Date:Sunday March 7 2010
Leicester's eight match unbeaten run in the Championship came to an abrupt halt at Hillsborough, as Leon Clarke's brace handed Sheffield Wednesday a deserved victory.
In what was a dire performance only matched by the 5-1 mauling at the hands of Nottingham Forest in December, City rarely threatened, and gave the home side an easy and comfortable victory.
Wednesday started the game dominant, with Chris Weale having to tip the ball away less than a minute into the game. That set the tone for the opening five minutes, which was one-way traffic, until the Owls finally got their deserved breakthrough. Leon Clarke found himself with the ball on the right hand side, smashing a shot across goal which flew past Weale into the net.
Two minutes later Weale was forced to make a save from Jermaine Johnson, as Wednesday looked to increase their advantage.
However, Leicester showed a brief glimpse of fight and responded to conceding. With the home side making petty fouls, Leicester had chances to send in quality balls, but failed to capitalise on the opportunity, with wasteful free-kicks and set-pieces.
The away team`s best chance of the first half came just before the quarter-hour mark. Martyn Waghorn`s brilliant snap shot from a low cross into the box from Bruno Berner was brilliantly stopped by Lee Grant, preserving his team's lead.
Midway through the first half Leicester received another hammer blow with the injury to Weale, caused by his attempt to stop a poor header back to him by Berner, sliding to put the ball out for a throw-in. He appeared to slide awkwardly, and after receiving treatment, substitute Conrad Logan came on in his place.
Neither team really offered anything, and with a below-par referee who refused to let the game flow the match quickly became a scrappy affair with very little in the way of quality or real chances.
The second half began much the same as the first, with Wednesday coming out and attacking Leicester, and forcing a corner shortly after the restart from a shot by Johnson which was tipped round the post by Logan.
After a continuation of the stop-start football, aided by the referee, the home side added to their lead on the hour mark. Jermaine Johnson`s unchallenged sprint down the right wing from a ball over the top from Marcus Tudgay led to a cross which was easily knocked in by Clarke for his second goal of the game to well and truly finish Leicester off.
Six minutes later Lloyd Dyer went close with a stinging shot on the left-hand side which was superbly stopped by Grant.
But for the remaining 20 minutes, Leicester had to rely on free-kicks and scraps, none of which produced any chances of note. Wednesday looked comfortable in holding onto their lead, and did so as the game reached full-time.
Leicester had meekly surrendered their brilliant eight-game unbeaten run, and the defeat means City have let the clubs directly below them back into the play-off race. The run-in gets no easier next Saturday with the visit of Cardiff City.
But all is not lost. The team are still in a healthy position as things stand, with the capabilities of turning what is hopefully a minor blip into a catalyst for that all-important play-off push.
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Date:Sunday March 7 2010
|Leicester City||3||-||2||Aston Villa|
|AFC Bournemouth||1||-||1||Leicester City|
|1. Man City||8||6||0||2||12||18|
|2. Man Utd||7||5||1||1||7||16|
|3. Crystal Palace||8||5||0||3||4||15|
|4. Leicester City||8||4||3||1||2||15|
|5. West Ham||8||4||2||2||6||14|
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