Monthly Archives: April 2011

City Draw Hornets Sting

Leicester City 4:2 Watford

City treated a sparse Walkers Stadium crowd, to a fantastic second half display against Watford on Saturday, perhaps adding to the frustration that they won’t be involved in the play-offs this May…

There were two changes from the defeat at Forest with Van Aanholt recalled to the defence and Yakubu and Kamara both withdrawn, Vassell playing as a lone striker. 
The opening half hour saw a soporific, almost practice game tone, with both clubs having drifted out of contention for a play-off place.
Gallagher had forced a save from Loach from a free-kick, but that was about all, before Watford took a 28th minute lead. Slack work from Naughton saw him robbed in midfield by Sordell, who charged forward and cut inside Vitor, before curling a fine shot into the top right hand corner.
The visitors could have gone two up ten minutes later when Sordell headed over from a Vitor cross, but instead it was City who found the net five minutes before the break. Bruma strode forward in midfield and had time to line up a shot from almost 40 yards which beat Loach just inside the right hand post.
Sadly for City this didn’t mean that they went in level at the break. Neat footwork and a cool finish from Sordell saw the visitors retake the lead in the 41st minute.
Whatever Sven told his players at half time, it worked as City moved up a gear to completely turn the game round. 
In the 62nd minute Yakubu, on for the injured Wellens, emerged from a three way collision involving Loach and Mariappa, with the ball at his feet. His carefully weighed first time effort found the net from an acute angle to level the game.
City took the lead for the first time in the 71st minute when Bruma produced another fine goal from disatnce. This was not as far out as his first, being a mere 30 yarder, but was better struck, arrowing past Loach into the top left hand corner.
Two minutes later the home fans were celebrating again as City wrapped up the three points. Yakubu nodded a ball through for King to contest with the keeper and followed up to profit from the loose ball, which he dinked over the grounded Loach and King and into an empty net.
The last big round of applause of th eafternoon came deep into injury time when Tunchev came on as sub after an agonisingly long injury lay-off… hopefully he will be able to make a longer contribution in the near furture.
Sven admitted: “We owed our fans something like that because they are excellent home and away. But I’m extremely proud and pleased with the players. They were perfect mentally, physically and technically. I have had a meeting with the owners before the game today and we have got started. There will probably be many meetings and, unfortunately, we can probably forget the Premier League this season. But we are going to start to look at what we need.”

Leicester: Weale, Vitor, Naughton, Mee, Van Aanholt, Bruma (Dyer 89), King, Abe, Wellens (Yakubu 45), Gallagher, Vassell (Tunchev 89). Subs Not Used: Berner,Moreno, Howard, Smith.  
Watford: Loach, Doyley, Taylor (Bennett 88), Mariappa, Hodson, Eustace, Cowie, Mingoia (Drinkwater 82), Graham, Deeney, Weimann (Sordell 16). Subs Not Used: Massey, Thompson, Gilmartin, Buckley.

Referee: Anthony Bates (Staffs). Attendance:21,473.

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Thrown Away

Nottingham Forest 3:2 Leicester City

A lively and well balanced East Midlands derby was settled 3-2 in Forest’s favour by the latest Chris Weale calamity at the City Ground on Good Friday…

