Queens Park Rangers 0:1 Leicester City
City claimed a priceless three points from a wildlife-interrupted match at Loftus Road on Saturday, Jamie Vardy scoring the only goal of the game…
Nigel Pearson made three changes to his side for this top of the table clash at the end of a huge week for City, with Moore, James and Vardy returning to the starting XI.
The first couple of chances fell to the home side, but Schmeichel dealt with a low shot from O’Neil and swerving effort from Kranjcar.
There followed a lengthy interlude when a squirrel took to the field and the referee and club officials seemed to be at a bit of a loss as to how to get rid of it. Nugent eventually came up with the brainwave of chasing it off.
We awaited the inevitable ‘Squirrel Goal’ from QPR’s corner after the game restarted, but Drinkwater headed Hill’s goalbound effort off the line.
Rangers looked the most likely to go ahead as the action hotted up around Schmeichel’s goal. Kranjcar sent a shot whistling just wide, before the City keeper produced a good block to deny Austin, before Moore headed off the line and Schmeichel recovered to save from Phillips.
But it was City who went ahead four minutes before the break with an excellent piece of direct play.
Schmeichel’s huge kick upfield was nodded on by Nugent for Vardy to race past Dunne and fire off a perfect shot across Green and into the net.
Rangers should have equalised just before the break, but Phillips spooned his effort over the bar with the goal at his mercy, and City took a precious lead down the tunnel.
After an early chance for Dyer, which was snatched, QPR were in the ascendancy again, but their shooting was off-target and it was turning into a frustrating game for a side that hadn’t lost at home this season.
City escaped penalty appeals for a Moore challenge on Phillips and Austin couldn’t find the target when well placed.
Taylor-Fletcher replaced Vardy in the 68th minute and this heralded a good spell for City which saw Nugent troubling Green with a shot and James sending a dipping shot onto the bar.
With five minutes to go the scales tipped further in City’s favour when Barton was dismissed, receiving one yellow card for man-handling Taylor-Fletcher to the floor and another swiftly followed when he threw the ball at his grounded opponent. Genius.
City held out for three points to round off what must be regarded as a very successful week, considering the tough fixtures that City faced.
QPR: Green; Simpson, Dunne, Hill, Assou-Ekotto, Carroll (Benayoun 69), Barton, O’Neil (Hoilett 46), Kranjcar, Phillips, Austin. Subs Not Used: Murphy, Traore, Onuoha, Jenas, Henry.
Leicester: Schmeichel, De Laet (Wasilewski 81), Morgan, Moore, Konchesky, Knockaert, Drinkwater, James, Dyer, Vardy (Taylor-Fletcher 68), Nugent (Schlupp 78). Subs Not Used: Hammond, King, Miquel, Logan.
Referee: P Tierney. Attendance: 17,713.
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