Date:Wednesday September 29 2010
28/09/10 - 7.45 p.m
Leicester were condemned to their third straight league defeat as Norwich became the latest side to keep the Foxes rooted to the bottom of the table.
In a game which contained almost everything, two goals from Matty Fryatt and one from Martyn Waghorn were still not enough for a share of the spoils in a thrilling encounter at Carrow Road.
Waghorn sent Leicester on their way in the second minute, before Andrew Crofts, Wes Hoolahan and Adam Drury put Norwich in a commanding position with half an hour remaining.
Substitute Matty Fryatt grabbed a brace inbetween a second Hoolahan goal before being shown his marching orders for violent conduct.
Manager Paulo Sousa was left frustrated yet again, but laid praise for the character his side showed when the chips were down.
"I feel a lot of pride in the attitude and effort that we showed right up to the end of the game and we had quality throughout," he said. "We have to keep that spirit because that is how we will win games.
"We are suffering breaks against us and that is something we have to change with our spirit because only that way can we turn things around."
Words are all well and good, but at this moment in time Sousa's job is hanging in the balance. The vote of confidence has already arrived from chairman Milan Mandaric, who will not want to see the Foxes back in League One for the second time in three seasons.
Sousa made five changes from the hapless defeat at Portsmouth on Friday evening, Carl Ikeme, Michael Lamey, Tom Kennedy, Jack Hobbs and Richie Wellens coming into the first team in place of Conrad Logan, Robbie Neilson, Bruno Berner, Miguel Vitor and Yuki Abe.
The Foxes may have thought the tide was about to turn in just the second minute of the game when they took the lead through Martyn Waghorn.
The forward skipped through the Norwich defence before firing at goal, seeing his reasonably tame effort spilled into the net by Canaries' goalkeeper John Ruddy.
But of course, it didn't last. The home side drew level on the half hour mark courtesy of the impressive Andrew Crofts, who smashed home Grant Holt's low cross from the right.
Norwich had the lead early in the second half when referee Peter Walton awarded a penalty against Leicester's Michael Morrison for handball - the second match in a row the young centre back has conceded a spot kick.
Hoolahan made no mistake from 12 yards as he smashed his penalty into the top corner, leaving Leicester with it all to do at Carrow Road.
But things turned from bad to worse shortly afterwards when the Canaries grabbed a third. Hoolahan was involved once again to pick out Adam Drury, who raced down the left side before lifting the ball smartly over Ikeme for his first league goal since 2005.
Leicester had not given up however, and got themselves back into the tie with 25 minutes left. Lloyd Dyer's drive into the box was flicked beautifully to substitute Fryatt by Andy King, with Fryatt finishing off at the second attempt.
Thoughts of a leveller were soon quashed however, as the hosts found a fourth ten minutes later. And a goal worthy of winning any game it was. The influential Hoolahan picked up a bouncing ball just over 30 yards out before unleashing an unstoppable volley to sew up a majestic man of the match performance.
Undeterred, the Foxes did not lie down and found themselves a glimmer of hope with just over ten minutes remaining. Fryatt latched onto Paul Gallagher's neat through ball before slotting home excellently past Ruddy to set up a nervy ending to the match.
Or not. Just second after scoring Fryatt was shown his marching orders for violent conduct on Leon Barnett after the Norwich defender refused to hand the ball back.
As it was the final 15 minutes went mainly in Norwich's favour, allowing Paul Lambert's side to pick up another useful three points in their bid for back to back promotions.
For Leicester the defeat piled yet more misery on an already frustrating situation, the Foxes now sitting three points adrift of the bottom three.
With ten goals conceded in their last two matches, Saturday's visit of Scunthorpe to the Walkers will be seen as the ideal situation to get things on track for Sousa.
Another defeat is unthinkable. Fan pressure is already mounting on the Portuguese manager, who will not want to see his spell in charge of the club end prematurely.
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Date:Wednesday September 29 2010
|1. Leicester City||33||23||5||5||+30||74|
|3. Derby County||33||18||7||8||+18||61|
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