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Leicester’s European Adventure ended by Atletico masterclass

Leicester City 1:1 Atletico Madrid (1:2)

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City’s wonderful European Odyssey came to an end at the King Power on Tuesday night when Atletico Madrid’s first half away goal simply gave them too much to do…

Craig Shakespeare made one change from the first leg six days previously, with Morgan returning from his injury lay-off to replace the suspended Huth.
The teams emerged to a cauldron of an atmosphere with a forest of metallic blue, silver and gold flags in the home areas and the away corner contributing their own display of scarves.

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After we heard the Champions League Anthem for a tenth time, the noise increased still further as the game kicked off, with Madrid attacking the Kop end.

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With the game so finely balanced, neither side could afford to throw too many men forward, and the early stages saw City probing forward and trying to send Vardy through, but Atletico’s defence appeared to have the measure of him.
Atletico’s first attacking move came in the 12th minute, but Simpson managed to slide in to block a dangerous looking run from Griezmann.
The visitors’ attacking spell continued with fast and accurate passing and Carrasco’s low cross almost found Koke in the middle.
Saul then fired a shot from the edge of the area well wide.

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Ndidi wasted an opportunity as he ran forward into space but mishit his shot straight at Oblak.
City had a good spell 20 minutes in. They won a corner, but a Benalouane foul meant that it came to nought. But they continued to press forward and a Mahrez through ball sent Vardy into the area on the left. His cross to the near post found Okazaki but he blazed it wide from 6 yards as a challenge came in.
Soon after this, Griezmann brought Mahrez down, but the winger delivered a tame free-kick straight into Oblak’s grasp.
City then broke again, but Mahrez delayed his pass to Vardy and the offside flag halted the move.
Just as in the first leg, an attacking spell for City ended with a goal for Atletico.

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Filipe Luis swung in a cross from the left and Saul timed his run perfectly to send a precise header beyond Schmeichel’s reach and into the net.
It was the goal that City couldn’t afford to concede, and left them needing three goals to win the tie.
Although the crowd roared City on, Atletico were in control now and looking every inch one of the top sides in Europe.
Carrasco curled in a shot that Schmeichel had to be sharp to catch, before Mahrez struck a volley through a crowded defence that didn’t have enough pace to trouble Oblak.
Carrasco then went on a solo run down the right, rode a challenge from Benalouane, and seemed intent on dribbling the ball into the net before Schmeichel managed to halt his progress with a sliding tackle at the right hand post.

Craig Shakespeare was faced with a huge challenge at half time and he made two changes, introducing Ulloa and Chilwell for Okazaki and Benalouane.
This changed City’s shape and immediately made life less comfortable for the Champions League finalists. Both subs looked lively as City launched one attack after another.
There was a scare in the 50th minute, however, when Griezmann raced down the right, and hit a low cross to Carrasco. Albrighton applied just enough contact to prevent him from getting on the end of it without conceding a penalty.
City kept up the frantic pace and when a header from Vardy dropped into some space in the area Chilwell fired a fine volley inches over the bar.
City finally managed to breach Atletico’s defence in the 61st minute. Albrighton swung in a dangerous cross from the right which reached Chilwell at the back post. His fierce shot was blocked, but as he appealed to the ref for handball, the loose ball fell for Vardy who stabbed it home from six yards.
City still needed two goals, but the noise around the stadium was clamorous, Madrid were out of their comfort zone, and the miracle was still on.

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Four minutes later City came so close to a second. A Fuchs long throw from the left saw Morgan win an aerial duel and the ball sat up nicely for Ulloa who blasted a shot on target, but Hernandez somehow managed to block.
As City continued to pile forward Mahrez set up Vardy on the penalty spot but this time it was Savic who managed to get in the way of a goal bound effort.
With Atletico pinned in their own half, Ndidi was the next to have a shot on goal, but he miskicked it wide.
As the game entered the final twenty minutes Albrighton delivered another cross from the right, but Vardy’s smart backheeled effort didn’t catch out Oblak.
Godin then brought Mahrez down on the edge of the area: he took the free kick himself but it flew narrowly over the bar.
City continued to threaten relentlessly with crosses from Albrighton and Chilwell and long throws from Fuchs, but time was running out for them.
With seven minutes left Morgan went down and stayed down, having to be replaced by Amartey. It was a sad sight to see him limping round the perimeter after his first game back from injury and he was given a standing ovation all the way.
Atletico still had the threat of Griezmann on the break but on one occasion Schmeichel came racing way out of goal to thwart him, and then he should have fed Torres but fluffed the chance.
As the game entered time added on City looked exhausted after an incredible second half performance and Atletico had more posession.
Schmeichel came up for a late series of corners, but City couldn’t will the ball into the net and the final whistle signalled the end of City’s awfully big adventure.

