Monthly Archives: November 2016

Late Slimani penalty rescues Leicester

Leicester City 2:2 Middlesbrough


City scraped a point from a poor performance against Middlesbrough at the KPS on Saturday afternoon…

Claudio Ranieri made one change to the side that beat Bruges, with Amartey in for the suspended Drinkwater. James made his first appearance in the squad since his injury in May 2015.
The visitors got off to a lively start Zieler saved a Traore effort early on, and then De Roon missed the target as he followed up.
Boro took a 13th minute lead, when a Ramirez ball from the left was directed into the top right hand corner by Negredo.


After a slow start City enjoyed a better spell, and went close to a spectacular equaliser.
Good work from Mahrez on the right saw him curl a ball across the penalty area, but Okazaki’s acrobatic over head kick struck the crossbar with Valdes beaten.
City levelled matters in the 34th minute. A Simpson cross was handled by Chambers, albeit under considerable pressure from Morgan, and Lee Mason pointed to the spot.
Mahrez planted home his third spot-kick in three games, brushing the right hand post.
A couple of minutes before the break, Okazaki sent a low cross towards Vardy, who had hardly had a touch all game, but Ramirez nipped in to intercept and it was all-square at the break.

The opening twenty minutes of the second half were as scrappy as the first. City’s first chance didn’t arrive until the 63rd minute, when King headed a Simpson cross well over.
Claudio Ranieri then shuffled his pack, bringing Slimani on for Vardy and Musa on for Mahrez, but it was Boro who took the lead with twenty minutes remaining.
A Forshaw through-ball sent Negredo clear of the City defence down the right and he beat Zieler with a precise half-volley to send the vociferous away corner wild.
City were struggling to find a way through a dogged Boro defence, and Amartey’s 87th minute shot that flashed past the left hand post was the closest they got in open play.
Soon after this King headed a cross back across goal to Amartey who was crowded out.


However, they were handed a lifeline with just thirty seconds of time added on left.
As Morgan made his way across the 18 yard line there seemed to be little threat,  but de Roon needlessly stuck out a leg and tripped him over for an indisputable penalty.
With Mahrez off the field, Slimani stepped up to crash his spot-kick home and claim a point that City’s performance had scarcely deserved.

Claudio Ranieri admitted: “For us now it’s important to think we are in the battle of relegation and every point is OK. We wanted to win, but when it’s not possible one point after 93 minutes is OK.”

Leicester: Zieler, Simpson, Huth, Morgan, Fuchs, King, Amartey, Mahrez (Musa 68), Albrighton, Okazaki (Gray 76), Vardy (Slimani 65). Subs Not Used: Hamer, Hernández, Schlupp, James.
Middlesbrough: Valdes, Fabio, Gibson, Clayton, Negredo, De Roon, Barragan, Ramirez (Fischer 88), Chambers, Forshaw, Traore (Stuani 79). Subs Not Used: Guzan, Espinosa, Leadbitter, Downing, Nsue.

Referee: L Mason. Attendance: 32,058.

PHOTOS: Simon Kimber. 
The Champions cards that we produced to celebrate City’s greatest achievment in the
history of all sport, ever, have now sold out. But do not despair if you didn’t manage to lay your hands on a set. We have now made them available as an A4 sized print which you can have either framed, or the print on its own to frame yourself…frame

The framed print costs £11.80 inc postage — pay via Paypal HERE
while the unframed one is £6.50 inc postage — pay via paypal HERE 
or send a cheque or cash to our new address:
The FOX,
22 Cosby Road,
LE19 2HF.





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Win over Bruges sees Leicester into Champions League knockout phase

Leicester City 2:1 FC Bruges


City’s 2-1 win over Bruges at the KPS on Tuesday night sealed top spot in Group G, and saw the Champions League new boys into the last 16…

City, who only needed a point to progress into the knockout phase, had one change to the starting line-up with King replacing Amartey in midfield.
And Claudio Ranieri’s side got off to a cracking start, taking a 5th minute lead.
Fuchs made good progress down the left and curved a low cross round two defenders, which was met by Okazaki at the near post for a fine finish into the top left hand corner.

