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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

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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. 

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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

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

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Shakespeare to be offered Leicester job

The BBC have reported that Craig Shakespeare will be offered the manager’s job at Leicester until the end of the season…

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Shakespeare has led City to a maximum six points from two game since he took over as caretaker boss following the dismissal of Claudio Ranieri, with 3-1 wins against Liverpool and Hull.
The 53 year old, brought to the club by Nigel Pearson, appears to have reignited the spirit of last season and will be a popular choice among both players and fans as City face the challenges of a relegation battle and Champions League.
Although City were said to be in talks with former England boss Roy Hodgson, it appears that they have decided that the best option is to stick with a man who knows the club and players like the back of his hand.

———————————

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:
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LEICESTER,
LE19 2HF

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

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Leicester finally switch on to humble Liverpool

Leicester City 3:1 Liverpool

1617-liverpool-home-a

Craig Shakespeare’s first game in charge of Leicester saw an emphatic 3:1 win over Liverpool at the KPS on Monday night…

The caretaker boss, who may well have staked a permanent claim to the job, sent out last season’s first choice side, with Ndidi in the Kante role, and also seemed to have summoned last season’s spirit.
Right from the start of the game, City looked like a completely different side to the one that had struggled through this Premier League campaign.
Vardy was haring around the turf and hurt Mane with a tasty challenge in the first minute. City pressed forward and Huth connected with an Albrighton throw, giving Mignolet a comfortable save.
The Liverpool keeper was more stretched by the next effot when Okazaki got his head to a mishit Vardy shot.
Liverpool’s first attack came in the 10th minute when Mane sent in a dangerous low cross from the right, but Ndidi extended a long leg to intercept.
City soon threatened again when Huth should have done better with a header from an Albrighton corner, but sent it well over.
Another chance arrived for City in the 20th minute when Vardy turned Lucas with a flick, but mistimed his connection as the ball dropped allowing Mignolet to block.
Huth blocked a fierce Coutinho effort as Liverpool came more into the game, but then City took a vital 28th minute lead with a goal that conjured up memories of last season.
A defence-splitting pass from Albrighton sent Vardy in down the right and he raced clear and fired home City’s first league goal of 2017 giving Mignolet no chance.

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Although this raised the KPS roof, Liverpool almost struck back straight away when Coutinho went clear of City’s defence down the left, but Schmeichel came racing out to block his shot.
City were soon on the attack again, Mahrez sent Vardy into the box but his clever back-heel was sidefooted over the bar by Ndidi.
City didn’t have to wait long for their second goal, however, and it was truly spectacular when it arrived in the 38th minute.
From a half-cleared corner, Albrighton sent a cross into the goalmouth and when Milner headed it clear it presented itself to Drinkwater on the edge of the area. He crashed home a perfect half-volley into the bottom right hand corner and the KPS went nuts again.
City took their 2-0 lead in with them at the break, with the crowd as well as the players needing to get their breath back.

Despite the two goal cushion, nerves were still jangling as Liverpool dictated play in the first period of the second half. This was a passage of play on which City’s whole season could hinge. Liverpool’s passing game was clicking into gear and Mane was beginning to look threatening.
But then City struck again to make it 3-0 on the hour.Mahrez and Fuchs combined well down the left and Fuchs dummied  a left foot cross, before delivering a perfect ball into the area with his right. There was Vardy, perfectly placed in the middle to direct a fine header into the bottom right corner to surely seal a fantastic victory.

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Klopp’s side were stung into action now, and City had some defending to do. Lallana went close with one effort , before the visitors narrowed the gap in the 68th minute. Can set up Coutinho, who found himself to space to run into and line up a a precise shot past Schmeichel.
This came soon after a touching ‘phone light’ tribute to Claudio Ranieri around the ground, which struck the right tone.
Shakespeare made his first substition after the goal, bringing on Amartey for Okazaki who had run himself into the ground.
Liverpool set up camp in City’s half again without actually creating many chances, and they were almost caught out on the break when Mignolet arrived in the nick of time as Vardy raced after a long ball forward.
Mahrez then went on a run down the right and into the box before being crowded out: he laid the ball off to Drinkwater who skied his effort when well placed.
Mahrez was then replaced by Gray.
Liverpool upped the pressure as the final whistle approached, but the City defence held firm.
Fuchs came within inches of a fourth goal in time added on, lobbing a long-range effort that had Mignolet backpedalling as it just cleared the bar.

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The final whistle brought emotional scenes. Last season’s Leicester had reappeared.
Perhaps we will never know why. Some fans had a strange mixture of elation and anger, thinking that the players had stitched Ranieri up by under-performing for most of the season. Others pointed to subtle changes like Ndidi playing a more defensive role and Drinkwater in a more effective forward position making the difference.
Perhaps it didn’t really matter. What mattered was that Leicester were back and looked much better equipped for the battle against relegation.

Craig Shakespeare, who may well be in charge for the remainder of the season and possibly longer, observed: “I think some of it is human nature when people criticise you there is bound to be a reaction. I know the criticism has hurt and perhaps there was a little more fire in the belly because of that. They know they are guilty of underperforming – but this is only one result and we must build on that.”

 

Leicester: Schmeichel, Simpson, Morgan, Huth, Fuchs, Mahrez (Gray 80), Drinkwater, Ndidi, Albrighton (Chilwell 90), Okazaki (Amartey 69), Vardy. Subs Not Used: King, Slimani, Zieler, Ulloa.
Liverpool: Mignolet, Clyne, Matip, Lucas (Woodburn 84), Milner, Lallana (Origi 66), Can, Wijnaldum, Mane (Moreno 66), Firmino, Coutinho. Subs Not Used: Karius, Klavan, Stewart, Alexander-Arnold.

Referee: L Mason. Attendance: 32,034. 

—————————————

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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