Derby County 2:1 Leicester City
Leicester’s play-off hopes took a further dent at Pride Park on Saturday evening, with a 2-1 defeat adding to a recent miserable run…
Nigel Pearson made one change for this local derby with Konchesky resuming his left back role, and Schlupp starting on the bench.
City enjoyed a good start to the game, as they always seem to, St Ledger’s cross from the right set up King for a header that went narrowly over the bar.
However, it was Derby who took a 16th minute lead. Ward’s free-kick into the area was met by Keogh who outjumped St Ledger to plant a header beyond Schmeichel’s reach.
City desperately searched for an equaliser but Konchesky had a shot blocked and Dyer fired over when well placed.
The Rams then had loud penalty appeals turned down when Wellens knocked Freeman over on the edge of the area.
A minute before the break the home side went further ahead, with more slack marking to blame.
Forsyth’s cross from the left found an unmarked Martin who had time and space to nod his header past an exposed Schmiechel.
Pearson brought Schlupp on for Wellens for the second half which brought an improved performance from City.
Eleven minutes into the half Marshall came on for Dyer on 56 minutes, and he soon forced Fielding into a smart save at his near post.
City’s best moment of the evening came in the 62 minute when Schlupp, teed up by Nugent, fired a fine shot past Fielding to give some hope to the blue corner.
Nugent then wasted a good chance firing straight at Fielding, from a great position.
City’s last substitution saw Kane on for Wood.
Marshall then fired a free kick in his favourite range yards over the bar.
Despite six minutes of time added on City could not build up any significant pressure on the Rams defence, with them coping comfortably with the long balls raining in on them.
The poor run continues, and now it looks as though City’s place in the play-off frame may be under threat.
Nigel Pearson commented: “Not good enough. It was an awful game and we showed a lack of quality which is a bit difficult to watch again. They were poor goals to concede and we’ve got to rectify this very, very quickly because we’re putting what has been for long periods a very good season at risk by under performing. I’m going to have to have a good long look at how we shape up for the next game because I’m not happy about how we went about today.”
Derby: Fielding, Freeman (Gjokaj 82), Keogh, Buxton, Forsyth, Coutts, Hendrick, Bryson, Ward (Davies 62), Sammon, Martin. Unused Subs: Legzdins, Doyle, Bennett, Jacobs, Hoganson, Davies.
Leicester: Schmeichel, St Ledger, Morgan, Keane, Konchesky, Wellens (Schlupp 45), Drinkwater, King, Nugent, Wood (Kane 69), Dyer (Marshall 56). Unused Subs: Whitbread, Vardy, Logan, Waghorn.
Referee: Keith Stroud (Hampshire). Attendance: 23,122.