Leicester City v Club Brugge, Champions League, 22 November 2016

The Belgian champions were rattled by this and struggled to keep possession against an energetic looking City. Three minutes later Mahrez almost caught out Butelle with a near post shot from an acute angle, but the keeper managed to block.
City continued to press forward, but decent crosses from Albrighton and Vardy saw no one in position for a finishing touch.
In a rare attack for Bruges, Vanaken got his head to a cross, but straight into Zieler’s grasp.
After a flat spell of play, City reignited the crowd with a second goal on the half hour.
Albrighton went round Cools down the left, but the defender caught him as he went past and referee Ruddy Buquet had no hesitation in pointing to the spot.
Mahrez sent Butelle the wrong way with his usual halting run up, and City were so close to the next round that you could almost touch it.
Approaching the break, there was a chance at either end.
Morgan sent a header towards the top corner, but Butelle saved; and Zieler produced an acrobatic parry in response to  a curling effot from Izquierdo.


City applied some early pressure in the second half, with a long-throw and a cross from Fuchs both causing the visitors’ defence problems, but it was Bruges who found the net in the 52nd minute.
City’s proud record of no goals conceded in the competition was dented when Izquierdo collected the ball on the halfway line, raced past Fuchs, and fired in a shot that beat Zieler at his near post.
With the evening now gaining an extra edge, there were two disallowed goals in as many minutes. Vardy produced a clever back-heel that trundled over the line, while at the other end Claudemir found the net, but both were narrowly offside.
Claudio Ranieri made a double change in the 68th minute, with Gray and Schlupp replacing goalscorers Okazaki and Mahrez.
After a minute on the field, Schlupp beat his marker and charged goalwards, but sent his shot too close to Butelle.
Bruges had a decent attacking spell which gnawed at the nerves a little, but the City defence never looked too stretched.
Armartey replaced Albrighton with 12 minutes remaining, and he soon had a chance, but got his shot horribly wrong.
Bruges’s best chance came and went when a Van Rhijn corner was flicked across goal by Vanaken, but no one was positioned for what would have been a tap in.


A chance to end the evening in great style was then wasted. Gray played a superb one-two with Vardy, as City broke upfield, and was clear on goal, but the youngster hit his shot straight at the advancing Butelle.
In the third minute of time added on Gray was again denied by Butelle after Drinkwater teed him up, but the final whistle sparked delighted celebrations at City’s incredible achievement.
Porto’s goalless draw in Copenhagen meant that City had won the group with a game to spare. Not bad for a first attempt.

Claudio was delighted, but mindful of domestic matters: “It’s unbelievable. Top of the group, very happy, very proud for my players, very happy for the chairman, for the fans, for everybody. Another journey to the knockout – unbelievable. Now our mind must go on the Premier League because I want to push my players to think about that.”

Leicester: Zieler, Simpson, Huth, Morgan, Fuchs, Drinkwater, King, Mahrez (Schlupp 68), Albrighton (Amartey 78), Okazaki (Gray 68), Vardy. Subs Not Used: Hamer, Hernández, Musa, Ulloa.
Bruges: Butelle, Simons, Poulain, Claudemir (Wesley 84), Vossen, Izquierdo, Pina (Limbombe 61), Vanaken, Cools, De Bock (Van Rhijn 70), Mechele. Subs Not Used: Bruzzese, Felipe Gedoz, Denswil, Bolingoli.

Referee: R Buquet. Attendance: 31,443. 

PHOTOS: Simon Kimber. 
The Champions cards that we produced to celebrate City’s greatest achievment in the
history of all sport, ever, have now sold out. But do not despair if you didn’t manage to lay your hands on a set. We have now made them available as an A4 sized print which you can have either framed, or the print on its own to frame yourself…


The framed print costs £11.80 inc postage — pay via Paypal HERE
while the unframed one is £6.50 inc postage — pay via paypal HERE 
or send a cheque or cash to our new address:
The FOX,
22 Cosby Road,
LE19 2HF.



