Tag Archives: Shinji Okazaki

Leicester stumble at Sunderland

Sunderland 2:1 Leicester City

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City’s place in the relegation dogfight was firmly booked after a 2-1 defeat at Sunderland’s Stadium of Light on Saturday…

Claudio Ranieri made one change to his side for this trip to the north-east, with Slimani replacing Okazaki up front.
City suffered a shaky start and Watmore forced a save from Zieler in the first minute. Sunderland continued to press forward and Morgan had to block an Anichebe effort from close range.
Anichebe then set up Defoe, but the prolific striker couldn’t convert the chance, when well placed.
City eventually got a foothold in the game and Mahrez tried to move things forward. He earned a corner from a deflected shot, which Albrighton delivered into a dangerous area, but Vardy did not get enough on his header and it fell a yard wide.
Vardy then sent another header off target, trying to loop the ball over the advancing Pickford, after a decent cross from Fuchs.
City ended the half on top, with Pickford parrying an Albrighton shot, and a cross-cum-shot from Fuchs hitting the top of the crossbar.

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City had the first chance of the second half when Slimani’s close range shot was blocked by Djilobodji, but it was the Black Cats who took a 64th minute lead.
Kirchhoff got his head to a Larsson corner from the right, but it was heading wide before it hit Huth on the arm and was diverted into the net.
Sunderland went further ahead 13 minutes later,  Anichebe set up Watmore for a shot which was blocked by Huth, but Defoe seized on the loose ball, finding the bottom right hand corner with his first time effort.
City desperately attempted to get back in the game and gained a foothold with ten minutes to go when two substitutes combined to get City on the scoresheet.
Gray beat Jones down the left and slid a low cross to the near post where Okazaki produced a clever finishing touch to claw City back into the game.
This was a bruising encounter by now, Huth wearing a bandage on his head, Simpson limping heavily after turning his ankle, and Watmore stretchered off with a knee injury after a ball-winning challenge from Fuchs.

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City’s chance to draw level came deep into 6 minutes of time added on, as the defence and then even Zieler, piled forward.
In a frantic scramble with 22 players around the Sunderland box, Simpson had a shot blocked, the ball fell for Morgan eight yards out but Pickford stuck out a hand to save his shot, and then Morgan sent the rebound wide.

The final whistle signalled yet another defeat for City on their travels, with the feeling that this is going to be a long, hard winter.
Claudio Ranieri summed up: “We did our best today, but it wasn’t enough. We have to keep working hard in training and trust the bad moment will turn. From the own goal you can see the luck is not with us – but we have to stay compact, stay together and react strongly.”

Sunderland: Pickford, Jones, Koné, Van Aanholt, Djilobodji, Ndong, Denayer (Kirchhoff 45), Pienaar (Larsson 45), Watmore (Manquillo 85), Defoe, Anichebe. Subs Not Used: Januzaj, O’Shea, Mannone, Khazri.
Leicester: Zieler, Simpson, Huth, Morgan, Fuchs, Mahrez (Musa 73), Amartey, King, Albrighton (Gray 73), Slimani (Okazaki 68), Vardy. Subs Not Used: Hernandez, Hamer, Schlupp, Mendy.

Referee: A. Marriner. Attendance: 39,725.

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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 
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Win over Bruges sees Leicester into Champions League knockout phase

Leicester City 2:1 FC Bruges

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City’s 2-1 win over Bruges at the KPS on Tuesday night sealed top spot in Group G, and saw the Champions League new boys into the last 16…

City, who only needed a point to progress into the knockout phase, had one change to the starting line-up with King replacing Amartey in midfield.
And Claudio Ranieri’s side got off to a cracking start, taking a 5th minute lead.
Fuchs made good progress down the left and curved a low cross round two defenders, which was met by Okazaki at the near post for a fine finish into the top left hand corner.

