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City and Clarets Produce a Bore Draw

Leicester City 0:0 Burnley

City and Burnley played out a meaningless end of season fixture that failed to provide any entertainment for a sparse crowd at the KPS on Tuesday evening.
Nigel Pearson brought Dyer and Drinkwater in for Gallagher and King, but still couldn’t make the midfield tick, whatever the combination of players.

Noteworthy events were few and far between all night but it was the visitors who had a couple of early chances with Schmeichel parrying a shot from Austin before a slip up from Bamba let Austin through, but his misdirected his square ball in the area.
Marshall forced a save from Grant, and Drinkwater went close with a glancing header, but that was it for the first half.
Despite City making early inroads the second half did not see any improvement in a desperately dull encounter.
Peltier got his head to a Marshall corner but Trippier cleared off the line. That was the closest City got, and Burnley’s best chance of a record-equalling 11th away win came on the hour when Austin somehow managed to hit both posts with a header, before being denied from two yards out by a fantastic last-ditch Bamba challenge.
After that brief flurry of excitement the boredom set in again, with many among the small crowd streaming towards the exits long before the referee called time.
This hugely disappointing season can’t end soon enough…

Leicester: Schmeichel, Peltier, Morgan, Bamba, Konchesky, Marshall, Wellens, Drinkwater, Dyer (Gallagher 72), Beckford (Schlupp 72), Nugent. Unused Subs: St Ledger, King, Howard.
Burnley: Grant, Trippier, Duff, Edgar, Lafferty, Stanislas (McQuoid 67), Bartley, Marney, McCann (Ings 79), Wallace, Austin. Unused Subs: Jensen, Howieson, Jackson.

Referee: Michael Jones (Cheshire). Attendance: 19,806.


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Frustration for City in the Lions’ Den

Millwall 2:1 Leicester City

City were, once again, guilty of failing to ‘turn up’ when it really mattered and Millwall deservedly took all three points from this vital fixture.

Nigel Pearson made two changes from the side that won so well at Ipswich on Easter Monday and chose to bring back King and Gallagher in place of Dyer and the unfortunate Drinkwater.
It was City who started more positively and for twenty minutes they dictated the pace of the game and knocked the ball around well but failed to trouble Taylor with any serious efforts on goal. Nevertheless, it was still against the run of play when Millwall took the lead from a set piece after 20 minutes. Henry floated a free kick to the far post where Robinson knocked the ball down and as City defenders were ball-watching, Kane (on loan from Spurs) had too much time to tee himself up for a shot in to the roof of the net.
After that it was Millwall who settled down and played their own game of defend deep and counter-attack which they did very well although City could have equalised within two minutes of Kane’s goal when Morgan set up Nugent for a shot from ten yards that Taylor did very well to keep out.
Half time arrived with City fans hoping for a second-half turnaround in fortunes that sadly, never arrived. The Lions continued to show more desire and work rate and it was no surprise when they doubled their lead after Konchesky had brought down Kane for a stonewall penalty. Keogh stepped up and did a ‘van Persie’ which gave Schmeichel no chance.
It could have been three soon afterwards when a long-range, dipping effort from Wright was tipped on to the bar by Schmeichel although the referee gave a goal kick.
Nigel Pearson had already introduced Dyer and Drinkwater in to the action during the second half but the arrival of Howard sent a number of travelling City fans heading to the exits. City did get a goal back with 8 minutes remaining when Nugent rolled the ball in to the path of Drinkwater who side-footed past Taylor from twenty yards. It was too little, too late though and the game finished with Millwall defending their lead comfortably and their supporters making a huge noise as they enjoyed the fact that they were safe and will be playing in The Championship again next season.
The final whistle brought some boos from the large travelling contingent and Konchesky appeared to give the ‘finger’ to one particularly vocal critic (he has since apologised via Twitter).

So City’s season stutters again and they find themselves beaten by a side that showed more desire. It was a poor game played out by two poor sides with Millwall doing enough to fashion two goals. It is also a typical match in this division and City haven’t found the right formula to rise above it yet.
If we look up then we can see Reading and Southampton leading the way with squads of players that are no better than ours but they have astute managers that know what is needed to consistently win matches in this division. We don’t seem to have cracked that code yet.