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Leicester feel Hornets sting

Watford 2:1 Leicester City


City’s poor run continued at Vicarage Road, where Watford were 2-0 up by the 12th minute on Saturday afternoon…

Claudio Ranieri brought Vardy, Amartey and Albrighton back into a starting line-up that looked like last season’s title winners, minus Schmeichel and Kante.
But the team sheet was where the similarity ended,  as City found themselves a goal down after 32 seconds. Pereyra crossed from the left, Deeney nodded on with a delicate header into the path of Capoue, who sent his first time effort into the turf and up beyond Zieler’s reach.
If this stunned the Champions, worse was to come in the 12th minute when the hosts went further ahead. Pereyra cut in from the left, stepped round Drinkwater and curled a sublime shot into the top right hand corner.


This stung City into a reaction and they were awarded a penalty after a quarter of an hour.
Britos bundled Vardy over with a clumsy challenge and Mahrez halved the deficit from 12 yards.
The rest of the half was a complete scrap, with neither side able to string three passes together and some niggly challenges. Chances were few and far between, with a Huth header over the bar being City’s closest effort.
City still trailed at the break, but had been the better side in the later stages of the half.


The second half was equally scrappy, as City pursued an equaliser and Watford, on the back of a 6-1 defeat at Anfield, were grimly determined to hang on to the win.
Pereyra had the goal at his mercy with a close range header, but sent it too close to Zieler who pulled off a good save to keep City in the game.
As the clock ticked down, City attacked down the flanks through Mahrez and then Gray, but they lacked the aerial presence in the middle and several crosses were headed clear or easily caught by Gomes.
Schlupp was also brought on and delivered two decent cut-backs from the left, but fellow-sub Musa failed to take advantage when well placed.
Referee Neil Swarbrick didn’t help City’s cause. A free-kick was awarded against Huth for getting his head to a cross, and Vardy was also penalised after a race to a loose ball ended with a 50-50 challenge  between him and Gomes.


Several shots from the edge of the area were blocked by a yellow wall and there were loud appeals for handball from the away section on three occasions, though all of them were for hard shots from close-range.
Watford survived a frantic late spell, though Gomes didn’t have a shot to save, and City paid for their slow start with another defeat.

Claudio Ranieri remained positive: “Watford scored two fantastic goals and then we did a very fantastic reaction, Gomes didn’t make any saves but I think until the end we had a chance to score a goal because the team was alive. But against us today there was a big wall to stop all our shots at goal. We lost the match but the spirit is high. I’m proud of them.”

Despite the Premier League struggles, City could qualify for the knockout stages of the Champions League on Tuesday night, and Ranieri needs to keep the mood buoyant.

Watford: Gomes, Britos, Kaboul, Prodl, Amrabat (Guedioura 86), Deeney (Okaka 90), Behrami, Zuniga, Janmaat, Capoue, Pereyra. Subs Not Used: Pantilimon, Mariappa, Sinclair, Watson, Ighalo. 
Leicester: Zieler, Simpson, Morgan, Huth, Fuchs (Schlupp 68), Drinkwater, Amartey, Mahrez, Albrighton (Musa 78), Okazaki (Gray 68), Vardy. Subs Not Used: Hamer, Hernández, Wasilewski, King. 
Referee: N Swarbrick. Attendance: 20,640. 
PHOTOS: Simon Kimber. 


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Jamie Vardy on target for England

Jamie Vardy earned England a penalty and then produced a superb diving header to put England 2-0 up against Spain at Wembley on Tuesday night…


England went 1-0 up in the 9th minute when Lallana sent Vardy through with a fine pass, and although the City striker miscontrolled with his first touch Spanish keeper  Reina obligingly brought him down. Lallana took the spot kick to put England ahead.
Three minutes after the break Vardy ended his 14 game goal drought.
Henderson chipped in a far post cross from the right and Vardy launched himself at the ball, finding the net with a thumping header.
He celebrated what should have been a win with a ‘Mannequin’.
Sadly, the England defence did a similar impression late on. Soon after ITV’s Glenn Hoddle had awarded Vardy Man of the Match, Aspas found the top corner to make for a nervy ending.
Then, in the fifth minute of time added on, Isco wriggled through to eqalise from close in and deny Gareth Southgate a winning end to 2016.

Hopefully Jamie Vardy will be able to carry this scoring form over to Vicarage Road for City’s visit on Saturday.