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Most of the crowd remained after the final whistle, bristlng with pride, and after Diego Simeone had sought out the City players for a consoling hug, there was a fitting lap of honour.
It had been said that Leicester would embarrass England in the Champions League. As the last English team in the competition, winners of their group, and unbeaten at home, this could not have been further from the truth.

Craig Shakepeare summed up: “The whole club, from the supporters to the players to the owners can be immensely proud. We had them rattled with the effort and commitment we showed. It’s no discredit to lose to a team of that calibre. I’ve just said to the players that they should want more of this and they’ve agreed that that’s what they want. All players want to play at the highest level and the Champions League is the highest level but we have to get back to winning ways in the Premier League now.”

Leicester: Schmeichel, Simpson, Morgan (Amartey 84), Benalouane (Chilwell 45), Fuchs, Mahrez, Ndidi, Drinkwater, Albrighton, Okazaki (Ulloa 45), Vardy. Subs Not Used: Musa, King, Zieler, Gray.
Atletico: Oblak, Juanfran (Hernández 55), Savic, Godín, Filipe Luis (Correa 74), Ñíguez, Gabi, Giménez, Koke, Carrasco (Torres 69), Griezmann. Subs Not Used: Moyá, Gameiro, Partey, Gaitán.
Referee: Gianluca Rocchi. Attendance: 31,548.

PHOTOS: Simon Kimber

———————————————

We are simple folk here at Fox Towers, we have previously only offered a season subscription to the fanzine. But now we have decided to offer a further option of a year long subscription so you can hop on at any time, starting with the current issue and renewing a year later. 

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For just £16.95 you will receive every issue of The FOX for twelve months, including the Summer Special, posted out to you on publication day.

If you subscribe now, FOX 202 will be posted to you straight away, and you will also receive a free set of City postcards.

You can pay online via Paypal HERE  (UK price)

Or send a cheque to:
The FOX,
22 Cosby Road,
Littlethorpe,
LEICESTER,
LE19 2HF

Annual subscription to EUROPE is £26.00: HERE

Annual subscription to REST OF WORLD is £32.00: HERE

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Leicester hopes still alive after being robbed in Madrid

Atletico Madrid 1:0 Leicester City

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A poor penalty decision proved to be the only difference between the sides as City lost 1-0 in Madrid in the first leg of the Champions League quarter-final on Wednesday night…

There was an electric atmosphere inside the Vicente Calderón Stadium, in what will be its last season, with many more Leicester fans than the official away allocation in attendance.
Craig Shakepeare sent out the line-up everyone was expecting, with captain Morgan still sidelined with a back injury, and due to the colour clash they were in 80s style blue shirts with white shorts and white socks.

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City created the first chance of the game after three minutes when Vardy made good progress down the left, but no one could reach his low cross.
City got a scare two minutes later when Koke cut in from the left and fired a fierce right-footer from the edge of the area against the left hand post.
Soon after this Griezmann crossed from the left, and although Huth got his head to it, the ball fell for Carrasco at the far post, but he volleyed high and wide with Fuchs applying some pressure.

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Atletico kept pressing forward with intensity, Griezmann launched a long-range effort a yard over the bar and then Filipe Luiz missed the target with a near post header.
But then City, with Ndidi pulling the strings, began to find their way into the game.
They enjoyed a spell of possession and were probing forward with Albrighton delivering a couple of crosses, but in the 29 minute Atletico ‘did a Leicester’ on us and took a 29th minute lead.
Play was on the edge of Atletico’s area when Griezmann went haring the length of the field down the left. Albrighton matched him for pace and looked to have done the perfect spoiling job, bringing the Madrid star down a couple of feet outside the area.
But referee Jonas Eriksson pointed to the spot, and Griezmann sent Schmeichel the wrong way with his spot kick.
Despite this blow, and the incredible noise around the stadium, City kept their composure.
Koko sent another long-range effort off target, while Albrighton did the same at the other end.
The ref was buying dives from the home players all over the field, so it was difficult for City to get anything going, but they got to half time, just one controversial goal behind.

