Leicester City 0:0 Newcastle United
Despite playing for over an hour with ten men, City held league leaders Newcastle to a 0-0 draw at Filbert Way on Saturday evening…
Nigel Pearson made three changes to his side with Berner, King and Fryatt replacing Powell, N’Guessan and Kermorgant; while new signing Salano had a place on the bench. Almost immediately this looked like an improvement on recent performances, which have produced three consecutive defeats.
City were the better side for most of the first half and their best chance came when great work from Waghorn and Oakley teed up Fryatt with a chance from 12 yards but Harper tipped his drive over the bar.
City then suffered a big blow on the half hour when Wellens was harshly yellow carded for a minimum of contact on Routledge. Unfortunately Wellens had already been booked earlier in the game and he was soon walking down the tunnel with the home fans roaring their disapproval at the ref.
City, however, did not seem to be too affected by their reduction in numbers and Fryatt almost netted the goal of the season when a mazy run down the right saw him beat five Newcastle players before his shot was blocked by Van Aanholt.
Newcastle broke swiftly and Van Aanholt was involved at the other end of the field sending a swerving shot from 18 yards towards the top right hand corner before Weale tipped it away at full stretch.
From the resulting corner a Smith header was then hooked off the line by Berner.
Oakley then broke clear and fired a 25 yard shot straight at Harper, in what was turning into an excellent contest.
The ref sank further in the estimate of the home crowd when he failed to award a free-kick when Taylor almost cut Waghorn in half with a wild challenge, but then booked Berner seconds later when he barely touched Butt.
Half time saw referee Marriner escorted off by stewards and booed to the rafters.
Ten man City continued to press forward in the second half. A Gallagher free-kick deflected off the wall and went narrowly past the left hand upright.
Berner was then lucky not to see red when he went in late on Routledge, for a far worse foul than the one that got him booked.
The Magpies should have gone ahead when Nolan found space between Brown and Weale but sent his header over from six yards. Substitute Ranger then had the ball in the net but the celebrations of the large travelling support were cut short by the linesman’s flag.
City were still creating chances and King fired one effort over the bar after great work by Berner; and then Gallagher latched on to a poor clearance from Harper but sent a weak shot straight at the keeper.
At the other end Brown did well to block a Taylor shot.
Soalno was introduced with five minutes remaining and got a good reception from both sets of fans and one through ball of his almost put Dyer through.
As 0-0 draws go this was good entertainment for a big crowd of just under 30,000, and it indicated that City might be back on track after a below par month.
Leicester: Weale, Brown, Berner, Hobbs, Morrison, King, Oakley, Wellens, Gallagher (Dyer 66), Fryatt (Solano 84), Waghorn (Howard 71). Subs Not Used: Logan, N’Guessan, Neilson, McGivern.
Newcastle: Harper, Williamson, Taylor, Van Aanholt, Coloccini, Routledge, Butt, Guthrie, Nolan (Pancrate 75), Carroll, Smith (Ranger 62). Subs Not Used: Hall, Krul, Gutierrez, Lovenkrands, Kadar.
Referee: A Marriner (W Midlands). Attendance: 29,067.