Leicester City v Club Brugge, Champions League, 22 November 2016

The Belgian champions were rattled by this and struggled to keep possession against an energetic looking City. Three minutes later Mahrez almost caught out Butelle with a near post shot from an acute angle, but the keeper managed to block.
City continued to press forward, but decent crosses from Albrighton and Vardy saw no one in position for a finishing touch.
In a rare attack for Bruges, Vanaken got his head to a cross, but straight into Zieler’s grasp.
After a flat spell of play, City reignited the crowd with a second goal on the half hour.
Albrighton went round Cools down the left, but the defender caught him as he went past and referee Ruddy Buquet had no hesitation in pointing to the spot.
Mahrez sent Butelle the wrong way with his usual halting run up, and City were so close to the next round that you could almost touch it.
Approaching the break, there was a chance at either end.
Morgan sent a header towards the top corner, but Butelle saved; and Zieler produced an acrobatic parry in response to  a curling effot from Izquierdo.

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City applied some early pressure in the second half, with a long-throw and a cross from Fuchs both causing the visitors’ defence problems, but it was Bruges who found the net in the 52nd minute.
City’s proud record of no goals conceded in the competition was dented when Izquierdo collected the ball on the halfway line, raced past Fuchs, and fired in a shot that beat Zieler at his near post.
With the evening now gaining an extra edge, there were two disallowed goals in as many minutes. Vardy produced a clever back-heel that trundled over the line, while at the other end Claudemir found the net, but both were narrowly offside.
Claudio Ranieri made a double change in the 68th minute, with Gray and Schlupp replacing goalscorers Okazaki and Mahrez.
After a minute on the field, Schlupp beat his marker and charged goalwards, but sent his shot too close to Butelle.
Bruges had a decent attacking spell which gnawed at the nerves a little, but the City defence never looked too stretched.
Armartey replaced Albrighton with 12 minutes remaining, and he soon had a chance, but got his shot horribly wrong.
Bruges’s best chance came and went when a Van Rhijn corner was flicked across goal by Vanaken, but no one was positioned for what would have been a tap in.

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A chance to end the evening in great style was then wasted. Gray played a superb one-two with Vardy, as City broke upfield, and was clear on goal, but the youngster hit his shot straight at the advancing Butelle.
In the third minute of time added on Gray was again denied by Butelle after Drinkwater teed him up, but the final whistle sparked delighted celebrations at City’s incredible achievement.
Porto’s goalless draw in Copenhagen meant that City had won the group with a game to spare. Not bad for a first attempt.

Claudio was delighted, but mindful of domestic matters: “It’s unbelievable. Top of the group, very happy, very proud for my players, very happy for the chairman, for the fans, for everybody. Another journey to the knockout – unbelievable. Now our mind must go on the Premier League because I want to push my players to think about that.”

Leicester: Zieler, Simpson, Huth, Morgan, Fuchs, Drinkwater, King, Mahrez (Schlupp 68), Albrighton (Amartey 78), Okazaki (Gray 68), Vardy. Subs Not Used: Hamer, Hernández, Musa, Ulloa.
Bruges: Butelle, Simons, Poulain, Claudemir (Wesley 84), Vossen, Izquierdo, Pina (Limbombe 61), Vanaken, Cools, De Bock (Van Rhijn 70), Mechele. Subs Not Used: Bruzzese, Felipe Gedoz, Denswil, Bolingoli.

Referee: R Buquet. Attendance: 31,443. 

PHOTOS: Simon Kimber. 
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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…

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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
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Leicester storm the Palace and restore Premier League pride

Leicester City 3:1 Crystal Palace

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City’s Premier League season got back on track on Saturday, thanks to a vibrant 3-1 win over Crystal Palace at the KPS…

Claudio Ranieri made a couple of changes to his starting XI with Vardy and Albrighton making way for Okazaki and Musa, and they proved to be inspired choices.
Before the kick off there was a minute’s applause to mark the recent passing of the King of Thailand.
City were presented with a gilt-edged chance in only the second minute when Palace keeper  Mandanda fluffed a clearance and sent the ball straight to Okazaki. But the Japan striker hurried his attempted lob from 20 yards out and his effort drifted wide of the left hand post.
But it was Palace who had the better of the opening 20 minutes.
Cabaye fired an effort from distance, and Morgan blocked a Zaha shot, before Benteke got onto the end of a Kelly cross but sent his header against the bar.

