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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

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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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Leicester see off Tigers as revival continues

Leicester City 3:1 Hull City

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City recovered from an early setback to produce a convincing 3-1 win against Hull at the KPS on Saturday…

Craig Shakespeare made no changes to the side that beat Liverpool. This game presented a different challenge, and City didn’t quite get off to the same high-octane start that they did against the Reds, but they created the first chance after 5 minutes when Morgan’s far post header from a Mahrez free-kick went wide of the target.
Vardy than delivered a dangerous cross from the left, but McGuire managed to intercept before it reached Albrighton.
Huth couldn’t convert a couple of chances in quick succession as City turned up the pressure, but then they found themselves a goal down after a quarter of an hour.

Leicester City v Hull City, Premier League, 4 March 2017

A wayward ball from Ndidi saw Hull racing froward. Clucas charged down the middle before feeding Niasse down the left. Grosicki overlapped and sent in a low cross, which Schmeichel palmed out only as far as Clucas who bundled it home from close in.
Despite this sucker punch, City didn’t let their heads drop and they were back on level terms before the half hour mark. Fuchs and Vardy combined smartly down the left, and then Vardy picked out Fuchs who had continued his run into the area. The Austrian’s sidefooter went straight at Jakupovic, but the Hull keeper allowed it to squirm past him and into the net.

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City dominated the rest of the half, with Vardy dangerous down both flanks, but the sides went in level at the break.

Hull began the second half with a purpose and McGuire brushed the left-hand post with one header, before sending another straight Schmeichel. But City soon regained control and Albrighton sent a long range effort over before Mahrez fired straight at Jakupovic.
In the 59th minute City took the lead, with a piece of Mahrez wizardry that has been lacking all season. Cutting in from the right he was faced with Maguire and Robertson, and he twisted and turned until he gained a yard of space and picked out the bottom right hand corner for a fantastic goal.
Hull came back in search of an equaliser and Grosicki’s free-kick forced a good save from Schmeichel.
Craig Shakespeare made his first change in the 69th minute, bringing Gray on for Okazaki.
Drinkwater then went close with a long range volley, before Slimani came on for Mahrez for the last ten minutes.
Fuchs then volleyed well off target before Hull had a decent spell and Schmeichel had to get down very smartly to tip low Niasse shot round the post. Niasse then fired a shot into the sidenetting as Hull threatened to equalise again.
The home fans could finally stop biting their nails in the 90th minute when an own goal sealed victory. A corner from the left was flicked on by Ndidi, and bounced off Huddlestone’s head and into the net before he could react.

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The Shakespeare revival continued, and the league table made for much better reading after six points, and six goals, in two games.

City’s caretaker boss commented: “In terms of our points, it has been a turnaround. Everyone looked at the game against Liverpool on Monday and to get the three points under pressure was important but to back that up with another win was vitally important. When you’re losing and down on confidence it can be hard. Am I surprised? No, because I know this squad and what they’re capable of.”

Leicester: Schmeichel, Simpson, Morgan, Huth, Fuchs, Drinkwater, Ndidi, Mahrez (Slimani 83), Okazaki (Gray 70), Albrighton, Vardy. Subs Not Used: Chilwell, King, Amartey, Zieler, Ulloa.
Hull: Jakupovic, Elmohamady, Ranocchia, Maguire, Robertson, Huddlestone, Markovic (Diomande 78), N’Diaye (Hernandez 68), Clucas, Grosicki, Niasse. Subs Not Used: Meyler, Elabdellaoui, Maloney, Marshall, Tymon.

Referee: M Dean. Attendance: 31,971. 

