Saturday, 1 October 2011

Joyous Conclusions from Derby County

Leicester City4-0Derby County
(HT 2-0)
Nugent 21
Vassell 44
Schlupp 88
Dyer 90+1

King Power Stadium, attendance: 22,496
BBC Match Report

Home Team: Schmeichel, Peltier, Bamba (49), Mills, Konchesky, Fernandes, King, Abe, Danns (Dyer 78), Vassell (Howard 83), Nugent (Schlupp 70)

Away Team: Fielding, Brayford, Roberts, Shackell (90+4), O'Brien, Bryson, B Davies, Hendrick (56), S Davies (Croft 72), Ward (Doyle 90), Robinson

  • Another clean sheet. FOUR games in a row where the Foxes have not conceded a goal (for the first time since 2002) must allay the fears of many fans that, defensively, Sven Goran Eriksson is yet to sort out his problems from last season (remember, Leicester City conceded more goals than any other side who survived in the Championship last term). Meanwhile, the fact that four players - including the under-fire Darius Vassell - netted for Leicester against a supposedly strong opponent should put to bed any fears that, at the other end, they are lacking in bite.
  • The Foxes are within reach of the play-offs. With that win (and those three points), Leicester now lie eighth in the league and within a win of the play-offs. Yes, it is automatic promotion that is desired by the Foxes' faithful but, if progress is to be examined in baby-steps, this is another item ticked-off en-route to those automatic promotion places.
  • That's why we love football. To annihilate a rival so convincingly was simply beautiful. It's just suh a shame that another international break must interfere with the current joy of being a Leicester City supporter. Was that the Foxes' most complete performance under Eriksson?

Matt Mills
A fortnight ago there was not one Foxes fan who was not critical of the club's record signing. Tonight he is everything but a hero. Man of the Match Mills was first to every ball, won every header and managed a robust and resilient defence that utterly neutered the Rams' attack. A stand-out performance from the ex-Reading man.

David Nugent
Returned to the team after injury and showed no signs of the pulled hamstring that has seen him missing for over a fortnight. His willingness to find space and run forward saw him rewarded with the Foxes' first goal of this fixture, a delightful move that culminated in a cheeky ball over the Derby defence to release Nugent - whose first touch was sublime - towards Rams' keeper Fielding, who in turn stood no chance against the ex-England striker's coolly-stroked finish.

Jeff Schlupp
Grabbed his first league goal and hardly looked out of place as Leicester continued to apply pressure in the final twenty minutes.

Darius Vassell
Under-fire for his lack of goals, Vassell scored a classic poachers' goal that must silence the critics. He was quickest to react to Neil Dann's shot that ricocheted off the post.

Neil Danns
Lively in midfield, Danns offered width as opposed to the narrow, reflexive passes of Richie Wellens. He offered a different, positive dimension to the Foxes' attacking play.

Steve Howard
Oh, how he relished the chance to run at his former club! Poise, elegance... fitness! Super Steve, for his fifteen minutes, was great value as he showed Eriksson what he's missing. The nod down for Lloyd Dyer's goal (Leicester's fourth) was classic Frankie.

Richie Wellens
Wellens was not selected for this fixture and his first team chances will be harmed by the manner in which Leicester shredded the Derby defence with Danns' width. More worringly for the ex-Doncaster man, the Foxes' played with much more positivity and with greater fluidity without him at the centre. Don't expect to see him return against Birmingham in a fortnight's time.

Yakubu the Falcon
Barely moved from his perch in the second half.
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