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Ricardo cracker sees Leicester beat the Champions

Leicester City 2:1 Manchester City

Leicester City v Manchester City - Premier League

City came from behind to beat Manchester City at the KPS on Boxing Day, with a scorching 81st minute winner from Ricardo Pereira…

Claude Puel stuck with the same starting line-up from the win at Chelsea for the visit of the Champions and it was to produce another victory.
Man City hogged possession in the early stages but City looked fairly comfortable at the back, until they were unlocked in the 14th minute.
Aguero fed a ball through to Bernardo Silva who timed his run perfectly to stay onside and had time to place his shot past Schmeichel.

Leicester City v Manchester City - Premier League

Although going a goal down to a side like Man City early on can deaden the atmosphere, City struck back five minutes later. After a period of pressure from the visitors, which saw shots straight at Schmeichel from Sané and De Bruyne, City broke upfield.
Vardy cut in from the left and sent a ball over to the far post where Albrighton had raced clear of his marker to nod the ball back across Ederson and into the net.
Man City applied the pressure again, but on the half hour Claude Puel wrote a short letter to Maddison, informing him that he was to play behind Vardy, with Choudhury moving to the right and Albrighton to the left.

Leicester City v Manchester City - Premier League

After this switch round, City were the better side and began to create much more going forward.
They had a scare in the 37th minute though, when some poor distribution from Schmeichel led to Sané squaring to Aguero, who jabbed the ball over the bar from six yards.
Maddison had a shot saved by Ederson at his near post, and then a Chilwell cross from the left found Choudhury at the far post but he didn’t get good contact on a difficult chance and the ball went across the goalmouth before it was cleared by Stones.

Leicester City v Manchester City - Premier League

Maddison and Maguire also sent chances wide as City dominated up to the break and it was the visitors who were happiest to hear the half time whistle.

Maddison had the first chance of the second half, but sent his long range effort a couple of yards wide.
Although the visitors weren’t at their best they were still a constant threat and City had to work hard, hunt in packs, and get their tackles in.
Maguire went in a bit too hard, clattering Bernardo Silva from behind to pick up a yellow card, but he made amends clearing the free-kick with a towering header.
Man City were pressing hard now and Claude Puel made a change in the 62nd minute, bringing Gray on for Choudhury, who was cheered to the rafters.
Morgan produced a fine block to deny Sané, and Schmeichel slid out to smother a De Bruyne effort and the Champions continued to threaten, but City had a good chance of their own. Maddison sent Vardy in down the left, but Laporte got in with a fine block tackle as he pulled the trigger.
Maguire did the same at the other end to rob Sané as he looked to be clear on goal. With Maguire on a yellow it had to be a perfectly timed challenge, and it was.

Leicester City v Manchester City - Premier League

Man City appeared to be running out of steam, and another change, Simpson on for Maddison in the 77th minute, appeared to turn the tide with Ricardo free to go forward.
City pressed forward, and earned a corner in the 81st minute. Albrighton’s delivery was poor, with Sané heading it away from the far post. The loose ball went to Ricardo, 18 yards out, and he took a touch before lashing it across the crowded penalty area, beyond Ederson and into the net.
The KPS exploded with joy and City were nine minutes away from an unlikely Christmas double.

Leicester City v Manchester City - Premier League

Pep Guardiola brought Mahrez on for Bernado Silva, but City were looking comfortable at the back and managing the game well. Sané fired a shot well over, as did Gray at the other end. The final change came in the 88th minute when Okazaki replaced Vardy, but then Man City were reduced to ten men when Delph followed through after a challenge and caught Ricardo on the knee. Although Ricardo swiftly got back to his feet referee Mike Dean had a quick consultation with his linesman and produced a straight red.
City retained possession well for the remainder of the game and the final whistle confirmed a second superb victory in four days.
The six points against top six opponents shifted City up to 7th place and relieved what had been mounting pressure on Claude Puel.
Puel commented: “We need now to maintain a level. I will see the recovery of the players. The most important game will be against Cardiff. We created the upset but we played against top sides. It was just a challenge. I would like to congratulate my players – it was amazing.”

It was indeed amazing. Merry Christmas.