—————————————

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 – THIRTY YEARS, AND WE’RE STILL HERE 

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Leicester finally switch on to humble Liverpool

Leicester City 3:1 Liverpool

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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

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

 

 

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Leicester into the 5th round after finally seeing off Rams

Leicester City 3:1 Derby County aet

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City managed a morale boosting victory against Derby in this FA Cup 4th round replay at the KPS on Wednesday night, although the Championship side took the tie to extra time…

Claudio Ranieri made ten changes to his side, and Steve McClaren eight, showing that neither club considered the FA Cup a priority, but they eventually served up a highly entertaining game.
The first half did little to warm an admirably large crowd on a freezing night.
In the early exchanges, Gray crossed for Amartey to nod over the bar, and Anya skinned Wasilewski down the left but his cross was too high for Blackman.
Johnson then put Zieler under pressure from a high ball, but it bounced off the Derby man for a goal kick.
The game settled into a stalemate for a while, with City looking to hit the Rams on the break and Gray sent Musa into the area where he was bundled over by Shackell. There were loud appeals, but it didn’t quite look like a penalty.
City began to get the upper hand towards the break as an unfamiliar line-up got better acquainted. Gray was having a fine game and his low cross from the right following a great run, should have seen Musa sidefoot City ahead from close range, but he was slow to react.
There were more loud calls for a penalty five minutes before the break, when Chelwell was shoved in the back by Keogh, but referee Mike Jones waved play on again.
Derby had the final word in the first half with Butterfield forcing a save from Zieler, but De Sart wasted a good chance from the resulting corner, sending a mis-hit shot spinnng into the Kop Stand.

The deadlock was broken a minute after the break. Gray delivered a superb cross from the left, Albrighton nodded it back from just beyond the far post, and King headed home from point blank range. It was the lift that City needed and was greeted with a huge roar.
Derby were then awarded a free-kick on the edge of the area after a ball-winning challenge on Blackman by the impressive Benalouane, but Camara’s free kick was punched away by Zieler.
Five minutes later the visitors were awarded another free kick in a similar position when Albrighton was judged to have waved his foot too close to Butterfield’s head.
This time Camara’s shot looked to be covered by Zieler, but a big deflection off Chilwell in the wall left the German keeper stranded and the Rams were back in the game, to the delight of their large following.
Both sides were keen to avoid extra time and the action was end to end for a while.
Ranieri brought Mahrez on for Kapustka, who’d had a decent debut, while Nugent was given a good reception by the home crowd when he replaced Blackman.
With six minutes remaining, the ref got another big decision wrong. Musa raced after a ball down the right and Mitchell came out to meet him. Musa got to the ball first but his touch was clearly handled by the Rams keeper outside the area. It should have been a red card, but instead it was Musa who was shown yellow for his outraged reaction.
City were attacking in waves now, and there was another scare for Derby with a minute to go when Musa’s cross from the left was chested against the right hand post by Lowe as he attempted to shepherd the ball out for a corner.

Derby survived City’s late attacking spell, but fell behind four minutes into extra time in spectacular fashion. Mahrez threaded a fine ball through to substitute Ndidi, who strode down the middle before unleashing a 25 yard rocket in off the right hand post for his first goal for the club.
The other 90th minute sub didn’t fare so well soon afterwards, when Gray’s low cross saw Slimani unbalanced and unable to take the tap in that had been presented to him.
Derby were still battling and Russell headed narrowly wide from a Christie cross, but City were controlling the play and seeing plenty of the ball. King forced a good save from Mitchell who tipped his top corner effort round the post.
With 114 minutes on the clock, City finally settled this epic cup tie with a superb goal. Gray cut in from the left flank into the area, and wriggled past Keogh and Vydra before despatching the ball across Mitchell into the top right hand corner.
There was no way back for Derby, and City had a date with Millwall in the fifth round after a night that had lifted the mood around the club.

Claudio Ranieri’s gamble had paid off: “Derby played good football and we won. This is what we needed and I wanted. We want to do well in all competitions. We want to go forward in the FA Cup. The Premier League is not so good but we have to stay in the Premier League. This fresh air is good for the players.”

Leicester: Zieler, Amartey, Wasilewski, Benalouane, Chilwell, Mendy (Ndidi 90), King, Albrighton, Kapustka (Mahrez 81), Gray, Musa (Slimani 90). Subs Not Used: Drinkwater, Hamer, Okazaki, Fuchs.
Derby: Mitchell, Christie, Keogh, Shackell, Lowe, de Sart, Butterfield, Johnson (Vydra 53), Camara (Russell 74), Blackman (Nugent 82), Anya. Subs Not Used: Carson, Ince, Baird, Pearce.

Referee: M Jones. Attendance: 31, 648.