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Craig Shakespeare started the second half with King on for Okazaki.
Atletico were on top for the opening stages and Benalouane picked up a yellow  for a late challenge on Torres as the defence began to look stretched.
But City weathered the early storm again and play moved to Atletico’s area. A Fuchs long throw wasn’t dealt with and Huth had a shot blocked before Mahrez picked up the loose ball but his attempted curler into the top corner flew well wide.
Bad news followed this when Griezmann was bowled over by Huth, who picked up a yellow card that would rule him out of the return leg.

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On the hour Mahrez picked up the ball on the left, made his way into the area and beat one man before crashing into Gabi rather too obviously. The ref wasn’t tempted to award a second penalty.
Atletico should have gone 2-0 up a minute later when Gabi sent Torres in on goal. He rounded Huth to make space for a shot but slipped over at the vital moment.
There was another close call when Torres fed Griezmann in down the left but his cross flashed across goal with no Madrid players in the goal mouth.
Craig Shakespeare made his second substitution in the 77th minute, bringing Slimani on for Vardy. Soon after this there was more activity around the dug out when technical staff member Tom Joel was sent to the stands for straying into the home technical area while delivering energy drinks to the players. There’s nothing like getting the big decisions right.
With five minutes remaining Benalouane produced a vital interception to cut out a low Juanfran cross that was heading for Griezmann.
Bar one run into the box from Correa, City weren’t really troubled up to the full time whistle and the game ended with City just one goal down and still in with a realistic prospect of further progress in the competition.

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Craig Shakespeare was not happy with the nature of the defeat:  “We were hard done by. It is one of the major decisions in the game – a definite foul but outside the box. I think it is a disappointing moment, a key moment. The referee has to get that one right, you can’t guess. Refs have a hard job but you want the key decisions correct.”

But it was another glorious European adventure for the fans, at least for the ones who avoided the indiscriminate police batons. Eight years ago to the day City were playing at Hereford in the third tier… now they have a decent chance of an appearance in the Champions League semi-finals.

Atletico: Oblak, Juanfran, Savic, Godín, Filipe Luis, Carrasco (Correaat 65), Gabi, Ñíguez, Koke, Torres (Parteyat 75), Griezmann. Subs Not Used: Correa, Cerci, Hernández, Partey, Gaitán, Giménez, Campos Moreira
Leicester: Schmeichel, Simpson, Benalouane, Huth, Fuchs, Mahrez, Drinkwater, Ndidi, Albrighton, Okazaki (King 45), Vardy (Slimaniat 77). Subs Not Used: Chilwell, King, Amartey, Slimani, Zieler, Gray, Ulloa.
Referee: J Eriksson. Attendance: 51,423.

———————————————

We are simple folk here at Fox Towers, we have previously only offered a season subscription to the fanzine. But now we have decided to offer a further option of a year long subscription so you can hop on at any time, starting with the current issue and renewing a year later. 

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For just £16.95 you will receive every issue of The FOX for twelve months, including the Summer Special, posted out to you on publication day.

If you subscribe now, FOX 202 will be posted to you straight away, and you will also receive a free set of City postcards.

You can pay online via Paypal HERE  (UK price)

Or send a cheque to:
The FOX,
22 Cosby Road,
Littlethorpe,
LEICESTER,
LE19 2HF

Annual subscription to EUROPE is £26.00: HERE

Annual subscription to REST OF WORLD is £32.00: HERE

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Everton end Leicester’s winning run

Everton 4:2 Leicester City

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A City starting XI with one eye on Wednesday’s Champions League quarter-final were beaten 4-2 by Everton at Goodison on Sunday…

With TV scheduling forcing City to play three days before one of the biggest games in the club’s history Craig Shakespeare had a balancing act to pull off, and made five changes to his starting line-up. Fuchs, Simpson, Okazaki, Ndidi and Mahrez were replaced by Chilwell, Amartey, Albrighton, King and Slimani.

They didn’t get off to a great start, with Everton taking the lead after just 31 seconds.
Mirallas cut through City’s back-line with a strong run down the middle before Amartey brought him down on the edge of the area. Referee Bobby Madley allowed play to continue,  Davies seized on the loose ball and produced a neat finish to beat Schmeichel.
City’s defence were still looking shaky two minutes later when Lukaku set up Mirallas with a fine ball from the right, but he miscontrolled and wasted the chance.
However, by the fourth minute City were level. Gray charged forward on the break and picked out an unmarked Slimani who slotted a cool finish through Robles’ legs.
By the 10th minute City were ahead. Vardy was fouled on the left. Albrighton swung in the free-kick and the ball flew over everyone, including Robles, and found the top right hand corner.

