Millwall 2:0 Leicester City
On a cold, damp afternoon in South London, Leicester City turned in what was arguably their worst performance of the season and killed off the recent upsurge in optimism that we had enjoyed under Sven. There were four changes to the side that battled back against Leeds on Boxing Day with Morrison, Oakley, Bednar and Dyer replacing Davies, Abe, Howard and Vassell. City started brightly enough and knocked the ball around confidently, denying Millwall possession and even managed to fashion a gilt-edged chance for Gallagher who snatched at the ball after Oakley’s nod-on and was well wide of the target when he should have brought a save out of Forde, at least. City were to pay for this miss in the 12th minute when Trotter crossed from the right and found Morison in space eight yards out and he side-footed home to give the hosts the lead with their first attack. Worse was to follow on 25 minutes when Jason Puncheon doubled Millwall’s advantage following hesitancy in the City defence which gave him the chance to poke the ball low in to the net and then run to the delighted (and surprised) Millwall supporters as the inquest started amongst City’s defenders. But for a couple of long range efforts from Naughton and Gallagher City failed to bring a decent save out of Forde in the Millwall goal and went in at half time knowing that a massive and unlikely improvement was needed if they were to rescue yet another poor first half showing.
With Weale and Vassell on for Kirkland and (mercifully) Bednar, City began with more purpose and Dyer had an early chance to reduce the arrears when he was put through on the angle but had his shot was tipped round the far post. If City needed a further lift then it came on 53 minutes when Alan Dunne received a straight red for a two-footed tackle on Richie Wellens in the centre circle. Sadly, it made little difference and Millwall continued to contain and frustrate City comfortably and the longer the game went on the less likely a comeback looked until a stray backpass let in Steve Howard for a one-on-one with Horne but the big striker pulled his shot well wide and that was the last worthwhile chance of the afternoon for City.
At the other end Chris Weale had precious little to do which underlined the frustration for City’s large travelling contingent; Millwall weren’t that good but then, they didn’t have to be. City’s away form is becoming a concern and particularly when the showing is as poor as today’s at Millwall. Too many players looked as if they didn’t care and when the City faithful have taken the time and money to travel in numbers (as they did again today) then a performance like this isn’t acceptable.
City: Kirkland (Weale 45), Morrison, Gallagher, Oakley (c), King, Dyer, Naughton, Wellens (Howard 62), Hobbs, Cunningham, Bednar (Vassell 45).
Subs Not Used: Waghorn, Berner, Abe, Moussa,
Millwall: Forde, Dunne (c), Trotter, Puncheon (Hackett 90), Henry (Schofield 60), Craig, Barron, Mkandawire, Ward, Morison, Abdou.
Subs: Mildenhall, Smith, Lisbie, McQuoid, Marguis
Referee: M P Russell Attendance: 12,188