Leicester City 2:0 Middlesbrough
City ended the regular season with a fifth consecutive win at home to Middlesbrough despite seven changes to the side with: Logan, McGivern, Solano, N’Guessan, Wellens, Kermogant and Bruce starting.
The freezing cold wind wasn’t typical last day of the season weather, but those partaking in Birch’s Annual Run would have been glad of it, even though the 30,000 crowd were shivering.
City had the early chances but Vaughan failed to capitalise on a great through ball from Wellens and Spearing fired a shot over the bar. Then Boro keeper Jones blocked a Hobbs header from close in.
Having had the best of the first half City took a deserved lead five minutes before the break. Gallagher found Kermorgant with a through ball and the Frenchman opened his scoring account in style, curling a 25 yard effort beyond the reach of Jones.
The second half saw City pressing forward and Jones made a string of fine saves to keep Boro in the game. There was an impressive double save from Vaughan and a superb stop to deny N’Guessan’s fiercely struck shot.
Then, in the 58th minute, Fryatt came on for Gallagher, getting a warm reception from the home crowd after months out of action.
Suddenly it was Logan who was the busier keeper, saving from Aliadiere and tipping an Arca shot onto the bar.
His finest save then came from twelve yards after Wellens was judged to have handled an Arca cross. There wasn’t much wrong with Killen’s penalty kick, but Logan got down to his right to brilliantly tip it round the post.
Logan then made another fine save from Naughton, but in the other goal Jones was not having such a good afternoon. Although he made a good save from substitute Waghorn his luck ran out with six minutes remaining.
Dyer broke through the middle like a whippet and was upended by Jones, the referee having no choice but to whip out a red card. Former City-keeper Coyne came on as sub, but the first duty he had to perform was picking the ball out of the back of the net after Wellen’s cheeky chipped spot kick for his first goal in a City shirt.
An inpressive fifth consecutive victory was sealed and it was all over bar a few Mexican Waves and a mini lap of honour to thank the fans for their support.
Nigel Pearson was looking to the next task: “I wanted to make changes but we didn’t want to lose the game because we have won the previous four. But it was important we didn’t pick up injuries and get players sent off. It was good to get through and win the game. It will be a normal week and there is nothing particularly out of the norm in terms of preparation for the next game. We know the magnitude of the tie but, if you start looking too far into that, it can distract you. It is about it being another game for us.”
Leicester: Logan, Bruce, Hobbs, McGivern, Solano, Wellens, Spearing, Gallagher (Fryatt 58), Vaughan (Dyer 77), N’Guessan (Waghorn 71), Kermorgant. Subs Not Used: King, Powell, Weale, Neilson.
Middlesbrough: Jones, Hoyte, Grounds, Naughton, Bennett, Arca, O’Neil, McDonald, Aliadiere, Luke Williams (Coyne 84), Killen. Subs Not Used: Lita, Miller, Franks, Pilatos, Park, Gibson.
Referee: A Taylor (Manchester). Attendance: 30,223.