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It had been an incredible turn around by City and Gray went on another run four minutes later, but his shot didn’t have enough zip to trouble Robles.
But the home side levelled matters in the 23rd minute. Barkley delivered a superb cross from the right and a slackly marked Lukaku only had to apply his head to it to make it 2-2.
There was a flare up in the 28th minute when Mirallas objected to a challenge by Huth and ill-advisedly grabbed a handful of the big German’s shirt. Both players were yellow-carded.
Everton were running the game up to the break and regained their lead in the 41st minute. Barkley broke free on goal, and rounded Schmeichel who somehow managed to get a last ditch hand to his shot on goal.
But it was a temporary reprieve, as Mirallas swung in a fine corner kick and Jagielka rose above a weak Benalouane challenge to head home and give Everton a half time lead.

Everton continued to look threatening in the second half, with Lukaku, Mirallas and Barkley all on top form.
City were restricted to the occasional chance, and Slimani had a shot deflected just wide.
Everton sealed victory in the 57th minute when City conceded from another corner.
Mirallas whipped the flag kick in from the left,  Jagielka got a touch to it and the ball fell nicely for Lukaku to fire home his second at the far post.
Soon after this goal, Mahrez and Musa replaced Gray and Vardy, but it was another sub, Ulloa who almost made an instant impact in the 78th minute.
Mahrez ook a corner from the right and Ulloa’s first touch, a thumping header, struck Gueye when it looked goalbound.
Ulloa then got his head to a Mahrez cross, but Robles made a fine reaction save before Jagielka hooked the ball clear.
But this game was over long before the end and Craig Shakespeare’s six game winning run was at an end.
The fifteen points earned since he took over meant that this game could be sacrificed to an extent, and no one could blame Shakespeare for planning around next Wednesday night with his team selection.

Madrid, here we come…

Everton: Robles, Holgate, Pennington, Jagielka, Baines, Gana, Schneiderlin (Barry 73), Davies, Barkley, Lukaku, Mirallas. Subs Not Used: Valencia, Stekelenburg, Calvert-Lewin, Lookman, Kenny, Williams.
Leicester: Schmeichel, Amartey, Benalouane, Huth, Chilwell, Albrighton (Ulloa 78), King, Drinkwater, Gray (Mahrez 61), Slimani, Vardy (Musa 61). Subs Not Used: Kapustka, Simpson, Zieler, Wasilewski.

Referee: R Madley. Attendance: 39,573. 

———————————————

We are simple folk here at Fox Towers, we have previously only offered a season subscription to the fanzine. But now we have decided to offer a further option of a year long subscription so you can hop on at any time, starting with the current issue and renewing a year later. 

postie-frank

For just £16.95 you will receive every issue of The FOX for twelve months, including the Summer Special, posted out to you on publication day.

If you subscribe now, FOX 202 will be posted to you straight away, and you will also receive a free set of City postcards.

You can pay online via Paypal HERE  (UK price)

Or send a cheque to:
The FOX,
22 Cosby Road,
Littlethorpe,
LEICESTER,
LE19 2HF

Annual subscription to EUROPE is £26.00: HERE

Annual subscription to REST OF WORLD is £32.00: HERE

 

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Leicester sink Stoke with two wonder strikes

Leicester City 2:0 Stoke City

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City continued their winning run, with a comfortable 2-0 win against Stoke at the KPS on Saturday…

Craig Shakespeare made one change to his line-up, with Albrighton feeling unwell and making way for Gray.
The game kicked off in misty conditions after the Chairman’s birthday fireworks and after an attacking start from Stoke, City soon got into their stride and were looking threatening going forward.
Mahrez launched a free-kick into the area, and after some pinball in the box, Benalouane failed to get a clean strike when well placed.
Gray then went on a run across the 18 yard line but was eventually crowded out by the Stoke defence.
In the 16th minute Gray went on the charge again, down the left, but was cynically felled by Shawcross who recieved a yellow card. Gray looked to be hurt and shaken by the late challenge, but soon recovered.
Fuchs delivered the free kick, but Huth’s header was cleared off the line and Vardy couldn’t quite reach the rebound.

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After a Stoke corner City broke upfield and Gray fired a 20 yarder inches wide of the left hand post, but the opening goal arrived in the 26th minute.
Ndidi ran onto a ball from Simpson, took a touch into space, and then launched a superb 25 yarder into the top right hand corner,  giving Grant no chance.

