Millwall 2:1 Leicester City
City were, once again, guilty of failing to ‘turn up’ when it really mattered and Millwall deservedly took all three points from this vital fixture.
Nigel Pearson made two changes from the side that won so well at Ipswich on Easter Monday and chose to bring back King and Gallagher in place of Dyer and the unfortunate Drinkwater.
It was City who started more positively and for twenty minutes they dictated the pace of the game and knocked the ball around well but failed to trouble Taylor with any serious efforts on goal. Nevertheless, it was still against the run of play when Millwall took the lead from a set piece after 20 minutes. Henry floated a free kick to the far post where Robinson knocked the ball down and as City defenders were ball-watching, Kane (on loan from Spurs) had too much time to tee himself up for a shot in to the roof of the net.
After that it was Millwall who settled down and played their own game of defend deep and counter-attack which they did very well although City could have equalised within two minutes of Kane’s goal when Morgan set up Nugent for a shot from ten yards that Taylor did very well to keep out.
Half time arrived with City fans hoping for a second-half turnaround in fortunes that sadly, never arrived. The Lions continued to show more desire and work rate and it was no surprise when they doubled their lead after Konchesky had brought down Kane for a stonewall penalty. Keogh stepped up and did a ‘van Persie’ which gave Schmeichel no chance.
It could have been three soon afterwards when a long-range, dipping effort from Wright was tipped on to the bar by Schmeichel although the referee gave a goal kick.
Nigel Pearson had already introduced Dyer and Drinkwater in to the action during the second half but the arrival of Howard sent a number of travelling City fans heading to the exits. City did get a goal back with 8 minutes remaining when Nugent rolled the ball in to the path of Drinkwater who side-footed past Taylor from twenty yards. It was too little, too late though and the game finished with Millwall defending their lead comfortably and their supporters making a huge noise as they enjoyed the fact that they were safe and will be playing in The Championship again next season.
The final whistle brought some boos from the large travelling contingent and Konchesky appeared to give the ‘finger’ to one particularly vocal critic (he has since apologised via Twitter).
So City’s season stutters again and they find themselves beaten by a side that showed more desire. It was a poor game played out by two poor sides with Millwall doing enough to fashion two goals. It is also a typical match in this division and City haven’t found the right formula to rise above it yet.
If we look up then we can see Reading and Southampton leading the way with squads of players that are no better than ours but they have astute managers that know what is needed to consistently win matches in this division. We don’t seem to have cracked that code yet.
Millwall: Taylor, Smith, Robinson, Lowry, Craig, Henry (Trotter 84), Abdou, Wright, Barron, Keogh (Batt 90), Kane. Unused Subs: Forde, Dunne, Feeney.
Leicester: Schmeichel, Peliter (Howard 76), Morgan, Bamba, Konchesky, Gallagher (Dyer 58), Wellens (Drinkwater 69), King, Marshall, Beckford, Nugent. Unused Subs: St Ledger, Schlupp.
Referee: P Gibbs (West Midlands). Attendance: 11,525.