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City, with Okazaki as their beating heart, and Drinkwater and King combining well, began to take control midway through the half.
Slimani was charging after everything and sent a couple of headers narrowly off target, and then Okazaki got his head to a Mahrez shot but the ball narrowly cleared the bar.
With half-time approaching, City made a vital breakthrough.
Musa started a move down the left, Slimani and Okazaki battled through a wall of yellow shirts to return the ball to the Nigerian, and he side-stepped his marker before firing home his first goal for the club.

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City continued in the same vein after the break, and Slimani sent a diving header from a Mahrez cross a couple of inches wide of the right hand post.
The lead was doubled in the 62nd minute. A Drinkwater cross from the left was cleared at full stretch by Delaney, but Okazaki was following up and produced an unstoppable shot for his first Premier League goal since March.
Alan Pardew’s side tried to drag themselves back into the game with an attacking spell, but Schmeichel blocked a Zaha shot at his near post, and then showed great reactions to deny Cabaye at close range.
Simpson then cleared a Benteke effort off the line before Claudio Ranieri made his first change with 15 minutes remaining, Vardy replacing Slimani.

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City’s third goal arrived in the 80th minute. As they hit Palace on the break, Vardy’s cross from the left beat everyone, but Musa’s hard work in chasing it down earned a corner.
Mahrez’s flag-kick was headed clear by Benteke, but the ball sat up nicely for Fuchs, 22 yards out, and he rifled home a superb half-volley. It was the Austrian’s first goal for City, but worth the wait.
Schmeichel raced out of goal to deny Benteke in a one-on-one  late on, but was finally beaten in the 86th minute when Cabaye provided a neat finishing touch to a Zaha cross from the right.
At the other end Mahrez saw his shot blocked by Mandanda, but City were more than happy with a well-earned 3-1 victory.
It was a big-hearted performance that proved the City squad had the strength in depth required to tackle two competitions.

Claudio Ranieri told the post match press conference: “This was the shape and model of last season. It’s when everyone is concentrated and doing their job. We know our weakness but we also know our strengths. Crystal Palace are a very good team. They were better than us for the first 20 minutes and moved the ball very quickly. It was difficult for us but after that we put in a very good performance.”

Leicester: Schmeichel, Simpson, Huth, Morgan, Fuchs, Drinkwater, King (Amartey 87), Mahrez, Musa (Gray 81), Okazaki, Slimani (Vardy 75). Subs Not Used: Zieler, Schlupp, Albrighton, Ulloa.
Palace: Mandanda, Ward, Tomkins, Cabaye, Townsend (Campbell 72), Zaha, Ledley (Lee 72), Benteke, McArthur, Delaney, Kelly (Fryers 77). Subs Not Used: Flamini, Hennessey, Wickham, Sako.

Referee: M Oliver. Attendance: 31,969.

PHOTOS: Simon Kimber. 

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Champions Leicester fail to get out of the blocks

Hull City 2:1 Leicester City

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City started the defence of their title with a disappointing defeat against Hull at the KCOM Stadium on Saturday, despite Riyad Mahrez equalising from the spot…

Hull were manager-less, favourites to go down, had spent nothing on players, only had 13 fit players, and the fans were protesting… it all seemed too good to be true for City’s first game, and it was.
Claudio Ranieri made three changes to the starting line up at Wembley, with Gray in and Musa and Hernandez making their Premier League debuts.

