Saturday, 26 November 2011

Conclusions from Fratton Park

Portsmouth1-1Leicester City
(HT 0-0)
Norris 68Nugent 74

Fratton Park, attendance: Not yet announced
BBC Match Report

Home Team: Henderson, Halford , Rocha, Pearce, Mattock, Mullins, Norris , Thorn, Ward, Kitson, Huseklepp

Away Team: Schmeichel, Peltier, St Ledger, Mills, Konchesky, Dyer, Wellens, King, Gallagher (Danns 64), Nugent, Beckford (Howard 64)

  • What a different a year makes. Of Fosse and Foxes began with its first episode in the 'Conclusions...' series over a year ago, following Leicester City's dismal 6-1 defeat to Portsmouth at Fratton Park. On that night, Paulo Sousa's Foxes - including just Lloyd Dyer and Andy King among today's starting eleven - were utterly destroyed and only Dyer was considered a winner. Fourteen months on, Leicester City have had time to reflect and, with the steadying hand of the Raksriaksorn family now stabilising the football club and Nigel Pearson making his return, things are finally looking up once more and this result, somewhat ground-out, is testament to that.
  • The Foxes bottle again the chance to go sixth. A win today, and the right results, would have seen Leicester lying in sixth place and within the play-offs for the first time since Nigel Pearson departed in June 2010. As it happens, the Foxes are ninth and once more within two points of that so-far elusive spot.

Kasper Schmeichel
Even before Matt Mills deflected David Norris' shot beyond the Foxes' keeper, it could have gone so badly for Leicester when Dave Kitson was denied just a few seconds into the second half. His header, from four yards, was saved by the one player who, on current form, is arguably the Championship's player of the year so far. That save was just one piece of brilliance in a string of many from Kasper Schmeichel (he kept out a blistering shot from Hayden Mullins after David Nugent put the Foxes level), who is blossoming in tandem with his team. Coincidence? This commentator thinks not.

David Nugent
David Nugent will take the credit as the goal scorer - with a great finish, too - but his goal was the reward of some flowing, elegant football from the Leicester City midfield. On top of that, Nugent offered determination and hard work up front even when, in the first half mediocrity, the Foxes' centre men were unable to execute a killer pass forward and free-up the duo up-front.

Richie Wellens
The Foxes' beating heart was back at his best against Pompey. Richie Wellens ran the midfield and consequently the direction of the match. In the end it was Leicester in the ascendency and Wellens was the major contributor. 

Jermaine Beckford
When he was transferred to Leicester, Jermaine Beckford confirmed in his first interview to the local media that he likes to run at defenders. It seems his liking for running at the opposition is very different to the talent for doing so - a talent that on current form the former Leeds and Everton striker seems to lack.

Paul Gallagher
A relatively ineffective day at the office for the Scot, particularly given his dramatic impact a week ago. Gallagher was substituted rightly for Neil Danns, who had a little more impact on the game.


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