Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall

Swans Beaten As City Go 10 Points Clear

Leicester City were comfortable 3-1 winners over Swansea City at King Power Stadium on Tuesday evening to open up a 10-point lead at the top of the Sky Bet Championship.
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Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall's cool finish three minutes in – his 10th goal of the season – was followed by a 69th-minute penalty from Stephy Mavididi, also taking his personal tally into double figures. Second-half substitute Yunus Akgün then found his second goal in as many games with a side-footed hit into the bottom corner three minutes later. Experienced midfielder Joe Allen got one back for the Swans, but the Welshman's scrambled 95th-minute effort came far too late to spark a revival. City, who have played a game more than their rivals, are now 10 points ahead of second-placed Ipswich Town and 11 clear of Southampton in third. After three successive home games in eight days, one in the Emirates FA Cup, a trip to Stoke City is next up on Saturday as Enzo Maresca's men continue their bid for an immediate return to the Premier League. 

Callum Doyle and Dennis Praet were the only two to remain in the XI from Saturday’s 3-0 cup victory over Birmingham City. Patson Daka, fresh from representing Zambia at the CAF Africa Cup of Nations, also returned to the starting line-up on Filbert Way. City were in front inside 180 seconds, but not before surviving a scare. Jamie Paterson cut out Jannik Vestergaard’s pass deep in Foxes territory and teed up Jerry Yates. Mads Hermansen, though, was off his line in a flash to smother the former Blackpool man’s close-range effort. From the goal-kick, Leicester were on the front foot, with Daka megging Nathan Wood to release Dewsbury-Hall down the centre. The Academy graduate was all on his own behind enemy lines and took his time before slamming the ball to ‘keeper Carl Rushworth’s left and into the bottom corner. 

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Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall

Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall got City up and running.

Maresca’s men, the Championship's top goalscorers, wanted more. Soon after, Doyle’s cross rasped across the goalmouth, looking for Daka or Kasey McAteer, but Josh Tymon scampered back to put it behind for a corner. Daka, who netted for his country at AFCON this month, was the next man in blue to test Rushworth. The visiting shot-stopper, though, was able to throw his body to the bottom corner to make a solid save on 11 minutes. The chances kept coming. A superb Doyle release put Dewsbury-Hall away down the left flank and City’s No.22 zipped it across to an unmarked Daka in the middle. The former RB Salzburg forward side-footed wide from five yards out, though. It had been an encouraging start for the table-topping hosts, but when Yates thundered a long-range hit narrowly over, it was a timely reminder of the perils of complacency.

It was Yates again to capitalise on a loose ball shortly afterwards, turning and shooting, but the reliable Hermansen was there again to keep it out. On the half-hour, City were on the advance. Dewsbury-Hall’s cross pinged off Praet’s head in the area and into the air, offering McAteer another chance at goal, but Rushworth read the situation and scooped up a tame header. Luke Williams’ visitors were trying to take the sting out of the game by keeping the ball and working forwards through the thirds. To a certain extent, as the half wore on, it was a strategy which was paying off. Mind you, there were still openings for Leicester before the break. Mavididi won the ball midway through the Swans’ half before letting fly. Rushworth, though, was able to tip it onto the crossbar. Inside four additional minutes, Daka also blazed over after being slipped in by Dewsbury-Hall. 

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Stephy Mavididi

Winger Stephy Mavididi struck from the penalty spot in the second half.

Swansea came out after the interval on the offensive, trying to push up and pin City in. Maresca's men broke out, however, six minutes into the second half. Praet’s cross was aimed at Daka but when he missed it, Dewsbury-Hall was lurking at the back post, although the 25-year-old knocked it wide. Leicester were being frustrated, having to fight their way through the midfield. On 66 minutes, McAteer did just that, bursting past his man in the middle, but he couldn’t keep a 25-yard drive down. There was relief around Filbert Way moments later as Jamie Patterson’s low curler flew wide of the post for the visitors from south Wales. Any difficulties City had faced seemed far away from the 69th minute onwards, as Daka won a penalty, storming away from Bashir Humphreys before being felled by Wood in the box. The away dugout thought it was harsh, but referee Keith Stroud pointed to the spot in any case. Mavididi duly stepped up to convert and hit his 10th goal of the season for City. 

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Yunus Akgün

Yunus Akgün has struck twice in a row now for Leicester.

Second-half substitute Yunus got in on the act three minutes later. After netting his first goal for the Club on Saturday, the Turk was in the right place at the right time when the ball bobbled around in the Swans’ box. And there he was to apply a cool finish into the far bottom corner to put the match to bed. Yates nodded wide late on for the visitors, but Allen, off the bench, was able to prod home a late consolation goal for Swansea. Although the fixture schedule has thrown a lot at the Foxes over the winter months, they continue to march on at the summit, with sights locked on promotion. This was their 22nd league win of 2023/24, from 29 matches, taking their points tally up to 69. A +36 goal difference, meanwhile, is far superior to any other in the second tier. So much work is yet to be done, but Leicester continue to set the pace at the top.

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