City had the first chance of the game in the third minute, when Gray pushed forward from midfield and hit a long-range effort that took a looping deflection onto the roof of the net.
Three minutes later Hull threatened Schmeichel’s goal, Davies flicking a near post header narrowly wide of the far post from a Snodgrass corner.
Gray then found himself in a good position from a Fuchs long-throw but wildly sliced his shot.

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In the 20th minute, a good run and cut back by Musa on the left set up Vardy beautifully, but the Engand striker produced an airshot. The ball ran through to Mahrez, who side-stepped one defender in the area, but then fired wide.
In a strong spell up to the break for City, several chances came and went.
Mahrez battled through two defenders down the right and pulled a ball back for Drinkwater who curled a shot inches wide wide of the left hand post.
Fuchs went on a run down the left and played balls off Gray and then Musa,before bearing down on goal, but  Jakupovic came out well to block his prodded effort. Vardy followed up but saw his shot blocked by Livermore; and Mahrez seized on the loose ball and went round a couple of defenders but sent his shot just wide.
Musa then pounced on a stray pass from Diomande and raced past Davies, before setting up Vardy, who miscued his shot over the bar.

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City were to pay for those missed chances just seconds before the half time whistle when the Tigers took the lead with a bizarre goal. Davies got his head to a Snodgrass corner, but Schmeichel managed to parry it away to his left. As the loose ball bounced up to head height both Hernandez and Diomande attempted acrobatic efforts. Both connected, but the latter appeared to get the final touch as the ball found the net via the bar.

City were soon on level terms after the break, however, when referee Mike Dean ruled that Huddlestone treading on Gray’s heel had occurred inside the area, though replays indicated it was at least two feet outside. Mahrez rattled his penalty kick straight down the middle and the Champions were back on track.

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However, the script went awry again ten minutes later. A hurried throw-out from Schmeichel conceded possession, and a swift move down the right saw a probing cross from Elmohamady that was only half cleared by Simpson. The ball sat up nicely for Snodgrass to fire an unstoppable half-volley just inside the right hand post.
With City struggling to get past a dogged Hull back-line Claudio Ranieri made a couple of changes in the 68 minute with Okazaki and Amartey replacing Gray and King.
Okazaki introduced a bit of the zip and tempo from last season that appeared to be lacking in this game, and one charge down the middle saw him upended by Davies.
Mahrez delivered a decent free-kick round the wall, but Jakupovic got down well to tip it round the post.
Hull were very well organised in defence of their lead by this stage and City were looking strangely flat. Okazaki hit one long range effort well over the bar.
On the home side’s rare ventures upfield they looked more threatening and more cunning. From a free-kick on the right Snodgrass tried to catch Schmeichel out with a shot towards the near post. Fortunately the City keeper was alert to the danger.
City eventually ran out of ideas and steam and couldn’t launch a concerted bid for an equaliser, even during 5 minutes injury time.
Caretaker manager Mike Phelan and his side, with Snodgrass inspired, had done a magnificent job on the Champions. City became the first title-defending club to lose their first game of the season since 1989.

Claudio Ranieri commented: “We know very well that last season was something special. Now we have to get back with our feet on the ground and we have to work hard. When I said ’40 points’ a lot of people were laughing but it’s true. We have to restart, forget we are the champions and improve as a team. The players made a big effort but as individuals not as a team. We scored a goal, created good chances and we were unlucky – those are positive things. The negatives were that they were smarter and we have to concentrate for 90 minutes always.”

Hull: Jakupovic, Robertson, Davies, Meyler, Huddlestone, Hernandez, Snodgrass, Clucas, Livermore, Diomande, Elmohamady. Subs Not Used: Kuciak, Maloney, Tymon, Bowen, Luer, Olley, Clackstone.
Leicester: Schmeichel, Simpson (Ulloa 84), Hernandez, Morgan, Fuchs, Drinkwater, King (Amartey 68), Mahrez, Gray (Okazaki 68), Musa, Vardy. Subs Not Used: Zieler, Chilwell, Albrighton, Kapustka.