———————————————————————
The Champions cards that we produced to celebrate City’s greatest achievment in the
history of all sport, ever, have now sold out. But do not despair if you didn’t manage to lay your hands on a set. We have now made them available as an A4 sized print which you can have either framed, or the print on its own to frame yourself…frame
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‘Embarrassing’ Leicester collapse against Manchester United

Leicester City 0:3 Manchester United

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Three goals in eight minutes, either side of the break, were enough to see City buried by United at the KPS on Sunday evening…

Claudio Ranieri made two changes to his side, with Musa and Okazaki in for Gray and Albrighton, and City got off to a decent start.
City probed United’s defence with free-kicks and corners, but United had the first shot on target when Rojo curled an effort straight at Schmeichel.
Vardy then sent Musa into the area, but Bailly produced a fine tackle to deny him a shot on goal.
At the other end Mkhitaryan teed up Rashford, but the youngster fired a hurried over from a good position.
Mata was very lucky not to see red for a two footed and late challenge that sent Vardy spinning through the air on 28 minutes, and United had gradually taken control of the game.
In the 35th minute an Ibrahimovic turn set up Pogba, who fed Rashford in the area. Schmeichel got down smartly to his low shot and turned round the foot of the post.
It was all United now, but any hopes that City could make it to the break on level terms were cruelly dashed.
In the 42nd minute Mkhitaryan knocked the ball round Huth on the halfway line and sprinted for goal, outpacing Morgan and angling a shot in off Schmeichel’s right knee.
If this was a big blow for City, then worse was to follow just over a minute later.
Valencia’s low cross from the right, found Ibrahimovic unmarked and he side-footed past Schmeichel from the penalty spot.
Just before the break Okazaki had a shot blocked by Pogba, but Ndidi’s well-struck follow up was too close to de Gea to trouble him.

It was difficult to see a way back for a side that hadn’t scored a league goal in 2017, and things got worse early in the second half.
City, with King and Gray on for Musa and Okazaki, were defeated by the 49th minute.
Mata and Mkhitaryan combined well in the box to unzip City’s defence with ease and Mata prodded the ball under Schmeichel from close range, putting the game to bed.

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It was damage limitation now, and Schmeichel got down well to an angled drive from Rashford.
City spent the rest of the game chasing shadows, a Mahrez free-kick into the sidenetting being the closest they came to a consolation goal.
The only other incidents involved bookings to Herrera, Pogba, Valencia and de Gea, as United showed a level of commitment that had long deserted City.
Schmeichel produced a fine save late on to deny Pogba and he was one of the few City players who deserved any credit on the night.
The City keeper was brutally honest after the game:
“Let’s not talk about last season. It’s gone. There are a lot of factors that go into it but this season has not been good right from the start. We are a group of players low on confidence but not low on fight. It is not a comfortable situation. It has been terrible, embarrassing. It is time for each one of us – from the top to the bottom of this club – to stand up and be counted. If we don’t, we will be relegated.”

Leicester: Schmeichel, Simpson, Morgan, Huth, Fuchs, Drinkwater, Ndidi, Mahrez, Okazaki (Gray 46), Musa (King 46), Vardy. Subs Not Used: Chilwell, Albrighton, Kapustka, Zieler, Benalouane.
United: de Gea, Valencia, Bailly, Smalling, Rojo (Blind 46), Mata (Fellaini 77), Ander Herrera, Pogba, Mkhitaryan, Rashford (Young 83), Ibrahimovic. Subs Not Used: Martial, Lingard, Carrick, Romero.

Referee: A Taylor. Attendance: 32,072. 

————————————————

The Champions cards that we produced to celebrate City’s greatest achievment in the
history of all sport, ever, have now sold out. But do not despair if you didn’t manage to lay your hands on a set. We have now made them available as an A4 sized print which you can have either framed, or the print on its own to frame yourself…frame
The framed print costs £11.80 inc postage — pay via Paypal HERE
while the unframed one is £6.50 inc postage — pay via paypal HERE 
or send a cheque or cash to our new address:
The FOX,
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Littlethorpe,
LEICESTER
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Leicester outplayed by leaders Chelsea

Leicester City 0:3 Chelsea

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City were no match for Chelsea at the KPS on Saturday evening, the league leaders easing the Champions out with a comfortable 3-0 win…

