Report: Leicester City 1 Werder Bremen 0
- City have now won six and drawn one of seven games during their unbeaten pre-season campaign.
- Kasper Schmeichel, Liam Moore, Andy King, Ritchie De Laet and Paul Konchesky all play 90 minutes.
- Winger Marc Albrighton replaced in the second half with a suspected groin injury.
Leicester City rounded off a superb pre-season campaign with a 1-0 victory over Werder Bremen at King Power Stadium on Saturday.
A towering first-half header from captain Wes Morgan saw the Foxes record their sixth win in seven friendlies to conclude an impressive string of results that sees them unbeaten going into the new Barclays Premier League campaign.
It was a strong starting line-up for the Foxes, with last season’s top scorer David Nugent starting in attack, while Danny Drinkwater, Dean Hammond and Andy King formed a midfield three.
Liam Moore partnered Morgan in central defence, with Riyad Mahrez and Marc Albrighton operating on the flanks. Bremen, who beat a strong Chelsea side by a convincing 3-0 margin in their previous pre-season fixture, had an early chance on six minutes through Nils Petersen but the forward sliced his shot and wasted a great opportunity.
And the visitors were made to pay a minute later as Morgan rose above the Bremen back four to head home Riyad Mahrez’s corner – his third goal of City’s pre-season campaign.
Zlatko Junuzovic then fired high and wide with a powerful strike moments later as the Bundesliga outfit began to move up the gears – Kasper Schmeichel comfortably watching the shot fly past his upright.
The German side, who boast an equally impressive pre-season record of three wins and two draws, next threatened through talented Dutch forward Eljero Elia - Moore throwing himself in the path of his powerful drive on 19 minutes.
Petersen threatened again, released into a one-on-one with Schmeichel, but the shot-stopper spread himself well and made a superb save to keep City ahead.
And the Dane reiterated his ability on 31 minutes by making a triple save to again deny Petersen – the German striker desperately unlucky not to be on the score sheet.
City came close to doubling their lead as the ball dropped to Hammond just eight yards from goal – the former Southampton man’s shot blocked in a congested penalty box.
Albrighton, who had looked lively on both sides of the midfield, limped off just before half time with Jeffrey Schlupp replacing the winger.
A wild half-volley from Alejandro Galvez then flew harmlessly over the City bar to bring an end to an entertaining and competitive first half.
Three changes at the break saw Matty James, Marcin Wasilewski and Leonardo Ulloa replacing Drinkwater, Morgan and Hammond respectively.
And former Brighton man Ulloa, who bagged a double against Rotherham last time out, made an immediate impact - Raphael Wolf turning the Argentine’s header just wide.
Junuzovic then clipped the top of the net from 20 yards with a curling right-footed free kick seven minutes into the second half – the visitors coming close to an equaliser.
Elia looked most dangerous on his right foot and began to work the City back four as Schmeichel collected an effort from long range before Ritchie De Laet prevented the 27-year-old from hitting the back of the net with an important tackle.
Substitute Gary Taylor-Fletcher then floated a ball into Ulloa from the right on 69 minutes but the hit man couldn’t convert his chance despite expertly pulling the ball out of the air with his chest.
Schmeichel, who went relatively untested throughout the second half, saw a thumping effort from Felix Kroos, brother of Real Madrid starlet Toni, rocket just past the post fifteen minutes from time.
But last year’s Championship winners continued to apply pressure to the Bundesliga side and looked to capitalise on a high defensive line as the visitors pressed late on.
The pace of Schlupp caused a host of problems for Bremen, stretching the two centre-halves to open up a huge gap in midfield for the City attack to run into.
The visitors had a late flourish but failed to break down Nigel Pearson’s solid back four unit and Morgan’s early goal proved to be the difference between the two top-flight sides.
The Foxes host Roberto Martinez’s Everton on the opening weekend of the Premier League season at King Power Stadium next Saturday as Pearson’s men look to start their season on a high after a decade-long absence from England’s top tier.
CITY: Schmeichel, De Laet, Konchesky, Drinkwater (James 46), Morgan (c) (Wasilewski 46), Hammond (Ulloa 46), King, Albrighton (Schlupp 40), Moore, Mahrez (Taylor-Fletcher 68), Nugent (Wood 68
SUBS NOT USED: Hamer
WERDER BREMEN: Wolf, Garcia, Caldirola, Galvez, Lukimya, Fritz, Elia, Hajrovic, Junuzovic, Gebre Selassie, Petersen
SUBS: Makiadi, Obraniak, Ekici, Kroos, Kobylanski, Aycicek, Bartels, Husing, Selke, Akpala, Busch, Husic
ATTENDANCE: 8,314 (159 away)
REFEREE: Craig Pawson
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