Tag Archives: craig shakespeare

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.

1718 brighton home d

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


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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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Leicester confirm Harry Maguire signing

Leicester completed a five-year deal for Hull’s Harry Maguire this afternoon…

mcguire

The 24-year old defender has completed the deal for an undisclosed fee thought to be around £17m.
Although Hull were relegated from the Premier League, Maguire had an impressive season, with solid defensive stats and a willingness to go forward and have a crack at goal.
The Sheffield-born England under-21 international should be a vital addition to a City defence that had began to look stretched towards the end of the season.

Maguire, the first signing under Craig Shakespeare,  told LCFC TV: “There were a number of clubs interested, but when I met the manager here, he pretty much swayed it into the direction of this club.
He showed me the way that the club is going. It’s on the up and it looks very promising for the future, so credit to the gaffer.”

PHOTO: Simon Kimber.

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Craig Shakespeare takes the Leicester reins

Craig Shakespeare has been appointed as Leicester City manager…

cs new boss

Leicester City’s owners have elected to go down the tried and trusted route, awarding Shakespeare a three-year deal.
The 53 year old has been a constant factor in City’s success of recent years and is very popular with the players.
He won his first five games in charge last season, guided City from the fringes of the relegation battle to a mid-table finish, and also engineered the win over Seville that took the club into the Champions League quarter-finals.

While some fans think this shows a lack of ambition, most are delighted with the appointment, welcoming the continuity, and feeling that Shakespeare has earned the job.

Best of luck Craig.

PHOTO: Simon Kimber.

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Leicester hit for six by Tottenham

Leicester City 1:6 Tottenham Hotspur

Leicester City v Tottenham Hotspur, Premier League, 18 May 2017

City were swept aside by a rampant Tottenham at the KPS on Thursday night, as Harry Kane racked up four goals…

Criag Shakespeare made one change to his side, with Amartey replacing King in midfield, and Huth, Morgan and Drinkwater all on the injury list.
Spurs had the first chance of the night after 5 minutes when Kane played Son in, but Chilwell nipped in to divert his shot wide.
Three minutes later, Son found some room again but sent his shot well over.
A minute after this, Mahrez cruised through a group of four yellow shirts and set up Vardy, whose fierce shot went stright at Lloris.
In a lively end-to-end opening spell, Amartey then saw his shot from the edge of the area deflecting kindly for Lloris to make an easy save.
Spurs should have taken the lead after 15 minutes, but Son still hadn’t adjusted his sights and blazed over with only Schmeichel to beat.

Leicester City v Tottenham Hotspur, Premier League, 18 May 2017

Tottenham were in control of the game by the 20th minute, and Kane turned and delivered a curling effort that went narrowly wide.
The visitors took the lead in the 25th minute. A long ball down the right from Alderweireld saw Fuchs gambling on trying to reach it rather than running back. He didn’t and Son was in on goal, cutting back for Kane to find the net from close in.
Spurs continued to push forward and Schmeichel made a fine save to block an Alli header.
At the other end there were loud appeals for a penlty when Vardy was floored by  Alderweireld in the area, but Michael Oliver waved play on.
Spurs doubled their lead in the 36th minute. Alli flicked the ball over the City defence and the alert Son ran through to volley it home.

Leicester City v Tottenham Hotspur, Premier League, 18 May 2017

City were having a torrid time now, with Spurs well on top. Kane had a shot blocked and Schmeichel saved well from Dier, with no doubt as to which side were most pleased to hear the half time whistle.

Craig Shakespeare made a change at the break, bringing Slimani on for Okazaki, and City looked better in the early stages of the second half.
Benalouane headed a Mahrez corner over the bar, and Albrighton had a shot blocked.
City then pulled a goal back in the 59th minute. Lloris came racing well out of his goal to meet the advancing Vardy and the ball rebounded to Ndidi who squared to Chilwell.
Resisting the urge to take a first time shot at an unguarded goal, the youngster rounded a challenge on the edge of the area and cooly slotted the ball past the defender on the line.
City were back in the game now, but sadly this only lasted for three minutes.
Alderweireld delivered a cross from the right, Wanyama nodded back across goal from the far post and Kane headed home from three yards, to snuff out City’s revival.
Shakespeare made his second change bringing Gray on for Benalouane, and moving Amartey back into defence.
City fell further behind in the 70th minute when Son sidestepped his way past three defenders before finding the bottom right hand corner from the edge of the area.

Leicester City v Tottenham Hotspur, Premier League, 18 May 2017

Gray then sent Slimani in down the left but his shot went straight at Lloris who blocked at the near post.
Musa replaced Vardy with 12 minutes left, but City looked increasingly poor as the game entered the last ten minutes.
After several attempts Kane completed his hat trick in the 89th minute, firing a low shot through Simpson’s legs from the edge of the area.
And he wasn’t done yet, scoring an almost identical goal in the second minute of time added on to complete the six goal rout.

