Burnley 3-0 Leicester
21/08/10 - 3 p.m.
Lady luck was not smiling down upon Leicester manager Paulo Sousa as he saw his Foxes side go down as comfortable losers at Turf Moor.
A huge deflection provided the home side with the lead on the stroke of half-time, before Chris Iwelumo and Gary Alexander added second half strikes to leave Burnley with a deserved victory and Sousa with the bitter taste of defeat.
The Foxes manager was forced to withdraw Matty Fryatt and Lloyd Dyer from his first team squad prior to the game, handing a start in midfield to Dany N'Guessan.
Neilson --- Hobbs --- Moreno --- Berner
Oakley --- Wellens --- King
Campbell --- Howard --- N'Guessan
It was Leicester who started the game brightest, and perhaps should have edged themselves in front as soon as the second minute. N'Guessan beat the offside trap, but couldn't find a way past Brian Jensen in the Burnley goal.
The winger should have found himself in yet another one on one situation almost immediately after, but his ill-timed run from DJ Campbell's perfect ball through was cut short by the offside flag.
At the other end the home faithful thought their side had taken the lead when the impressive Andre Bikey headed in from a corner, but a foul inside the penalty area on goalkeeper Chris Weale saw the goal disallowed.
From here on it was Burnley who began to take control of the half, with City restricted only to short spells in possession with a frustrating lack of movement.
The Foxes backline was impeccably organised however, and Weale was rarely troubled with anything of serious note.
DJ Campbell raced up the other end to get a foot on Steve Howard's flick-on, but the resulting effort found its way over Jensen's goal.
Leicester continued to defend stoutly to bat away efforts from Wade Elliott and Danny Fox, but three minutes before the break were forced into an unwelcome substitution.
Goalkeeper Chris Weale had earlier fell awkwardly on his shoulder, and no risks were taken as he was replaced by Conrad Logan.
Sadly Logan's first touch of the game was to pick the ball out of his net, as Leicester went behind in the cruelest of fashions.
What had been a reasonably evenly-poised first half suddenly tipped well in the balance of Burnley, who saw Ross Wallace's long range effort nestle in the bottom corner after a huge deflection off centre back Moreno.
It was a crucial breakthough in a game where both defences were well on top, a stroke of great fortune eventually proving decisive.
The second half began with a series of Leicester corners, all of which were hit hopelessly long by midfielder Matt Oakley. It was a grating issue throughout the match, as opportunity after opportunity from set-pieces was ruefully wasted.
Clarets striker Chris Iwelumo had the half's first real chance when he headed into the hands of Logan from a Danny Fox cross, before going close again as he saw his close-range effort blocked by Moreno.
As Leicester pushed for an equaliser the game suddenly swung out of reach on the hour mark when the Scot doubled the home side's advantage.
A needless free-kick given away in midfield proved the catalyst for disaster as Burnley worked the ball wide to Ross Wallace, who delivered a superb ball for the towering Iwelumo to nod home with ease.
In truth the striker proved too difficult to handle for City's centre back pairing all game long, his awkward height advantage almost causing more damage than was eventually inflicted.
The Foxes were going down with a whimper, and scoring to halve the deficit was never on the cards. With little options from the bench, Michael Lamey was brought on to replace Robbie Neilson at right back.
Lamey's first real contribution of the game was to needlessly trip Chris Eagles inside the penalty area to hand Graham Alexander the simply task of firing home from the spot. The evergreen 38-year-old simply doesn't miss from there.
Young midfielder Franck Moussa was handed his debut for the club with ten minutes remaining, looking lively as he fired over with the only remaining chance of the game.
It was a dismal performance from Sousa's side, whose sizeable chunk of misfortune and lack of alternatives cost them dearly on the day.
Possession was squandered at will by almost everbody, the worrying lack of movement in and around the midfield the obvious source of reason.
Dany N'Guessan in particular had a day he will not wait to forget, but in a team with many a poor performer it is only Richie Wellens who should come out of the game with an enhanced reputation for a grafting display in the middle of the park.
A difficult set of opening fixtures was never going to produce a joyous amount of points at this stage, but it certainly isn't getting much easier from here.
Sat rooted to the bottom of the table is not the place Sousa will have had in mind for his Foxes side after three matches, but all is not lost.
This was simply a bad day at the office.
Leicester: Weale, Neilson, Moreno, Hobbs, Berner, King, Oakley, Wellens, Campbell, Howard, N'Guessan
Subs: Morrison, Gallagher, Logan (for Weale, 43), Kennedy, Lamey (for Neilson, 56), Moussa (for Oakley, 80), Crncic
Burnley: Jensen , Alexander, Fox, Carlisle, Marney, Iwelumo, Paterson, Elliott, Mears, Bikey, Wallace
Subs: Cork (for Marney, 66), McDonald, Cort, Rodriguez, Thompson (for Iwelumo, 70), Eagles (for Eagles, 66), Grant