Monthly Archives: January 2016

Leicester dismiss the doubters with a fine victory

Leicester City 3:0 Stoke City

2015-16 stoke home c

City emphatically ended their slight mid-season wobble and took a big stride in their Premier League title bid with a magnificent 3-0 win over Stoke City in front of an adoring KPS. Equally as significant, Jamie Vardy proved he has fully recovered from his groin operation with a quality strike with the game still in the balance against a very well-organised opposition.
There were no surprises in Claudio Ranieri’s team selection with the first-choice eleven restored after the FA Cup distraction. Chances were few and far between in the opening quarter-of-an-hour with a deep-lying Stoke defence preventing City making any attacking impact and their tall back-line snuffing out any aerial challenge.
Stoke were first to attack when Walters went through but was thwarted by Morgan and an on-rushing Schmeichel.
City characteristically broke up-field with Mahrez, Albrighton whipped in a fine low cross and a crisp Vardy shot was saved by Butland.
Mahrez almost opened the scoring from the resulting corner but his spectacular bicycle kick was narrowly wide.
One of City’s unsung heroes Danny Simpson had to be alert to divert a Shaqiri cross with Diouf waiting to finish before another, Drinkwater, opened the scoring on 42 minutes. Stoke only half-cleared an Albrighton corner and the ball fell to Drinkwater 20 yards out. His fierce low shot, that took a slight deflection past Buland, made many a City fan’s cup of tea taste that little bit sweeter at half-time.
Incredibly it was City’s first goal of the season from outside the box.

Like the first-half, the second started slowly until the game burst into life when Schmeichel punched away a Joselu header. |
Then, on 66 minutes came the moment that Vardy and all City fans had long been waiting for, 10 hours and 17 minutes to be precise.

2015-16 stoke home b

A delightful lofted pass from Man of the Match Drinkwater fell just over Vardy’s shoulder, and he expertly took the ball around the keeper with his first touch and slotted home from a narrow angle to produce the biggest cheer of the afternoon.
Vardy almost got his second after being set up by Kante who danced though three tackles and fed Vardy, only to be denied by a last-ditch tackle. Vardy’s animated applause of the imperious Frenchman was echoed by all.
City were now in full flow and had categorically banished any pessimism after only one league win in the previous four weeks and the fervour in the stands transferred itself onto the pitch and onto Mahrez in particular.
A goal for the re-energised Algerian, who was now running at Stoke defenders at will, would have been the icing on the cake. However, he had to do with assist, but with a piece of trickery that will be doing the rounds on YouTube for many a year and presumably have the unwitting Stoke defender having nightmares for just as long.

2015-16 stoke home a

With three minutes remaining, a terrific move was started by a Schmeichel kick, headed on by substitute Ulloa to Vardy who fed Mahrez 15 yards out. With a deft piece of skill, Mahrez sold a dummy and nutmegged Wollscheid in one move and the cross-cum-shot was netted by a grateful Ulloa, another badly in need of a goal.
Opinion was divided if it was a ‘flip-flap’, an ‘elastico’ or a regulation nutmeg, but it was glorious.
The sea of smiling faces on the walk back to car after the game summed up perfectly the mood of the city and things would only get better as the weekend progressed. Ranieri’s beautiful use of the English language was again demonstrated in his post-match comments.
On Vardy’s first goal in seven games the Italian said: “Jamie I tell every day it is not important, although I know goals for the strikers is important and maybe now he has more confidence, and when I speak with him I say it is important you continue to work hard because you are the main man and if you start to press then everyone follows. Then sooner or later you score a goal, I tell him this. You have to work and make it happen and then the goal will arrive.”
Ranieri recognised that City are in a privileged position with no further involvement in any cup competitions. “Now the players will have three days off, to clear the minds. And when they come back we restart to work hard because the league for us is very exciting. We made a fantastic performance and I am very pleased with my players.”
With their rivals slipping up, City finished the weekend in first place, three points ahead of Arsenal and Manchester City. With no cups to act as distractions, minimum injury worries and generous owners, surely there will never be a better chance for City to go and do something special?

Leicester: Schmeichel, Simpson, Morgan, Huth, Fuchs, Mahrez, Kanté, Drinkwater, Albrighton (Gray 88), Okazaki (Ulloa 62), Vardy. Subs Not Used: Schwarzer, Wasilewski, Inler, King, Dyer.
Stoke: Butland, Johnson, Pieters, Shawcross (Wilson 30), Wollscheid, Whelan, Afellay, Diouf (Odemwingie 71), Shaqiri (Crouch 79), Joselu, Walters. Subs Not Used: Van Ginkel, Adam, Bojan, Haugaard.

