Burnley 1:0 Leicester City
City took a big step towards the relegation zone on Tuesday night, when a controversial late goal saw them lose 1-0 to Burnley at Turf Moor…
Claudio Ranieri made three changes to his starting XI for this rainy night in Lancashire, bringing in Mahrez, Ndidi and Gray.
City had the better of the opening ten minutes, with Burnley having to defend threats from Gray and Mahrez, but the Clarets soon began to take charge.
Barnes went close a couple of times, before the impressive Gray hit the sidenetting of Schmeichel’s goal from an angle.
Vardy had one chance on the break, but could make nothing of it, while Barton attempted a couple of long range efforts – one well wide, and one skimming the roof of the netting.
The home crowd were then angered by a push in the back by Drinkwater on Keane, as the centre-half shaped to nod in an easy header from close range.
In a rare chance for City, Morgan headed an Albrighton free-kick over the bar and the sides went in goalless at the break.
Burnley dominated the second half, with City’s passing awry and no clear plan of a route to goal, other than pumping the ball up the field.
Barton flashed an effort narrowly wide, Arfield also went close, and Gray forced a good save from Schmeichel.
City broke upfield and Mahrez cut inside his marker from the right and delivered a shot that stung Heaton’s palms; but Vardy didn’t seize on the rebound swiftly enough and the England keeper blocked his effort.
The pair tangled on the edge of the area soon afterwards, but Vardy’s hanging leg to find contact didn’t fool Mike Dean and the penalty appeals were waved away.
The pressure on City’s defence stepped up and it was all hands to the pump as fierce shots from Gray and Keane were blocked by blue shirts and Mee sent a header narrowly over.
Ranieri had brought Musa and Okazaki on for Gray and Albrighton, but they couldn’t turn the tide and City were struggling to gain any possession as Burnley looked to continue their impressive home record.
Schmeichel made a fine save to deny Gray, but the resistance ended in the 87th minute.
A corner from the right was nodded down into a crowded goalmouth by Keane, and Vokes clearly handled the ball before firing into the net from three yards out.
Despite heated protests from the City players, the goal was given.
Some late pressure from City, with Schmeichel coming up for a series of corners, came to nothing, and the Champions had lost their third league game in a row.
To make matters worse, wins for Palace and Swansea now saw City just two points above the relegation zone.
Claudio Ranieri commented: “Today was a battle and we battled, face to face. Only the bad decision of the referee… and then, what can we say? Sometimes it is a good decision for us, sometimes it is a bad decision. It is football and we can say only, ‘go back and work more.'”
Burnley: Heaton, Barnes (Vokes 79), Lowton, Ward, Barton, Boyd, Defour (Arfield 34), Gray, Hendrick, Mee, Keane. Subs Not Used: Robinson, Darikwa, Flanagan, Gudmundsson.
Leicester: Schmeichel, Simpson, Morgan, Huth, Fuchs, Drinkwater, Ndidi, Albrighton (Okazaki 76), Mahrez, Gray (Musa 67), Vardy. Subs Not Used: Zieler, Chilwell, Benalouane, Mendy, King.
Referee: M Dean. Attendance: 19,202.
PHOTOS: Simon Kimber
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