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City continued to attack and Whelan was the second Stoke man in Lee Mason notebook for a foul on Gray. Mahrez’s volley from Fuchs’ free kick was blocked, before Stoke had a rare chance when Arnautovic’s shot on the turn found the side-netting.
City couldn’t add to their tally before the break: a Gray shot was deflected wide, Okazaki’s overhead kick went narrowly over the bar, and a fine shot on the run from Mahrez was brilliantly tipped round the post by Grant.

But City doubled their lead just two minutes into the second half.
Gray reached a dead end down the right and fed the ball back to Simpson who chipped a well-measured cross into the area. Vardy nipped ahead of Johnson and lashed a fierce volley home from 10 yards.

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City pressed on looking for a third goal. Fuchs forced a good save from Grant, and Okazaki was also denied by the Stoke keeper from close range.
Grant’s busy afternoon continued… Vardy made swift progress down the left, evading two defenders to get a low cross in for Mahrez, who sent his close range effort straight at Grant. Mahrez retrieved the ball, and fired in another shot which Grant also blocked.
The visitors then had their best spell of the afternoon as they desperately tried to find a way back into the game. Subsititute Crouch sent an effort wide, before Arnautovic netted but was harshly judged to have been offside. His glare at the linesman would have turned milk.
Shakespeare used his allocation of subs in the final fifteen minutes, with Amartey, Slimani and Chilwell coming on for Okazaki, Vardy and Gray.
Grant pulled off further saves to deny Gray and Mahrez, before Crouch wasted a great chance, heading over from close in.
The final whistle saw Craig Shakepeare setting a record – the first British manager to win his first four Premier League games, while City climbed up to 13th place.

Shakespeare, who joined a club comprising off  Jose Mourinho, Guus Hiddink, Carlo Ancelotti, Pep Guardiola, commented: “Sometimes have to pinch yourself in terms of the names being mentioned. I’m at a very early stage in my management career but to be mentioned in the same breath of them makes me very proud. I realise there’s a lot people to thank along the way, in terms of my previous managers when I’ve been an assistant, but also the players. Confidence is a big thing and we’ve managed to keep the run going. We’re still not safe.”

Leicester: Schmeichel, Simpson, Benalouane, Huth, Fuchs, Mahrez, Drinkwater, Ndidi, Gray (Chilwell 87), Okazaki (Amartey 73), Vardy (Slimani 81). Subs Not Used: Musa, King, Zieler, Ulloa.
Stoke: Grant, Johnson, Shawcross, Martins Indi, Pieters, Arnautovic, Allen, Whelan (Adam 70), Sobhi, Walters (Crouch 54), Berahino (Diouf 70). Subs Not Used: Muniesa, Afellay, Imbula, Given.

Referee: L Mason. Attendance: 31,958. 

———————————————

We are simple folk here at Fox Towers, we have previously only offered a season subscription to the fanzine. But now we have decided to offer a further option of a year long subscription so you can hop on at any time, starting with the current issue and renewing a year later. 

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For just £16.95 you will receive every issue of The FOX for twelve months, including the Summer Special, posted out to you on publication day.

If you subscribe now, FOX 202 will be posted to you straight away, and you will also receive a free set of City postcards.

You can pay online via Paypal HERE  (UK price)

Or send a cheque to:
The FOX,
22 Cosby Road,
Littlethorpe,
LEICESTER,
LE19 2HF

Annual subscription to EUROPE is £26.00: HERE

Annual subscription to REST OF WORLD is £32.00: HERE

 

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The FOX Issue No 203 – in the shops and on sale today

The 203rd edition of The FOX – The Leicester City Fanzine will be on sale before this afternoon’s game against Stoke…

fox 203 cover

Featuring in our 30th Anniversary Edition: Arrivederci to the Don, your tributes; an interview with former City striker, David Nugent; Claudio in the Fox Gallery; Fully Programmed from March 2000; Fox Diary – the end of the Ranieri Era; the latest from the Foxes Trust; the players say farewell to Claudio via Twitter; The History of Leicester City in 100 Objects;  Foxed in the Head – on bad models, old photos and the trip to Seville; John Hutchinson’s series on Following the Fosse drops in on the neighbours; the origins of Union FS explained by Dave Sharman; your letters and Bentley’s Roof; Parting Shots, our favourite photos of the last month; and FiftySomething gets a shock in Seville…

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all for less than the price of a pint…

David Nugent Interview extract…

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FOX: The 2012/13 season ended with Anthony Knockaert’s penalty miss and Watford running up the other end to score. Why did he take it when there were strikers like you and Harry Kane on the pitch?