Leicester: Schmeichel, Ricardo, Morgan, Maguire, Chilwell, Choudhury (Gray 63), Mendy, Ndidi, Albrighton, Vardy (Okazaki 88), Maddison (Simpson 78).
Substitutes: Evans, Ward, Iborra, Ghezzal.
Man City: Ederson, Danilo, Stones, Laporte, Delph, De Bruyne (Silva 70), Gündogan, Bernardo Silva (Mahrez 83), Sterling, Agüero, Sané.
Substitutes: Walker, Otamendi, Zinchenko, Foden, Muric.

Referee: Mike Dean. Attendance: 32,090.

PHOTOS: Simon Kimber.
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FOX 210 is out now and is dedicated to the memory of Vichai Srivaddhanaprabh and the others who died in the tragedy at the King Power Stadium.
Many thanks to everyone who contributed and we hope it is a fitting tribute.

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If you want to order a copy you can do so HERE and it will be posted out to you.

 

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Leicester fail from the penalty spot after battling to a draw

Leicester City 1:1 Manchester City

(Man City win 3:1 on penalties)

Leicester City v ManchesterCity - Carabao Cup Quarter Final

City bowed out of the Carabao Cup on Tuesday night after a 1-1 draw with Man City was followed by a disastrous penalty shoot-out…

Claude Puel repeated his strategy of making seven changes against the Champions, almost a year to the day after the two sides met at the same stage of the competition.
With a possible semi-final against Burton up for grabs this was a source of great frustration for many fans.
Although Pep Guardiola made eight changes, it was still a strong line-up that included Riyad Mahrez.
Man City stroked the ball around for the opening spell, though the City defence got some decent blocks and tackles in.  But a moment of sublime skill saw the visitors take a 14th minute lead. De Bruyne played the ball off his own leg to change direction and found the bottom left hand corner from 20 yards.
It looked like it might be a very long night at this stage. Man City kept the pressure on, and Mahrez skied one effort from close in and then sent a free kick straight into the wall.

Leicester City v ManchesterCity - Carabao Cup Quarter Final

At the 20 minute mark City started to get a few moves going and Fuchs sent a long ball forward to Iheanacho who took too long to get in his stride and was tackled by Garcia.
Gray then took a shot from 20 yards that had to be guided round the post by Muric.
In the driving rain a few choice sliding tackles were going in, but Choudhury and Ndidi both escaped yellow cards for challenges on Zinchenko and Mahrez.
While Man City dominated up to the half time whistle City’s dogged defence, or the linesman’s flag managed to keep them at bay.
After Ward saved a Mahrez cross from the left, and VAR decided that Ndidi hadn’t fouled Diaz in the area, the half time whistle saw City still in the game.

An Iborra error in midfield allowed Man City an early chance, but Ward did well to come out and block Aguero’s shot.
In the 53rd minute Claude Puel made his first change, bringing Maddison on for Ghezzal. This worked well, with City enjoying more possession, and a second change came in the 61st minute with Albrighton on for Iborra. Albrighton soon earned a corner, which ended with Maguire sending a tame header at Muric.
Sterling came on for Man City and instantly created a chance for Mahrez which missed the target. City then had a chance at the other end when a quickly taken free-kick from Maddison sent Iheanacho in down the left, but again he appeared to have no confidence whatsoever and the move fizzled out.
But City levelled with a superbly taken goal in the 73rd minute. Ndidi sent a looping pass to meet Albrighton’s run into the right channel and his brilliant first touch set him up to crash the ball past Muric.

Leicester City v ManchesterCity - Carabao Cup Quarter Final

The visitors applied the pressure in an attempt to regain the lead.
Mahrez attempted to curl a shot in at the far post when he should have pulled it back to a queue of team-mates, and Choudhury got in a last ditch tackle on Jesus in the area that was checked by VAR but rightly judged to be a fair one.
Puel then tried to tighten things up, bringing on Ricardo for the hapless Iheanacho.
The excellent Choudhury then applied enough pressure on Gundogan to force his shot wide, and then dispossessed Jesus in a dangerous position, before the final whistle heralded yet another Carabao Cup penalty shoot-out.

