Leicester City 5:1 Queens Park Rangers
City signed off the remarkable 2014-15 season with a comprehensive 5-1 victory over QPR at the KPS on Sunday…
Tradition demands that Leicester’s last game of the season is something of a carnival – this was the Birch’s 35th annual run – and this year the atmosphere was boosted further as the incredible and unprecedented Great Escape was celebrated.
Nigel Pearson named an unchanged side from the Sunderland game that confirmed City’s Premier League place for next season, and they soon set about already-relegated Rangers.
Vardy set up Ulloa for a curling effort which went narrowly wide and then Schlupp fired into the side-netting before City took a 16th minute lead.
A long range effort from Mahrez caused keeper McCarthy problems and he presented the ball, gift-wrapped, for Vardy who had only to pass the ball into the net from close in.
With the City defence looking solid QPR were restricted to off-target efforts from Phillips and Onuoha, while Ulloa fired over from an Albrighton cross.
City then doubled their lead two minutes before the break when good work from Schlupp saw the ball sit up for Albrighton inside the area and his emphatic connection with the ball didn’t give McCarthy a chance to move.
Six minutes after the break the free flags were waving again as Ulloa diverted a Morgan shot into the net to make it 3-0 and a fourth followed a minute later. An Albrighton cross saw a headed clearance from Dunne, which fell for Cambiasso who despatched it precisely across McCarthy and into the far corner on the half-volley.
Five minutes later the QPR fans had something to cheer when Austin nodded home from a Barton cross, but even that was tinged with sadness as his wave to the away corner was surely a farewell.
The question of whether Cambiasso was also waving goodbye when he made way for Drinkwater in the 76th minute will also be answered in time, though he was left in no doubt as to whether the fans wanted him to stay.
With four minutes remaining City hit a fifth when a Schmeichel clearance saw Ulloa win a challenge and send Kramarić in down the right. His shot across McCarthy was his first goal in front of the home crowd.
The final whistle brought the curtain down on a remarkable season, in which City spent 140 days at the foot of the Premier League, but somehow rescued themselves, even achieving a mid-table 14th place.
As the entire staff, players, wives, girlfiends and kids went on a Lap of Appreciation it felt a little bit like instant promotion.
It may turn out to be one of the biggest turning points in the history of our club…
Leicester: Schmeichel, Wasilewski (De Laet 46), Morgan, Huth, Schlupp, King, Albrighton, Cambiasso (Drinkwater 76), Ulloa, Vardy (Kramarić 65), Mahrez, Subs Not Used: Konchesky, Hammond, Schwarzer, Wood.
QPR: McCarthy, Hill, Phillips, Barton, Austin, Fer, Yun (Kpekawa 85), Onuoha, Henry (Comley 80), Dunne, Grego-Cox. Subs Not Used: Murphy, Hoilett, Doughty, Furlong, Petrasso.
Referee: M Oliver. Attendance: 31, 467.
ALL PHOTOS: Simon Kimber
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