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West Brom end Leicester’s unbeaten home run

Leicester City 1:2 West Bromwich Albion

Leicester City v West Bromwich Albion, Premier League, 6 November 2016

City’s Remembrance Day fixture saw the end of a 14 month unbeaten home run, with West Brom claiming all three points at the KPS on Sunday evening…

Former City player Howard Riley delivered the match ball before the Last Post was accompanied by a superb tifo display of giant poppies in all four stands.

Claudio Ranieri made five changes to the side that drew in Copenhagen with Zieler, Simpson, King, Okazaki and Slimani in the starting XI.
But it was the visitors, without a win in five games, who carved out the first chance.
Phillips burst through a group of four blue shirts down right inside channel and flashed a shot across goal which Zieler got a slight touch to, to divert it just past the far post.
The City keeper then took a little too long in clearing a backpass, and struck the onrushing Rondon, but the rebound sailed harmlessly over the bar.
In a busy opening quarter of an hour for the German keeper he then had to be swiftly off his line to tackle Brunt, who had been sent in on goal by Morrision.

Leicester City v West Bromwich Albion, Premier League, 6 November 2016

City were struggling to make much of an impression on the game, a Fuchs cross proving too far from Slimani for him to direct his header was about the only half chance of a very poor first half performance.

Vardy replaced Okazaki at half time and raised the atmosphere for a while, chasing down Evans to gain a corner, but it was West Brom who took the lead seven minutes into the second half. A sweeping cross-field move ended with Rondon crossing from the right and Morrison directing a fine header beyond Zieler from 8 yards.
The small, but noisy, band of away fans were in raptures, but they were silenced just three minutes later.
City, seemingly provoked into action by going a goal down, broke upfield. Slimani swung a ball out to Mahrez on the right and he cut inside and delivered a cross to the edge of the six yard box where Slimani just evaded being offside to head home unopposed from close in.

Leicester City v West Bromwich Albion, Premier League, 6 November 2016

City’s momentum continued. King sent Musa though on the left but he squared for Vardy, when a shot was surely on, and a touch from Evans sent it behind the City striker.
It was all City now, with everything going to Mahrez to attack Albion’s left flank, but a new option was introduced when Gray replaced Musa in the 66th minute.
But then the tide turned again and the Baggies had an attacking spell. Zieler saved from a Dawson header, and Simpson cleared off the line from the resulting corner. In the 72nd minute Albion regained their lead.
Drinkwater’s wayward backpass sent Phillips through on goal. He outpaced Morgan, before a delicate chip over Zieler nestled into the back of the net.
City set about the task of finding another equaliser, but it was too predictable. Ball out to Mahrez on the right, plucked out of the air by his magic foot, stepover, beat the full-back, deliver the cross. But they were being gobbled up by the West Brom defence, and when King did find himself some room for a header it was straight at Foster.
West Brom were in full-on time-wasting mode by now. Both goal celebrations had been co-ordinated to take up as much time as possible (possibly on the training ground) and now Foster was taking an age with each goal kick, and Brunt was booked for kicking the ball away at a free-kick.
They needn’t have worried. City couldn’t couldn’t summon much in 5 minutes of time added on, and for the first time since September 2015, they had lost a league game at home.

Claudio Ranieri commented: “I am very sorry we lost our unbeaten record at home. We knew it would be a tough match against West Brom. The first half was not good. We try to have a plan but it was difficult to do this, the second half was much better but we lost the match. We made a plan to go on the flank and make crosses from the flank. But we made very few and also we made some long balls and for the central defenders it was too easy. To say something is easy, to do it is more difficult. Maybe we had Champions League fatigue, I don’t know.”

Leicester: Zieler, Simpson, Huth (Ulloa 87), Morgan, Fuchs, King, Drinkwater, Musa (Gray 67), Mahrez, Okazaki (Vardy 46), Slimani. Subs Not Used: Hamer, Schlupp, Amartey, Albrighton.
Albion: Foster, Nyom, Yacob, Evans, Morrison (Robson-Kanu 90), Rondon, Phillips (Gardner 83), Brunt, McAuley, Fletcher, Dawson. Subs Not Used: Myhill, Galloway, Leko, Field, Wilson. 
Referee: C Pawson. Attendance: 31,879. 

ALL PHOTOS: Simon Kimber. 



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Another Euro clean sheet for Leicester in Copenhagen

FC Copenhagen 0:0 Leicester City


City took a step closer to the knockout stage of the UEFA Champions League after a tight 0-0 draw with FC Copenhagen at the Telia Parken Stadium on Wednesday evening.

