Leicester City staged a dramatic comeback to beat Birmingham 3-2 after a buzzing afternoon at the King Power Stadium which left Foxes fans on the edge of their seats.
Nigel Pearson’s men got off to a good start with Jamie Vardy and Matt James both coming close within the first ten minutes, before Birmingham’s Matt Green ran past Jeff Schlupp to get on the end of a Shane Ferguson cross after eleven minutes, taking the Blues in front. Despite the early setback, the Foxes dominated the first half, left-back Jeff Schlupp making a cracking run to firstly set up Matty James before having a shot on goal himself, going over and wide.
Already on the score sheet, Matt Green was trying desperately to add to his tally for the visitors but got caught offside twice in succession. Leicester then countered and an onslaught of corners followed, but they just couldn’t convert their chances.
Pearson made changes at half time, bringing Lloyd Dyer on for Danny Drinkwater and Anthony Knockaert for Chris Wood, who was largely ineffectual in the first half. The replacements made an immediate impact and City managed to get three corners within the first five minutes of the half, but they were indifferent from the previous 45 and none of them led to an equaliser. The game slowed down and Birmingham looked like they were taking control, and if it wasn’t for the expert goalkeeping of Leicester’s Great Dane Kasper Schmeichel then they probably would have scored a few more. It wasn’t until the 77th minute that the game sparked up again, winger Lloyd Dyer making a blinding run down the left to square it for Jamie Vardy, who blasted the ball into the bottom corner from 20 yards.
Referee Eddie Ilderton made a few dubious judgements, the stand out being his controversial decision to not award the hosts a penalty in the 79th minute, but they still managed to take the lead two minutes later – Anthony Knockaert flicking the ball back to David Nugent, who rolled it over to midfielder Andy King, breaking from midfield to fire across goal from 18 yards, hitting the back of the net on his 250th appearance in blue.
This second goal created some momentum for the Foxes and they continued to attack the Birmingham goal well into stoppage time. Lloyd Dyer, who had already made a great impact, ran in on goal and was brought down in the area by Kyle Bartley, consequently getting a booking. Last season’s top scorer David Nugent stepped up to the mark, casually dispatching the ball into the top centre of the net, making it 3-1 and set Leicester cruising for victory.
Just as the home side thought they had it in the bag Birmingham made one last attack, refusing to go down without a fight. Chris Burke made a run in from the wing and the ball whistled into the top left corner, a goal which was arguably the best of the game.
The result takes promotion-contenders Leicester into the automatic spots, second only on goal difference to first placed Blackpool on ten points, whilst Birmingham remain in the bottom half, sitting in 18th place with three points from four games.
Man of the Match: Jamie Vardy
Had an excellent game, worked tirelessly for 90 minutes and created a lot of good chances. Got on the score sheet with an accurate strike from outside the area.
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