Under pressure manager, Claude Puel takes his Leicester City side to the Molineux Stadium this weekend to face Nuno Santo’s Wolverhampton Wanderers. With only two points separating them in the Premier League table.
Back in January 2013 the Foxes were searching for a fifth consecutive win in the Championship as they chased the automatic promotion places. The visitors meanwhile were on a much poorer run of form finding themselves 19th in the table before the trip across the Midlands to the Walkers Stadium.
Knockaert starts proceedings with the opening goal
It was the hosts who started brightly in this Championship fixture. Leicester manager Nigel Pearson selecting an unchanged side to the team that dispatched Middlesbrough in the previous fixture. Young French winger Anthony Knockaert looked dangerous on the fright-flank from the start, running at defenders with pace and his signature flair that caused havoc for the Wolves left-back Stephen Ward.
Knockaert was eventually rewarded for his constant pressure when he opened the scoring in the 24th minute when City keeper Kasper Schmeichel cleverly picked out the Frenchman on the touchline. The winger retrieved the long ball before turning and running at the re-treating Ward to the cleverly cut inside on the left to slot the ball past a helpless Carl Ikeme in goal for Wolverhampton. The goal was Knockaert’s 8th of the season so far.
Starting once again on the opposite wing for Leicester was Ben Marshall who perhaps should have doubled the host’s lead but instead blazed his effort over after latching on to a sublime David Nugent pass.
Wanderers come out firing
Visiting manager Dean Saunders would have been pleased with his side’s start to the second half as it only took six minutes for Wolves to level the scoring thanks to a spectacular half-volley effort struck from 25-yards out by Bakary Sako into the bottom-right corner of Leicester’s goal.
The equaliser fired up Saunder’s side who began to commit more players forward in a hope of getting a second goal to win the game.
Nugent seals the win
With the away side pressing, Leicester seemed to be pinned back in their own half. The score stayed level until 17 minutes from time the former Portsmouth striker, Nugent, picked up possession of the ball just inside his own half. Helped on by a clever dummy-run from substitute Lloyd Dyer, Nugent was able to carry the ball deep into Wolves territory to the edge of the area to then cut inside and curl a shot into the bottom right-hand corner of the goal.
Leicester seemed confident to see the game out at 2-1 but had a scare in stoppage time when big striker Sylvan Ebanks-Blake hit the post. Pearson’s side survived to secure their 5th win on the bounce moving them into 2nd place, 3 points clear of third.
After the game, Foxes manager Pearson admitted:
“We have played better. But credit to Wolves, who played with a lot of spirit and made life difficult for us with five in midfield.
"So it was nice to win a tight game like this with two bits of quality. The irony is that we scored our goals on the counter-attack and in the second half we really had to grind it out.”
Ironically for Leicester, after this 5th successive win the Foxes would have to endure a dismal run collecting just 15 points from the remaining 17 games having to rely on a win on the last game of the season to sneak Leicester into the Championship play-offs.