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Posted Thu 31 Jan 13 at 22:35 PM

Report: City 2 Wolves 1

Goals from Anthony Knockaert and David Nugent helped Leicester City make it five npower Championship wins on the bounce as a crucial 2-1 victory over Wolves at King Power Stadium moved them to within seven points of leaders Cardiff in the table. 


The returning Knockaert made the most of Kasper Schmeichel's long ball into space to fire past former City loanee Carl Ikeme and give the Foxes a 24th minute lead after a dominant first half display.


Wolves winger Bakary Sako then hit an unstoppable equaliser to drag the visitors back into the match after the break, but Nugent's equally impressive 14th league goal of the campaign 15 minutes from time proved to be decisive as City stretched their unbeaten run to eight games in all competitions.


Foxes manager Nigel Pearson made four changes to the side that drew 1-1 with Huddersfield in the FA Cup Fourth Round last weekend, with winger Knockaert recovering from the ankle injury that kept him out of last weekend’s match.

 

The strike pairing of Nugent and Chris Wood started in place of Martin Waghorn and Jamie Vardy, who dropped to the bench along with Richie Wellens and Lloyd Dyer.

 

Danny Drinkwater also returned to the starting line up, as they took on a Wolves side still searching for their first win under new manager Dean Saunders, and who welcomed defender Stephen Ward back into the fray.

 

It was the in-form Foxes who created the first opportunity as the lively Knockaert played a neat one-with Nugent on the edge of the area, but couldn’t quite work the ball onto his left foot before eventually being crowded out of it.

 

With a five-man midfield, the visitors tried to stifle City in the early stages, but Pearson’s men were able to carve out another opening on 17 minutes when striker Wood controlled a long ball up-field on his chest and attempted a blockbuster half-volley from 25 yards that dipped just too late onto the roof of the net.

 

Ben Marshall then tried his luck from a similar distance – his right footed strike proving too powerful for Ikeme to hold, but fortunately for the visitors he was able to gather at the second attempt at the feet of New Zealand international Wood.

 

The deserved breakthrough finally came in the 24th minute and it was City’s number 24, Knockaert that got it.

 

Schmeichel spotted the Frenchman’s run down the right flank and picked him out in space with an accurate ball, allowing the pacey winger to attack his full-back and hit an unstoppable effort past Ikeme, who got a slight touch but couldn’t prevent Knockaert getting his eighth goal of the campaign to make it 1-0.

 

Saunders’ Wolves tried to muster a response, and almost plundered an equalizer eight minutes later after a scramble in the City box that saw Bjorn Sigurdarson miss his kick and a venomous Sylvan Ebanks-Blake effort deflect out to safety off his own player.

 

The City pressure continued however, and had Marshall been able to keep his right footed effort down after a clever dummy from Nugent saw him unmarked with the ball 12 yards out, he might have doubled the lead.

 

It wasn’t to be however and the Foxes had to settle for a fully deserved 1-0 lead at half time against Wolves in a game that Pearson’s men were dominating.


However after a seemingly good start to the second half, City were stunned in the 51st minute when Sako pegged them back with a simply unstoppable strike from 20 yards.


The imposing figure of Tongo Doumbia flicked the ball back for the 24-year-old former French Under-21 international, who pulled the trigger on an effort that gave Schmeichel no chance and flew into the bottom corner of the net for 1-1.


In-form January signing Wood attempted an immediate response for the Foxes, who were looking to make it five wins on the spin, but he turned Ritchie De Laet's driven cross from the right agonisingly wide of the post.

 

The goal for Wolves seemed to breathe confidence through the whole side though, particularly Sako, who again went close with a long-range effort - this time deflected wide from 25 yards as the visitors enjoyed their best spell of the match.


With just over 20 minutes left on the clock Pearson opted for his first change - Dyer replacing Marshall, who had put in a decent performance on the flank for the Foxes.


The substitution gave the crowd a lift and with 73 minutes on the clock top scorer Nugent took matters into his own hands to hit a stunning second for City and put them 2-1 up.


He picked up the ball deep on the left, before drifting inside and curling a classy right footed finish past Ikeme from the edge of the area, much to the delight of the home faithful.


With the goal, Pearson moved to replace the ever-lively Knockaert with number nine Vardy, whilst Saunders responded with the introduction of Slawomir Peszko for Bjorn Sugurdarson.


Saunders then brought on Dave Edwards and David Davis, but it did little to halt the Foxes' creative spark as Vardy's 83rd minute effort caused confusion and almost allowed Wood a goalscoring chance that would have surely put the game to bed.


With nothing to lose, Wolves piled forward and came close to snatching a stoppage time equaliser.


A corner came into the box and somehow fell to the feet of Ebanks-Blake, who stabbed an effort goalwards only to see it strike the outside of the post.


Pearson then brought on Waghorn for goalscorer Nugent in the closing stages, as a delighted home crowd celebrated yet another victory at the King Power Stadium to keep City's promotion push on track.


City (4-4-2): Schmeichel, De Laet, Konchesky, Drinkwater, Morgan (c), Marshall (Dyer 69) , King, Keane, Knockaert (Vardy 76), Nugent (Waghorn 90), Wood

 

Unused subs: Logan, Gallagher, Wellens, Futacs

 

Goals: Knockaert 24, Nugent 73

 

Wolves (4-5-1): Ikwme, Foley, Batth, Ward, Sigurdarson (Peszko 77), Henry (c) (Edwards 81), O’Hara, Doumbia (Davis 83), Sako, Ebanks-Blake

 

Unused subs: De Vries, Margreitter, Doyle, Cassidy

 

Goals: Sako 51

 

Referee: Robert Madley (West Yorkshire)

 

Attendance: 21, 677

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