Leicester City 0:1 Portsmouth
A sunny day at Filbert Way saw formerly bright hopes of a play-off place darkening as Portsmouth beat a deflated City 1-0 on Saturday…
Sven Goran Eriksson made one change to the side that won at Scunthorpe with two-goal hero on the day Vitor, being replaced by Bruma.
Following the recent appalling events in Japan Yuki Abe led the side out before a well observed minutes silence.
City started brightly in front of a big crowd, and should have taken an early lead, but Yakubu headed wide when connecting with a good Gallagher cross.
But that good start counted for nothing as Pompey took a 13th minute lead. Halford’s long throw from the right saw Bamba and Ricardo in a mix up. The keeper never made his punch and Bamba’s header only went as far as Nugent, who cooly steered a half volley into the empty net.
Four minutes later City went close to an equaliser when Gallagher delivered an accurate corner from the left but Pompey keeper Ashdown threw out a fist to send Bamba’s header over the bar.
Chances were scarce as the visitors closed City down: Gallagher sent a long range effort just the wrong side of the post in the 25th minute, but other than that it was a frustrating spectacle for the home crowd.
The second half wasn’t much better. Yakubu continued to look out of form in front of goal and City were struggling to make any kind of dent in a defence that had kept seven clean sheets in the last eight games.
The best chance on the hour when a good ball from Bruma picked out an intelligent run from Gallagher, but despite a great first touch Ashdown was swiftly out to smother the shot with a vital block.
The introduction of Dyer and Waghorn for Abe and Vassell made no difference against a well drilled defence and the best opportunity in the closing stages came when Da Laet clearly handled in the area but escaped the ref’s attention.
Portsmouth should have gone 2-0 up but Ward screwed his shot from close in wide when it looked easier to score.
A fierce shot from Naughton on the right was well saved by Ashdown, and there was no way back for a flat looking City side.
A disappointed Sven commented: “From our performance over 90 minutes we did enough to get at least a draw. We created some good chances. I can’t criticise the team. They tried hard enough. They stood up and battled against a very physical team.”
Leicester: Ricardo, Bamba, Naughton, Mee, Bruma, King, Abe (Dyer 61), Wellens, Yakubu, Gallagher, Vassell (Waghorn 68). Subs Not Used: Vitor, Moreno, Oakley, Berner, Weale.
Portsmouth: Ashdown, Halford, Rocha, Hreidarsson, De Laet, Lawrence, Mullins, Cotterill (Ward 64), Hogg , Kitson, Nugent (Dickinson 74). Subs Not Used: Kilbey, Ciftci, Flahavan, Kanu.
Referee: P Tierney (Lancashire). Attendance: 26,645.