Sven Goran Eriksson brought in Mee, Vitor and Gallagher, for Van Aanholt, Bamba and Vassell and the reshuffled defence did not deal well with their first test – Forest’s 15th minute opening goal.
McGugan, out on the right, delivered a fine cross for Tudgay to head home, the Forest man having drifted in between  Vitor and Naughton.
It was a poor start for City, but they battled their way back and were level five minutes later.
A sweeping City move saw Wellens palying Naughton in down the right and his cross found Gallagher beyond the far post. His cross/shot attempt was blocked by Moussi and the ball rolled out of the penalty area to be met with a perfect fierce, low shot that Camp reached but could not prevent going into the net.
Soon after this equaliser Mee was sent in on the left but his angled drive was place too close to Camp.
The game tightened up after this and chances were scarce up to the break.
Earnshaw’s progress was blocked as he closed in on goal, and that was the nearest either side came. 
Sven was forced into a change just five minutes into the second half when Oakley limped off, replaced by Abe. Seven minutes later he brought Vassell on for Yakubu to try and revive a tired looking side.
The game burst back into life with seventeen minutes remaining with the hosts regaining their lead.
McGugan rode a challenge before firing in a fierce shot from 25 yards. Weale parried the effort but it fell nicely for Earnshaw who finished neatly before Weale could fully recover his position. 
However, City struck back a minute later with their second equaliser of the afternoon.
Wellens sent Naughton down the right and his low shot was blocked by Camp, the ball sitting up for Vassell to sidefoot home from five yards out.
3,300 City fans were celebrating hard in the away end,  but sadly there was another twist in the tale.
Mee sent a header narrowly wide, but it was Forest who found a late winner.
With six minutes of the 90 left, McKenna volleyed a weak effort goalwards and it slipped under Weale on it’s third bounce, to give the home side the points and dismiss any ligering hopes of a play-off place.

Sven was already looking ahead: “Unfortunately we deserve to be where we are. Come Tuesday, after our home game against Watford on Monday, we will start to seriously think about what we want to do. I will be here next season – as long as it is up to me.”

Forest: Camp, Morgan, Chambers, Gunter, Moloney, Cohen, McKenna, McGugan (McGoldrick 86), Moussi, Tudgay (Boyd 75), Earnshaw (Findley 80). Subs Not Used: Bennett, Majewski, McCleary, Darlow.  
Leicester: Weale, Vitor, Naughton, Mee, Bruma, King, Oakley (Abe 50), Wellens, Kamara (Howard 76), Yakubu (Vassell 57), Gallagher. Subs Not Used: Ricardo, Dyer, Moreno, Berner.

Referee: M Clattenburg (Tyne & Wear). Attendance: 24,217.

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No Defence for Poor City Showing

Reading 3:1 Leicester City

City’s play off hopes all but disappeared bar the maths at the Madejski Stadium on Saturday as they were beaten 3-1 by Reading…

Sven Goran Eriksson made three changes for a game City could not afford to lose, against a team that had won seven on the trot: Bruma, Naughton and Vassell in for Mee, Vitor and Gallagher.
City enjoyed a bright opening spell with Kamara firing one effort over and Yakubu sending an effort flashing across goal after a neat breakway move.  But it was the home side who took a 19th minute lead when Long motored past Naughton and Bamba down the left before squaring a ball for Kebe to prod over the line from close in.
If that was a blow for City, worse was to come less than two minutes later.
McAnuff waltzed round Bruma before firing a shot through a crowded area beating Weale low to his right.
Even at this stage it was looking as though Reading had earned their eighth win in a row.
City continued to have the lion’s share of possession and they created plenty of half decent chances, but every shot was blocked by a determined Reading rearguard.
Wellens had the best chance but failed to get past Mills with his shot and then Bamba planted a firm far post header goalwards but saw McCarthy parry his effort to safety.
City went in at the break 2-0 down in a game they had dominated, and it should have been 3-0, Kebe’s spooning an effort over from close in just before the half-time whistle.
City continued in the same vein in the second half, running the game but unable to make it count in front of goal. Vassell volleyed a decent chance over from a Van Aanholt throw; but City looked horribly vulnerable from Reading’s speedy counter attacks. Kebe wasted two good chances and then Oakley headed clear from under the bar as City’s grip on the game hung by a thread. 
That thread finally snapped in the 67th minute when City’s back four were outstripped by another Kebe break, the ball being played back for Hunt to crash the ball past Weale and seal victory.
That was surely City’s season over.
There was one thing for the deflated visiting supporters to cheer in the 80th minute, King was given too much room 30 yards oput and lined up a low shot to the keeper’s right, but it was too little too late.
While Reading now set their sights on an automatic promotion place, City surely waved goodbye to a play-off place on a disappointing afternoon in Berkshire.
Reading: McCarthy, Mills, Harte,Griffin, Khizanishvili, McAnuff, Leigertwood, Kebe (Robson-Kanu 83), Karacan, Long, Manset (Hunt 54). Subs Not Used: Church, Federici, Tabb, Antonio, Pearce.  
Leicester: Weale, Bamba (Vitor 56), Naughton, Van Aanholt, Bruma, King, Oakley, Wellens, Kamara (Howard 71), Yakubu, Vassell (Gallagher 66). Subs Not Used: Berner, Abe, Ricardo, Dyer.

