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Frustration for City in the Lions’ Den

Millwall 2:1 Leicester City

City were, once again, guilty of failing to ‘turn up’ when it really mattered and Millwall deservedly took all three points from this vital fixture.

Nigel Pearson made two changes from the side that won so well at Ipswich on Easter Monday and chose to bring back King and Gallagher in place of Dyer and the unfortunate Drinkwater.
It was City who started more positively and for twenty minutes they dictated the pace of the game and knocked the ball around well but failed to trouble Taylor with any serious efforts on goal. Nevertheless, it was still against the run of play when Millwall took the lead from a set piece after 20 minutes. Henry floated a free kick to the far post where Robinson knocked the ball down and as City defenders were ball-watching, Kane (on loan from Spurs) had too much time to tee himself up for a shot in to the roof of the net.
After that it was Millwall who settled down and played their own game of defend deep and counter-attack which they did very well although City could have equalised within two minutes of Kane’s goal when Morgan set up Nugent for a shot from ten yards that Taylor did very well to keep out.
Half time arrived with City fans hoping for a second-half turnaround in fortunes that sadly, never arrived. The Lions continued to show more desire and work rate and it was no surprise when they doubled their lead after Konchesky had brought down Kane for a stonewall penalty. Keogh stepped up and did a ‘van Persie’ which gave Schmeichel no chance.
It could have been three soon afterwards when a long-range, dipping effort from Wright was tipped on to the bar by Schmeichel although the referee gave a goal kick.
Nigel Pearson had already introduced Dyer and Drinkwater in to the action during the second half but the arrival of Howard sent a number of travelling City fans heading to the exits. City did get a goal back with 8 minutes remaining when Nugent rolled the ball in to the path of Drinkwater who side-footed past Taylor from twenty yards. It was too little, too late though and the game finished with Millwall defending their lead comfortably and their supporters making a huge noise as they enjoyed the fact that they were safe and will be playing in The Championship again next season.
The final whistle brought some boos from the large travelling contingent and Konchesky appeared to give the ‘finger’ to one particularly vocal critic (he has since apologised via Twitter).

So City’s season stutters again and they find themselves beaten by a side that showed more desire. It was a poor game played out by two poor sides with Millwall doing enough to fashion two goals. It is also a typical match in this division and City haven’t found the right formula to rise above it yet.
If we look up then we can see Reading and Southampton leading the way with squads of players that are no better than ours but they have astute managers that know what is needed to consistently win matches in this division. We don’t seem to have cracked that code yet.

Millwall: Taylor, Smith, Robinson, Lowry, Craig, Henry (Trotter 84), Abdou, Wright, Barron, Keogh (Batt 90), Kane. Unused Subs: Forde, Dunne, Feeney.

Leicester: Schmeichel, Peliter (Howard 76), Morgan, Bamba, Konchesky, Gallagher (Dyer 58), Wellens (Drinkwater 69), King, Marshall, Beckford, Nugent. Unused Subs: St Ledger, Schlupp.

Referee: P Gibbs (West Midlands). Attendance: 11,525.

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Tigers Earn Payback

Revenge was sweet for Hull City at the KC Stadium on Saturday as they finally managed wear down ten man Leicester’s resistance with a later winner…

Although Nigel Pearson dubbed it: “just another game.” the Hull City fans took the opportunity to give the man who had left them 18 days previously both barrells.
Pearson, presumably knowing the opposition better than anyone, made one change to his side with Danns in for Gallagher.
It was an industrial opening half hour with more heat than light created. City’s final pass often went astray with Wellens looking out of sorts, and Hull posed an increasing threat towards Schmeichel’s goal.
Nugent broke through once and sent a shot narrowly wide, before a Koren effort flashed across goal.
Then came a game-changing incident on the half hour. Mclean ran on to a loose ball in the area and had a shot blocked by Mills, but the City skipper then flicked a boot out tripping him as he lined up for a second attempt from close in. Mills was dismissed for the second time this season, and Fryatt converted the spot kick past Schmeichel. Although this caused outrage in the away end at the opposite end of the ground, it was the correct decision.
Pearson, with gleeful taunts ringing in his ears, immediately brought St Ledger on for Beckford.
Ten man City battled on and gained their reward five minutes before the break. Nugent broke clear of the defence but fired his shot straight at Tigers keeper Gulacsi. Konchesky was on hand to curl a superbly judged shot round the keeper and just inside the right hand post. 

City were always going to be up against it in the second half but seemed to be winning the battle of attrition with just two minutes on the clock.
Schmeichel had made a near post save from Stewart as Hull pushed forward using the flanks; and then produced a third world class save in as many games to tip a shot from Dawson round the post.
With Gallagher on his own up front City made little impression going forward, but looked to have held on to a point until two minutes from time. That was when Rosenior squared a ball which Koren met with a sweetly timed run and excellent strike, giving Scmeichel no chance and raising the roof of the KC Stadium.
Revenge was sweet for the delighted Hull fans as Nigel Pearson was left to contemplete the first defeat of his second tenure… “The application of players was very good in terms of dealing with adversity. I have seen some positives. The thing about today is that it is always tough to concede late goals. We came unstuck with what was a very good goal.”

Hull: Gulacsi, Rosenior,Chester,Hobbs, Dawson, Evans (Dudgeon 87), McKenna, Koren, Mclean, Stewart, Fryatt. Unused Subs: Basso, Cairney, McShane, Adebola.
Leicester: Schmeichel, Peltier, Mills, Bamba, Konchesky, Danns (Gallagher 63), King, Wellens, Dyer, Beckford (St Ledger 30), Nugent (Fernandes 68). Unused Subs: Weale, Howard.
Referee: Simon Hooper (Wiltshire). Attendance: 20,148.

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Konchesky Joins City in Sweden

Liverpool left-back Paul Konchesky has flown out to join City’s Swedish tour and is expected to complete a move from Anfield to Leicester soon…

The former West Ham and Fulham player would be rejoining Sven Goran Eriksson, the man who gave him his two full England caps in 2003 and 2005.
The 30 year old Konchesky signed a four year contract with Liverpool a year ago, but things didn’t work out for him at Anfield and he ended up playing 15 games on loan at Nottingham Forest.
Barking-born Konchesky was at Charton for 8 years before signing for West Ham in 2005 and would solve a left-back position which has been a problem for City over the years.

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