Monthly Archives: August 2017

Leicester sunk by subs at Old Trafford

Manchester United 2:0 Leicester City

1718 man utd away

Late lapses from City denied them a point from a decent display, with United subs Rashford and Fellaini sealing a 2-0 win for the early pacesetters.

Craig Shakespeare stuck with the starting XI that beat Brighton, and they got off to a good start, although Morgan had to block a Mkhitaryan shot in the first minute.
At the other end, a curling 25 yarder from James went narrowly wide.
A long ball forward then evaded Vardy by inches as de Gea came out to collect.
Morgan blocked another Mkhitaryan shot, the ball looping up into Schmeichel’s grasp as Mata closed in.
United had the ball in City’s net in the 18th minute, when Schmeichel saved a Lukaku shot but Mata netted the rebound. The offside flag looked harsh.
United had a head of steam up now and Pogba met a Martial cross at the far post but sent his shot back across goal and wide of the left hand post.
A minute later Schmeichel stretched to save a Mata effort that was heading for the top left hand corner.
A rare atack for City saw Vardy collect a long ball and tee up Okazaki for a low 20 yard shot that de Gea saved comfortably.
With United pressing forward again, Pogba unleashed a 25 yarder that narrowly beat the the left hand post.
Pogba followed this up with a couple more long range efforts that went well wide, and then continued his shooting frenzy as half time approached, forcing a good save from Schmeichel and sending another one narrowly wide.
It was all United up to the break, but Lukaku sent a header wide and City held out.

City were still on the back foot early in the second half, and United were awarded a penalty when Simpson handled a Martial cross that hit him on the arm from close range. It looked harsh, but Lukaku sent his spot kick too close to Schmeichel, who pulled off a fine save.
City then had an attacking spell of their own, with Mahrez looking dangerous. He skinned Jones inside the area, but de Gea managed to block his near post shot.
Craig Shakepeare made a double change on the hour, bringing on Gray for Albrighton, and King for Okazaki and Gray was soon haring forward, though his pass to Mahrez was too late and his shot was blocked by Jones.
Mahrez then tricked his way past Blind before firing a shot across goal, but no blue shirt was on hand to divert it goalwards.
In the 67th minute Mourinho brought Rashford on for Mata and the game swung in United’s favour again.
Rashford had a shot blocked by Maguire, who had been superb in City’s defence again, but the sub didn’t have long to wait for a goal.
A Mkhitaryan corner from the right found Rashford, completely unmarked ten yards out, and his sidefooted effort struck the turf and deceived Schmeichel, spinning through his attempted parry.
Slimani replaced Vardy as Shakespeare sought a way back into the game, but it was a United sub, Fellaini who would seal the game for United.
In the 82nd minute, United’s 100% start was confirmed when Lingard fired a shot goalwards and Fellaini stuck out a knee to divert it into the net. He looked fractionally offside, but the goal stood, and there was no way back for City.
In time added on Gray delivered a low cross from the right, but King’s near post effort was blocked by de Gea.
Lukaku’s last chance at becoming the first United player to score in his first three games was frustrated by a Morgan block.
It was a decent showing from City, but United were already looking like title contenders.
Craig Shakespeare summed up: “We knew we would have to frustrate them coming here and for large parts of the game, I thought we did that and did it really well. Of course we needed to do a bit better with the ball at times but I felt for large chucks of the game to 70 or 75 minutes, we did. We frustrated and restricted them. We knew they’d have moments. Then they managed to capitalise on the big moments.”

United: de Gea, Valencia, Bailly, Jones, Blind, Pogba, Matic, Mata (Rashford 67), Mkhitaryan (Fellaini 74), Martial (Lingard 76) Lukaku. Subs Not Used: Smalling, Romero, Herrera, Darmian.
Leicester: Schmeichel, Simpson, Morgan, Maguire, Fuchs, Mahrez, James, Ndidi, Albrighton (Gray 60), Okazaki (King 60), Vardy (Slimani 76). Subs Not Used: Chilwell, Iheanacho, Hamer, Amartey.

Referee: M Oliver. Attendance: 75,021.


You can get your copy of The FOX Summer Special 2017 delivered to your door. 

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subs form 1718

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Leicester ease past Blades with second half show

Sheffield United 1: 4 Leicester City

1718 sheff utd away

City progressed in the Carabao Cup with a 4-1 win, eventually overcoming some spirited resistance from Sheffield United at Bramall Lane on Tuesday night.

