Crystal Palace 0-1 Leicester
16/03/10 - 8 p.m.
Bruno Berner's second half strike sent Leicester on their way to another three points at the expense of ten man Crystal Palace.
The home side had found themselves a man short in the dying minutes of the opening period after Claude Davis was shown a straight red for an off-the-ball incident with Michael Morrison.
In a professional performance City got exactly what they deserved against troubled Palace, despite some unecessary pressure late on with the Foxes in almost total control.
Manager Nigel Pearson began the game with Nobby Solano at right back, with Michael Morrison taking the place of the injured Alex Bruce in the heart of defence.
Leicester came out of the traps quickest, setting the tone early for a dominant half. Despite an abundance of possession however, City couldn't significantly threaten Julian Speroni's goal early doors.
Andy King headed over from Paul Gallagher's cross, before Dyer forced a tidy save from Speroni soon afterwards. Gallagher himself was faced with a glorious opportunity after fine work from Matt Oakley, but the Scot somehow managed to steer his effort wide from close range.
Solano sent the ball just inches over from a 30-yard free-kick minutes later, before finding himself deep in action at the other end. Darren Ambrose's dangerous cross-cum-shot was ready to be tapped in by an onrushing Palace forward, but Solano was there to slide in and avert the danger brilliantly.
Leicester continued to press with some neat football, but it was clear that Palace were not allowing it to happen. There were plenty of niggly fouls from the home side, who were struggling to take any kind of hold against a well-organised Foxes side.
Gallagher saw a header saved after good work from Bruo Berner down the left, before Chris Weale found himself in action at the other end to deny a powerful Calvin Andrew shot for a corner.
Tensions boiled over with just two minutes of the first half remaining when Palace centre back Claude Davis was shown a straight red card for an apparent elbow to Michael Morrison. In truth it was perhaps a taste of their own medicine for the home side, whose blatant attempts to stop City from playing football had become frustrating to say the least.
With the half-time score goalless, Pearson's men emerged for the second period hoping to capitalise on the red card and find a breakthrough. They began brightly once again, taking the game to Palace from the off.
Left back Bruno Berner volleyed over with the goal gaping within the first couple of minutes of the restart, but quickly redeemed himself in the 53rd minute when the Foxes took the lead. Martyn Waghorn's close-range effort from Lloyd Dyer's cross was saved brilliantly by Speroni, only for Berner to pounce on the rebound to give City a deserved lead.
As the minutes wore on it appeared as though City would be content in trying to keep the one goal advantage, and play was brought down to a slow pace in attempts to tire out ten-man Palace.
But to their credit the home side battled forward at every opportunity despite the deficit, Neil Danns forcing a save out of Chris Weale.
Leicester's own passing game was becoming lazy at times, and keeping the ball for prolonged periods was becoming an unecessarily difficult task for a Foxes side in total control.
At the other end Paul Hart's men were defending valiantly, and restricted City to a Paul Gallagher striker which was saved by Speroni.
The home side began to pick up several set-pieces with the game coming to a close, and came close themselves when Clint Hill saved his header brilliantly stopped by Weale to keep City's advantage.
Despite the late pressure which was totally unecessary on City's part, Leicester held on for the deserved win that moves them up one place to 4th in the Championship table.
In a professional and surprisingly laid-back performance the Foxes could have perhaps put Palace to the sword with more goals, but three points gained is nonetheless the important aspect to take from the match.
Coventry City are next up for Pearson's men, the Sky Blues making the short trip up the M69 on Sunday in another key clash for both sides.
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