Leicester City 2:3 Norwich City
City’s poor run continued at Filbert Way on Tuesday night as they were defeated 3-2 by a superior Norwich side…
Sven Goran Eriksson made one change to the side that performed so well at QPR, with Berner in for the injured Bruma and Mee restored to the centre of defence.
City should have taken an 8th minute lead when Berner swung a cross onto the head of Yakubu, but he header over the bar for what was the first disappointment of a poor night for the on-loan Everton striker.
The Canaries then took a 21st minuite lead when the impressive Hoolahan ghosted through the penalty area, unmarked, to convert a Surman corner at the near post.
An impressive number of visiting supporters only had two minutes to celebrate as City immediately summoned up an equaliser. Vassell fed Berner, who delivered another good quality cross and this time Wellens connected with an awkward looking header which nontheless beat Ruddy in the Canaries goal.
City then enjoyed a decent spell up until the break but King fired an effort inches wide and a frantic goalmouth scramble ended with a Norwich boot clearing the danger.
Sadly, City’s improvement didn’t continue in the second half.
Two minutes after the break Mee tripped the lively Hoolahan in the area and Holt, despite Ricardo scuffing up the penalty spot, blasted home from 12 yards to put Norwich back in the lead.
City looked ineffective in every department by this stage and Norwich settled the game in the 58th minute when Wilbraham beat Bamba on the left before firing in a shot from a tight angle that deflected past Ricardo. Shouts of “Weale, Weale!” went round the stadium, though Ricardo was not really at fault for that goal, despite looking rather unconvincing when dealing with crosses.
The rest of the evening was a miserable one for City and their followers. Norwich looked better organised and livelier all over the park and there was no way they were going to let the home side get a sniff of a point.
The long ball pumped forward for Yakubu to lose out in the air, was much in evidence, something that was missing during the golden run and January and February.
When Gallagher hit a long range free-kick home at the death there was only time to kick off before the ref blew for time and City’s play-off hopes lay in tatters.
This was the first time City had lost at home since Sven’s arrival, but the chasing down of a play-off place seems to have exhausted them, at least for the time being.
Sven admitted: “I was worried at the start of the second half. I saw a team totally without energy, in the legs and in the mind. I don’t know what it was or whether it was too much pressure. We have to come together and talk about that.”
Leicester: Ricardo, Berner, Bamba, Naughton, Mee, King, Oakley (Gallagher 66), Abe, Wellens (Dyer 75), Yakubu, Vassell (Waghorn 58). Subs Not Used: Weale, Vitor, Schlupp, Moreno.
Norwich: Ruddy, Ward, Whitbread, Tierney, Martin, Crofts, Surman, Fox, Hoolahan (Smith 86), Wilbraham, Holt. Subs Not Used: Jackson, Rudd, Lansbury, Edwards, McNamee, Drury.
Referee: C J Foy (Merseyside). Attendance: 23,398