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Match Report


Posted Tue 05 Mar 13 at 22:45 PM

Match Report: City 1 Leeds 1

Michael Keane's stoppage-time header rescued a valuable npower Championship point for City as they battled back from a goal down to draw with Leeds United at King Power Stadium

Sam Byram's far post finish from a Ross McCormack's corner just after the break looked like being enough for the visitors from Yorkshire on what was turning into a frustrating night for Nigel Pearson's Foxes.

But a spirited fightback in the closing stages saw Keane rise highest at the far post to head Martyn Waghorn's corner past Paddy Kenny and secure what could be a crucial point against Neil Warnock's side ahead of Saturday's tie with Sheffield Wednesday.

There was just one change for The Foxes from the side that slipped to a late defeat at Ipswich on Saturday, with top scorer David Nugent coming in for Ben Marshall as Pearson stuck to a 4-4-2 formation with Kane starting on the right flank.

Leeds meanwhile were unchanged from their 1-0 triumph at home to Millwall with Warnock’s side, captained by former Leicester City man Lee Peltier, looking to continue their climb up the table from ninth.

With a buoyant Foxes crowd behind them, City began on the front foot and had a chance through the left of Anthony Knockaert in just the first minute, but after a good touch from Paul Konchesky to tee him up, the young Frenchman lashed his shot wide.

On 10 minutes Leeds twice had centre back Tom Lees to thank for denying the hosts after some great forward endeavour by Ritchie De Laet on the right.

First the Leeds number four got a good block on Andy King’s volley after Chris Wood’s knockdown, and he was then on hand to head behind Kane’s cross for the returning Nugent, although referee Paul Tierney awarded a goal kick.

But the visitors weren’t quiet by any means, and gave City a timely reminder of the danger they posed shortly after – talented young full back Byram nodding a header at goal which Kasper Schmeichel did well to turn away.

The 19th minute brought about a foray forwards on the right flank from one of the most unlikely of candidates, Wes Morgan. The skipper picked up the ball unmarked, dropped his shoulder to switch inside past two Leeds defenders before setting up Danny Drinkwater for an effort that flew high and wide.

Even with top scorer Nugent back in the mix, the fine margins that denied City any points at Ipswich on Saturday were still evident. The striker was alert enough to follow up after Kane shot from 25 yards, but when Leeds ‘keeper Kenny spilled the ball, it rebounded in the opposite direction to his run.

Kane again tried his luck from distance with a 30-yard strike on the half-hour that whistled past the post as the game went back and forth with neither side able to break the deadlock.

It was looking like it might take something special to get the breakthrough, and with 10 minutes until the break Wood almost produced it.

Kane worked the ball to him on the left of the box and he was able to curl a dipping right footed effort from 18 yards which a full-stretch Kenny somehow tipped over the bar.

However Leeds may well have thought they were about to take the lead soon after when Byram’s teasing ball fell to David Norris 12 yards out, but the former Portsmouth man scuffed his effort well wide with the goal at his mercy.

The final chance of the half fell to Knockaert after Lees had brought down Wood on the edge of the area, but Kenny got fingertips to his free kick and pushed it around the post. There was no time to take the corner however, much to the displeasure of a vocal King Power Stadium crowd.

Leicester boss Pearson opted to make one change at the break as Lloyd Dyer was introduced at left back for the injured Konchesky.

City started brightly again, but for all their efforts it was Leeds who stole a lead in the 52nd minute.

McCormack’s corner was fired in from the left and flicked off a head in the box before landing invitingly at the right foot of Byram, who made no mistake with an emphatic far post finish.

The setback for City seemed to spur the Yorkshire visitors on, and they came close to doubling that lead twice before the hour mark – first Lees headed a corner just over the crossbar, then McCormack tested Schmeichel from 25 yards.

Those two chances brought about City’s second change of the match – Ben Marshall replacing Knockaert in a like-for-like switch on the left.

Kane tried to spark a comeback on his own, but a scuffed first-time finish summed up a frustrating evening for The Foxes at that point, as Paul Green tested Schmeichel again at the other end.

The home crowd urged their side forward as they battled for every ball, but it was just not falling for City despite setting up camp in the Leeds half when the game passed 70 minutes.

With 11 left on the clock a determined City ploughed forward and were rewarded with their best chance of the half when De Laet’s cross bobbled into the path of Wood. The New Zealand international leathered a powerful effort goal wards, but with Kenny rooted to his spot the ball struck Nugent to deflect wide.

That was to be Nugent’s last involvement as his industrious shift came to an end with City’s final change – making way for Waghorn.

The floodgates then seemed to open as far as chances went – Norris forced a brilliant save from Schmeichel after a Green through ball, while at the other end Kane drove wide from 20 yards after Waghorn’s left footed effort was blocked.

Four minutes of stoppage time came, and along with it arrived Schmeichel... into the Leeds box. It was almost a decision that paid off when the 'keeper got a flick on from a corner for King to try an overhead kick, but Kenny tipped it over.

Kane then went down under a challenge for a high ball, but the referee waved away penalty appeals as Jason Pearce replaced McCormack.

It was all City, and King was again involved when his header was tipped over to win what would prove to be an all important corner.

Waghorn did the honours, swinging in an inch-perfect ball to the far post for on-loan Manchester United man Keane to power a header home at the far post for 1-1, as City rescued a valuable point with a spirited display at King Power Stadium.

City (4-4-2): Schmeichel, De Laet, Konchesky (Dyer 46), Drinkwater, Morgan (c), King, Keane, Knockaert (Marshall 60), Nugent (Waghorn 81), Kane, Wood



Unused subs: Whitbread, Logan, Gallagher, Wellens

Goal: Keane 90


Leeds (4-3-3): Kenny, Peltier (c), Lees, Green, Morison, Varney, Warnock, Tonge, Norris, Byram, McCormack (Pearce 90)


Unused subs: Ashdown, White, Brown, Diouf, Habibou, Hall


Goal: Byram 52


Attendance: 22,660


Referee: Paul Tierney (Lancashire)

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