Leicester City 2:1 Swansea City
A crowd of 26,000 witnessed the definitive ‘game-of-two-halves’ at Filbert Way on Saturday as Leicester and Swansea kicked off the new season…
The first half saw City looking off the pace and the visitors controlling much of the play. New signing Richie Wellens impressed with a busy debut in midfield but City hardly managed to trouble De Vries in the Swans goal.
Then the Welsh side, roared on by a packed away corner, took a 17th minute lead. All the talk of City’s solid defence stood for nought as Gower delivered a corner from the right and Williams, whose late run was not picked up, headed home unopposed from six yards.
The game had a physical edge for a while and the injured Allen was replaced by Lopez for the visitors.
City were on the back foot in front of a subdued crowd up to the break…
When we had finished shaking our heads and making comments about it being a long, hard season of struggle during the break, the City side re-took the field minus Fryatt and King and N’Guessan and Waghorn warmed up by the tunnel waiting to join the battle. Their introduction brought about a huge contrast in City’s performance.
Immediately City looked the better side with the substitutes providing an injection of pace and enthusiasm. N’Guessan had a shot blocked and then created a chance for Oakley to fire off target. City were then awarded a penalty when a smart passing move ended with berner being tripped in the area. However, Howard’s spot-kick was placed too near De Vries who pulled off a fine save low to his left.
City did not let their heads drop and continued to push forward, finally finding a fortunate breakthrough in the 68th minute. A Waghorn shot took a big deflection off Monk, leaving De Vries a spectator as the ball hit the net.
Three minutes later the roof nearly lifted off the Walkers Stadium as City struck again. An Oakley corner from the left was nodded into the goalmouth by Howard and N’Guessan forced it over the line to put City ahead.
City were rampant now, but couldn’t convert any of a string of chances. N’Guessan came closest, getting on to the end of an Adams cross but sending his thumping header against the crossbar from six yards out.
Fortunately the missed chances didn’t matter as Swansea had little left to offer. There was just one heart in mouth moment as Lopez sent a shot a couple of feet over the bar in time added on.
This was a great start for Nigel Pearson and his players, hopefully we will see plenty more of the side that emerged from the tunnel after the break.
Leicester: Weale, Morrison, Brown, Hobbs, Berner, Oakley, King (N’Guessan 46), Wellens, Dyer (Adams 79), Fryatt (Waghorn 46), Howard. Subs Not Used: Logan, Gradel, O’Neill, Dickov.
Swansea: De Vries, Rangel (Dobbie 76), Williams, Monk, Tate, Allen (Lopez 25), Britton, MacDonald (Orlandi 62), Gower, Dyer, Pintado. Subs Not Used: Cornell, Serran, Richards, Bond.
Referee: G Hegley (Herts). Attendance: 26,171.