Claudio Ranieri made three changes to his side with Vardy, Fuchs and Musa returning for Simpson, Ulloa and Gray.
The 3-5-2 formation was tailored to combat Chelsea’s game, but seemed to be an awkward fit that took the players time to adapt to. Although it was City who almost took a second minute lead with their first attack.  Musa battled his way past Azpilicueta on the left and fired in a shot from a tight angle that Courtois managed to block.
But Chelsea took a 6th minute lead with City’s defence all at sea. Azpilicueta hoisted a ball into the box which City’s back-line failed to clear despite having two touches. Hazard squared neatly to the unmarked Alonso who curled the ball round Schmeichel and in at the far post.

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City bounced back with a decent attacking spell which saw a number of well delivered crosses from Albrighton. One just went behind Vardy, one was headed wide by Chilwell, and the others were snuffed out by Chelsea’s defence.
In the 36th minute, Vardy turned Cahill on the right and fizzed in a low cross which Courtois did well to tip away from Musa.
Chelsea should have gone 2-0 up just before the break when Hazard set Pedro up, but he blazed his chance over from 15 yards.

City had just about matched the best side in the country for 45 minutes, but sadly that wasn’t the case after the break and the game was gone when Alonso repeated his trick of a sixth minute goal.
A Willian free-kick from the right was cleared only as far as Alonso in the D and he was given time to line up a shot that deflected in off Morgan, taking it past Schmeichel’s outstretched hand.

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An impressive Chelsea were in complete control of the game at this stage
and Morgan did well to deny Hazard as he attempted to pick his way through the defence.
Ranieri made his first change on the hour, bringing Okazaki on for Huth.
Chelsea continued to pass their way round City: Cahill had an overhead kick blocked by Morgan and then Alonso came within three inches of a hat trick, sending a low shot just wide of the post.
Chelsea put the game beyond doubt in the 71st minute. Kante played the ball into the area, Pedro cleverly backheeled on the spin to Willian on the right, his cross span up off Schmeichel and Pedro was on hand to nod the ball past Morgan.

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The rest of the game was a training exercise played out in an emptying stadium.
City’s second half performance had been truly woeful.

Claudio Ranieri didn’t appear to agree with the concensus of opinion: “I’m happy with the performance – we tried to do our best. Of course, I’m not happy that we conceded a goal at the beginning of the first half and the beginning of the second half, but if you take out those two goals, the match was good for us. We closed the space, we mirrored Chelsea with a 3-5-2 and it was good.”

Leicester: Schmeichel, Morgan, Huth (Okazaki 60), Fuchs, Chilwell, Mendy, Drinkwater, Ndidi, Albrighton (Simpson 77), Musa (Gray 71), Vardy. Subs Not Used: Zieler, Wasilewski, King, Kapustka.
Chelsea: Courtois, Alonso, Kante, Hazard (Fabregas 79), Pedro (Loftus-Cheek 84), Moses, Matic, Willian (Batshuayi 84), Cahill, Azpilicueta, Luiz. Subs Not Used: Begovic, Ivanovic, Zouma, Chalobah.

Referee: A Marriner. Attendance: 32,066.

PHOTOS: Simon Kimber

———————————————————————
The Champions cards that we produced to celebrate City’s greatest achievment in the
history of all sport, ever, have now sold out. But do not despair if you didn’t manage to lay your hands on a set. We have now made them available as an A4 sized print which you can have either framed, or the print on its own to frame yourself…frame
The framed print costs £11.80 inc postage — pay via Paypal HERE
while the unframed one is £6.50 inc postage — pay via paypal HERE 
or send a cheque or cash to our new address:
The FOX,
22 Cosby Road,
Littlethorpe,
LEICESTER
LE19 2HF.