The League Cup’s latest incarnation still appears to be a chance for squad players to turn out, with both sides making eight changes from their last league outings, and there were plenty of empty seats at Bramall Lane, apart from in the away end.

The first half didn’t reward those who had turned out to watch, with a goalless battle of attrition unfolding.
After a nervous moment when former-Blade Maguire received lengthy treatment after a foul by Lafferty, City had an early attacking spell. This came to nought after a couple of sliced crosses from Musa, who then fired a shot into the side-netting.
United carved out a couple of chances, but a shot from Carruthers and an Evans header both went straight into Hamer’s chest.
Gray forced a save from Eastwood, and Brooks attempt on goal almost squirmed under Hamer.
City began to get the upper hand towards the break, with Slimani having a goalbound shot blocked by Wright, and Chilwell forcing a good save from Eastwood.

City were unchanged for the second half, but stepped things up a gear, and went ahead in the 52nd minute.
It was Gray who produced a moment of magic, cutting in from the left wing and accelerating through three United defenders before slotting the ball through Eastwood’s legs.
The lead was doubled ten minutes later when a precise through ball from King sent Slimani in to round the keeper and sidefoot into an an empty net.
Eastwood produced a fine save to deny Gray’s curling shot, before City added a third in the 67th minute. Gray’s cross from the right fell perfectly for Slimani to scuff home at he far post.
Although United pulled a goal back in the 83rd minute, when what looked a like a mishit cross from Lavery caught Hamer out at his near post, the result was long beyond doubt.
City added a fourth in time added on when Musa, who hadn’t had a great game, persisted to the last. He battled his way round two challenges before firing into the roof of the net with the last kick of the game.

Craig Shakespeare was happy with the performance of Gray: “He has given me food for thought. The idea before the game was to give the squad and the players the game time which they needed and they answered in the right way.”

The Carabao Cup third-round draw takes place at 4.15am BST on Thursday, in Beijing.
We won’t be setting our alarm clocks.

Sheff Utd: Eastwood, Freeman, Wright, Basham 68), Connell, Baldock (Coutts 68), Brooks, Lundstram, Carruthers, Lafferty, Evans (Sharp 62), Lavery. Subs Not Used: Stevens, Basham, Thomas, Sharp, Coutts, Duffy, Blackman.
Leicester: Hamer, Amartey, Maguire (Knight 81), Fuchs, Chilwell, Musa, Ndidi (Mendy 77), King, Gray, Ulloa, Slimani. Subs Not Used: Vardy, Albrighton, Jakupovic, Okazaki, Mahrez.

Referee: T Harrington. Attendance: 11,280.

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You can get your copy of The FOX Summer Special 2017 delivered to your door.

cover blog

Take out a season subscription for £16.95 via Paypal HERE

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Leicester coast to victory over Brighton

Leicester City 2:0 Brighton & Hove Albion

1718 brighton home c

City eased their way to victory against a toothless Brighton side, with goals from Okazaki and Maguire at the KPS on Saturday…

City, with an unchanged starting line-up from the Arsenal game, set the tone inside a minute, taking the lead against the Premier League new boys.
Mahrez shimmied round Seagulls left back Suttner as though he wasn’t there, and fired in a low shot which Ryan could only parry out to Okazaki, who gleefully netted from six yards.

1718 brighton home b

City should have gone 2-0 up after a defensive error saw Okazaki break through in the 16th minute, but his cut back to Vardy saw Duffy blocking two scuffed efforts from the England striker.
Okazaki then sent Vardy in on goal, but Ryan raced off his line to meet him, taking a blow to the face for his trouble.
Brighton had little to offer going forward, and although their first attack saw Murray volleying into the net, a linesman’s flag for offside halted the celebrations.
Brigthon’s other notable attempt on goal saw Morgan block a fierce shot, but penalty appeals were turned down.
City were happy to let Brighton have possession, but they couldn’t convert it into chances, and City threatened on the break.
Vardy delivered a cross from the right which Okazaki met at the near post, but he directed his effort just the wrong side of the upright.
The half ended with lengthy treatment for Duffy, after an aerial collision with Okazaki.

City continued to look comfortable in the second half and doubled their lead in the 54th minute. A Mahrez corner from the right saw Maguire rise at the far post to nod past Ryan. This capped a superb performance from City’s new centre-half, who had treated the home crowd to several surging runs out of defence, combined with incisive passing, making his £17m fee look like a bargain.

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Mahrez, who had also had a fine game, then looked set to wriggle and pirouette his way through a crowd of yellow shirts, before being halted by a strong challenge.
At this stage Knockaert was introduced to the action and received a huge ovation from the home crowd,  but he had little chance to impress, with City now in charge of the proceedings.

