Yunus Akgün

QPR The Victors Over Leicester

Leicester City were on the end of a 2-1 defeat by Queens Park Rangers at King Power Stadium on Saturday.
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Goals from Ilias Chair and Sinclair Armstrong - the only shots on target for QPR - were enough for the west London side, coming prior to Ben Nelson's first-ever goal for the Club. Still top of the Sky Bet Championship, but now on a three-game losing streak, City hold a three-point advantage at the summit and are five clear of third with 11 matches to play. They're due at the Stadium of Light on Tuesday evening to take on Sunderland as Leicester look to quickly get back to winning ways. 

There were nine changes in all from Tuesday’s impressive Emirates FA Cup victory at Premier League outfit AFC Bournemouth, which sets up an intriguing quarter-final clash with Chelsea in a replay of the 2021 final. Enzo Maresca made two changes from the loss at Leeds United, his side's last league outing, with Nelson deputising for the suspended Jannik Vestergaard and Ricardo Pereira making way for Dennis Praet. The stakes are high for all second-tier teams now, with the battles for automatic promotion, play-off berths and relegation all approaching their conclusion. 

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Patson Daka

Leicester dominated the stats but couldn't find the goals needed for three points.

Leicester were on the front foot from the off, although they struggled to break through a low block. Firstly, Patson Daka capitalised on a bobbling ball in the box to get a shot away and, while it tested goalkeeper Asmir Begović, the Hoops stopper was able to touch it around the near post. Harry Winks, one of many rested in midweek, also saw a sighter from 20 yards out fly over the crossbar. City’s flow in the game will have been dented somewhat as early as the 15th minute, though, when Praet was forced to make way through injury. Yunus Akgün was the man to replace the Belgian. Later on, Winks was closer with his next effort from range in the 23rd minute, the former Tottenham Hotspur man’s hit whizzing wide from the angle of the box. Leicester were cranking the pressure up. When Yunus drilled the ball square across the goalmouth, it looks destined to be tapped in by Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall at the far side. Kenneth Paal, however, did especially well to get in front of the Foxes midfielder and divert it away for a corner. Abdul Fatawu, who netted that magnificent extra-time winner in the FA Cup, also tried his luck from 30 yards, but it bounced wide. 

One burst forward from QPR stunned the near-capacity Filbert Way crowd on 38 minutes. Chris Willock’s through ball cut City open, sending Lyndon Dykes away, off-centre to the right. His low ball across the area was then met by Chair and converted well. Martí Cifuentes’ in-form visitors were in front against the run of play with a goal which explained their improved fortunes under the Spaniard. Into the second half, Maresca initially resisted the temptation to make changes. Naturally, the pattern of the game continued after the restart, with the Foxes camping on the edge of Rangers’ box. Patience and precision would be required, with the west Londoners defending in numbers. Catching Daka’s glanced header was Begović’s first assignment of the second half, a simple enough task for the former Stoke City ‘keeper. The QPR game plan was working and the situation worsened for Leicester on 57 minutes. Chair’s free-kick was nodded back across goal and taken down well by Sam Field. His touch allowed him to tee up substitute Armstrong to belt it into the far corner, doubling his side’s lead, much to the delight of just over 3,000 away supporters in the nearest corner. 

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Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall

Greater emphasis now is placed on Tuesday's visit to Sunderland for a chance to get back to winning ways.

City needed a goal and quick. Dewsbury-Hall’s free-kick, just to the left, 25 yards out, offered them an avenue to pursue. The midfielder’s effort was a decent one, forcing Begović into a strong stop, but the Bosnia and Herzegovina international couldn’t touch it away to safety. It landed at the feet of Academy graduate Nelson in the area and 19-year-old calmly swept home to make it 2-1, grateful for a beneficial lick of the post before going over the line. It was game on, but even an equaliser wouldn’t satisfy Leicester’s quest for points to extend their lead at the Championship’s summit. They need wins and enough off them to keep them clear of a relentless chasing pack. Mavididi and Fatawu were both unlucky with efforts from either flank and the men in red and black were doing what they needed to. Jamie Vardy and then Tom Cannon were soon drafted in to restock the home side’s arsenal as they prepared to throw everything at QPR for the final stages. Leicester had to multitask searching for openings while keeping guard against counter attacks and the clock was ticking. In added time, the visitors were away on the break, but Chair curled wide to spurn the chance of a third. In the end, QPR didn't need one, with Winks last-gasp shot being blocked in a busy penalty area. Leicester's mettle is really being tested in their bid for an instant return to the Premier League. Every point will be crucial now. 

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