Tag Archives: sunderland

Late Leicester show sees off Sunderland

Leicester City 2:0 Sunderland

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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.
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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.

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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.

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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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Leicester stumble at Sunderland

Sunderland 2:1 Leicester City


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.


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.


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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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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Leicester get their season off to a flyer

Leicester City 4:2 Sunderland

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City topped the opening day Premier League table after Claudio Ranieri’s reign got off to a winning start at the KPS on Saturday…

Ranieri opted for a 4-4-2 with Okazaki making his debut, and new boys Fuchs, Benalouane and Kanté all starting on the bench.
Although Sunderland had an early chance when Kaboul tested Schmeichel with a header before Coates’ nodded the rebound straight into the hands of the City keeper, it was the home side that took the lead in the 11th minute.
Albrighton’s ball from the left wing was helped on by a deft touch from Vardy, that sent it beyond the reach of Pantilimon and into the net.
The busy Okazaki then hurried a chance after Vardy set him up, and another Vardy cross to the near post was fluffed by King after his darting run had put him in a great position. But City were soon two goals up.
Another fine Albrighton cross from the left saw another glancing header, this time from Mahrez in the 18th minute as the dream start continued,
And it got even better with City going 3-0 up by the 24th minute. Mahrez’s dazzling footwork tempted Cattermole into a clumsy challenge for an obvious penalty which Mahrez himself stroked confidently home.

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After this manic start, which saw City taking up where they left off last season with their high temp game, things calmed down a little.
Schlupp sent a header over; a superb passing move upfield ended with Mahrez firing over, and then Drinkwater tested Pantilimon with a long range effort but City couldn’t add to the scoreline before the break.

The second half saw City on the attack again… Vardy beating Jones down the left, cut inside and then tried a delicate finish which beat the far post by inches.
Mahrez was enjoying himself down the right, teasing the Sunderland defence before curling an effort that hit the far post. Soon after this Mahrez chased a superb ball from Drinkwater down the right but Pantilimon narrowed the angle well to block his shot.

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Pantilimon then saved an overhead Vardy effort as City chased a fourth goal, but it was Sunderland who found the net.
Defoe’s well-timed run saw him spring the offside trap before beating Schmeichel from close-in and the away corner finally had something to shout about.
But City restored their three-goal lead five minutes later. Sunderland couldn’t clear their lines properly after a scramble in the box and Schlupp fed Albrighton whose low shot on the turn arrowed into the bottom left hand corner.
Sunderland pulled another one back in the 71st minute when Lens beat Schmeichel to a loose ball and sent a looping cross over for Fletcher who rose above Huth to nod home.
Fletcher’s handshake with Morgan after the goal may have been because Morgan had wrestled him over in the area previously with the ref seeing no offence.
Pantilimon was also very lucky to stay on the field when he came out to meet a ball that Vardy was chasing and he handled three yards out of the area.

City’s lead was never in any danger however. Okazaki almost got the goal his superb performance had earned but Kaboul blocked, and the final whistle brought a huge roar from the biggest attendance the stadium had seen for a City match.
It had been a fantastic performance, City still had their attacking verve of last season and it was a hugely encouraging start to the new campaign.

Leicester: Schmeichel, De Laet (Benalouane 75), Huth, Morgan, Schlupp, Drinkwater, King, Albrighton, Mahrez (Fuchs 77), Okazaki, Vardy (Kanté 82). Subs Not Used: Hammond, Kramarić, Ulloa, Schwarzer.
Sunderland: Pantilimon, Jones (Matthews 54), Van Aanholt, Cattermole (Fletcher 30), Larsson, Rodwell, Johnson, Kaboul, Lens, Defoe, Coates. Subs Not Used: Bridcutt, O’Shea, Graham, Giaccherini, Mannone.

Referee: Lee Mason. Attendance: 32,242 (3,246 away).


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Leicester goal drought continues against Sunderland

Leicester City 0:0 Sunderland

Leicester City v Sunderland, Barclays Premier, 22 November, 2014

City got their first point in seven weeks from a 0-0 draw against Sunderland at the KPS on Saturday…Nigel Pearson made two changes to his starting line-up with Mahrez and Konchesky in for King and Drinkwater.This change-round seemed to give City fresh impetus and they pushed forward in the opening stages creating several chances.
Wasilewski headed wide from a James corner; Vardy was denied by Pantilimon; and then the Sunderland keeper got down to a low shot from Mahrez. The Algerian international then set Schlupp up for an angled drive which found the side-netting.
After all these early chances City nearly went behind in the 15th minute when Sunderland broke forward and Fletcher went clear on goal looking certain to score before Schmeichel pulled off a fine point-blank save.
Ulloa then saw his shot blocked after combining well with Cambiassom before Schmeichel tipped a low shot from Johnson round the post.
Morgan kept the scoreline at 0-0  with a great block on a fierce Larsson shot, and then the final chance of the half went begging as Ulloa nodded a James corner over from close in.