Craig Shakespeare summed up: “There are no positives. We were totally second-best.”
If he can pick his players up off the floor, a win against Bournemouth on Sunday could still see a top half finish from this bizarre season. It might be a big job.

Leicester: Schmeichel, Simpson, Benalouane (Gray 66), Fuchs, Chilwell, Mahrez, Amartey, Ndidi, Albrighton, Okazaki (Slimani 46), Vardy (Musa 78).
Subs Not Used: Kapustka, Zieler, Wasilewski, Moore.

Tottenham: Lloris, Alderweireld, Dier, Vertonghen, Sissoko (Nkoudou 90), Wanyama, Dembele (Lesniak 86), Davies, Alli, Son (Janssen 78), Kane.
Subs Not Used: Vorm, Eriksen, Wimmer, Shashoua.

Referee: M Oliver. Attendance: 31,351.

PHOTOS: Simon Kimber.

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Leicester slip up at the Etihad

Manchester City 2:1 Leicester City

1617 man city away

Leicester were denied a point at the Etihad on Saturday when Riyad Mahrez had a second half penalty disallowed for a double touch…

Craig Shakespeare was forced into making two changes to his line-up with Chilwell and King replacing the injured Huth and Drinkwater.
Man City were the first to threaten in the 3rd minute when a low cross from Sane was intercepted by Fuchs with Jesus waiting to pounce.
From the resulting corner, an unmarked Fernandinho had the goal at his mercy but got his header wrong and missed the target.
City’s unfamilar defence were looking a bit stretched, with Benalouane making a vital headed clearance before Jesus came within inches of of converting a cross.
Leicester then created a chance of their own but Ndidi’s awkaward header from a free-kick flew well over.
Soon after this Albrighton attempted a long range effort but it went tamely into Caballero’s grasp.
Man City had plenty of possession at this point but couldn’t create much. Silva broke through on the left and pulled back for Sane who mishit his shot across goal.
Ndidi blocked a Sterling effort, and then a De Bruyne 25 yarder span up off Benalouane, but sailed wide of Schmeichel’s goal.
The hosts broke Leicester’s resistance in the 29th minute. A Sane cross from the left found Silva in the area and slotted a cool finish home from 12 yards.
Sterling, in an offside position and unsighting Schmeichel, took a swing at the ball, but referee Bobby Madley didn’t judge him to be interfering with play, despite heated protests from the Leicester players.
Six minutes later Leicester were 2-0 down and there were no complaints this time as Benalouane knocked Sane over in the area with a clumsy lunge. Jesus sent Schmeichel the wrong way with his spot-kick and it was difficult to see a way back in for Leicester at this stage.
The one-way traffic continued towards the visitors goal, but with three minutes of the half left, Leicester struck back.
Great work from Albrighton down the left saw him deliver a cross that Okazaki crashed home with a brilliant volley.

Leicester started the second half with a purpose. Albrighton attempted a couple of shots, and then Kompany had to take a yellow for the team, felling Chilwell on the halfway line to prevent a dangerous looking breakaway move.
Sterling then cut in from the right and his cross struck Albrighton in the face, lengthy treatment for a nosebleed disproving the loud appeals for handball.
Leicester enjoyed a decent spell, pressing forward against a less confident looking City, without managing to deliver a telling final ball.
Toure had a shot blocked and City broke upfield, but a De Bruyne foul halted Okazaki’s progress.
Albrighton was in the wars again when Fernandinho planted an elbow into his eye, though it was judged accidental and Albrighton was left with an instant shiner and a sense of grievence.
Craig Shakespeare made his first change in the 66th minute, bringing Amartey on for King, as Leicester continued to press forward in search of an equaliser.
Slimani was then brought on for Okazaki.
In the 76th minute Leicester appeared to have made the breakthrough. Mahrez had just entered the penalty area when he was tripped by Clichy for an obvious penalty.
Mahrez picked up the ball himself and netted from the penalty spot, but wait.
The Leicester fans celebrations were cut short as play restarted with a goal kick. Mahrez had slipped at the vital moment and connected twice with his shot. Madley had shown attention to detail, without noticing two Man City players encroaching into the area and Caballero off his line.
He wasnt the first player to slip over on a pich that had been heavily watered at half time, but it was an unprecedented way to throw a point away.
With ten minutes remaining Albrighton gained revenge on Fernandinho with a heavy challenge and he was instantly replaced by Gray.
The action was end to end now. Kompany failed to nod a Silva cross under the bar, while a great Leicester move down the right saw Simpson deliver a cross for Vardy, whose flick went narrowly wide.
Otamendi blocked an Ndidi shot as the 90 minutes came up and he required treatement which would further extend the 7 minutes of time-added-on.
It was frantically scrappy end to the game. City had a free-kick when Mahrez was fouled by Silva. Schmeichel came upfield for it, but the home defence cleared and the final whistle blew.

