Scunthorpe United 0:3 Leicester City
City returned to winning ways at Glanford Park on Saturday, on a pitch that resembled an allotment and in the process, found an unlikely goalscoring hero…
Sven gave Miguel Vitor his first start since he limped off injured at a snowy Ipswich (replacing the injured Bruma) in December and also recalled Gallagher in place of Lloyd Dyer who dropped to the bench.
Scunthorpe started brightly and might have taken the lead on 15 minutes when Garner met Duffy’s corner and headed goalwards only for Wellens to block the ball on the line where the grateful Ricardo fell on it. From then on Ricardo had little to do for the remainder of the first half as City settled down and dominated affairs. First Abe (sporting a black armband to acknowledge the awful events in his homeland) let fly with a curling shot from 25 yards that came back off of the crossbar before Nelson headed the ball clear from under his own bar as Yakubu closed in on the falling ball.
It wasn’t long after in the 31st minute before City took a deserved lead. Gallagher’s corner was headed on by Mee for Vitor to poke the ball home from a yard out.
Scunthorpe came out for the second half with renewed purpose and thought that their efforts had been rewarded with a penalty in the 48th minute when Naughton’s pressure on Garner as he chased a through ball, was penalised. But Scunny’s delight was short-lived as the linesman on the far side had put his flag up seconds earlier to indicate that Garner was offside. Scunthorpe were to feel hard done to soon after when Garner put the ball in to the net from a nod-back but it was clearly Garner’s hand and not his head that got the final touch.
In between these two scares King could have doubled City’s lead when he arrived at the far post to side foot a Vassell cross just wide following a superb move down the left.
City doubled their lead in the 72nd minute when, following another corner, Vitor was on hand to head home off the underside of the bar as he met a Gallagher cross from 6 yards out. Scunthorpe heads dropped visibly at this point and a third goal followed soon after when Gallagher took a free kick quickly and rolled the ball to Naughton who took one touch and slammed the ball low in to the net past Lillis from 20 yards.
The remainder of the game was a stroll for the visitors as Scunny fans headed home early and City fans delighted in the return to form. It was a convincing display from Sven’s side who overcame the poor pitch to play some decent football at times. It wasn’t always pretty with stray passes aplenty and the required extra touch meaning that the slick passing game was impossible today, but City showed character and fully deserved the win against a side that has claimed some big scalps recently.
Sven was in a bouyant mood: “Last Tuesday we lost in a bad way. We have talked a lot about it since and today we were very concentrated and showed aggression, we have come back in a brilliant way. With nine games to go, if we can show the spirit we showed today, we won’t lose many games and we’ll win a lot.”
One footnote to the game; a young City fan finished the day in hospital after his over-enthusiastic celebration after the third goal, led to him falling in to an exit walkway, a fall of about 20 feet. It is reported that he suffered a fractured skull. We wish him a speedy recovery.
Scunthorpe: Lillis, Nelson, Raynes, Gordon (Nolan 46), Hughes (Collins 71), Wright, Wright, Duffy, Dagnall (Ibrahim 79), Miller, Garner. Subs Not Used: Slocombe, Grant, Reid, Godden.
Leicester: Ricardo, Bamba, Vitor, Naughton , Mee , King, Abe, Wellens, Yakubu (Waghorn 75), Gallagher (Oakley 81), Vassell (Dyer 86). Subs Not Used: Moreno, Weale, Parkes, Berner.
Referee: Rob Shoebridge (Derbys). Attendance: 6,528.