Referee: M Dean. Attendance: 20,137.

PHOTOS: Simon Kimber
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The FOX Summer Special 2016 is a 44 page, all-colour celebration of football’s greatest ever story… Leicester City’s Premier League title win of 2015-16…

ss 2016

Here’s what people are saying about it… (and we haven’t made it up).

* “Page after page of smiles… fantastic.”

* “Every City fan should have one – it’s just amazing – I’ve not stopped smiling – and wishing it would happen again.”

* “Hard to think of £3 better spent in my life. “

* “It is a thing of beauty. “

* “Get one quick!! It’s brilliant!!!……Thanks Gary and Co.”

* “It’s the best issue ever – and I’ve been buying it for 25 years. Awesome stuff!”

* “Just got in and reading it, blubbing at your comment in the editorial about how your perception of life has altered, spot on. And the bit in 50 Something where it shows the framed photo of his Dad, max emosh, well played sirs.”

* “Summer Special is superb! Got something in my bloody eye again!!”

* “It will go in my souvenir box file, along with the Champions clapper, Vardy salted crisps and all the other gubbins that will forever convey a touch of immortality.”

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Vardy double moves Leicester a step closer

Sunderland 0:2 Leicester City

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Jamie Vardy’s 20th and 21st Premier League goals of the season saw City seal victory late on at Sunderland on Saturday, temporarily extending their lead to 10 points…

Claudio Ranieri, newly crowned Manager of the Month for March, named an unchanged starting line-up against a Sunderland side desperately in need of the points.
And City enjoyed a good opening spell, with Okazaki, Kanté and Morgan all threatening Mannone’s goal. Morgan looked to have repeated last week’s goal, but sent his header inches wide of the far post.
A series of misplaced passes then allowed Sunderland back in and got the home crowd fired up, but City were looking solid at the back, and in no mood to concede a first goal in over a month.
There were loud penalty appeals when Okazaki was brought down by a chest-high Yedlin boot, but the ref waved play on, and then Drinkwater fired a volley wide soon after.
Kaboul sent a header inches over the bar for the home side, while Vardy miscued a shot from the edge of the area.
Mahrez, who’d had a subdued half, then made room for himself on the edge of the area, but his attempted curler into the top corner was blocked.
Sunderland had the final chance of the half when Schmeichel did well to block a Borini shot that took a deflection off Morgan.

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Sunderland’s desperation was showing in their finishing, with several shots flying high and wide and Borini actually managing to hit one shot into his own face.
Drinkwater forced a couple of saves from Mannone as he pushed forward, and was then the architect of City’s priceless opening goal.
In the 67th minute the England midfielder won a challenge and then sent a perfect ball behind the Sunderland defence. Vardy won the race down the left with Kaboul, took a neat touch and placed a fine finish past Mannone.
Vardy became the first City player since Gary Lineker in the 1984-85 season to score 20 goals in the top flight.

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Although there was a scare when Rodwell sent a shot over from close in following a good Sunderland move, it was Mannone who was the busier keeper.
He saved from substitute Ulloa’s angled drive and then managed to get a hand to a low Vardy shot after a fantastic passing sequence down the right.
The Sunderland keeper then prevented another sub strike, beating away  Amartey’s fierce effort in time-added-on.
But it was Vardy who would have the final say when he found the energy for one more run down the middle when all around him were flagging. He got to the ball just ahead of Mannone, took it round him and stroked the ball into an empty net to dispel the tension in the away and end and get the party started.

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Another difficult hurdle had been cleared, and until Spurs win over Manchester United City stood 10 points clear. Claudio Ranieri left the field in tears, perhaps betraying his emotions for the first time, while the Leicester support staged another: “We’re going to win the League!” sing-in, long after the rest of the ground had emptied.