Referee: GSalisbury(Lancashire). Attendance:19,199.

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City Fail to Conquer Palace

Leicester City 1:1 Crystal Palace

City’s play-off hopes all but faded away as they failed to beat relegation threatened Crystal Palace at Filbert Way on Tuesday night….

Sven Goran Eriksson made no changes to the side that beat Burnley 4-0, with Bruma returning to the bench after suspension.
City dominated possession for the first 20 minutes without threatening the Palace goal as the Eagles kept plenty of men back, waiting their chance to hit on the break. An off-target Kamara shot was all City had to show for their efforts when Palace took a shock lead on the half hour. 
A long range effort from Scannell didn’t appear to pose much of a threat but somehow beat Weale to find the net, with City making life hard for themselves.
Although Bamba forced a save from Speroni Palace took heart from the lead and were the better side up to the break with chances from Scannell and Counago.
Vassell came on for Gallagher at the break as City went in search of an equaliser. He set up Oakley for a chance that missed the target, but the City skipper would soon make amends. In the 59th minute Wellens lofted a ball into the penalty area and McCarthy headed a looping clearance that fell nicely for Oakley to volley home his first goal in two years.
With Derby beating Leeds, a win would put City within two points of a play-off place, but the rest of the evening was an exercise in frustration for the City faithful.
Yakubu skied an effort over the bar from two yards after good wrok from Mee and Vassell; and Van Aanholt sent a weak shot at Speroni from a decent position.
The introduction of Howard and Dyer for Yakubu and Kamara, didn’t change City’s fortunes and th eonly incident of note in five minutes of time added on saw Zaha dismissed for toe-poking a grounded Van Aanholt in the head.
Results elsewhere went well, so City still have a chance of making the play-offs, but they can’t afford to slip up again in the remaining five games, which seems a massive task.
Leicester: Weale, Bamba, Vitor, Mee, Van Aanholt, King, Oakley, Wellens, Kamara (Dyer 77), Yakubu (Howard 78), Gallagher (Vassell 46). Subs Not Used: Abe, Ricardo, Bruma, Berner. 
Palace: Speroni, Gardner, McCarthy, Moxey, Clyne, Danns, Garvan (Agustien 64), Dikgacoi, Scannell (Vaughan 69), Zaha, Counago (Iversen 80). Subs Not Used: Cadogan, Price, Ambrose, Davis.

Referee: I Williamson (Berkshire). Attendance: 22,303.

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FOX 175 – in the Shops Now…

FOX 175 – the April/May issue – is now in the shops…

This issue features: An exclusive interview with Frank McLintock; Panini 86 stickers; your essential small ads; Odd One Out; Fully Programmed; Fox Diary; the latest from the Foxes Trust; Tales From the Riverbank; Rewind to the 1976 Tunnel Rats; the Chris Lymn Column; The Alan Young Scrapbook; Moments; your letters and Bentley’s Roof; and FortySomething…

It’s the most fun you can have for two quid.

Extract from the Frank McLintock interview…

FOX: So you were working even after you were a first team regular? 

