Report: Mansfield Town 1 Leicester City 1
- David Nugent opens the scoring before Matt Green levels from the penalty spot in the first half.
- A total of 10 players got 60 minutes under their belts in Claudio Ranieri’s second game in charge.
- Next up for Leicester is a trip to Burton Albion on Tuesday evening.
Leicester City continued their pre-season preparations with a highly competitive meeting against League 2 side Mansfield Town at One Call Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
David Nugent’s exquisite curling finish into the bottom corner on 10 minutes had given the Foxes a deserved lead, but striker Matt Green levelled from the penalty spot midway through the first half.
City worked hard in a physical battle that saw 10 players get their first 60 minutes of the season, and despite many positive moments going forward they needed several smart saves from Mark Schwarzer and Kasper Schmeichel to keep the hosts at bay.
The Foxes began the match with a 3-5-2 formation that saw Nugent in the pocket behind Shinji Okazaki and Andrej Kramarić. All three pressed well but it was Mansfield who created the first opening – Green forcing a great save from Schwarzer after five minutes.
It mattered little though as with City’s first attempt, they scored. Kramarić was the provider after a jinking run down the left channel saw him lay off for Nugent, who accurately guided a right foot shot into the far corner from the edge of the box.
Nugent then went into the book for a tangle with Mitchell Rose while fellow forward Okazaki played a lovely ball into the path of Kramarić, but the Croatian couldn’t beat Scott Shearer on his left foot.
A competitive start from the home side soon turned into an exercise in possession for City during spells in the first half, but on 27 minutes that changed when Rose burst into the box and clattered into Dean Hammond, resulting in a penalty to Mansfield.
Former Birmingham City man Green stepped up to the mark and confidently sent Schwarzer the wrong way to level the scores at 1-1. It was a goal that signalled the start of a good spell for Mansfield.
City’s front three looked a danger but on the stroke of half time they were fortunate not to go behind when Chris Clements curled a brilliant 25 yarder onto the crossbar.
Schmeichel for Schwarzer was City’s only half time change and the Danish international had no time to settle. After just 60 seconds he was forced into a brilliant low stop to deny Krystian Pearce’s close range flick, while moments later he pushed Nathan Thomas’ long ranger onto the post.
That aside, there was few opportunities for either team. City’s best came when Jack Barmby worked some space on the left to drill a low cross to the far post, but it was just fractions ahead of the incoming Okazaki.
The afternoon’s work was complete for all 10 outfield players on the hour mark when they were replaced in a mass substitution that saw Jamie Vardy and Leo Ulloa take up the responsibility of leading the line.
It was again down the left that City looked to make their mark. This time it was the pace of Jeffrey Schlupp that began to cause Mansfield’s back line headaches.
His 70th minute cross just eluded Vardy but on the other flank Marc Albrighton put the ball back in amid claims for a handball in the box.
Rose then tested the palms of Schmeichel from 12 yards but City’s defence was proving solid in the face of a side pushing hard in all areas of the pitch, although without an abundance of clear cut opportunities.
Vardy’s running in behind and the creativity of Schlupp and Albrighton on the flanks were bright spots in the closing stages for the Foxes, but even they couldn’t bring the winning goal to cap another useful pre-season outing.
MANSFIELD: Shearer, Chapman, Pearce, Clements, Green, Benning, Rose, Thomas, Hunt, Lambe, Collins (c)
SUBS: Marsden, Beardsley, Westcarr, Jensen, Tafazolli, Thomas, McGuire, Shires
GOAL: Green 27
CITY: Schwarzer (Schmeichel 46), Simpson (Wasilewski 62), Moore (Huth 62), Chilwell (Albrighton 62), De Laet (Drinkwater 62), Lawrence (c) (King 62), Hammond (Schlupp 62), Barmby (Mahrez 62), Nugent (Ulloa 62), Okazaki (Vardy 62), Kramarić (Fuchs 62)
GOAL: Nugent 10
REFEREE: David Coote
ATTENDANCE: 4,273 (1,608 away)
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