It wasn’t a great spectacle to warm up the 3,200 travelling City fans on a cold night in Denmark, but most were very happy with a point and a record breaking fourth shut-out.
Claudio Ranieri, with Slimani unavailable, made three changes to the side that drew 1-1 at White Hart Lane, with Hernández, Schlupp and Amartey all starting.
Copenhagen were unbeaten in 28 games in their bearpit of a stadium, and applied some early pressure.
Schmeichel punched a corner clear, and then Ankersen had a shot blocked with City already looking stretched at the back.
They finally managed to break upfield in the 10 minute when Drinkwater had a shot blocked for a corner that came to nothing.
The home side were soon back at their task, Verbic waltzed past Amartey and fired off a shot that Morgan blocked, Kvist hit one wide and Santander struck Schmeichel with an angled effort.
As City struggled to get their game going, Drinkwater was booked in the 22nd minute after being caught in possession and fouling Cornelius.
Two minutes later Huth also saw yellow, for a cyncial foul on Santander, threatening to break through the middle.


The pressure continued as Huth hooked a clearance over his shoulder in the goalmouth with Copenhagen players closing in.
In a rare foray forward Schlupp had a shot on goal but it was deflected comfortably to keeper Olsen.
At the other end, Delaney hit a shot wide from the edge of the area.
City made it to half-time without conceding and after a poor half, things could only get better.

They did, although City’s defence were still busy early in the second half with Fuchs blocking shots from Ankersen and Cornelius.
City got more into the game just before the hour mark: Mahrez sent Drinkwater in down the right, but his low ball across the goal found no takers.
Ankersen then added another shot-off-target to the stats with the home crowd getting frustrated.
See also, Verbic.
Claudio Ranieri made a change with 20 minutes left, bringing Okazaki on for Schlupp.
Augustinsson’s low shot from close in then caused Schmiechel a problem before Fuchs cleared off the line. There was another scare soon afterwards when Delaney’s shot hit Huth and there were huge appeals for a penalty.
Mahrez should have had a least a corner from an Augustinsson challenge in the area, but City weren’t getting much out of the ref.


Vardy then charged down the left and won a corner, which was cleared to the edge of the area, but Drinkwater fired his shot over, on a woeful night for on-target efforts.
In City’s best spell of the game a Fuchs cross was nodded down by Vardy, but it didn’t quite fall for Okazaki.
With Porto leading Brugge in the other Group G game, Copenhagen desperately needed a goal and it almost came in injury time. A Kusk cross from the right was met with a well-directed header from Cornelius. Just as in the first leg, the ball seemed destined for the bottom left hand corner, before Schmeichel got down brilliantly to tip it away. The ball fell for Santander, but he couldn’t wrap his foot round it and missed the target.

The final whistle ended a game that was a disappointing spectacle, but one that had seen City’s unbeaten run extended. Leicester also became the first team in UCL history to keep a clean sheet in each of their first four games in the competition.

Ranieri was full of praise for his Copenhagen-born keeper: “It was a very good save, if they score they win the match.Kasper is fantastic, I have coached a lot of big champions in goal, Kasper is one of these. He has had two perfect seasons. Kasper, this is my second year, has always made good performances. I am very calm when Kasper is in goal. He is strong, assured and commands the defensive line. He is a very good goalkeeper.”
However, it later emerged that Schmeichel faces a lengthy spell on the sidleines after fracturing his hand in the first half of the game.

City now need one point from the last two games to guarantee a place in the knockout stages…

Copenhagen: Olsen, Augustinsson, Johansson, Kvist, Verbic (Kusk 83), Delaney, Cornelius, Santander, Ankersen, Jorgensen, Falk (Toutouh 65). Subs Not Used: Andersen, Hogli, Antonsson, Gregus, Pavlovic.
Leicester: Schmeichel, Hernández, Morgan, Huth, Fuchs, Drinkwater, Amartey, Schlupp (Okazaki 71), Musa, Mahrez, Vardy. Subs Not Used: Zieler, King, Albrighton, Simpson, Gray, Ulloa

Referee: Felix Brych. Attendance: 34,146.



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