Burnley 0:1 Leicester City
Nigel Pearson recalled Lloyd Dyer ahead of Andy King on the left and there was a starting place for Liam Moore in place of the injured Zak Whitbread as City looked to finish 2012 on a high note. The most notable incident in the opening stages of the game though was the loss for Burnley of Charlie Austin, leaving the field after just 7 minutes. Burnley’s reliance on this prolific player was reflected in the mood of the home fans as he limped away.
City capitalised on this and applied some early pressure with Ben Marshall getting a good shot away after a mazy run down the right; Lee grant in the Burnley goal was equal to that effort with a diving save but could do nothing about City’s opener on the half hour. A long throw from Ben Marshall was beautifully controlled by Wes Morgan in the area, he turned and sent the ball across the goalmouth where David Nugent applied the deftest of touches from close in to nudge the ball in to the corner of the net.
Burnley’s response to this setback was a solitary Patterson effort, comfortably saved by Schmeichel and a mis-hit effort from Ings. The second half opened with the home side showing more urgency but the end product was still missing and Schmeichel was not called upon to make any serious saves until Patterson’s low drive at the near post forced him to block with his legs. As the home side pressed for an equaliser in the final quarter of the game so more space opened up for City and an end-to-end game ensued with City always the more likely to extend their lead. Burnley’s best efforts were dealt with by Schmeichel or a body was on hand to block the effort as City defended superbly. At the other end De Laet tested Grant with a fierce shot and then Dyer drew a superb stop from the keeper before Futacs made space for himself and unleashed a rising shot that clipped the bar in the final minute. Burnley still had time for one more effort on goal and Patterson fired a close range shot too close to Schmeichel as City fans behind the goal held their breath.
It was a deserved win for City even though they were never at their best and ‘winning ugly’ will suit Nigel Pearson just fine after some good displays recently that have brought no reward. 2012 will close with City in a play-off spot and seemingly emerging from a poor run of results. With striker Chris Wood confirmed as the next City signing and more to come it seems that Pearson is being backed with funds to strengthen the promotion push and from this position it would be hugely disappointing if City were not to be in the promotion or play off mix in May.
Happy New Year!
Burnley: Grant, Trippier, Duff, Shackell, Lafferty, Marney, McCann, Wallace (Vokes 57), Ings, Treacy (Stock 83), Austin (Paterson 8). Subs: Jensen, Edgar, O’Neill, Bartley.
City: Schmeichel, De Laet, Morgan, Moore, Konchesky, James, Drinkwater, Marshall, Knockaert (Waghorn 61), Dyer (Gallagher 82), Nugent (Futacs 86). Subs: Logan, King, Keane, Schlupp.
Attendance: 13,050. Referee: Michael Naylor (South Yorkshire)
Due to popular demand we are extending our Christmas subs offer into the first week of January – it includes:
All the issues that have come out to date this season: The Summer Special 2012; FOX 181 and FOX 182, will be posted along with the December issue FOX 183 and will be gift-wrapped (also included will be a set of 8 Leicester City postcards).
The recipient will then receive the rest of the season’s issues when they are published in 2013…
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