping them win 4-2 at Aston Villa.

Harry Souttar has earned praise for the way he overcame the nightmare of scoring an own goal on his Premier League debut to then go on and make an assured start in Leicester's 4-2 victory at Aston Villa.

Leicester boss Brendan Rodgers had nothing but admiration for his new signing on Saturday after the big Socceroo bounced back from his unfortunate first-half "og" to stand firm and help the Foxes earn a crucial three points in their battle against relegation.

"He was unfortunate with the own goal, but he recovered and kept going," said Rodgers.

"Big Harry's a presence, but he can also play football - anybody who saw him at the World Cup, he was outstanding there.

"So for him to come in, having only just joined the club, and into a real tough away game, up against (Villa striker Ollie) Watkins, who's a really good player, I thought he did really well.

"We were unfortunate for the first couple of goals, the second one being a deflection (off Souttar). There were areas where we could be better but overall I thought we defended with a calmness and managed the game really well."

Fresh from snapping up Souttar for $26 million from Stoke on transfer deadline day - a record fee for an Australian international - Rodgers had no hesitation in thrusting his new acquisition straight into top-flight action, despite concerns about a hip problem.

And the 24-year-old couldn't have a less kind introduction when, with the scores locked at 1-1 at Villa Park just after the half-hour, dangerous home striker Watkins smacked a half-cross, half-shot which took a heavy deflection into the net off the hapless defender.

For the only Australian international currently on duty in the Premier League, it was a cruel start to top-flight life but Souttar wasn't put off as he then had a pretty solid game at the back while his side roared back from 2-1 down to earn three key points in their relegation battle.

In the second-half, the towering Souttar's physical prowess was in evidence as he won a couple of big headers and he also chipped in with a key block to thwart Watkins, who otherwise did trouble him with his pace and skill.

Watkins' early strike and Souttar's own goal saw Unai Emery's Villa twice go ahead, but they were pegged back each time by strikes from the Foxes' James Maddison and Kelechi Iheanacho.

Brazilian Tete, who was also signed in the transfer window alongside Souttar, then scored - at the right end - on his debut before substitute Dennis Praet wrapped up the win, courtesy of ropey Villa defending.

A relieved Souttar could then celebrate a crucial three points as Leicester moved up to 13th place in the table, three points clear of the drop zone.