Maguire took the first one, at the Kop end for a change,  and although Muric got a hand to it, it had just enough pace to beat him.
Gundogan took the next, and Ward got a touch but to his frustration it also went in.
Fuchs then scooped his effort over the bar to give the visitors the advantage.
That advantage was soon gone when Sterling attempted a ‘Panenka’ lobbing the ball down the middle, but also clearing the bar in the process. A delighted Ward laughed in his face.
But the laughter ceased when Maddison came in with a stuttering run, sending a horribly feeble effort well within Muric’s reach.
Jesus also tried an over-elaborate approach, which led to him falling over, but he got enough contact to beat Ward.
Söyüncü had apparently learned nothing from the previous attempts, starting, stopping, starting again and stopping again before presenting Muric with an easy save to his left.
Zinchenko then fired in the first decent penalty of the night to send Man City into the semi-finals.

Leicester City v ManchesterCity - Carabao Cup Quarter Final

It all seemed like a dreadful waste after City had battled to stay in the tie, as one of the doors that could have led to this being more than a very ordinary season slammed shut.

Leicester: Ward, Simpson, Söyüncü, Maguire, Fuchs, Ghezzal (Maddison 53), Choudhury, Iborra (Albrighton 61), Ndidi, Gray, Iheanacho (Ricardo 81).
Substitutes: Morgan, Jakupovic, Okazaki, Mendy.
Man City: Muric, Walker, Garcia, Otamendi, Zinchenko, De Bruyne (Gündogan 71), Stones, Foden, Mahrez, Agüero (Jesus 76), Diaz (Sterling 66).
Substitutes: Delph, Ederson, Sandler, Nmecha.

Referee: Lee Mason. Attendance: 24,644.

PHOTOS: Simon Kimber.
_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

FOX 210 is out now and is dedicated to the memory of Vichai Srivaddhanaprabh and the others who died in the tragedy at the King Power Stadium.
Many thanks to everyone who contributed and we hope it is a fitting tribute.

vichai issue

If you want to order a copy you can do so HERE and it will be posted out to you.

 

 

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Leicester’s defensive frailties exposed by Bournemouth

AFC Bournemouth 4:2 Leicester City

1819 bournemouth away a.jpg

City’s defensive set-up was unzipped by Bournemouth who won 4-2 at the Vitality Stadium on Saturday…

Claude Puel made one change for this trip to a sun-drenched south coast, with Vardy returning from suspension and Albrighton making way.
Vardy looked eager to be back in the action and Maddison set him up for a 4th minute chance which he sent wide. Four minutes later a fine through-ball from Ghezzal sent Vardy clear on goal but Begovic came swiftly off his line to block. Vardy’s penalty appeals, he’d poked the ball past the keeper before being brought down, did not move Craig Pawson.
Maguire then got an early yellow card for bringing Wilson down after giving the ball away.
There were penalty appeals at the other end, when Ricardo clipped Fraser as he made his way into the area, but he went down a little too easily and a goal-kick was awarded.
But the Cherries didn’t have long to wait for a goal. In the 19th minute they moved swiftly upfield on the break and with Ricardo caught out of position Fraser was given plenty of room to move to the edge of the area before clipping a fine finish just inside the right hand post.
City had a chance to strike back in the 25th minute when Maddison was brought down on the edge of the area, but his free-kick went straight into the wall.
Three minutes later City were lucky to have 11 men on the field when Maguire crashed into King in front of the dug-outs. It looked an obvious second yellow, as the home bench were demanding, but Pawson let the England defender off the hook.
City’s best chance of the half came in the 34th minute. A smart turn from Maddison gave him space to set up Vardy in the area. His fierce shot was well saved by Begovic and the ball rebounded to Maddison whose shot hit the keeper’s elbow, and bounced up onto the bar. It had looked for a moment like 1-1, but was soon 2-0.
Another fast break saw Wilson feed a ball to Fraser and Maguire could not keep pace with him as he slotted the ball past Schmeichel.
Three minutes later it was game over when the ball jumped up and hit Ricardo on the arm, Pawson not hesitating to point the spot. King sent Schmeichel the wrong way with his penalty to increase City’s misery.
In time-added-on, the centre-halves’ afternoon of struggle was underlined when Morgan was booked for wrestling with King.

