Leicester City 6 : 1 Huddersfield Town
City begin 2013 with a stunning goal feast to overwhelm Huddersfield.
Nigel Pearson gave a debut to Chris Wood alongside David Nugent and called up Michael Keane to cover at centre half in the absence of Whitbread, Moore and St Ledger, alongside Wes Morgan. What then followed was a superb display of attacking football against a poor Huddersfield side that was on the back foot from the first minute. City raced out of the traps and in the first attack Knockaert beat Smithies in the visitors’ goal to a loose ball to force the ball over the line before Adam Clayton cleared but the referee’s assistant didn’t flag the goal and play continued much to the frustration of the players and Nigel Pearson. City didn’t have to wait long to get on the scoreboard though; in the 6th minute Knockaert found space on the right and crossed for Nugent whose powerful header was kept out by Smithies but Wood was on the spot to head home the rebound and open his account at his new club. Nugent nearly doubled the lead soon afterwards when he was put through by Wood only to be denied by Smithies who pulled off an acrobatic stop. He was helpless in the 25th minute however when Wood and Nugent combined to release Nugent down the right hand side; he got to the byline, looked up and picked out Wood with a perfect low cross and Wood fired in first time off the post.
City continued to pile the pressure on and the visitors could scarcely get out of their own half and so it was no surprise when City extended the lead in first-half injury time. Knockaert showed some delightful touches to create space again and release De Laet on the overlap and his surging run in to the box was topped off with a thumping drive from an acute angle that flew past Smithies in to the corner of the net. City left the pitch to a standing ovation and rightly so after a stunning 45 minutes of football. There was one change at half time as Smithies was replaced in the Huddersfield goal with a leg injury and not shell-shock as some were suggesting. His replacement, Bennett, was soon picking the ball out of the net when a fluent move down the left allowed Konchesky to cut the ball back for Knockaert who drove the ball first time from the edge of the area and in to the net. If Huddersfield weren’t sick of the sight of Knockaert before then they were two minutes later when the Frenchman picked the ball up on the right, ran at the retreating defenders in front of him and then skipped between them before curling a superb left-footed shot in to the far corner.
At this stage there were still forty minutes remaining and any number of goals seemed possible but it was the visitors who scored next on the hour when the generous City defence allowed Arfield a shot from twelve yards that was well saved by Schmeichel but the rebound fell kindly to Arfield again who made no mistake this time. The City defence actually looked a little unsteady for a few minutes as Huddersfield threw caution to the wind but Martyn Waghorn scored the final goal of the afternoon to snuff out any resistance. Another Konchesky cross was neatly nodded down by Wood for Waghorn to volley home first time. More goals could have followed but first Gallagher and then Dyer were unable to convert decent chances.
The match will be memorable for a superb team display and some excellent individual performances namely Chris Wood who looked as if he had played alongside Nugent all of his professional life such was their understanding. Wood looks to be a very good signing on this performance and it is easy to see why Millwall fans were upset at not landing the young Kiwi. Elsewhere young Michael Keane was mature and composed at the back alongside the faultless Morgan, Matty James continues to grab his chance and make the central midfield spot his own and Anthony Knockaert was sublime again and we just hope that his lap around the pitch, waving to all corners of the ground, wasn’t a ‘goodbye’ as rumours of Arsenal’s interest refuse to go away.
City: Schmeichel, De Laet, Morgan, Keane, Konchesky, Knockaert (Gallagher 74), Drinkwater, James, Marshall (Dyer 66), Nugent (Waghorn 57), Wood. Unused subs: King, Logan, Moore, Futacs.
Huddersfield: Smithies (Bennett 46), Hunt, Gerrard, Lynch (Dixon 55), Wallace, Arfield, Clayton (Norwood 81), Southern, Hammill, Novak, Vaughan.
Unused subs: Clarke, Robinson, Atkinson, Scannell.
Attendance: 25,913 Referee: Mark Haywood
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…
All this Leicester City related fun and games for just £13…
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