1718 brighton home a

Another surging run forward from Maguire saw him fouled on the edge of the area, but Albrighton’s free-kick was blocked by Knockaert.
The game then drifted towards its inevitable conclusion. Hemed forced a saved from the under-employed Schmeichel with a well struck 25 yarder, and then Okazaki was replaced by Slimani after putting in another huge shift.
The final spell of the game saw a couple of injury worries, with Morgan looking to have tweaked his troublesome back again, and Vardy limping off after a collision with Ryan.
The final whistle heralded City’s first win of the season, which was essential looking at the upcoming fixtures.
Craig Shakepeare was happy: “When you get a start like that it’s very pleasing. It was hard to break them down today but it was a professional performance to the end. It didn’t feel as comfortable as the stats suggest. We learned cruelly about game management last week, but to get the first win under the belt was the main thing.”

Leicester: Schmeichel, Simpson, Morgan, Maguire, Fuchs, Mahrez, James, Ndidi, Albrighton, Okazaki (Slimani 75), Vardy (Gray 90). Subs Not Used: Chilwell, King, Hamer, Amartey, Ulloa.
Brighton: Ryan, Bruno, Dunk, Duffy, Suttner, March, Propper, Stephens, Murphy, Grob (Knockaert 62), Murray (Hemed 66). Subs Not Used: Bong, Hunemeier, Skalak, Maenpaa, Rosenior.

Referee: L Probert. Attendance: 31,902.

PHOTOS: Simon Kimber


You can get your copy of The FOX Summer Special 2017 delivered to your door. 

Take out a season subscription for £16.95 via Paypal HERE

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The FOX Summer Special 2017 – on sale before today’s game v Brighton

The 27th annual FOX Summer Special will be on sale outside the ground before today’s game…

cover blog

It features: An interview with former City-midfielder Bobby Roberts, a review of the up and down 2016-17 season, ‘On Wednesday Nights…’ a look back at City’s European adventure, the verdict on the latest puma kit, LCFC via the lens of Twitter, a Guide to the Premier League 2017-18, Rewind – to the 1992 Play-Off against Cambridge, Your Favourite Shirts, The Fox Player, Goal and Villain of the season are revealed, Simon Kimber on 375 days of being Champions,  Foxed in the Head reflects on his Sand Kop and other holiday memories, John Hutchinson looks at Elephant Penalties and other sports, the Best of Bentley’s Roof and your letters; and Frank goes to Skeggy…

frank skek blog

The most fun you can have for £3.

Bobby Roberts Interview extract…

bobby r blog

FOX: Your first professional club was Motherwell, but in those days players often had another trade too…

BR:  Yes, I served my time as an apprentice painter. I did the full five years of that.
It makes me laugh when I hear about players being tired now. We played against Rangers on a Wednesday night at Ibrox, a cup replay. I think only about four Motherwell players were full time, so the rest of us were working. That day I worked from 8 until 4 and then caught the train to Glasgow, we played Rangers, who were all full-time players, and beat them 5-2. There were 85,000 there.
Tired? I know the game is different now, but come on.
When I left work for the game, they told me I couldn’t put in for the full eight hours, only seven hours. “We cannae pay you when you aren’t here.”

FOX: You were from Edinburgh, how did you end up at Motherwell?

BR: The team I played for at under-17s level, the guy who managed us, his father was a Motherwell scout for years, so he sent a lot of players over.

FOX: Was it most players ambition to make a move down to England then?

BR: Well, in my case, I had been friends with Davie Gibson in Edinburgh, and he came down to Leicester and got into the FA Cup Final in his first season down there. Me and a friend flew down to watch the match, thinking they were going to beat Manchester United easily, but they got hammered to be honest. I think they’d played on these terrible pitches through that bad winter and Wembley was just a beautiful surface and I think it suited United better.
But I thought, I’d like a bit of this. Davie had been telling me how good things were at Leicester, and the money was much better in England.
I think most young Scottish players had a burning ambition to play at Wembley. The only way you could that back then was either playing for Scotland against England, or get to the FA Cup Final.
These days there are all sorts of ways to get to play at Wembley, but then it was one or the other.


You can get your copy of The FOX Summer Special 2017 delivered to your door. 

Take out a season subscription for £16.95 via Paypal HERE

Buy the Summer Special on its own for £4.20 inc postage HERE.  