Bournemouth applied some early second half pressure, with Ricardo presenting King with a shooting opportunity, but Maguire blocked.
Maddison was trying to make things happen at the other end, but Ndidi couldn’t get a head to his free-kick, and then his weak shot went straight at Begovic.
Something had to change and Puel brought on Iheanacho and Albrighton for Gray and Ghezzal on the hour.
There was an improvement with an attacking spell from City, but the best chance, a Maguire header, was tipped round the post by Begovic.
City were then reduced to ten men, and it looked very harsh. Morgan won a 50-50 contest with Smith but Pawson judged it to be dangerous and produced a second yellow.
Bournemouth added a fourth in the 81st minute when Fraser eased his way past Ricardo down the left and cut the ball back for Smith, who side-footed it home from 12 yards.
With the game lost, City then scored in the 88th and 89th minutes to reduce the sting of the scoreline a little.
Ricardo was bundled over in the box and Maddison sent Begovic the wrong way from 12 yards. The fairly ironic celebrations in the away section had hardly died down when Iheanacho crossed from the right and Albrighton timed his run to send a glancing header past Begovic.
In the dying seconds Chilwell sent a shot narrowly past the post but any thoughts of ‘what if?’ were snuffed out by the final whistle.
This late entertainment couldn’t disguise a poor outing for City, or the fact that Puel’s defensive system needs a fundamental re-think, with a wing-back mentality not working with a four-man back line.

Bournemouth: Begovic, A Smith, S Cook, Aké, Rico, Brooks (Francis 68), Lerma (L Cook 78), Gosling, Fraser, King (Mousset 85), Wilson.
Substitutes: Boruc, Surman, Ibe, Defoe.
Leicester: Schmeichel, Ricardo, Morgan, Maguire, Chilwell, Ndidi, Mendy, Ghezzal (Albrighton 61), Maddison, Gray (Iheanacho 61), Vardy (Evans 84).
Substitutes: Ward, Amartey, Iborra, Fuchs.

Referee: Craig Pawson. Attendance: 10,543.

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Leicester held by Hammers as bright start fades

West Ham United 1:1 Leicester City

1718 west ham away b

City failed to build on a good start at the London Stadium on Friday night, allowing West Ham back into the game for a 1-1 draw…

Claude Puel named an unchanged side for this Friday night trip to East London, and after a opening spell that was bogged down in midfield, they took an eighth minute lead against David Moyes’ side.
Ndidi emerged from the midfield morass to feed Vardy in down the left and his low cross was missed by Ogbonna allowing Albrighton to slide in with an improvised finish from 12 yards.

1718 west ham away a

This did nothing to improve the mood of the home fans, nor did the fact that City had the lion’s share of the ball for much of the first half, though few chances were created by the new brand of possession football.
There was a good shout for a penalty in the 22nd minute when Albrighton was bounced out of a challenge by Masuaku as he bore down on goal, but Martin Atkinson waved his appeals away.
Vardy then had a decent chance smothered with a timely block from Arnautovic. The resulting corner was headed out as far as Fuchs who had time to line up a shot but sent it high and wide.
As half-time approached, West Ham got a foothold in the game and threatened with a series of set-pieces.
Schmeichel did well to beat away an Ogbonna header from a free-kick, and then punched a Lanzini free-kick clear of danger.
City threatened on the break a couple of times, but Mahrez delievered a tame shot straight into Hart’s grasp, and a shot from Vardy went a yard wide of the far post.
West Ham applied some pressure late in the half, and from a Lanzini corner Kouyate muscled his way through a crowd on the six yard line to head the ball home via Simpson’s shoulder.

Although City still had more possession early in the second half, their passing in the final third was poor and West Ham gradually grew in confidence.
Masuaka cut in from the left and fired in a shot which Schmeichel smothered.
It was a poor spectacle at this stage with the game settling into a stalemate and several lengthy stoppages for injuries.
Puel brought Chilwell on for Mahrez in the 70th minute, but City didn’t improve.
The closest either side came to scoring was an Ayew overhead kick following a scramble from a corner, but it cleared the crossbar.
Both sides had to settle for a point from a forgettable game.

Claude Puel summed up:  “Our first half performance gives us confidence for the future because we showed good quality with the ball, we moved it well and found good space but we couldn’t score a second goal, but the way we played was promising for the future, but after that it was frustration.”