Referee: M Dean. Attendance: 32,018.

WORDS: Rob Coe. PHOTOS: Simon Kimber.

——————————————————

We are down to the last few of FOX 195 and 196 – our first all-colour issues and we really mean it this time…

It isn’t too late to get your hands on them and catch up with Leicester City’s table-topping exploits, interviews with Carl Muggleton and Kevin Phillips, the adventures of Fanatical Frank and 50Something and much more…

195196

But be quick, when they’re gone they’re gone.

You can receive both copies through the post for just £5.75 including p&p – paying online via Paypal HERE.

Or take out a full season subscription HERE.

 

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Leicester eased out of the Cup by Spurs

Leicester City 0:2 Tottenham Hotspur

2015-16 spurs cup home a

Claudio Ranieri made his priorities clear as City fielded a fringe side in a 2-0 defeat against Tottenham in the FA Cup 3rd round replay at the KPS…

Only Schmeichel, Drinkwater and Simpson remained from the starting XI at Villa, with the latter standing in for De Laet who injured himself in the pre-match warm-up.
The third meeting between these two sides in just ten days saw an opening spell of midfield pinball, before the first chance fell to Eriksen, who missed the target after being teed up by Son.
City, were very limited going forward and the first chance came after 28 minutes. Although Inler got his 20 yard free-kick over the wall and on target it didn’t stretch Vorm in the Spurs goal.

2015-16 spurs cup home b

The visitors dominated play up the break: Davies went close with a shot, Wasilewski blocked a Chadli effort, and Lamela sent a header over the bar.
Spurs took the lead six minute before half-time as Son, in on the right, gained himself a yard on Chilwell before beating Scmeichel with a fine strike into the top right hand corner.
City tried to haul themselves back into the game up to the break, but Ulloa missed the target with his 20 yard shot and both Inler and Benalouane failed to trouble Vorm with ambitious overhead shots.

2015-16 spurs cup home c

The second half saw Okazaki on for Drinkwater and City’s performance improved for a while with his injection of enthusiasm.
The Japanese international was involved in a move that ended with Gray seeing his curling shot tipped away by Vorm, denied a goal on his impressive home debut.
Pochettino then introduced Kane to the game and he soon forced a good block from Schmeichel at his near post.
But Spurs then wrapped the game up in the 66th minute when Chadli seized on Son’s slide-rule through-ball and beat Schmeichel with a low shot.
City couldn’t pull a goal back, Gray fired a shot over, Albrighton had a fierce shot saved by Vorm, and the ball wouldn’t quite run for Vardy when he came on for the closing stages.

It was a disappointing night for a sell-out crowd, many of whom were not regulars, and thousands of whom, were outside at kick-off due to technical difficulties.
But it was a case of priorities for a club that doesn’t have the strength in depth of those they are hoping to compete with in the Premier League.

Leicester: Schmeichel, Simpson (Albrighton 63), Wasilewski, Benalouane, Chilwell, Drinkwater (Okazaki 46), King, Inler, Gray, Dyer (Vardy 74), Ulloa. Subs Not Used: Schwarzer, Morgan, Kanté, Mahrez.
Tottenham: Vorm, Walker, Wimmer, Dier, Davies, Eriksen, Carroll, Bentaleb, Chadli (Onomah 73), Lamela (Kane 60), Son (Alli 84). Subs Not Used: Lloris, Vertonghen, Trippier, Winks.

Referee: A Taylor. Attendance: 30,006.

ALL PHOTOS: Simon Kimber

——————————————————

We are down to the last few of FOX 195 and 196 – our first all-colour issues and we really mean it this time…

It isn’t too late to get your hands on them and catch up with Leicester City’s table-topping exploits, interviews with Carl Muggleton and Kevin Phillips, the adventures of Fanatical Frank and 50Something and much more…

195196

But be quick, when they’re gone they’re gone.

You can receive both copies through the post for just £5.75 including p&p – paying online via Paypal HERE.

