Leicester City will want to continue with their recent good form in the Premier League when they host Marcelo Bielsa’s Leeds United at the King Power Stadium. The Leicestershire side will feel aggrieved to only come away with a point in a 1-1 draw after a dominating second-half performance last time out, away at Everton.
Brendan Rodgers may have a selection headache for the match, with Jamie Vardy out after an operation for a hernia and Wilfred Ndidi a doubt after he hobbled off in the first half at Goodison Park.
The two sides met on Easter Monday, towards the end of the 2008-2009 season both chasing promotion from League One. Nigel Pearson’s Leicester side were looking to bounce straight back to the Championship at the first time of asking as champions. Meanwhile Leeds who were currently 5th, were still hoping for automatic promotion place with a top-two finish rather than promotion through a play-off shoot out.
Championship quality shines early on
The teams came out onto the pitch at the Walkers Stadium to a record attendance for the season. It was the home side Leicester, buoyed on by a rapturous Foxes faithful who started the more likely to open the scoring, showing their Championship quality. Wingers Lloyd Dyer and Max Gradel looked dangerous making incisive runs. They also also provided plenty of crosses to target man Steve Howard who continued to hold the ball up well, as he had done all season, for strike partner Matty Fryatt who had 24 goals in the league before the whistle was blown.
United keeper Casper Ankergren kept his side in the game in the early stages stopping a Gradel effort from the right-wing. Ankergren had no time to rest however as he was forced to make another save from an Andy King header after a Leicester corner.
Later on in the first half and perhaps against the run of play, it was the away side who nearly took the lead after Foxes shot-stopper David Stockdale, who was on loan from Fulham, misjudged a Robert Snodgrass corner. He inexplicably punched the ball backwards towards his own net only to be saved blushes by the crossbar when the ball cannoned off it.
Heroes at both ends
Both goalkeeper’s earned their wages in the opening stages of the second half as the game opened up. A Leeds corner which met the head of United captain Richard Naylor forced Stockdale to make a good low save.
A sublime Andy King curling effort from outside the box was then tipped just wide by a fully stretched Ankergren. Shortly after, exciting youngster Fabian Delph had the chance to put Leeds ahead when he was played through by Andy Robinson but was denied again by Stockdale.
Fryatt had two chances to put the home side ahead but uncharacteristically put his efforts high and wide. He was eventually substituted for veteran Paul Dickov.
Late drama in the closing stages
Leeds substitute Andy Robinson had the best chance for the visiting side when his excellent shot from 20 yards out dipped and was deflected over the bar once again by Stockdale.
The game looked as though it would drizzle out and that points were to be shared amongst the two sides. Leeds were the ones to suffer heartache in injury time however when Steve Howard latched onto a Gradel corner to power a headed effort past a helpless Ankergren.
The Foxes faithful celebrated, albeit prematurely as champions as the top spot was not yet mathematically secured. Second place Peterborough united also dropped points with a loss away at Millwall.
After the game, manager Nigel Pearson, kept a level head and explained
"The situation that we are currently in is great, but there are three games left and there are points to play for," he said. "It would be nice to finish the season with some momentum to take into next season."
Leicester would only have to wait a matter of days however to be promoted as champions after a 2-0 win on the south coast away at Southend.