Date:Saturday December 12 2009
12/12/09 - 3 p.m.
ANDY King's impressive brace provided Leicester with all three points, as dismal Sheffield Wednesday were comfortably dispatched at the Walkers Stadium.
Steve Howard sent Leicester on their way with his first goal of the season after just eight minutes, before King added two either side of half-time to seal the emphatic victory.
It was a welcome victory for manager Nigel Pearson following City's recent disappointing run of back-to-back defeats, propelling his side back into the play-off positions ahead of next week's match at Cardiff.
Pearson made four changes from the side which crashed 3-1 to Bristol City midweek, as Bruno Berner, Lloyd Dyer, Steve Howard and Matty Fryatt all started in place of Ryan McGivern, Paul Gallagher, Yann Kermorgant and Dany N'Guessan respectively.
Leicester came out of the blocks with a point to prove, starting off strongly with good possession inside the Wednesday half. Andy King saw his shot from Steve Howard's knock-down saved for a corner, as City pushed for the all-important opener.
And soon enough it arrived. Brilliant work from Matty Fryatt on the right side allowed the striker to lift over his cross for the grateful Howard to head home his seemingly-elusive first goal of the season.
Wednesday's response to the goal was encouraging for manager Brian Laws, as Weale was called into action to deny Sean McAllister just before the ball reached the midfielder in the area.
Former-Derby striker Marcus Tudgay then saw his ambitious bicycle kick bounce wide of the target, before Fryatt went up the other end to force a great save from Lee Grant in the Owls' goal.
But the persistence paid off for Leicester, and the ball was soon in the back of Grant's net for the second time. Fryatt bundled his way through the Wednesday defence, before releasing the ball to King who made no mistake of doubling City's advantage.
It was becoming a clinical display from City, who have particularly suffered in front of goal this season at times.
Fryatt soon followed up with a chance of his own, connecting with Matt Oakley's cross and seeing his shot deflected for a corner. Oakley himself went close soon afterwards with a rasping volley which Grant was equal to.
With Wednesday dominated in midfield Laws rang the changes on the half hour mark, hauling off Jermaine Johnson and Darren Potter for Tom Soares and Michael Gray. The Wednesday manager's decision to play left back Gray at right midfield for the duration of the game, however, was puzzling to say the least.
The visitors began to take a hold of possession in the latter stages of the first half, but continued to struggle to break down Leicester's relentless backline before the referee's half-time whistle.
The Wednesday players emerged from the tunnel five minutes early with Laws' words on their minds, and forced the half's first opportunity through a Tudgay header which was saved comfortably by Weale.
Leicester hit back quickly when Fryatt headed over from a corner forged by Michael Morrison's deflected effort, and were soon at it again when Oakley saw his effort dealt with by Grant.
Pearson's side were dealt a scare when goalkeeper Chris Weale decided to rush out and miss the ball completely, only for Wednesday's Sean McAllister to be thwarted on the line by Morrison's brilliant stop.
The Foxes went agonisingly close moments later when Howard's shot was deflected by Darren Purse just centimetres past the post.
Moments later Ryan McGivern's long ball over the top looked to have sent Fryatt clean through on goal, but the striker was halted by a brilliant Mark Beevers challenge. Beevers was booked a minute later for a cynical pull-back.
It was no surprise to see Leicester add a third goal with just over 15 minutes remaining, Andy King capitalising on a loose ball on the edge of the area to finish off beautifully for his second of the match.
Wednesday did manage to apply the pressure on City's defence in the closing stages, with every opportunity subsequently jokingly celebrated like a goal by the team's resilient travelling support. If only their team was as good...
As it was Wednesday could not find a breakthrough thanks to some suspect efforts on goal, and Leicester rightfully claimed their authoritative victory.
It was a timely win ahead of a tough fixture at Cardiff next weekend, and even more so after the disappointments of Scunthorpe, Forest and Bristol City. The three points sees City rise to 4th in the Championship table, two points behind Billy Davies' Forest.
As for Wednesday, the Leicester chants of "sacked in the morning" directed at manager Brian Laws may well come true...
Date:Saturday December 12 2009
|Leicester City||1||-||1||Man Utd|
|Leicester City||1||-||0||Crystal Palace|
|1. Man City||14||9||2||3||+16||29|
|2. Leicester City||14||8||5||1||+8||29|
|3. Man Utd||14||8||4||2||+10||28|
|7. Crystal Palace||14||7||1||6||+5||22|
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