Millwall: Taylor, Smith, Robinson, Lowry, Craig, Henry (Trotter 84), Abdou, Wright, Barron, Keogh (Batt 90), Kane. Unused Subs: Forde, Dunne, Feeney.

Leicester: Schmeichel, Peliter (Howard 76), Morgan, Bamba, Konchesky, Gallagher (Dyer 58), Wellens (Drinkwater 69), King, Marshall, Beckford, Nugent. Unused Subs: St Ledger, Schlupp.

Referee: P Gibbs (West Midlands). Attendance: 11,525.

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Easter Joy on the Road for City

Ipswich Town 1:2 Leicester City

City recorded their second victory on the spin with a superb second half display at Portman Road to leave themselves just three points shy of the last play-off spot.

Nigel Pearson sent out an unchanged side from the comprehensive win over Doncaster Rovers on Saturday but it was Ipswich who had the better of the opening stages of the game.
City struggled to impose themselves in midfield and Bowyer had the freedom of the park as he prompted the home side’s attacks.
Schmeichel had to be alert to keep out a Carson effort early on and then got down quickly to grab Scotland’s low shot. A Leadbitter free kick brought out the best of the young Dane again and all this before City finally got in to the game when Beckford was guilty of wasting three decent chances, the worst of which came when Drinkwater sent him through but his shot was tame and straight at Lee-Barrett.
It was no surprise when the hosts took the lead two minutes before half time; Scotland turned Bamba far too easily and slammed a low shot past Schmeichel from just inside the area. But it was short-lived joy for Ipswich,
after Marshall was brought down 30 yards out a minute later. He picked himself up before driving the free kick through the wall with a stunning shot that Lee-Barrett got a hand to but couldn’t keep out. That seemed to knock the stuffing out of the home side as City came out of the traps at the start of the second half and never let up. Schmeichel didn’t have a serious save to make and was left to collect crosses and watch hopeful, long-range efforts  sail over. It was City playing the football and making the chances now and Lee-Barrett did well to keep out Peltier before Nugent broke through with what turned out to be the winner. After Nugent had his initial shot blocked it was Gallagher who sent in a perfect cross for Nugent to nod home from close in and send the travelling support delirious.
After that City never looked in danger and might have increased their lead late on when Lee-Barrett once again denied Beckford.
The final whistle signalled a much-needed win on the road for City and the travelling support (just under 900) enjoyed every moment.
It was a workmanlike performance by City who did a superb job of subduing an Ipswich side that had won six of their previous seven home games and started the game much the stronger. With four games remaining the final play-off spot is now looks achievable if City can string together four more performances like this one.

Ipswich: Lee-Barrett, Edwards, Smith, Delaney, Cresswell, Carson (Emmanuel-Thomas 58), Martin, Bowyer, Murphy (Chopra 73), Scotland, Stevenson (Martin 66). Unused Subs: Wright, Sonko.
Leicester: Schmeichel, Peltier, Morgan, Bamba, Konchesky, Marshall (Howard 79), Wellens, Drinkwater (King 46), Dyer (Gallagher 46), Beckford, Nugent. Unused Subs: St Ledger, Schlupp.
Referee: Tony Bates (Staffordshire). Attendance: 18,282.

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City Hit Rock Bottom Rovers for Four

Leicester City 4:0 Doncaster Rovers

City swept aside a doomed Doncaster Rovers at the King Power Stadium on Saturday…
A fairly dull opening half hour saw a couple of chances at each end with Nugent having a long ranger tipped over by Ikeme and Beckford’s effort blocked on the line by Diouf, while Coppinger and Barnes went close for Rovers.
But  Rovers lost Piquionne to injury in the 20th minute, and El-Hadji Diouf at the break and rarely troubled City again.
City took a 33rd minute lead when Morgan’s ball forward was nodded down by Nugent for Drinkwater who converted in off the right hand post.
After Schmeichel saved from Coppinger late in the half Rovers looked a beaten side, with their small band of followers accepting their fate with good humour.
Two minutes into the second half it was game over as Peltier cut in from the right and, stumbling, hit a hopeful cross/shot towards the near post. Former City keeper Ikeme somehow allowed it to squirm between him and the post for a howling error.
Ikeme saved well from Dyer and Konchesky and then Gallagher and King were introduced for the final half hour.
Marshall then added another to his growing portfolio of blinding goals in the 78th minute, cutting into the area from the left before sending a measured 18 yarder into the top right hand corner.
Moments later he curled another effort onto the angle of post and bar.
But City managed a fourth in the 89th minute – the subs combining, King sending Gallagher through for an easy finish.
Although the maths refuses to give up, it is impossible to shrug off the feeling that it is all too late for City to reach the play-offs…

Leicester: Schmeichel, Peltier, Morgan, Bamba, Konchesky, Marshall, Wellens (King 61), Drinkwater, Dyer (Gallagher 61), Nugent, Beckford (Schlupp 81). 
Unused Subs: Howard, St Ledger.

