Monday, 3 January 2011

Conclusions from Swansea City

Leicester2-1Swansea City
(HT 2-1)
Berner 6
Vassell 43
Sinclair 12

  • It took 243... You could tell that Foxblogger, Leicester City fan and Statto extraordinaire, was sitting waiting for this one. He must have had a tally chart or something. Still, 243 corners and finally the Foxes grabbed a goal from not one, but two! It could only have been Bruno Berner, wanting to leave at the start of December as he sat warming the bench but given a first-team lifeline after the horrific injury to Greg Cunningham, who appeared in the box to poke home the first, before Darius Vassell took advantage of a melee in the box to score a second.
  • It was a game of 'finallies'. Leicester had failed to go into half time having scored more than once this season, until today. Clearly, today was the day all statistics were blown apart.
  • This was a big, big win. Sven's men march on and on. Two wins on the trot, one away and one at home, moves the Foxes closer to the playoffs and where we deserve to be. Today's performance means we exit the Christmas period with seven out of a possible twelve points, a reasonable return and one that after the embarrassing snowy defeat to Ipswich many fans would have gratefully accepted. The form guide is now less embarrassing, we've beaten the second placed side on the back of our first away win in five games and made the perfect start to the new year. The future is bright indeed.

Goal: Berner celebrates with Andy King
Bruno Berner
What a start from the former Swiss international. Not content with poking home the opener to end Leicester's corner-ball goal scoring duck, he was tracking back and using his head to cleverly defend against Swansea's pace up front. How Berner must have swelled with pride as 21,000 fans chanted his name all together. A truly professional, first class performance, and surely today's Man of the Match has to stay at a team where he is clearly adored?

Darius Vassell
Despite suffering from a lack of fitness still, Vassell put in another solid showing. He did fail to get to a loose ball that would have seen the Foxes 2-1 ahead, but made amends when he - or Andy King or Paul Gallagher or anyone for that matter - poked home from Leicester's third corner of the game to take that advantage going into half time. Incredibly, Vassell keeps hold of the astonishing record that, in English leagues, no team in which Vassell is playing has lost the game when he has scored. Having scored 54 goals for Aston Villa, Manchester City and now Leicester City, that is quite a statistic.

Michael Morrison
Another solid performance from the young centre half and despite him not being credited with the goal it was he who was first identified by many as the scorer of Leicester's scruffy second. Morrison certainly seems to offer something different at corners, his height and ability in the air a threat to many defences in this league. If he doesn't leave this winter as has been touted, he could form a once again solid defensive partnership with Jack Hobbs. Certainly they were that today - no fault can be attributed to either Morrison or Hobbs for Swansea's goal - and they resolutely defended for the last ten minutes to keep Swansea's late surge at bay. Sol Bamba? Ben Mee? ...Who they?

Good game: Michael Morrison battles for the ball

Martyn Waghorn
For all of Darius Vassell's ability, he is struggling to keep fit for the 75-80 minutes he is regularly playing. Today would have been the perfect opportunity for Martyn Waghorn to play a full half or more but, for whatever reason, Sven Goran Eriksson saw fit for the £3 million striker to play only a few minutes in the closing stages. For Waghorn to make an impact he has to work for a more sustained period through a game, and that is exactly what he is not being allowed to do at present.
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