Leicester City v Sunderland, Barclays Premier, 22 November, 2014

City, unchanged for the second half, continued their quest for a precious goal. Pantilimon saved well from James; and Cambiasso set up Mahrez, who feinted past his marker down the right and bore down on goal before lashing his shot into the side-netting.
A magnificent 40 yard pass from Ulloa, was taken well by Mahrez who made his way into the area before going down after a nudge in the back from Reveillere. There were howls of protest from the home fans, but the ref was unmoved.
City’s best move of the game came when James and Ulloa carved a path through the visitor’s defence with a precise one-two but James’ shot under pressure didn’t have enough to beat Pantilimon.
Vardy managed just one of his trademark charges upfield but to no effect and he made way for Nugent soon after.

Leicester City v Sunderland, Barclays Premier, 22 November, 2014
He soon had a chance after a nod down from Ulloa, but snatched a shot across goal when he had the space to continue into the penalty area and pass.
Knockaert and Wood were also introduced into the action late on, but City couldn’t find a way through and had to be content with a point.

Looking at the forthcoming fixture list, this was a game that Pearson’s men had to win, although it did at least raise them out of the relegation zone for the time being.

Leicester: Schmeichel, De Laet, Konchesky, Morgan, James, Vardy (Nugent 72), Schlupp (Knockaert 79), Cambiasso, Ulloa (Wood 88), Mahrez, Wasilewski. Subs not used: Drinkwater, King, Hamer, Moore.
Sunderland: Pantilimon, Brown, Cattermole, Larsson (Bridcutt 75), Fletcher, Wickham, Johnson, Gomez (Buckley 86), Reveillere, O’Shea, Vergini. Subs not used: Rodwell, Altidore, Coates, Mannone, Robson.

Referee: R Madley.  Attendance: 31,825.


All photos: SIMON KIMBER

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Martin O’Neill returns to Leicester for pre-season friendly

Leicester City’s pre-season programme continues to take shape with further games being announced…

24 July – Hinckley United @ Greene King Stadium – 7.30pm

28 July  – ShrewsburyTown @ Greenhous Meadow – 3pm

1 August – BurtonAlbion @ Pirelli Stadium – 7.45pm

4 August – Lincoln City @ Sincil Bank – 3pm

11 August – Sunderland @ King Power Stadium – 3pm

Although this list lacks some of the glamour of Real Madrid’s visit last summer, the return of Martin O’Neill with his Sunderland side is sure to cause some interest…


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What you are saying about: GOT, NOT GOT…

What people are saying about ‘GOT, NOT GOT – The A to Z of Lost Football Culture, Treasures & Pleasures…

* Well, what can I say – your book is a FINE piece of work! Honestly, I think its brilliant and I have seldom put it down since I picked it up…

* The best book about football written in the last 20 years.

* I found myself engrossed again in the trivia that so preoccupied my life between the age of 5 and 15 and laughing until my ribs hurt.

* Wonderful book, great illustrations and is a throw back to days when football was more important than anything else, Superbly written and put together.

* If there’s anyone in your life who attended football when it was still good (60s- 80s) buy them this book and they’ll love you forever.

* I don’t even follow football anymore but I love this book. It’s packed with memories of the game when it was a simpler more enjoyable (to me anyway) sport.

* Superb stuff. Anyone who grew up in the seventies with even a passing interest in football, let alone City, will love this book.

* I utterly and completely love it… so much stuff in there that I’d pretty much forgotten about, but which is a joy to rediscover.

Featuring: Aberdeen, Arsenal, Aston Villa, Birmingham City, Blackburn Rovers, Blackpool, Bolton Wanderers, Bristol City, Bristol Rovers, Brighton & Hove Albion, Burnley, Cardiff City, Carlisle United, Celtic, Charlton Athletic, Chelsea, Coventry City, Crystal Palace, Derby County, England, Everton, Fulham, Hearts, Hibs, Hull City, Ipswich Town, Leeds United, Leicester City, Liverpool, Luton Town, Manchester City, Manchester United, Middlesbrough, Millwall, Newcastle United, Northern Ireland, Norwich City, Nottingham Forest, Notts County, Plymouth Argyle, Portsmouth, QPR, Rangers, Reading, Scotland, Sheffield United, Sheffield Wednesday, Southampton, Stoke City, Sunderland, Swansea City, Swindon Town, Tottenham Hotspur, Wales, Watford, West Bromwich Albion, West Ham United, Wigan Athletic, Wimbledon & Wolves…

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