DN: Well, Anthony had won the penalty and he was desperate to take it and be the hero. He was still a  young lad then. He’d grabbed the ball and was intent on taking it, so no one wanted to distract him by taking it off him. His missed the pen, and the rebound, and then I watched it all unfold as I was running back. I was thinking “No, no no  no NOOOO!” as then they scored.
I sat on the ground, with fans running past me screaming in my face, thinking, what the hell is going on here?
It was tough to take and Anthony was inconsolable afterwards. The dressing room was very quiet. I think it spurred us on more for the following season.

FOX: you got promoted the following season with a bit to spare and you had a great partnership with Jamie Vardy. What made that work?

DN: We were really good friends, still are. When he first arrived I don’t think he quite realised what a step up it was from non-league to the Championship and he struggled a bit. I think Nigel gave him a bit of a rocket once and he came back for the new season a completely different person. He took it all more seriously and his speed, awareness and finishing all clicked into place. I dropped off into the number 10 role and always knew where he was going to be. We knew each others game, almost like telepathy, and we really enjoyed ourselves, scoring a lot of goals.

———————————————

We are simple folk here at Fox Towers, we have previously only offered a season subscription to the fanzine. But now we have decided to offer a further option of a year long subscription so you can hop on at any time, starting with the current issue and renewing a year later. 

postie-frank

For just £16.95 you will receive every issue of The FOX for twelve months, including the Summer Special, posted out to you on publication day.

If you subscribe now, FOX 202 will be posted to you straight away, and you will also receive a free set of City postcards.

You can pay online via Paypal HERE  (UK price)

Or send a cheque to:
The FOX,
22 Cosby Road,
Littlethorpe,
LEICESTER,
LE19 2HF

Annual subscription to EUROPE is £26.00: HERE

Annual subscription to REST OF WORLD is £32.00: HERE

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Leicester dig deep at West Ham for first away win

West Ham United 2:3 Leicester City

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A flying start, and a grimly determined finish, delivered City’s first away win of the season at West Ham on Saturday afternoon…

Craig Shakespeare made one change for City’s first trip to the London Stadium, with Benalouane in for Morgan, who injured his back against Sevilla.
And they got off to a great start, taking a 5th minute lead. Mahrez cut in from the right a swung in a cross that flew straight into the net, with Hammers keeper Randolph distracted by Okazaki’s attempted header.
Just two minutes later, the away end was celebrating again as City doubled their lead.
From a free-kick, Mahrez fed Albrighton on the edge of the area and his lofted flick found Huth on the six yard line, the German nodding home City’s second.

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West Ham’s afternoon then got worse when Reid pulled up while running for the ball and had to be replaced by Snodgrass.
But the home side began to get into their stride and pulled a goal back in the 21st minute.
Drinkwater fouled Antonio 25 yards out for a West Ham free-kick. Lanzini got it over the wall and just inside the left hand post with an excellent strike that left Schmeichel rooted to the spot.

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As West Ham pressed for an equaliser Antonio set up Ayew for a shot, which failed to hit the target. Then Antonio had a shot deflected into Schmeichel’s arms, before Carroll had a goal ruled out by the linesman’s flag.
Ayew then headed over when well placed, before City struck again in the 39th minute.
A Mahrez corner led to a scramble in the goalmouth, then Vardy seized on the loose ball lashing it into the roof of the net.

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Although Lanzini sent a shot narrowly wide, City took a two goal cushion in at the break.

Early in the second half, Benalouane tried an ambitious free-kick from the halfway line, but didn’t catch Randolph out as he collected it under the bar.
A fine Mahrez ball then sent Vardy in on goal, but he was off balance and sent his shot wide.
The home side began to crank up the pressure again, and Schmeichel got down smartly to tip a Lanzini’s free kick round the post.
West Ham reduced City’s lead in the 63rd minute. A Lanzini corner from the left was nodded back by Carroll at the far post, and Ayew headed home from close in.
It left a long time to defend a single goal lead, but City, now looking tried after their midweek heroics, dug deep to cling on to their precious lead.
As West Ham piled on the pressure, Craig Shakespeare made a double change in the 76th minute – Musa and Slimani replacing Vardy and Okazaki.
A minute later Carroll’s far post header forced a brillaint save from Schmeichel.
Ayew then blasted over from close in, with an equaliser looking imminent. Drinkwater cleared a Kouyate effort off the line as play became frantic.
What looked like a dislocated finger for Benalouane, held up play for a while and seemed to take the impetus away from West Ham. But they still looked certain to level in the 90th minute when Carroll found himself with just Schmeichel to beat from close range.
City’s captain for the day spread himself well and blocked the shot with a fantastic save.
City weathered six minutes of time added on, to claim three points away for the first time in eleven months.