Or take out a full season subscription HERE.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Leicester held by battling Villa

Aston Villa 1:1 Leicester City

2015-16 villa away

City returned to the top of the Premier League on Saturday evening, despite letting a battling Villa off the hook in a 1-1 draw at Villa Park…

Claudio Ranieri named an unchanged side for the short trip to Birmingham, and found a Villa side desperate to build on their second win of the season against Palace in the week.
After a cautious start to the game City began to get into their stride, and Vardy headed an Albrighton free-kick narrowly wide.
Soon after this the England striker was sent down the left by an Albrighton nod-on from a goal kick, but he was brought crashing down by Bunn, who had come racing out of his goal. Only the proximity of some defenders  saved him from a red card.
Villa were then presented with their first chance when an under-hit Huth back-pass saw Kozak in on goal, but Schmeichel got down well to save at his near post and spare his centre-half’s blushes.
City went ahead in the 28th minute. Vardy drifted through the Villa back-line to reach a huge Schmeichel goal-kick and his first time lob over Bunn saw the Villa keeper back-pedalling to claw the ball out. Okazaki had followed up and struck the keeper with his shot, but he was a yard behind the goal-line and City were in the lead.
City had the chance to go further ahead soon after. Okazaki looked to have been brought down just inside the penalty area but play continued and Vardy cut the ball back from the left. Mahrez met it at the far post but Cissokho blocked it with a raised hand and the ref pointed to the spot. Mahrez’s spot-kick was neither hit well, or placed well, allowing Bunn an fairly easy save down the middle, and a chance to shatter Villa’s fragile confidence was missed.

The second half began with a shot at each end: Schmeichel punching a Cissokho effort away and, Bunn tipping a curling 20 yarder from Drinkwater over the bar.
Ranieri made a change on the hour to try and counter Villa’s growing threat, with De Laet coming on for Okazaki.
Villa then had big claims for a penalty turned down when Huth threw an arm across Kozak’s face as the two contested a high ball.
Despite Villa doing the pressing, City looked dangerous on the break. Drinkwater sent Vardy through to round Bunn, but his touch took him too far for a shot, and his ball across goal was directed wide by a Drinkwater’s flicked effort.
Gestede was brought on for Villa and it was the substitute who would earn them a point, with a goal fifteen minutes before the end. He miscontrolled a ball from Bacuna, an dit jumped up and hit him on the hand, but he was allowed to turn and fire home a shot, via Morgan’s arm.
After the customary mass-flare-up between these two sides Bacuna and Vardy were booked.
City’s best chance of a winner fell to Vardy when he got in down the left, but he sent his shot, from a narrow angle, flying over the bar.
It was a strange feeling to be slightly disappointed while going top of the Premier League, but City had the chance to finish Villa off in the first half and didn’t take it.

Claudio Ranieri expressed some rare disappointment: “It is two points lost, We started very well, scored a goal but after we miss the penalty the Aston Villa players took a new energy. We must close the match and score a second goal.”

Villa: Bunn, Bacuna, Okore, Lescott, Cissokho, Gana, Westwood, Veretout, Gil (Gestede 67), Ayew (Sinclair 90), Kozak. Subs Not Used: Guzan, Richards, Clark Richardson, Lyden.

Leicester: Schmeichel, Fuchs, Morgan, Huth, Simpson, Mahrez (Ulloa 69), Drinkwater, Kanté, Albrighton (Gray 85), Okazaki (De Laet 60), Vardy. Subs Not Used: Schwarzer, Wasilewski, King, Inler.

Referee: R East. Attendance: 32,763.

————————————-

We are down to the last few of FOX 195 and 196 – our first all-colour issues and we really mean it this time…

It isn’t too late to get your hands on them and catch up with Leicester City’s table-topping exploits, interviews with Carl Muggleton and Kevin Phillips, the adventures of Fanatical Frank and 50Something and much more…

195196

But be quick, when they’re gone they’re gone.

You can receive both copies through the post for just £5.75 including p&p – paying online via Paypal HERE.

Or take out a full season subscription HERE.

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Leicester Earn Their Spurs

Tottenham Hotspur 0:1 Leicester City

2015-16 spurs away b

City proved themselves to be serious title contenders with a 1:0 win against Spurs at White Hart Lane on Wednesday night…

Only Schmeichel and Kanté started from the FA Cup starting line-up at the same ground three days previously, with one change being made from the previous league outing, Okazaki in for Ulloa to partner Vardy up front.
Spurs got off to a strong start and Eriksen and Alderweireld forced saves from Schmeichel while Alli sent a shot wide.
City then got their high-tempo passing game together and created chances for Okazaki and Kanté which both missed the target.
The next one was on target, a Fuchs long throw was nodded on by the busy Okazaki and Drinkwater’s fierce shot was denied by a superb save from Lloris.
A dipping shot from Eriksen, blocked by Schmeichel was the last real chance of the half and the sides went in goalless at the break after another intriguing contest.