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Leicester end 2016 on a winning note

Leicester City 1:0 West Ham United

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The greatest year in Leicester City’s history ended with a hard-fought 1-0 victory against West Ham at the King Power Stadium on Saturday…

Claudio Ranieri brought Mahrez, Drinkwater and Huth back into the starting XI (with Chilwell retaining his place) and changed formation, with Mahrez operating freely behind lone striker Slimani.
City went at West Ham right from the kick off, Slimani setting up Mahrez for an acrobatic shot that tested Randolph in the Hammers’ goal.
Two minutes later City threatened again: a well-measured Drinkwater ball sent Albrighton haring down the right and he delivered a cross that Slimani met with a header that rattled the left hand post.
West Ham began to press forward having weathered the early assault. Cresswell had a fierce shot blocked, and then saw his dangerous cross intercepted by Morgan.
Drinkwater went close with a volley in the 19th minute, and then City raised the roof soon after with an opening goal.
Albrighton sent over another fine cross from the right and Slimani’s thumping far post header went back across Randolph and into the net.

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It was the goal that City, and Slimani, desperately needed and it gave the home crowd a real lift.
City continued to press forward and Ogbonna went close to scoring an own goal as he blocked an Albrighton cross.
But as half time approached, West Ham gained control of the game and City had some defending to do. An incisive Noble ball almost set up Antonio on the penalty spot before Simpson’s timely intervention. This led to a scramble on the six yard line before Amartey managed to hack the ball clear.
The Hammers then came within inches of an equaliser when a Cresswell cross from the left was met on the half-volley by Antonio, but his effort hit the bar.
It was an end-to-end encounter now and both sides went close from free-kicks on the edge of the area. Huth’s ball-winning challenge on Payet was punished by referee Andrew Taylor. Payet’s curling effort into the bottom right hand corner was tipped away by Schmeichel.

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Gray then broke upfield on a lone raid and was fouled by Reid.
Mahrez’s free-kick was heading for the top right hand corner when Randolph got a hand to it at full stretch.
City took the precious lead in with them at the break, but knew that they faced a hard battle in the second half.
Although West Ham had more possession, they were being kept at bay by City, until a close call in the 67th minute.
Cresswell’s well-struck free kick from the right took a deflection of Chilwell, but Schmeichel managed to change direction to pounce on the loose ball.
Claudio Ranieri made his first change with 20 minutes remaining, bringing on Fuchs for Mahrez and pushing Chilwell forward.
Payet went on a run though City’s defence, but his shot went tamely at Schmeichel.

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With ten minutes remaining, City were beginning to look a bit laboured and Ranieri injected new life into the performance, bringing on Okazaki and Ulloa for Gray and Slimani. This had the desired effect and the tide turned with City now pressing forward.
Chilwell connected well with a shot from inside the area but Carroll blocked.
With five minutes remaining Cresswell crossed from the left but Carroll’s free-header went a yard wide from close in.
During six minutes of time added on, Simpson blocked Ogbonna’s header, and City had done enough to earn a very welcome three points.

It was a fitting end to 2016, as Claudio Ranieri enthused: “It is very important to get three points to close our fantastic year – it was unbelievable for us. Of course, it is very important for our table, twenty points. Forty is considered the magic number to survive relegation, and we are halfway through.
Our first thirty minutes were fantastic. In the second half we closed all the space very well and tried to score a goal. It’s important now to improve our confidence and be solid and strong.”

Leicester: Schmeichel; Simpson, Morgan, Huth, Chilwell; Drinkwater, Amartey; Gray (Okazaki 80), Mahrez (Fuchs 70), Albrighton; Slimani (Ulloa 82).Subs Not Used: Zieler, King, Mendy, Musa.
West Ham: Randolph, Reid, Cresswell, Nordtveit, Kouyate (Fernandes 78), Carroll, Noble (Lanzini 57), Ayew (Feghouli 64), Ogbonna, Payet, Antonio. Subs Not Used: Adrian, Obiang, Fletcher, Quina.

Referee: A Taylor. Attendance: 32,060.

PHOTOS: Simon Kimber. 
———————————————————————
The Champions cards that we produced to celebrate City’s greatest achievment in the
history of all sport, ever, have now sold out. But do not despair if you didn’t manage to lay your hands on a set. We have now made them available as an A4 sized print which you can have either framed, or the print on its own to frame yourself…frameThe framed print costs £11.80 inc postage — pay via Paypal HERE
while the unframed one is £6.50 inc postage — pay via paypal HERE 
or send a cheque or cash to our new address:
The FOX,
22 Cosby Road,
Littlethorpe,
LEICESTER
LE19 2HF.

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Filed under Uncategorized