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It was an immense performance from City and Craig Shakespeare commented: “There is no secret. I think hard work, commitment and endeavour, we showed all of them today, along with some good footballers. We scored the goals at the right time today. It gave us a foothold in the game. There is no secret. The hard work is paramount to success and we have to keep doing that.” 

West Ham: Randolph, Byram, Fonte, Reid (Snodgrass 18), Cresswell (Masuaku 73), Kouyate, Obiang (Fernandes 67), Ayew, Lanzini, Antonio, Carroll. Subs Not Used: Nordtveit, Feghouli, Adrian, Collins.
Leicester: Schmeichel, Simpson, Benalouane, Huth, Fuchs, Mahrez (Chilwell 87), Drinkwater, Ndidi, Albrighton, Okazaki (Musa 76), Vardy (Slimani 76). Subs Not Used: King, Amartey, Zieler, Gray.

Referee: R East. Attendance: 56,979. 

ALL PHOTOS: Simon Kimber

———————————

We are simple folk here at Fox Towers, we have previously only offered a season subscription to the fanzine. But now we have decided to offer a further option of a year long subscription so you can hop on at any time, starting with the current issue and renewing a year later. 

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For just £16.95 you will receive every issue of The FOX for twelve months, including the Summer Special, posted out to you on publication day.

If you subscribe now, FOX 202 will be posted to you straight away, and you will also receive a free set of City postcards.

You can pay online via Paypal HERE  (UK price)

Or send a cheque to:
The FOX,
22 Cosby Road,
Littlethorpe,
LEICESTER,
LE19 2HF

Annual subscription to EUROPE is £26.00: HERE

Annual subscription to REST OF WORLD is £32.00: HERE

202-cover

THE FOX – THIRTY YEARS, AND WE’RE STILL HERE 

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Leicester stun Sevilla and reach the Champions League quarter finals

Leicester City 2:0 Sevilla (3:2)

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City produced a superb performance against Sevilla in the Champions League second round at the KPS on Tuesday night, a 2-0 victory making this perhaps the most glorious night in the club’s history…

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The atmosphere in the King Power was cranked up to 11, with an impressive Shakespearian ‘Let Slip the Dogs of War’ tifo display in the Kop end, and some great backing for the visitors in the away corner.

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Craig Shakespeare offered no surprises in his starting XI, sticking to the same side for the third game running, a formula that has worked for him up to now.
So we listened to the Champions League anthem for the eighth time, and we were off.

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Sevilla threatened early on, with Huth blocking Yedder’s progress, and then a fine touch by Nasri earned him some space in on the right to blast a shot from an angle that Schmeichel did very well to block with his left arm.
City began to press forward and in the 10th minute Ndidi was inches away from getting his head to an Albrighton corner, before Iborra blocked Mahrez’s shot from the clearance.
An Ndidi foul on Vitolo 25 yards out gave Sevilla a free-kick with possibilities, but Rami sent it sailing over the bar.
Nasri was then booked for clattering Ndidi, a yellow card that would have consequences later on.
In the 21st minute Sarabia dragged his shot wide from a decent position and Sevilla would soon rue that missed chance.
In the 27th minute, City turned the tie on its head. Iborra fouled Vardy out on the left and Mahrez lined up the free-kick. He floated a perfect ball into the area, which evaded the ruck in the middle and fell for Morgan to knee it home at the far post.

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This caused pandemonium around the ground and a frantic spell of play as Sevilla attempted an instant reply. Iborra had a shot blocked and Fuchs headed the resultant corner clear. Yedder then sent a shot into the sidenetting when well placed.
Mercado’s cross/shot then had to be tipped away by Schmeichel before City managed to calm things down.
They were the better side up to the break. Vardy had a shot blocked, Drinkwater fired an effort straight at Rico, and Fuchs made great progress down the left, staying on his feet after a foul in the area, but shooting straight at the keeper.
The half time whistle meant that City were 45 minutes away from a place in the quarter finals and the tension was almost unbearable.

