Match Report: MK Dons 0 Leicester City 2
- Foxes maintain unbeaten start to pre-season.
- David Nugent’s deflected first half strike and a screamer from James Pearson are enough for victory.
- Ninety minutes for eight members of the squad, including Nugent, Wes Morgan, Chris Wood and Marc Albrighton.
- The rest of the Leicester City squad are set to feature against Rotherham United on Tuesday night.
Goals from David Nugent and James Pearson gave Leicester City an impressive win and some valuable pre-season minutes against a lively MK Dons side at stadiummk on Monday night.
Nugent got the scoring under way midway through the first half when he was the beneficiary of a fortunate deflection off a Dons defender that took his 25 yarder past the goalkeeper to give City a deserved half time lead.
City continued to have the better of the exchanges after the break, but the second goal came from an unfamiliar source – in the form of right-back Pearson – who unleashed a thunderous half volley from outside the box to kill off the tie.
With the new Barclays Premier League campaign less than two weeks away, the match saw a number of City stars come through 90 minutes without injury, with the rest of the squad set for an equally competitive evening of action on Tuesday when they travel to Championship newcomers Rotherham United.
Last season’s top scorer Nugent and Club captain Wes Morgan started for the Foxes in a strong line-up away at stadiummk, along with summer signings Ben Hamer and Marc Albrighton. There were also starts for Development Squad duo Pearson and Kieran Kennedy in defence.
The Foxes started brightly, with Nugent linking up nicely with the midfield two of Andy King and Dean Hammond – an avenue that eventually led to the first chance on just five minutes.
Nugent intercepted the ball in midfield, with King teeing up the overlapping Jeff Schlupp for a fine low left footed effort that former City ‘keeper David Martin blocked away, only for Riyad Mahrez to rifle the follow-up wide.
King soon had an effort of his own that drifted wide from a promising positon while Dons winger Danny Green tried a blockbuster from 30 yards out on the right, which Hamer watched flash by the other side of his left hand post.
The match then became a battle of the two midfields until the 24th minute, when Nugent broke the deadlock thanks to a fortuitous deflection off Kyle McFadzean, which took his speculative 25 yard drive beyond a wrong-footed Martin.
As a result of the goal, confidence in the side grew, as well as competition to join Nugent on the scoresheet – both Mahrez and Wood testing Martin with long range drives.
Mahrez then should have done better shortly before the break when he reached Albrighton’s cross at the far post, only to head over, however City were soon grateful to see MK Dons dangerman Dele Alli’s shot strike the upright from a narrow angle after it looked destined for the back of the net.
It was unchanged after half time for the Foxes, while the Dons introduced Daniel Powell at the expense of Dean Bowditch, although it did little to alter the flow of the game, with City still flowing forward in numbers.
Unsurprisingly it was the lively Nugent who went closest in the early stages of the half, rising brilliantly to meet Mahrez’s left wing corner, only to see his glancing header drift over the crossbar with Martin rooted.
The Dons rallied with a decent spell of their own going forward and finding plenty of space on either flank. However a highly organised City backline swarmed the likes of Alli and Benik Afobe before they were able to get decent shots away to avert any danger.
City were more than content to hit their opponents on the counter, and it was after a swift counter that they had their second goal, and it was some strike.
Nugent's cross from the left came out to an unmarked Pearson around 25 yards out on the right hand side. He wasn’t closed down and he was able to take a touch and unleash a stunning right footed half volley that arrowed into Martin’s top corner, giving Nugent and Danny Drinkwater stiff competition for the best goal of pre-season.
With 15 minutes left City introduced Jack Barmby for Mahrez, and he could count himself unfortunate not to get himself a goal with his first touch when he connected with Albrighton’s low ball, only for a Dons defender to clear on the line.
City boss Nigel Pearson handed outings to Development Squad duo Alie Sesay and Jak McCourt in the closing stages, but with the Foxes doing an impressive job of restricting the hosts in terms of chances, the game was won and the squad were a step closer to that all-important date with Everton on 16 August.
MK DONS: Martin, Hodson (Baldock 74), Lewington (c) (Tilney 73), McFadzean (Hickford 85), Kay (Tingey 85), Alli (Randall 68), Potter (B. Trialist 68) Green (Rasolu 79), Bowditch (Powell 46), Reeves (Hitchcock 53), Afobe (A. Trialist 68).
SUBS NOT USED: McLoughlin, Burns, Flanagan, Summerfield.
CITY: Hamer, Pearson (McCourt 71), Morgan (c), Kennedy (Sesay 79), Schlupp, Mahrez (Barmby 75), King, Hammond, Albrighton, Nugent, Wood
SUBS NOT USED: Logan, Panayiotou , Cain, Blyth
GOALS: Nugent 24, Pearson 68
REFEREE: Mr. Gavin Ward
ATTENDANCE: 4,332 (1,217 away)
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