Leeds United 0:1 Leicester City
City made it six victories on the trot with a late winner from David Nugent at Elland Road on Saturday…
Nigel Pearson’s starting line-up was unchanged, with new signings Mahrez and Phillips on the bench, but it was the home side who got off to a good start, determined to halt their recent bad run.
Austin went close with a shot, and then McCormack headed against the right hand upright from a Varney cross.
Soon after that it was City’s turn to hit the woodwork when De Laet’s ball forward found Vardy whose fierce shot across Kenny smacked against the far post.
The action soon moved back to the other end, where Schmeichel punched a free-kick out as far as McCormack, whose lob over the keeper was headed off the line. McCormack’s follow-up shot was then tipped round the post by the busy Schmeichel.
In the 17th minute the former-Leeds keeper rescued City again, when a careless Konchesky ball gifted McCormack a chance, but Schmeichel raced out to deny the Leeds skipper with a fine block.
De Laet was the next City man to deny Leeds when a Kebe cross looked to be reaching Varney for an easy chance, but the City defender bravely intercepted.
It hadn’t been a great half for the league -leaders, but they had survived with their goal intact.
City improved in a calmer second half. James went close with a curling effort, but chances for either side were now few and far between.
The game changed with 15 minutes to go, when Nigel Pearson brought Phillips on for Vardy. At 40 years of age he may have been City oldest ever debutante, but three moments proved that he was far from past it.
First, he attempted a difficult snap shot out of nothing that flew over the bar.
Then he teed up fellow sub King who was in a better position, when most strikers would have attempted a shot themselves…
And his third involvement was a clever dummy that let a Moore cross unzip the Leeds defence and allowed Nugent in for an 87th minute winner, calmly guided past Kenny.
The away section went mad… to gain three points from a below par performance was a hugely encouraging sign.
Leeds: Kenny, Byram, Pearce, Lees, Warnock, Kebe (Peltier 85), Brown, Austin, Stewart, McCormack, Varney (Diouf 85). Subs Not Used: Cairns, Murphy, Wootton, Poleon, Mowatt.
Leicester: Schmeichel, De Laet (Wasilewski 64), Morgan, Moore, Konchesky, Knockaert, James, Drinkwater, Dyer (King 80), Nugent, Vardy (Phillips 75). Subs Not Used: Hammond, Logan, Mahrez, Wood.