2015-16 spurs away c

City came out of their corner swinging punches and Drinkwater and Vardy both had shots blocked in an early spell of pressure.
But it looked as though Tottenham would surely take the lead on the hour when Lamela slipped a ball through the defence that sent Kane in one on one with Schmeichel. The Danish keeper spread himself well and managed to get a touch to the England striker’s low shot that deflected the ball up and onto the bar, with the goal gaping.
With twenty minutes remaining Claudio Ranieri brought Ulloa on for Vardy and his brief front pairing with Okazaki worked well.
In one frantic passage of play in the Spurs area Mahrez, Drinkwater and Ulloa all had shots blocked before the home side finally cleared their lines.
King replaced Okazaki in the 77th minute before a finely balanced game finally tipped City’s way with 7 minutes remaining.

2015-16 spurs away a

As City lined up for a corner Ulloa seemed to be getting all the attention of the Spurs defence.  This left Huth lurking unmarked in the background and as Fuchs’ flag-kick came over the German had time to direct a thumping header beyond Lloris and into the top left hand corner.
This signalled manic scenes in the away corner which were further inflamed when news broke of Liverpool’s equaliser against Arsenal.
City’s defence remained unbreachable up to the final whistle which saw them level on points with the Gunners at the top of the table.
Remarkably, 43 points saw City overhaul last season’s total of 41.

While this result underlined City’s right to be where they are in the league Claudio Ranieri still had his feet on the ground:  “It’s January. What a pity! If it was May, maybe. We must continue to work hard, to keep our feet on the ground. It is a crazy, crazy league this year and we must continue.”

Tottenham: Lloris, Walker, Alderweireld, Vertonghen, Kane, Lamela, Dier (Onomah 90), Alli, Eriksen (Dembele 70), Carroll (Son 82), Davies. Subs Not Used: Vorm, Rose, Trippier, Wimmer.
Leicester: Schmeichel, Simpson, Morgan, Huth, Fuchs, Mahrez (Dyer 90), Kanté, Drinkwater, Albrighton, Okazaki (King 77), Vardy (Ulloa 70). Subs Not Used: Gray, Wasilewski, Schwarzer, Inter.

Referee: L Mason. Attendance: 35,850.

ALL PHOTOS: Simon Kimber.

————————————-

We are down to the last few of FOX 195 and 196 – our first all-colour issues and we really mean it this time…

It isn’t too late to get your hands on them and catch up with Leicester City’s table-topping exploits, interviews with Carl Muggleton and Kevin Phillips, the adventures of Fanatical Frank and 50Something and much more…

195196

But be quick, when they’re gone they’re gone.

You can receive both copies through the post for just £5.75 including p&p – paying online via Paypal HERE.

Or take out a full season subscription HERE.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Late penalty hands Spurs a replay at Leicester

Tottenham Hotspur 2:2 Leicester City

2015-16 spurs cup away

A late and dubious penalty denied City a win in the FA Cup 3rd round tie at White Hart Lane on Sunday…

Claudio Ranieri made eight changes to his starting line-up with Gray making his debut and only Ulloa, Kanté and Schmeichel retaining their places.
City, adopting a 4-3-3 formation with Gray and Dyer supporting Ulloa, had the first chance when Gray cut inside and sent a low shot narrowly wide, but it was Spurs who took a 9th minute lead.
Chadli, in on the left, forced Schmeichel into a parry,  which fell for Eriksen, who had time to line up a precise shot just inside the left hand post.
City had to weather the storm for a spell after that, with Wasilewski being booked for a foul on Rose and Schmeichel blocking Eriksen’s subsequent free kick, but they were soon back in the game.
Gray delivered a tempting corner in from the right and Wasilewski evaded his marker with a run across the area to divert it past Vorm with a fine header.
City were content to let Spurs have the lion’s share of possession for the rest of the half and Schmeichel made saves from Chadli and Dier, while at the other end a King shot took a looping deflection, but was caught by Vorm on his line.
1-1 at the break was a fair reflection of the game.

