Nottingham Forest 5:1 Leicester City
Leicester City were swept aside by a rampant Forest side at the City Ground yesterday, with Robert Earnshaw grabbing a hat trick…
4,500 City fans followed their third placed team to Nottingham in anticipation of a decent east midlands derby, what unfolded in front of them was an utterly humiliating horror show.
Nigel Pearson made one change to his side, bringing Oakley back into the fold in place of Gallagher, but it soon became clear that those in royal blue had not turned up for this early kick off.
Forest built up some early pressure, using their pace down the flanks, which City struggled with all afternoon.
Weale punched one effort clear and then Brown made a timely headed clearance.
City’s resistance lasted until the 12th minute, when a good move down the right ended with Earnshaw speeding into the area and slotting the ball neatly past Weale.
Weale then made saves from Blackstock and Anderson before Nigel Pearson decided it was time for a change in the 28th minute.
He brought Howard on for Kermorgant, but nothing improved.
Forest doubled their lead in the 32nd minute. City failed to clear a corner properly and Cohen fired in a shot from the edge of the area. It struck someone in a crowded penalty area and landed neatly at the feet of Earnshaw who prodded it home from close in while the City appealed for offside in vain.
Nigel Pearson then brought Dyer on for Fryatt, but City still couldn’t make any impression on the game leading up to the break.
City desperately needed an early goal in the second half, but despite a couple of half chances for Howard and Waghorn, it was Forest who sealed the game going 3-0 up in the 49th minute.
Berner sent the ball directly into the path of Earnshaw on the half way line. One on one with Brown the Welshman turned the City defender inside out before sending the ball over Weale and into the net to complete his hat trick.
City were then awarded a penalty when Waghorn was clearly tripped in the area but, after a word with the linesman, the ref changed his mind and awarded a free-kick, which came to nothing.
Instead, the pain just kept coming for those Leicester fans packed into the Bridgford lower. In the 54th minute a good run by Blackstock opened up space for Leicester born and bred Paul Anderson to curl a shot across Weale and into the net, sticking the knife into a club that rejected him as a kid.
City did pull a goal back in the 64th minute when Wellens fired a shot against Morgan’s elbow and the ref harshly pointed to the spot.
Waghorn fired his spot kick into the roof of the net, but the celebrations in the away end were muted to say the least.
Forest restored their four goal advantage in the 77th minute with both the subs getting involved, Weale parried a 25 yard shot from McCleary, but the ball fell for Adebola who couldn’t miss from three yards.
It had been a dreadful performance from City, with the fans feeling badly let down, and Nigel Pearson now has three days to pick them up off the floor to face Bristol City.
The City boss admitted: “It was shocking. Embarrassing really, because we were second best from the first minute…”
Forest: Camp, Morgan, Wilson, Gunter, Shorey, Cohen, Anderson (McCleary 70), McKenna, Majewski (Tyson 60), Blackstock (Adebola 66), Earnshaw. Subs Not Used: Smith, Chambers, McGoldrick, McGugan.
Leicester: Weale, Brown, Berner, Hobbs, Neilson (Morrison 63), King, Oakley, Wellens, Fryatt (Dyer 36), Kermorgant (Howard 28), Waghorn. Subs Not Used: Gallagher, Logan, N’Guessan, McGivern.
Ref: M Russell (Herts). Attendance: 28,626.