West Ham: Hart, Zabaleta, Reid, Ogbonna, Cresswell, Kouyaté, Obiang, Arnautovic (Ayew 69), Lanzini, Masuaku (Sakho 90), Carroll.
Substitutes: Adrián, Noble, Fernandes, Quina, Rice.
Leicester: Schmeichel, Simpson, Morgan, Maguire, Fuchs, Albrighton, Ndidi, Iborra, Gray (Slimani 90), Mahrez (Chilwell 70), Vardy.
Substitutes: Iheanacho, King, Hamer, Dragovic, Okazaki.
Referee: M Atkinson. Attendance: 56,897.

____________________________________________________________

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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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Everton end Leicester’s winning run

Everton 4:2 Leicester City

1617 everton away a

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.

1617 everton away b

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. 

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Late Leicester show sees off Sunderland

Leicester City 2:0 Sunderland

1617 sunderland home d

City recovered from a disjointed first half performance to mark up their fifth consecutive Premier League win, against Sunderland at the KPS on Tuesday night.

Craig Shakespeare made no changes to his side against bottom placed and seemingly doomed Sunderland, but City struggled to get their game together in a frustrating first half.
After an early chance for City when a Gray cross from the left was met by a near post flick from Okazaki, that went wide, the game settled into a pattern of Sunderland defending resolutely while attempting to counter attack on the flanks.
Larsson wa sa threat for the visitors, with one cross being nodded behind for a corner by Simpson, and another setting up Defoe for an off target effort.
In an even encounter, Huth forced a back-pedalling save from Pickford after getting his head to a Mahrez free kick, and Defoe sent a 25 yard shot wide. Ndong also capped a strong run with a near miss, before Gray cut in from the left, but his attempted curler into the top right, was finger-tipped wide by Pickford.
At the half time whistle Sunderland had just about had the best of the opening half, while City had struggled to get their passing game going.

The second half continued in much the same vein. Sunderland, now nine hours without a goal, had a couple of on target shots from Larsson and Defoe, but both went straight at Schmeichel.
Craig Shakespeare made a double substitution in the 62nd minute, with Albrighton and Slimani on for Gray and Okazaki, and it took just seven minutes to reap its reward.
1617 sunderland home a

City immediately looked better for the change, and a downward header from Huth forced a good save from Pickford.
Then the two subs combined to give City a 69th minute lead.
Albrighton delivered an inviting cross from the left, and Slimani nodded it home from six yards out.
City kept the pressure up, with Slimani and Vardy both off target with decent chances, before they got a scare at the other end.
In the 77th minute an Anichebe shot took a slight deflection off Huth onto the post. Defoe, following up on the rebound, could only find the side-netting.

1617 sunderland home b

Just a minute later City put the game to bed with a second goal, Albrighton the creator again. He chased what looked like a lost cause to beat Jones to a loose ball on the left, and then found Vardy in the middle with a slide rule pass which the England striker slammed home from 14 yards out.

1617 sunderland home c

It was City’s fifth win from five Premier League games since Shakespeare took the reins, and took them into the top half of the table.

The City boss still urged a note of caution: “I couldn’t imagine going on this winning run when i got the job, especially when I saw the games in front of us. But it doesn’t seem easy and I’ve never felt really comfortable until the final whistle. I am still not going to say that we are safe, because other teams are capable of going on good runs. I have been in football for long enough to know anything can happen. We have to make sure we stay focused and move onto the next one.”

Leicester: Schmeichel, Simpson, Benalouane, Huth, Fuchs, Mahrez, Ndidi (King 82), Drinkwater, Gray (Albrighton 62), Vardy, Okazaki (Slimani 62). Subs Not Used: Chilwell, Amartey, Zieler, Ulloa.
Sunderland: Pickford, Jones, Kone, Denayer, Oviedo, Cattermole (Anichebe 73), Ndong, Rodwell (Gibson 80), Larsson (Khazri 73), Defoe, Borini. Subs Not Used: Mannone, Djilobodji, Manquillo, Januzaj.

Referee: G Scott. Attendance: 31,757. 

PHOTOS: Simon Kimber

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