Leicester City 1:0 Middlesbrough
City’s insistence on playing this fixture despite the conditions, no doubt with Sky TV in their ear, meant that thousands of City fans missed out on seeing their club beat Middlesbrough 1-0 at the KPS on Friday night…
City had declared their intentions early on saying the game would definitely be going ahead despite a whole day’s snow being forecast, and duly arriving. Gridlock across the city in the afternoon and evening meant that many people didn’t get home in time to set off for the game and some 15,000 didn’t make it, despite the delayed kick-off time due to Middlesbrough taking two hours to make a short journey from their hotel.
City, unchanged from the win at Bristol City, had the first chance of the game when Marshall’s effort brought a comfortable save from Steele. Boro soon had a chance of their own but McDonald blasted over from close range.
Nugent then tested Steele with a near post shot after a run down the right; before Knockaert cleared the goal frame of snow managing to strike both crossbar and right hand post with a dipping shot.
McDonald forced Schmeichel ito a save with a well struck shot from distance and the Dane was in action again saving from Bikey’s close-range header.
City twice threatened to take the lead just before the break but Nugent’s shot was saved by Steele, and then Keane’s header from a precise Wood chip sent the crossbar rattling again.
But City finally made the breakthrough with 20 minutes remaining. A fantastic lofted ball from Wood teed up Nugent for an even better finish past Steele to give City a precious lead.
Soon after a chance to clinch the points was lost when Nugent netted again only to be denied by the linesman’s flag for a second time. This time it looked like the correct decision.
Dyer, King and Vardy were all introduced into the action as City attempted to run the clock down without any drama, but that is exactly what happened as the game entered injury time. Williams made the most of a clumsy Vardy challenge in the area and Roger East handed the visitors a life-line, pointing to the spot.
Fortunately for City, Schmeichel got down well to Emnes’ spot kick, to produce a fantastic save.
Nigel Pearson commented on City’s lofty position: “It feels great to be second in the league. The players applied themselves well tonight. In the second half we pushed the full-backs forward more and took more chances going forward. I think we had the better chances and it was a good game.”