FM: Oh yes! I finished work on the Friday and cycled home. I got washed, showered and shaved, I’d just about started shaving by then… cycled down to the ground and put my bike in the garage… got on the first team bus down to London… stayed at the Dorchester Hotel (which was nearly as good as playing at Wembley)… met Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton who had a suite there… played at Wembley the next day against Spurs, but got beaten because Lenny Chalmers got injured… but we really put in a good performance.
Back at the hotel after the game I was dancing with Barbara on the dancefloor when I felt a tap on the shoulder. “Hello son, how would you like to play for a good team?”
Bill Shankly and Ian St John, tapping me up! Asked me to come to Liverpool. He wasn’t as famous as he was to become, he’d just started to get things going at Liverpool and they were a division below us, and we’d just been in the Cup Final, so that was a wee bit cheeky. We had a smashing side at Leicester around that time with Mike Stringfellow, Howard Riley, Davie Gibson (who was brilliant), Graham Cross, Ian King, all round we’d a really good side there. It was just a great experience.
And then back at work on the Monday again!
You can’t see David Beckham doing that now, can you?

FOX: You weren’t a centre-half when you started out, you were an wing-half; what would the equivalent be now?

FM: No, I was in midfield for ten years. I suppose it would have been a bit like a Steven Gerrard role, but I used to try and bomb forward and get into the box when I could. Colin Appleton used to do the same.

FOX: Matt Gillies was known as a bit of an innovator with his midfield, what did that entail?

FM: Well, it was an accident really. I was playing midfield and Graham Cross was playing inside-right in a more attacking role, but I had so much energy I could run all day, so Graham would drop back whenever I went forward. He could have a little rest then, it was called the ‘Switch’. I don’t think anyone applied it or worked it out, it just happened quite naturally because maybe I was a bit impetuous and Graham was happy to slot in behind me. It caused problems for our opponents because people got a bit confused as to who they should be marking. Things were quite rigid in those days with positions and marking and nothing ever changed much. So when anyone did something different it was quite revolutionary.

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City Crush Clarets to Revive Play Off Hopes

Leicester City 4:0 Burnley

The new, state-of-the-art screens at Filbert Way were put to good use on Saturday, replaying all four goals as City ran rampant against Burnley…

With Naughton unwell and Bruma suspended Sven Goran Eriksson drafted Vitor and Mee into his defence, while Diomansy Kamara made his home debut. 
It only took Kamara 23 minutes to find the net, and give City a lead they never looked like surrendering.
Kamara made twenty yards through the middle before finding Yakubu, and then nipping the ball off his toe before slotting the ball under Jensen.
Kamara was outstanding for City causing Burnley plenty of problems though the game became a little pedestrian towards half-time with chances scarce for both sides.
In the second half Kamara kick-started City back into life… in the 52nd minute the Fulham loanee raced onto a Gallagher ball into the penalty area, being brought down by Bikey for an obvious penalty. Gallagher’s spot kick was a little too near Jensen for comfort but was so solidly struck that it forced a way through his grasp. 
After Yakubu and King had threatened, City’s third goal arrived in the 69th minute when Gallagher was not closed down quickly enough and fired home a 30 yarder low to Jensen’s right.
With the game won, Yakubu, Kamara (to a standing ovation) and Oakley were withdrawn for Abe, Howard and Vassell.  
But City were not done yet and in the 81st minute Van Aanholt, cutting in from the left, combined beautifully with King before clipping a precise curling shot beyond Jensen’s reach and just inside the right hand post. It looked even better on the big screens as fans and players enjoyed it again.
City were rampant now and Vassell teed up Wellens for a volley which hit the bar and Jensen saved well from Gallagher.
It was a fantastic performance that still gave City an outside chance of a play-off place, but left Sven puzzled as to why they couldn’t produce that level of performance more often: “It was a top-class performance from everyone, including the three subs. Everyone did fantastic. But we should be playing like this more often, and that makes me angry. Today we were focused. There were no mistakes, we were patient after going 1-0 in keeping the ball – top, top class. But the players we have, and the team we have – we should do it more often.”