Ranieri was still sticking rightly to his focus on the next game mantra, but had an emotional afternoon: “It is fantastic when you see before the match, an old lady with a Leicester shirt outside the stadium. I say: ‘Unbelievable. They come from Leicester to support us.’ This is my emotion. It is fantastic. I was on the bus. I saw them, unbelievable, and I want to say thank you for the support. They are dreaming and we want to continue to dream.”

Manchester United’s defeat at Spurs later in the day may have kept Tottenham in the title race, but also confirmed City’s Champions League place next season… unbelievable, Jeff.

Sunderland: Mannone, Van Aanholt, Kaboul, Yedlin, Kone, Kirchoff, Cattermole, M’Vila (Rodwell 68), Khazri (N’Doye 68), Borini (Lens 76), Defoe. Subs Not Used: Pickford, Hones, Larsson, O’Shea.
Leicester: Schmeichel, Simpson, Morgan, Huth, Fuchs, Kanté, Drinkwater, Albrighton (Amartey 84), Mahrez (Gray 80), Okazaki (Ulloa 62), Vardy. Subs Not Used: Schwarzer, Chilwell, Dyer, King.

Referee: Anthony Taylor. Attendance: 46,531.

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Click here: FOX SUBS – 2016-17 
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FOX 198 – The Leicester City fanzine – in the shops now.

The FOX 198 – the April edition – is in the shops now…

Our fourth all-colour issue is now in the shops, will be on sale before the Southampton game, or can be bought online.

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Featuring: an interview with former City captain Jeff Blockley; Fully Programmed from October 1980; Fox Diary – the incredible Premier League adventure continues; the latest from the Foxes Trust; What’s happening on #lcfc Twitter; Rewind goes back to April 2014; Foxed in the Head – on being chased by Hornets, stickers and Leicester fans down the ages; Chris Lymn on LCFC – the brand; John Hutchinson continues his series on City and World War II; our new series The History of Leicester City in 100 Objects continues; your letters and Bentley’s Roof; Parting Shots our favourite photos of the last month; and 50Something is under siege by bandwagoneers…

all for considerably less than a pint…

fs blog

“One of this convoy, a Norwegian ship ‘SS Sueland’ was hit by a U-boat torpedo on the starboard side and sunk in two minutes, pitching the survivors in to the water.
They clung on to debris before being picked up. On the way to rescuing the survivors, HMT Leicester City was blindly dropping several depth charges.but the U-Boat escaped. Seven men from the ‘SS Sueland’, including the captain, were killed.”

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jb blog

FOX: In January 1975 you moved from Arsenal to Leicester who were bottom of Division One. How did Jimmy Bloomfield sell it to you?
JB: He didn’t really have to, to be honest with you. I wanted to leave Arsenal and I really wanted to play for my home-town club and I knew a lot of the players here. He didn’t have a hard sell at all.
FOX: Are there parallels with last season’s Great Escape when Robert Huth came in to shore up the defence?
JB: Very much, I think Jim brought me in to organise the back-line and be captain. There was me, Graham Cross, Dennis Rofe and Steve Whitworth and we blended into a good unit with a system of playing fairly high and tight. We had good communication, and were able to set the offside trap for any strikers trying to get behind us. After sorting the defence out he then brought Chris Garland in and he scored plenty of goals and Frank Worthington started scoring again and the whole side got their confidence back.
FOX: There was a game away at Tottenham where it all suddenly seemed to come together and we won 3-0 with Mike Stringfellow getting on the scoresheet…
JB: Yes, Stringy could hardly walk by then but he got a goal!
As we said earlier it is all about confidence. We started winning matches after that, playing with more freedom. You saw it last season. If you have players who want to play then it doesn’t matter what formation they play in. Having seen how they played then I was one of those people who were very surprised when they let Nigel Pearson go, but I suppose it was all down to that business in Thailand.
Claudio Ranieri has come in and brought all that knowledge with him and has done fantastically well. It all seems to be so simple. I’d love to be in that changing room to hear how he sets his side up, because they all seem to be able to drop in and do whatever he wants them to do. Huth was a big, big signing last year, he organised the defence and Wes Morgan looks a lot better alongside him, he has his confidence back.
The whole side look incredible, and they are keeping it up with each passing game. It is remarkable to watch. I’ve just been to Australia and watched the Watford game out there. They never really looked like scoring against us. They are supposed to be doing well this season, but they were nowhere near us really. Leicester’s players seem really to have bought into it. No one is mardy if they aren’t in the first team, no one has had their heads turned by talk of moves to big clubs.
It is very hard keeping a whole squad happy.

