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Peterborough United 2-1 Leicester City
London Road, Saturday February 9th, 2013
Things constantly change in football. No sooner than you work out how to pronounce Vichai Raksriaksorn, the Leicester Chairman is bestowed the frankly unfathomable surname “Srivaddhanaprabha” by King Bhumibol of Thailand. Meanwhile a recently unstoppable Leicester team conspire to lose at basement side Peterborough United with a display worryingly reminiscent of the side whose lamentable early away form had threatened to de-rail any hopes of promotion this season.
Leicester fans will know that City often save their worst for a big travelling support so perhaps it wasn’t a total surprise when they allowed the home side to nick all three points at a ground half-filled with Leicester supporters, but this was a hard defeat to take given that results had favoured The Foxes recently AND that they had gone in front through Ben Marshall’s strike early in the second half only to lose out to late Davide Petrucci and Grant McCann efforts. Without Chris Wood, Leicester looked an ordinary side so will hope that the Kiwi climbs off the treatment table sooner rather than later as the chasing pack closes in.
Leicester made just one change from the side that beat Wolves in the last League fixture, Jamie Vardy in for Wood, Matty James back on the bench after injury. The Posh were without on-loan Manchester United defender Scott Wootton, who has a hamstring injury, but included another of Ferguson Senior’s players, highly-rated Italian midfielder Davide Petrucci in a 4-4-1-1 formation, Leicester-born Lee Tomlin making his 100th League appearance for Peterborough.
Having beaten Darren Ferguson’s men 2-0 at home, Leicester were looking for a first ever double over the side 36 miles East down the A47, but having only ever won one League game at London Road the past was against them. However, the present very much favoured the visitors, Posh without a win in four games while Leicester went into the game with a 100% Championship record in 2013 and hoping for a sixth successive league victory for the first time in twenty years.
Roared on by close to 5,000 travelling fans, Leicester started brightly with David Nugent wasting a great chance to make it 1-0 after Ritchie De Laet’s run and cut-back found the City top scorer after just three minutes, Ben Marshall then testing former Austrian U21 International keeper Bobby Olejnik with a free-kick before the home side responded through a Grant McCann free-kick of their own which was adroitly turned round the post by Kasper Schmeichel.
Hardly a classic, City just about edged the first half but too often failed to make the most of decent possession around the edge of the Peterborough area, Congolese defender Gabriel Zakuani blocking efforts from Andy King who was making his 200th City appearance and Danny Drinkwater before Paul Konchesky blazed over from distance. Nugent came closest with a twelve yard effort that Olijnik managed to claw away and it remained goalless going into the break.
Leicester took the lead seven minutes into the second half, Nugent’s quick throw creating space for Drinkwater who strode into the area, squaring for MARSHALL on the left of the penalty area to stroke into the top corner in front of the Leicester-packed Moy’s End.
Leicester went in search of more with Marshall again denied by Zakuani before Jamie Vardy just failed to get on the end of Nugent’s pass, the former Fleetwood man then seeing his effort saved by Olejnik as City took control, although they were fortunate when Was Morgan appeared to handle in the area.
The relatively quiet Anthony Knockaert curled an effort just inches wide before George Boyd tested Schmeichel at the other end, the game seeming to change when Vardy was replaced by Martyn Waghorn, and for the worst for City.
Almost out of nothing, PETRUCCI unleashed an effort from the edge of the area which gave Schmeichel no chance, the ball flying into the top right hand corner despite the despairing dive from the Danish International. Nigel Pearson brought on fresh legs in the shape of Lloyd Dyer but Posh had their tails up, Lee Tomlin bringing another save from City’s number one.
Knockaert’s deflected effort brought another save from Olejnik at one end while GRANT MCCANN stole all three points at the other after being afforded the freedom of London Road by Leicester’s lazy midfield, arriving late to sweep past Schmeichel after good work from Boyd in the eighty-eighth minute.
A breathless finale saw Waghorn waste a gilt-edged chance to grab a deserved draw but swept over from Dyer’s left wing cut-back, while Tomlin broke before his shot was blocked by the legs of Schmeichel, Michael Keane eventually clearing with the help of the woodwork, and 2-1 it ended.
“A missed opportunity” Nigel Pearson called it, but it was more worrying that than, in fact the sort of lightweight away display that seemed to have been confined to history since the turn of the year, the distractions of the FA Cup next up for a Leicester side that needs to rediscover its mojo, and quickly.
WHAT THE MANAGERS SAID
"It has been a very good day to get that performance and result. We were the better team from the off and scored a couple of outstanding goals to get the win. We've always had the belief in the dressing room that we can stay up and hopefully a victory like this will give that belief to the fans. I can certainly go home and enjoy the rest of my birthday."
- Peterborough Boss Darren Ferguson
"There's no doubt it goes down as a missed opportunity. When you get in front in a game like this, you have to close it out and we failed. We certainly created enough good chances to do that but I felt we didn't work hard enough to keep a clean sheet at the other end. That is not something you will hear me say about my players too often but I felt Peterborough had more drive than us, especially after they had got themselves level."
- Leicester Manager Nigel Pearson
Possession: PUFC 48% - 52% LCFC
Shots (On Target): PUFC 14 (9) - 13 (11) LCFC
Corners: PUFC 8 - 4 LCFC
Fouls: PUFC 11 - 7 LCFC
Bookings: PUFC 0 - 1 LCFC (De Laet)
Peterborough United (7)
01 Olejnik (7)
05 Zakuani (8) STAR MAN
19 Little (7)
06 Bostwick (6)
11 McCann (7)
14 Rowe (7)
23 Petrucci (7)
44 Mendez-Laing (6) (Pritchard 75)
08 Tomlin (7)
10 Boyd (7)
34 Gayle (7)
18 Ferdinand N/S
33 Pritchard (5) (Ferdinand 90)
Leicester City (6)
01 Schmeichel (7)
02 De Laet (6)
03 Konchesky (6)
05 Morgan (6)
15 M Keane (6)
04 Drinkwater (7)
07 Marshall (7) (Dyer 78)
10 King (5)
24 Knockaert (6)
09 Vardy (6) (Waghorn 70)
35 Nugent (7)
11 Dyer (6)
14 Waghorn (5)
Referee: Scott (3) Useless (Surprise, Surprise).
Attendance: 11,070 (4,691 Foxes)
IN CASE YOU WERE WONDERING (Useless Information No. 0049
Following Peterborough’s promotion to the First Division in 1992, the Main Stand was forced to undergo re-development. This was because the stadium's seated capacity was below the level required by the Taylor Report. In order to solve this problem, the stand's terraces were converted to seats. 700 of these new seats were bought second hand from Leicester City following the erection of The Carling Stand, another 300 seats were taken from Millwall's Old Den.
© Bentleys Roof 2013