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Leicester lose out in opening night thriller

Arsenal 4:3 Leicester City

1718 arsenal away c

Despite twice taking the lead, City went home with nothing from a thrilling season curtain-raiser at the Emirates, suffering a late collapse and losing 4-3 to Arsenal…

The last City player to score a winner at Arsenal was Mike Stringfellow, in 1973, so this trip is always made more in hope than expectation.
With Huth, Iborra and Drinkwater ruled out through injury, and Iheanacho not quite up to match fitness, it was difficult to argue with Craig Shakespeare’s first starting line-up of the season. Maguire made his debut in defence, and James started his first game for City in over two years.
However, less than two minutes into the 2017-18 season City found themselves a goal down. Elneny curled a cross into the area, and an unmarked Lacazette had time and space to direct a header past Scmeichel from ten yards.
But City responded well and were level just three minutes later. Albrighton swung in a cross from the left, Maguire nodded it back across from the goalline and Okazaki leapt the highest to head past Cech from close in.
In a lively opening spell there were chances for Oxlade-Chamberlain and Vardy as play swept from end to end.
A good passing move from Arsenal then ended with Welbeck having a goalbound shot blocked by Maguire.
Arsenal had the upper hand by this stage and threatened again when Kolasinac fired in a shot which Schmeichel tipped away at the near post.
But it was City who took a 29th minute lead with a classic break. Albrighton hared down the left and delivered a cross into the goalmouth, which Vardy sidefooted home from four yards, having slipped between two defenders.

1718 arsenal away b

City pressed forward again, and this time it was Fuchs who delivered a good cross from the left, Okazaki going inches wide with his header.
Loud appeals for a penalty were turned down by referee Mike Dean who recognised that Kolasinac had been a yard away when he struck the ball at Ndidi’s arm.
But City didn’t make it to half time with their lead. After a scramble on the edge of the area Arsenal passed their way through City’s back line, but with the entire City defence appealing for offside, Kolasinac squared for Welbeck who steered the ball past Schmeichel from close range with seconds of the half remaining.

The second half started in more pedestrian fashion than the first, and City created the first real chance when a good ball forward from Mahrez saw Vardy outpacing two defenders, but Cech had timed his run well to come out and sweep up.
Vardy didn’t have long to wait for his second goal of the season, as City regained the lead in the 56th minute. Mahrez delivered a corner from the right and Vardy took advantage of slack marking to rise and direct a header in at the far post.

1718 arsenal away a

Arsenal began to press forward and Schmeichel blocked a long range effort from Oxlade-Chamberlain and then smothered an effort from Bellerin at his near post.
The pressure then increased when Arsene Wenger introduced  Ramsey and Giroud to the action. Ramsey immediatley went close with a header, under pressure from Fuchs.
Craig Shakespeare made his first change in the 72nd minute, bringing on Amartey for Okazaki, before Ozil and Oxlade-Chamberlain both sent shots narrowly wide of the left hand post.
City were fighting a rearguard action, which Shakespeare attempted to relieve by bringing on Iheanacho for James, to give City more presence up front. But it appeared to backfire with the home side equalising in the 83rd minute.
A blatant handball from Ozil wasn’t seen by the referee and from the resulting corner Ramsey was allowed too much space on the right and had time to line up a shot past Schmeichel to level the game.
Worse was to follow two minutes later when Arsenal went ahead, Giroud winning a battle with Maguire to head home from a corner.
It was a heart-breaker for City and their followers, and despite throwing everything forward in five minutes of time added on, they couldn’t find a way through.

The winless run away to Arsenal now stretches to 44 years, but there was plenty to be optimistic about with this performance.

Craig Shakerspeare commented:  “We spoke about being compact and being a threat with the pace of Vardy. We executed that well. We’re disappointed to score three and come away with a defeat.”

Arsenal: Cech, Holding (Giroud 67), Monreal, Kolasinac, Bellerín, Elneny (Ramsey 67), Xhaka, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Özil, Welbeck (Walcott 75), Lacazette.
Subs Not Used: Ospina, Iwobi, Mustafi, Coquelin.
Leicester: Schmeichel, Simpson, Morgan, Maguire, Fuchs, Mahrez, James (Iheanacho 82), Ndidi, Albrighton (Gray 88), Okazaki (Amartey 72), Vardy.
Substitutes: Chilwell, King, Hamer, Slimani.

Referee: M Dean. Attendance: 59,387.

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You can get your copy of The FOX Summer Special 2017 delivered to your door. 

Take out a season subscription for £16.95 via Paypal HERE

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subs form 1718

 

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