Leicester: Weale, Bamba, Vitor, Mee, Van Aanholt, King, Oakley (Abe 79), Wellens, Kamara (Howard 73), Yakubu (Vassell 73), Gallagher. Subs Not Used: Ricardo, Dyer, Berner, Moreno.  
Burnley: Jensen, Mears, Duff, Bikey, Easton, Marney, Eagles, Elliott (Thompson 73), Iwelumo (Wallace 73), Rodriguez  (Alexander 86), Delfouneso. Subs Not Used: Duffy, Carlisle, Edgar, Grant.

Referee: P Dowd (Staffs). Attendance: 24,039.

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Yakubu Hat Trick Not Enough at the Riverside

Middlesbrough 3:3 Leicester City

A Yakubu hat-trick was not enough to earn the points for City at the Riverside on Saturday, with Middlesbrough finding a 95th minute equaliser to square an eventful game at 3-3…

Sven Goran Eriksson shuffled things up with Ricardo dropped in favour of Weale, King demoted to the bench, and Kamara making his debut, while Oakley returned for Abe in midfield.
It was a line up that paid instant dividends with City taking a 4th minute lead. A Gallagher corner from the left was retrieved by Wellens who fired a cross into the goalmouth which Yakubu diverted home to silence the boos that had greeted the former Boro player’s appearance.
However, the home side were level again within nine minutes. Smallwood broke through the middle and fed Emnes on the right, the Dutchman slotting the ball under Weale.
Both side shad decent chances to go ahead, Van Aaanholt forcing a good save from Smith and Smallwood going close with an effort, but it was City who regained the lead just before the break.
Gallagher delivered a corner from the right, Bruma headed into the danger area and Yakubu beat Bamba to the ball to guide it over the line from inches out.  
City almost went ahead through Kamara soon after the break but he was denied by Smith. The travelling fans didn’t have long to wait however, Yakubu completing his hat trick in the 49th minute. Latching on to a clever ball from Vassell he outpaced the Boro defence and slotted the ball under the advancing Smith to give City a two goal lead.
Unfortunately it wasn’t enough. Six minutes later the lead was reduced when Williams lashed in a shot from the edge of the area after combining well with Arca.
Substitute Zammama then fired a 25 yard shot onto the left hand upright with City living dangerously.
In the 76th minute Bruma was harshly judged to have handled after blocking a fierce Arca shot into a crowded area. Weale brilliantly saved Arca’s spot kick low to his left and while his team mates congratulated him, Bruma foolishly had a word with the ref, which resulted in him being shown a second yellow card. 
The left hand upright was hit again when Emnes should have scored, and as the game entered it’s fourth minute of time-added-on it looked as though the ten men had earned the points.
Unfortunately McManus then got a thumping header to an Arca corner to give Boro a share of the spoils. 
In an instant City had gone from 8th to 12th in the live League Tables on a day when the teams surrounding City had not done well.

The fact that City lost two points from a header in Bruma’s position was not lost on Sven: “Players should not talk to the referee and should not discuss with him any decisions. I will talk to the referee when he comes off. If players argue with the referee they will get booked. Some of my players need to be reminded of that.”

Middlesbrough: Smith, Davies (McManus 71), Taylor (Kink 71), McMahon, Hines, Williams, Bennett, Arca, Smallwood (Zemmama 60), McDonald, Emnes. Subs Not Used: Tavares, Halliday, Grounds, Coyne.
Leicester: Weale, Bamba, Naughton , Van Aanholt, Bruma, Oakley, Wellens, Kamara  (Waghorn 88), Yakubu  (Vitor 80), Gallagher (Abe 71), Vassell. Subs Not Used: Howard, King, Ricardo, Dyer.

Referee:A Haines (Tyne & Wear). Attendance: 14,500.

Photo: Paul Kirk.

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