Date:Sunday December 26 2010
26/12/10 - 3 p.m
Andy King cracked in a superb equaliser as Leicester battled back from two goals down to claim a hard-earned point against Leeds at the Walkers Stadium.
Max Gradel had opened the scoring against his former club for Simon Grayson's side, before David Snodgrass smashed in a second ten minutes into the second half.
But a Paul Gallagher penalty with twenty minutes remaining helped Leicester find a way back into the match, before King volleyed home just four minutes later to give the Foxes their share of the spoils against high-flying Leeds.
Manager Sven-Goran Eriksson made two changes from the side which was soundly beaten at Ipswich last weekend, bringing in Jack Hobbs for the injured Miguel Vitor at the back and Steve Howard in for Lloyd Dyer up front.
Leicester had already beaten the visitors twice this season at Elland Road, but were facing a Leeds side unbeaten in nine and occupying an automatic promotion place in the Championship.
And it was City who started the game brightest, forcing Leeds goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel into action from some early set-pieces.
Paul Gallagher almost sent Andy King on his way with a neat through ball after five minutes, before Steve Howard fired harmlessly wide of the post.
But a stagnant opening period saw little in the way of goalmouth action as Leicester struggled to break down a well-organised Leeds side willing to work hard.
And Foxes frustrations were fuelled after just 20 minutes when Simon Grayson's side took the lead with their first attack of the match. Kyle Naughton's untimely slip inside the area allowed former winger Max Gradel the simple task of heading home unopposed from Neil Kilkenny's cross to give Leeds a somewhat fortuitous lead.
It was a bitter blow for Leicester, who had now seen the first goal of a Championship match hit the net for the 13th time this season.
As it was, the remainder of the first half produced little in the way of excitement as the visitors drew confidence from their opener. Snodgrass was being used wherever possible on the right side of midfield, but Chris Kirkland was left a mere bystander for long periods.
Leicester's best passage of play of the first half ended in row Z after tidy play from Richie Wellens and Darius Vassell teed up Steve Howard for a blasted effort over the bar.
As half-time arrived it was City who remained behind, plagued yet again with the feeling of having work to do to pull themselves back into the game.
Half-time: Leicester 0-1 Leeds
It was Eriksson's side who opening the second period with its first opportunity as Kasper Schmeichel managed to keep hold of Yuki Abe's deflected effort.
But with just ten minutes of the half gone, Leeds struck again with a superb Robert Snodgrass effort. A corner was cleared back out to the Scot, who picked up the ball on an angle inside the box before fizzing a powerful effort past Kirkland into the far corner of the net.
The goal had once again stunned the home side, who still found themselves scratching heads at quite how a relatively even game had panned out with Leeds two goals to the good.
With 25 minutes remaining Eriksson rung the changes, as Lloyd Dyer and Roman Bednar entered the fray at the expense of Yuki Abe and Steve Howard. Necessary changes they certainly were, and ones that proved decisive in helping Leicester claw their way back into proceedings.
Indeed, the Foxes pulled one back in the 71st minute from the penalty spot. Darius Vassell was hauled down inside the area by Leeds goalkeeper Schmeichel, who was amazingly allowed to remain on the field as he escaped with just a booking. Gallagher stepped up and drilled his penalty hard and low down the middle to hand City a lifeline.
The home crowd had the boost they craved so badly, and momentum was well in Leicester's favour as they hunted down an equaliser.
And sure enough their spell of pressure reaped its awards just four minutes later. Captain Andy King picked up a bouncing ball 25-yards out from goal before unleashing a superb dipping effort which beat Schmeichel under the bar to draw the game level.
With their final wake up call well and truly received, Leeds themselves began to push for a third with 15 minutes remaining on the clock. Ross McCormack and Billy Paynter were introduced in the final minutes as a succession of Leeds set-pieces caused havoc in the Leicester penalty area.
Chris Kirkland had to be alert to pull off a superb stop on the line from a Neil Collins header, before Bradley Johnson saw his effort hacked off the line by Paul Gallagher.
Leicester had let their momentum slip, but despite Leeds' late onslaught they held on for what was a deserved point on the day. The point sees City extend their unbeaten home record to eight matches, while Leeds brought their running total without defeat to ten.
A tough fixture at Millwall awaits Eriksson's men on Tuesday, but another spirited fightback on home soil may just provide the much-needed platform the Foxes need to overcome their jitters on the road.
Leicester: Kirkland, Naughton, Davies, Hobbs, Cunningham, Wellens, King (c), Abe (Dyer 64), Gallagher, Howard (Bednar 65), Vassell
Subs not used: Weale, Morrison, Oakley, Waghorn, Moussa
Leeds: Schmeichel, Connolly, Collins, O'Brien, McCartney, Snodgrass, Howson (c) (McCormack 85), Kilkenny (Faye 90+3), Johnson, Gradel, Becchio (Paynter 85)
Subs not used: Bruce, Sam, Higgs, Bromby
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Date:Sunday December 26 2010
|1. Leicester City||33||23||5||5||+30||74|
|3. Derby County||34||18||7||9||+17||61|
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