Craig Shakespeare wasn’t happy with Man City’s first goal, or the failure to retake the penalty due to encroachment, but was satisfied with the performance:
“It’s bad luck from our point of view, but I’m more pleased with the way the lads went about it second half, we took the game to City and caused lots of problems. We looked a bit dejected first half, the two goals took the stuffing out of us, and to get our goal, a quality goal, was the first time we played with any quickness to our play. I think the players are getting every last drop out of themselves. The spirit, determination they showed was there for everyone to see.”

Man City : Caballero, Fernandinho, Kompany, Otamendi, Clichy, Toure, Sterling (Aguero 78), De Bruyne (Zabaleta 82), Silva, Sane, Gabriel Jesus (Jesus Navas 90). Subs Not Used: Fernando, Nolito, Kolarov, Gunn.
Leicester: Schmeichel, Simpson, Benalouane, Fuchs, Chilwell, Mahrez, Ndidi, King (Amartey 68), Albrighton (Gray 80), Okazaki (Slimani 73), Vardy. Subs Not Used: Musa, Kapustka, Zieler, Wasilewski.

Referee: R Madley. Attendance: 54,407. 

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Leicester defeat Watford and climb into top half

Leicester City 3:0 Watford

1617 watford home b

A fairly comfortable 3-0 win at home to Watford on Saturday saw City moving up to 9th place in the Premier League…

Craig Shakespeare named an unchanged starting XI as City went in search of the points that would secure survival, and put them on course for a top half finish.
In a cagey start, City’s first chance came in the 7th minute when an Albrighton corner was cleared to Drinkwater on the edge of the area, but his shot went high and wide.
At the other end Cleverley had a shot on goal, but it sailed well wide of the target.
City came close in the 19th minute when Mariappa slid in to prevent a Mahrez cross from reaching Vardy and sent the ball against the right hand post.
The huge figure of Okaka was causing problems with his physical presence and he forced a good near post block from Schmeichel.
The City keeper was soon in action again as Watford carved out another chance, this time he got his fingertips to a well-struck Cleverley shot.
But it was City who took a 38th minute lead from an inventive corner kick routine.
Albrighton sent his flag kick short to Drinkwater who had some space in the area. He clipped a cross over which was only half cleared by the Watford defence and Ndidi lashed it into the net from ten yards.

1617 watford home d

Four minutes later Mahrez almost doubled City’s lead when his shot deflected off Cleverley, but landed on top of the bar.
And City took their 1-0 lead in at the break.

City had a chance early in the second half when Okazaki sent Vardy in down the right inside channel, but his low shot was well saved by Gomes.
As Watford tried to find a way back into the game Okaka got his head to an Amrabat cross but Benalouane did just enough to put him off and send his effort over.
City doubled their lead in the 58th minute with an audacious effort from Mahrez.
Marriappa made a hash of a clearance on the left and Mahrez nipped ahead of him, bore down on goal and toe-poked the ball through Gomes’s legs at the near post.

1617 watford home a

Craig Shakespeare made a couple of changes, bringing on Slimani for Okazai, and then King for Drinkwater, while the dropped Deeney came on for Watford.
In the 68th minute Vardy went clear for another chance, but Gomes denied him again.
Great work from Albrighton then sent Mahrez down the right and his cross picked out Slimani who fired his 20 yarder over the bar.
Watford were still desperately seeking a goal, but Cleverley’s dipping 25 yarder was tipped over at full stretch by Schmeichel.
Zuniga also launched a long range effort over the bar as Watford had a decent late spell, but City struck again in time added on.
As City attacked on the break, Vardy cut in from the left and picked out Albrighton’s late run perfectly, the winger lashed the ball in via the right hand post to cap a Man of the Match performance.

1617 watford home c

Although Watford had created a few good chances, the scoreline reflected City’s dominance and clinical finishing and took them into ninth place.

Craig Shakespeare summed up: “It’s one we can look at now, the whole club, and be very pleased we have managed to secure Premier League survival. The result was always going to be important. There hasn’t been any points target and we just want to finish as high as possible.” 

Leicester: Schmeichel, Simpson, Benalouane, Huth, Fuchs, Mahrez (Gray 78), Drinkwater (King 67), Ndidi, Albrighton, Okazaki (Slimani 63), Vardy. Subs Not Used: Chilwell, Musa, Amartey, Zieler.
Watford: Gomes, Kabasele (Zuniga 72), Prodl, Mariappa, Amrabat, Cleverley, Doucoure, Capoue (Deeney 67), Janmaat, Okaka, Niang (Pereira 83). Subs Not Used: Success, Behrami, Pantilimon, Eleftheriou.
Referee: R East. Attendance: 31,628. 

PHOTOS: Simon Kimber 

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