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Mahrez winner at Palace keeps the dream alive

Crystal Palace 0:1 Leicester City

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Leicester went 8 points clear at the top of the Premier League with their third consecutive 1-0 win against Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park on Saturday…

Claudio Ranieri was able to name an unchanged line-up against a Palace side who had yet to win in 2016, but the Eagles carved out an early chance.
Bolasie’s turn and low shot didn’t unduly test Schmeichel.
City had a more clear cut chance in the 10th minute when a superb Drinkwater ball sent Mahrez in on goal, but outrushing Hennessey blocked with his legs and Dann tidied up the rebound.
In a good spell for Palace, Bolasie had a shot blocked by Morgan and then he sent a dangerous cross over for Zaha, but he failed to find the target at the far post.
But it was City who delighted their followers with a 34th minute lead.
Another slide rule ball from Drinkwater sent Vardy in on the left, and his low cross square across the penalty area was met with a cool side-foot finish from Mahrez, who had timed his run perfectly.

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Another Bolasie shot then deflected off Morgan but Schmeichel reacted well to save with an outstretched leg.
The last chance of the half came when Albrighton cut in from the left and fired in a shot that forced a fine save from Hennessey.

Alan Pardew brought on Kelly and Sako for the second half, while an unchanged City went close though the lively Okazaki early on.
Schmeichel had a busier half, punching away a Cabaye free-kick, and saving a goal-bound Sako effort as Palace pushed forward in search of an equaliser.

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But City should surely have had a penalty in the 80th minute when Dann not only pulled, but completely removed Huth’s shirt. But there was to be no comfort zone for City in a nervy closing spell.
Schmeichel saved from Sako, Cabaye went close with another effort and then the City keeper knocked the ball against substitute Ulloa’s head, with both thankful to see it fly wide of the post.
Delaney denied Vardy a goal with a very timely challenge before the most heart-in-mouth moment arrived in stoppage time.
Former-fox Delaney got on to the end of a Dann’s header, but his shot struck the bar.

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It was Palace’s last chance, and the final whistle saw City 8 points clear at the top of the table, sparking a remarkable 20 minute rendition of: “We’re going to win the league.” by a delirious away section that ignored tannoy pleas for them to make their way out of the ground.
There is still a long way to go in this title run-in but this wonderful City side continue to hurdle every challenge.
Claudio Ranieri waxed lyrical: “Sometimes I’ve said we are at the last turn and now we are on the final, home straight. Now I want to see my horses, how they run.”

Palace: Hennessey, Ward, Dann, Delaney, Souare (Kelly 46), Jedinak (Gayle 78), Ledley, Cabaye, Zaha, Bolasie, Adebayor (Sako 46). Subs Not Used: Speroni, Campbell, Mutch, Puncheon.
Leicester: Schmeichel, Simpson, Huth, Morgan, Fuchs, Kanté, Drinkwater, Mahrez (Schlupp 85), Albrighton, Okazaki (Ulloa 76), Vardy (Amartey 90). Subs Not Used: Schwarzer, Wasilewski, Inler, Gray.

Referee: M Jones. Attendance: 25,041.

ALL PHOTOS: Simon Kimber

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