Doncaster: Ikeme, Chimbonda, Beye, Lockwood, Ilunga, Gillett, Oster, Barnes (Robert 74), Coppinger, Piquionne (Brown 20), Diouf (Stock 46). Unused Subs: Friend, Bennett.

Referee: Roger East (Wiltshire). Attendance: 22,054.

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Ten Man City See Off Tigers

Leicester City 2:1 Hull City

City recovered from a poor start and a sending off to claim all three points against Hull at the KPS on Saturday.

Nigel Pearson made one change to the line up that drew at Blackpool bringing Marshall in for the injured Wellens against the side he was in charge of when the season kicked off.
But City got off to a poor start and went a goal down in the 8th minute.
Danns lost the ball in the middle of the park and McKenna sent Fryatt through on goal, showing what seemed to be an improved turn of pace from his days in blue he outstripped St Ledger before slipping the ball deftly past the onrushing  Schemichel.
The large Hull following had ten minutes to celebrate before City equalised. Dyer latching on to a Marshall ball down the right and cutting inside Dawson before unleashing a fierce left-footer that Mannone could only help on its way into the net.
If this cheered up the home crowd then things got even better a minute later when Marshall strode through the middle and fired a 30 yarder past Mannone to give City the lead.
Marshall, who had scored a similar effort at Chelsea, was man of the moment, L1 inventing a new song for him as he fired another shot over the bar.
City went in at half time with the lead, with Hull rarely threatening after Fryatt’s opener.
City started the second half in the same fashion and persistent work from Dyer saw him firing into the side-netting from an acute angle.

But just seven minutes into the second half City were reduced to ten men when Danns was given a straight red for a lunging challenge on McKenna. Although the Hull man also flew into the tackle Danns appeared to be punished for emerging with the ball, and his cause was not helped by some Hull player’s reaction.
Brady hit the post soon after, but that was the nearest Hull got to an equaliser.
Bamba came on to strengthen the defence  and also struck the left hand post with a volley, while Drinkwater shot tamely at Mannone after doing well to set himself up with the opportunity.
City weren’t really stretched in the closing stages and Beckford and Dyer put in a big shift, hitting Hull on the break and denying them the chance to build a spell of pressure.
The final whistle heralded three points, though surely it is too late for City to snatch a play-off place?

Leicester: Schmeichel, Peltier, Morgan, St Ledger, Konchesky, Danns, Drinkwater, Marshall (Kennedy 85), Dyer, Beckford, Nugent (Bamba 67). Unused Subs: Howard, Schlupp, Hopper.
Hull: Mannone, Rosenior,Chester,Hobbs, Dawson, McKenna, Evans (Mclean85), Cairney (Brady 58), King (Cullen 78), Fryatt, Stewart. Unused Subs: Dudgeon, Gulacsi.

Referee: N Miller (CountyDurham).  Attendance: 23,759.


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City Triumph in M69 Derby

Leicester City 2:0 Coventry City

Leicester managed back to back league victories for the first time this season with a comfortable 2-0 win over neighbours Coventry at the King Power Stadium on Saturday…

