Leicester City 3:0 Crystal Palace
Nigel Pearson got his second spell as Leicester manager off to a flying start with a Paul Gallagher inspired 3-0 win against Crystal Palace at Filbert Way on Sunday…
In defence St Ledger stepped up to replace the suspended Bamba, while Pearson employed ‘his’ midfield of Dyer, King, Wellens and Gallagher in a standard 442.
There was immediate eveidence of City attempting to get the ball forward more swiftly and early chances fell to Nugent and Gallagher, without reward. Nugent’s header from a Peltier cross and Gallacher ‘sighter’ both being comfortably fielded by Speroni.
Otherwise it was a frustrating half with Beckford’s first touch seeming to have deserted him and Palace gaining confidence as City ran out of ideas.
The half fizzled out into a goalless stalemate.
Ten minutes into the second half City got the goal they desperately needed, following a good flowing move.
A Good run from Konchesky set up Wellens who teed up Beckford for a cool finish past Speroni from inside the area. A big roar of relief greeted this goal, and it’s importance for both team and player, but Beckford then wasted an easier chance two minutes later.
City then sat back a bit and were living dangerously for a while…
Dikgacoi wasted a good chance from close in and then Martin headed straight at Schmeichel with the whole goal at his mercy.
However, this was soon forgotten when the crowd witnessed two pieces of Gallagher magic.
In the 70th minute Gallagher received a pass from Wellens and curled a superb shot into the top right hand corner from 25 yards.
Three minutes later Gallagher outdid that effort, latching on to a loose ball 30 yards out he arrowed a fantastic shot into the top left hand corner to raise the roof and seal the points.
With the game won Pearson gave Howard, Abe and Schlupp a run out, before pronouncing: “The key to our success today was that we imposed ourselves on Crystal Palace. The important thing is that the players enjoyed themselves. It is not a criticism of what has gone before but my job is to ensure the players play with a freedom to enjoy themselves.”
Hopefully Pearson will soon manage something that Sven couldn’t – a place in the top six.
City: Schmeichel, Peltier (Abe 76), Mills, St Ledger, Konchesky, Gallagher, Wellens, King, Dyer, Beckford (Schlupp 74), Nugent (Howard 75). Unused Subs: Weale, Danns.
Palace: Speroni; Clyne, McCarthy, Gardner, Moxey, Zaha, Wright, Jedinak, Parr (Martin 61), Dikgacoi (Scannell 61), Murray. Unused Subs: Price, Ambrose, Easter.
Referee: M Brown (East Yorkshire). Attendance: 22,449.
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