Friendly Report: Milton Keynes Dons 0 Leicester City 4
- Experienced Leicester side cruise to friendly victory at MK Dons
- Esteban Cambiasso scores in his first appearance in a City shirt
- Danny Drinkwater, Tom Hopper and Marc Albrighton also on the score sheet
- Jamie Vardy, Danny Simpson and Anthony Knockaert also among those to feature
A Leicester City side laden with first team experience saw off MK Dons in a 4-0 friendly win at stadiummk on Tuesday evening.
In a game arranged to give match time to several members of Nigel Pearson’s squad during the current international break, the Foxes fielded a strong side that included new signings Esteban Cambiasso and Danny Simpson and they duly cruised to victory against youthful opposition.
Danny Drinkwater, among those building fitness after a return from injury, gave Leicester a half-time lead, before three goals in five second-half minutes added further gloss to City’s winning margin.
Youngster Tom Hopper got the first of them 16 minutes from time, before Cambiasso and Marc Albrighton, another of those gaining match fitness, added close-range finishes soon after.
Karl Robinson’s Dons have been familiar opponents for the Foxes in the last month, City having beaten the Buckinghamshire club in a pre-season friendly in early August. This however, was a much-changed Dons outfit from the one Robinson fielded that night, with several youngsters given the chance to measure up against some of City’s more established names.
Samir Carruthers had the hosts’ first effort on goal of the match on the 10-minute mark – striking a free kick just over Ben Hamer’s bar from 25 yards.
Marcin Wasilewski partnered Development Squad defender Kieran Kennedy in central defence and the former Anderlecht man headed on to the bar from Anthony Knockaert’s in-swinging corner just after the quarter-hour.
Kennedy nearly turned provider just a minute later, nodding Albrighton’s cross down for Gary Taylor-Fletcher, who couldn’t get a clean connection on the ball in the six yard box before his effort cleared off the line.
Dons forward Tom Hitchcock then broke from his marker on the edge of the area but dragged his left-footed strike well wide.
Knockaert brought plenty of spark to the game, often cutting inside on his left foot providing both fierce efforts at goal and pinpoint crosses for the City frontmen.
The Foxes broke the deadlock on 35 minutes – Drinkwater hitting a half-volley from the edge of the box, which struck defender Harry Hickford before beating Ian McLoughlin.
The Dons thought they had come back into the game almost immediately as Kabongo Tshimanga put the ball in the back of the net with a low drive but his strike was ruled out for offside – City leading at the break.
Drinkwater could have had a second seven minutes after the interval but, after cutting inside well on his right foot, he fired straight at McLoughlin.
A smart save from the Dons ‘keeper on the hour-mark prevented City from doubling their lead, as Taylor-Fletcher was denied from close range.
Jamie Vardy hit the inside of the post moments later after good work from Albrighton down the right wing set up the former Fleetwood Town man.
A neat through ball from Tshimanga found Hitchcock on 70 minutes but a low save from substitute Adam Smith denied the striker an equaliser.
City substitute Hopper eventually extended the lead four minutes later – the Academy graduate firing in at the near post to make it 2-0.
A burst of pace from Drinkwater then set up Cambiasso in the Dons’ area to make it 3-0 – the Argentine passing the ball into the net with his left foot on 79 minutes.
And Albrighton made it 4-0 immediately after, turning in a low cross from the left wing and rounding off a productive run-out ahead of a clear weekend for the Premier League side, before the trip to Stoke City on 13 September.
CITY: Hamer (Smith 45), Simpson, Bakayogo (Pearson 45), Drinkwater, Wasilewski, Kennedy (Sesay 45), Knockaert, Vardy (Hopper 67), Taylor-Fletcher, Albrighton, Cambiasso.
SUBS NOT USED: Cain, McCourt, Barmby.
GOALS: Drinkwater 35, Hopper 74, Cambiasso 78, Albrighton 79
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