Claudio Ranieri reshuffled his formation for the second half, bringing Okazaki on for Kanté and the Japanese international made an immediate impact. Just two minutes into the second half Okazaki danced through the Spurs defence, beating  Carroll and Alderweireld, before seeing his shot saved by Vorm. For the third time this season his persistence saw him score on the follow up, finishing from close in off the left hand post to put City ahead.
Spurs probed City’s back-line but couldn’t find a way through, and there remained a threat on the break. Gray cut in from the left and curled a shot that was deflected inches wide of the far post.
Soon after that Gray was replaced by Albrighton, having made a highly promising debut.
Tottenham, with Kane, Bentaleb and Alli introduced to the action continued to struggle to find a way through with lots of shots being blocked by a solid blue wall. Bentaleb then saw his curving 25 yarder well saved by Schmeichel.
With two minutes to go Spurs finally found a way through, after a highly contentious decision from referee Rob Madley.
Rose cut outside Dyer as he entered the penalty area and the ball struck the City man’s heel and jumped up so that Dyer touched it with his hand as he span round. It wasn’t deliberate and it is doubtful that Madley could see it from where he was, but he pointed immediately to the spot.
Kane’s penalty was struck hard enough to beat Schmeichel, even though he guessed right, and the two sides  would have to meet again at the King Power Stadium to see who was going into the fourth round.
It was a great shame after a tremendous effort from City’s fringe players.

Claudio Ranieri appluaded his ‘B’ team: “It is is good for them and me to watch again because they didn’t play since the last match we played in the League Cup. Eight new players, but I didn’t see a big difference. They played very, very well.”

Tottenham: Vorm, Rose, Alderweireld, Son, Dier (Bentaleb 67), Trippier, Chadli, (Alli 72) Eriksen, Onomah, Wimmer, Carroll (Kane 67). Subs Not Used: Lloris, Lamela, Winks, Davies.
Leicester: Schmeichel, De Laet, Wasilewski, Benalouane, Chilwell, Inler, Kanté (Okazaki 46), King, Dyer, Ulloa, Gray (Albrighton 65). Subs Not Used: Drinkwater, Morgan, Simpson, Mahrez, Schwarzer.

Referee: Robert Madley Attendance: 35.805.

————————————

We are down to the last few of FOX 195 and 196 – our first all-colour issues…

It isn’t too late to get your hands on them and catch up with Leicester City’s table-topping exploits, interviews with Carl Muggleton and Kevin Phillips, the adventures of Fanatical Frank and 50Something and much more…

195196

But be quick, when they’re gone they’re gone.

You can receive both copies through the post for just £5.75 including p&p – paying online via Paypal HERE.

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

FOX 195 and 196 selling out fast

We are down to the last few of FOX 195 and 196 – our first all-colour issues…

It isn’t too late to get your hands on them and catch up with Leicester City’s table-topping exploits, interviews with Carl Muggleton and Kevin Phillips, the adventures of Fanatical Frank and 50Something and much more…

195196

But be quick, when they’re gone they’re gone.

You can receive both copies through the post for just £5.75 including p&p – paying online via Paypal HERE.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Leicester sign Gray from Blues

City have announced the signing of talented young winger Demarai Gray from Birmingham on a four year contract…

Birmingham City v LeicesterCity, Friendly, 01 August 2015

Although only 19, Gray has already made over 50 league appearances for Birmingham and was considered one of the Championship’s hottest properties.
Gray, who scored a spectacular goal for Birmingham against City at St Andrews in a friendly last summer, was signed for an undisclosed fee.
He told the official LCFC site:
“It’s been my dream to play in the Premier League since I started playing football so I’m very happy to join the Club. It’s a great Club. The facilities are great and for a player like me it’s an ideal place for me to improve. Meeting all the staff here, it seems like a nice family place, so I think that’s perfect for me. 

It’s good to see City’s elevated status allowing them to make signings like this in the face of other clubs, like Spurs, chasing Gray’s signature and bodes well for the future.

PHOTO: Simon Kimber

—————————————————–

The FOX 196 – the December edition – is in the shops now…

Our second all-colour issue is now in the shops, or you can buy it online.

blog promo

Featuring: The record breaking Jamie Vardy; an interview with former-City striker Kevin Phillips; Fully Programmed from Christmas 1984; Fox Diary with hardly a defeat in sight; the latest from the Foxes Trust; What’s happening on #lcfc Twitter, starring Christian Fuchs; Rewind goes back to Wembley 1996; Foxed in the Head – travels to Newcastle and recalls the time when we had to sell our best players; Simon Kimber is our guest columnist; John Hutchinson continues his series on City and World War II; our new series The History of Leicester City in 100 Objects begins; your letters and Bentley’s Roof; Parting Shots our favourite photos of the last month; and 40Something turns 50Something…

all for considerably less than a pint…

To buy a copy of FOX 196 click HERE.

To subscribe for a full season click HERE.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized