Leicester City 0:0 Middlesbrough
A good performance failed to produce a goal for City against Middlesbrough at the Walkers Stadium on Saturday, as new owners Aiyawatt and Vichai Raksriaksorn looked on…
Almost half the side was changed from Tuesday’s League Cup line-up with Paulo Sousa restoring Weale, Berner, Dyer, King and Campbell back to the starting line-up.
There was a lively end-to-end start to the game with City having early claims for a penalty turned down; Campbell having an on-target shot blocked and King heading against the underside of the crossbar from the resultant corner.
At the other end Boyd broke clear on goal but Hobbs, back on form after a shaky start to the season, caught up with him and dispossessed him with a perfect tackle.
Wheater then narrowly missed out on putting the visitors ahead, heading over from a corner when it looked easier to score. A slick Boro passing move then ended with Williams beating three defenders before pushing the ball narrowly wide of the left hand post.
Campbell then swerved in a 25 yard free-kick which debutant Boro keeper Steele tipped over the bar.
City, playing a neat passing game and always looking to get forward quickly, then had the ball in the net ten minutes before the break when a precise ball from Campbell sent King through, but the Welsh international was harshly judged to be offside.
Howard then sent a header looping just over the bar, as an entertaining half ended goal less.
Boro had the first chance of the second half from a free-kick, the ref pulling up play for any minimal bit of contact, but Weale managed to block an awkward shot that skidded off the turf.
On the hour City went close again when Campbell’s diving header from a Dyer cross went just the wrong side of the left hand upright.
King then squared a ball for Howard, whose precise shot was heading for the top right hand corner before Steele managed to finger-tip it round the post.
At the other end O’Neil then sent a rising volley narrowly over from the edge of the area.
In the final quarter of an hour Sousa brought Gallagher on for King and then Lamey made his debut in place of Neilson and Fryatt came on for Campbell.
Both sides chased a late winner, McDonald’s low shot being saved by Weale and a goalmouth scramble in the Boro goalmouth being hoofed clear by McManus, but Paulo Sousa and Gordon Strachan had to be content with a point after 5 minutes time added on failed to seperate them.
Despite a start of one point from two games City fans will have been encouraged by this display, knowing that better is to come as Sousa gets to know his squad and hopefully adds to it as the new owners make funds availabler.
Sousa said: “I think it was a good performance. There were moments in the game when we played some brilliant footbal.”
Leicester: Weale, Berner, Hobbs, Neilson (Fryatt 82), King (Gallagher 74), Dyer, Oakley, Moreno, Wellens, Campbell (Lamey 82), Howard. Subs Not Used: Kennedy, Logan, N’Guessan, Morrison.
Middlesborough: Steele, Hoyte, Bates, McManus, Wheater, Robson, Thomson (Lita 71), Bailey, McDonald, Williams (O’Neil 46), Boyd (Kink 85). Subs Not Used: Coyne, Miller, Hines, Arca.
Referee: M Jones (Chester). Attendance: 21,587.