This feeling worsened when Sevilla, with Mariano and Jovetic on for Mercado and Sarabia, had the best of the second half opening spell.
Huth cleared a dangerous low cross from Vitolo, and Fuchs got his head to a Nasri cross before a horrible moment in the 53rd minute when Escudero strode forward before unleashing a dipping 30 yarder that hit the underside of the bar.
It was a reminder of how narrow City’s ‘away goal lead’ was but a minute later City went ahead in the tie and the King Power erupted again.

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Okazaki had a shot blocked, Mahrez crossed the loose ball, Rami’s attempted clearance fell for Albrighton, who took a composed touch before firing a shot just inside the right hand post.
Although Sevilla could still force extra time with a goal, they looked rattled and weren’t causing City’s defence many problems.
Shakespeare made his first change in the 63rd minute, bringing Slimani on for Okazaki, who had run himself into the ground once again.
Vardy then wasted a good chance when Rico pushed a Mahrez cross into his path.
But the tie turned further in City’s favour in the 74th minute when Nasri lost his rag with Vardy following a tussle and appeared to be the main aggressor in a coming together of heads. He was shown his second yellow, but wasn’t prepared to go quietly into the night, having to be dragged off the field by his teammates.

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The FA Cup match at Millwall showed us that ten men can be better than eleven, and so it proved here, with Sevilla being awarded a 79th minute penalty.
Vitolo charged into the area and lifted the ball over Schmeichel, who then crashed into him. The referee pointed to the spot and booked the City keeper.
Silence fell around the ground and the spectre of extra time loomed, but N’Zonzi’s spot-kick was poor and Schmeichel saved low to his left.
A huge roar greeted the save and it looked as though the footballing gods were back on City’s side.

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Sevilla were losing their composure now, and coach Jorge Sampaoli was sent to the stands in a gibbering rage.
City continued to look for goals and Vardy sent a header straight at Rico with the goal at his mercy.
Slimani then went clear down the right, but stumbled in trying to round Rico and the chance was gone.
City last chance came in the 89th minute when Mahrez hared down the middle on the break, and set up Vardy, who snatched his effort over the bar, before giving his face a good pummelling in frustration.
Sevilla desperately pushed forward in the four minutes of time added on. Correa had a shot blocked and blazed another one over, but the final whistle eventually sounded and Leicester City were in the Champions League quarter finals.
You may have to read that sentence a few times.

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It had been a magnificent performance from every City player and this incredible journey continues.
Craig Shakespeare commented: “We deserve to be in the quarter-finals, we have just knocked out one of the best teams in Europe in my opinion. I think it has to stand right up there with all of our achievements because of the quality of the opposition. We know there will be some terrific teams in the last eight, as there were in the previous round, but we’re in there on merit – we might just be the surprise team.”

Leicester: Schmeichel, Simpson, Morgan, Huth, Fuchs, Mahrez (Amartey 89), Drinkwater, Ndidi, Albrighton, Okazaki (Slimani 63), Vardy. Subs Not Used: Zieler, Chilwell, King, Gray, Ulloa.
Sevilla: Sergio Rico, Mercado (Mariano 46), Pareja, Rami, Sarabia (Jovetic 45), Iborra, Nzonzi, Escudero, Vitolo, Ben Yedder (Correa 68), Nasri. Subs Not Used: Soria, Kranevitter, Vazquez, Lenglet.

Referee: D Orsato. Attendance: 31,520. 

ALL PHOTOS: Simon Kimber

———————————

We are simple folk here at Fox Towers, we have previously only offered a season subscription to the fanzine. But now we have decided to offer a further option of a year long subscription so you can hop on at any time, starting with the current issue and renewing a year later. 

postie-frank

For just £16.95 you will receive every issue of The FOX for twelve months, including the Summer Special, posted out to you on publication day.

If you subscribe now, FOX 202 will be posted to you straight away, and you will also receive a free set of City postcards.

You can pay online via Paypal HERE  (UK price)

Or send a cheque to:
The FOX,
22 Cosby Road,
Littlethorpe,
LEICESTER,
LE19 2HF

Annual subscription to EUROPE is £26.00: HERE

Annual subscription to REST OF WORLD is £32.00: HERE

202-cover

THE FOX – THIRTY YEARS, AND WE’RE STILL HERE 

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