Leicester City 2:0 Sunderland
City recovered from a disjointed first half performance to mark up their fifth consecutive Premier League win, against Sunderland at the KPS on Tuesday night.
Craig Shakespeare made no changes to his side against bottom placed and seemingly doomed Sunderland, but City struggled to get their game together in a frustrating first half.
After an early chance for City when a Gray cross from the left was met by a near post flick from Okazaki, that went wide, the game settled into a pattern of Sunderland defending resolutely while attempting to counter attack on the flanks.
Larsson wa sa threat for the visitors, with one cross being nodded behind for a corner by Simpson, and another setting up Defoe for an off target effort.
In an even encounter, Huth forced a back-pedalling save from Pickford after getting his head to a Mahrez free kick, and Defoe sent a 25 yard shot wide. Ndong also capped a strong run with a near miss, before Gray cut in from the left, but his attempted curler into the top right, was finger-tipped wide by Pickford.
At the half time whistle Sunderland had just about had the best of the opening half, while City had struggled to get their passing game going.
The second half continued in much the same vein. Sunderland, now nine hours without a goal, had a couple of on target shots from Larsson and Defoe, but both went straight at Schmeichel.
Craig Shakespeare made a double substitution in the 62nd minute, with Albrighton and Slimani on for Gray and Okazaki, and it took just seven minutes to reap its reward.
City immediately looked better for the change, and a downward header from Huth forced a good save from Pickford.
Then the two subs combined to give City a 69th minute lead.
Albrighton delivered an inviting cross from the left, and Slimani nodded it home from six yards out.
City kept the pressure up, with Slimani and Vardy both off target with decent chances, before they got a scare at the other end.
In the 77th minute an Anichebe shot took a slight deflection off Huth onto the post. Defoe, following up on the rebound, could only find the side-netting.
Just a minute later City put the game to bed with a second goal, Albrighton the creator again. He chased what looked like a lost cause to beat Jones to a loose ball on the left, and then found Vardy in the middle with a slide rule pass which the England striker slammed home from 14 yards out.
It was City’s fifth win from five Premier League games since Shakespeare took the reins, and took them into the top half of the table.
The City boss still urged a note of caution: “I couldn’t imagine going on this winning run when i got the job, especially when I saw the games in front of us. But it doesn’t seem easy and I’ve never felt really comfortable until the final whistle. I am still not going to say that we are safe, because other teams are capable of going on good runs. I have been in football for long enough to know anything can happen. We have to make sure we stay focused and move onto the next one.”
Leicester: Schmeichel, Simpson, Benalouane, Huth, Fuchs, Mahrez, Ndidi (King 82), Drinkwater, Gray (Albrighton 62), Vardy, Okazaki (Slimani 62). Subs Not Used: Chilwell, Amartey, Zieler, Ulloa.
Sunderland: Pickford, Jones, Kone, Denayer, Oviedo, Cattermole (Anichebe 73), Ndong, Rodwell (Gibson 80), Larsson (Khazri 73), Defoe, Borini. Subs Not Used: Mannone, Djilobodji, Manquillo, Januzaj.
Referee: G Scott. Attendance: 31,757.
PHOTOS: Simon Kimber
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