An unchanged City line-up dominated a poor Coventry side right from the start of the game and should have taken a 7th minute lead. Dyer slotted a ball between to defenders for Wellens to run on to but he was crudely tripped by Cranie for a blatant penalty. With regular spot-kick taker Gallagher not on the field Danns stepped up but his weak effort was saved just inside the right hand post by Murphy.
City soon made amends however, taking an 11th minute lead after more good work by Dyer. Double-marked out on the left, the winger showed a burst of pace to outstrip the Sky Blues defence. His cross was neatly gathered by Beckford whose shot on the turn was blocked by Murphy but only as far as Nugent who prodded home his 12th goal of the season, picking up a heavy knock which required a long spell of treatment in the process. 
With Coventry looking shaky at the back good chances to extend City’s lead were missed by St Ledger and Marshall.
The Sky Blues had their best spell of the game after the break, but Morgan marshalled his defence well and City were never really stretched.
It was City who got the decisive goal on the hour when a slick passing move involving Wellens and Nugent set Beckford up for a simple tap in at the near post. 
Coventry hopes were briefly revived when they were awarded a ridiculous penalty after Morgan had completed a back pass to Schmeichel before Nimely ran into to him, but justice was served when the City keeper pulled off a fantastic save to deny Clingan.
City ended the game with ten men when Konchesky’s waist high challenge on Nimely saw him receive a straight red, but there was never any doubt as to the destination of the three points.
City’s slim hopes of a play-off place remain alive, while Coventry are looking down the barrel of the third division.
Nigel Pearson was retaining his belief:  “Although we are eight points off the play-offs, the players are very confident, so there is still a chance. There’s a long way to go yet, but the margin of error is getting tighter. If we show the same application we have in the last month or two, there is still a chance we can achieve something this season.”

Leicester: Schmeichel, Peltier, Morgan, St Ledger, Konchesky, Marshall (Drinkwater 72), Danns, Wellens, Dyer, Beckford (Howard 80), Nugent (Schlupp 74). Unused Subs: Bamba, Kennedy.
Coventry: Murphy, Christie, Keogh, Cranie, Clarke,Bell (Baker 68),Norwood, Deegan (Clingan 71), McSheffrey (McDonald 79), Platt, Nimely. Unused Subs: Dunn, Cameron.
Referee: L Probert (Wiltshire). Attendance: 25,487.

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Danns Does for Derby

Derby County 0:1 Leicester City

A strike from Neil Danns proved to be the difference between the two sides as City beat Derby at Pride Park on Thursday night, though the margin should have been greater…

Nigel Pearson made one change to his side with Konchesky in for Kennedy, and no place for Mills on the bench. 
City carried on where they left off at Norwich, putting in a superb first half performance against a Derby side on a poor run.
Danns appeared to have adopted a shoot-on-sight policy and his first effort forced an awkward parry from Fielding in the Rams’ goal.
City were in control despite Derby’s efforts to close them down and took a 16th minute lead on the break.
Konchesky came out of defence with the ball and fed Dyer on the left. His burst of pace took him past Green and his low cross found Danns coming in at the far post for a well-controlled volley that defeated Fielding.
Danns, given too much room by Derby,  fired in several long range efforts after that, but Barker deflected one and Fielding managed to tip two away at full stretch. Try as they might City couldn’t extend their lead before half-time, while Derby were struggling to string three passes together, to the frustration of the home crowd.
 The second half saw Derby improve, and an early chance saw Morgan slicing a Roberts cross dangerously near to his own goal.
City should have gone further ahead when Nugent neatly controlled a Marshall cross and found himself clear in front of goal but he hurried his effort wide when he had more time than he realised.
Morgan & Co in City’s defence were getting busier, though Schmeichel was still hardly getting a touch, though they had too much for Green and Tyson who could not find a way through.
At the other end Beckford’s persistence provided him with a shot from an acute angle which Fielding blocked.
Bamba came on for a limping Peltier to help defend the lead and although Derby built up a bit of pressure and forced a series of corners City looked just as likely to score and they hit the woodwork three times in the latter stages.
Nugent got his head to a Marshall corner but Fielding managed to tip it onto the bar; and then Dyer cutting in from the left managed to hit the post and bar within a second.
Fortunately City didn’t pay for their profligacy in front of goal, Dann’s effort being enough to wrap up their fourth consecutive victory against Derby and delight the noisy away following.

Derby: Fielding, Green, Barker, Shackell, Roberts, Carroll, Hendrick, Bryson (Robinson 81), Ward, Tyson, Ball (Davies 76). Unused Subs: Buxton, Legzdins, Naylor.
Leicester: Schmeichel, Peltier (Bamba 72), Morgan, St Ledger, Konchesky, Marshall (Drinkwater 79), Danns, Wellens, Dyer, Nugent, Beckford (Delfouneso 72). Unused Subs: Howard, Kennedy.
Referee: Simon Hooper (Wiltshire).Attendance: 28,205.

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