Josh Gordon

City Defeated On PL2 Opening Day

Leicester City’s Development Squad opened the new Premier League 2 Division 1 season with a narrow 1-0 defeat by Manchester United at Belvoir Drive on Monday afternoon.
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Demetri Mitchell’s 61st minute free-kick proved to be the difference at the Club’s training ground as the Red Devils joined Liverpool and Sunderland at the early summit by winning their opening match.

City, meanwhile, went close through Josh Gordon, George Thomas and Hamza Choudhury but Steve Beaglehole’s men were denied at every turn by goalkeeper Kieran O’Hara.

Inside 60 seconds, the hosts went close to scoring a swift opener when Choudhury’s corner fell kindly for Gordon, but the former Stafford Rangers striker sent it flying straight at the ‘keeper.

Leicester had centre back Robert Huth among their ranks as the German continues his return from injury, a hugely beneficial experience for young Elliott Moore at the back.

Fresh from his call-up for the Romania Under-21s, Academy Player of the Season Alex Pascanu found room in the United box just before the break, but O’Hara was there again to deny him.

Following the break, Pascanu was at the centre of things once again when he slid the ball into Choudhury behind the backline, only to watch on as his Foxes colleague fizzed it wide.

It eventually cost City dearly when, just after the hour-mark, Mitchell stepped up and curled a smart free-kick into the top corner, beyond an outstretched Daniel Iversen.

Beaglehole’s men continued to pose a threat, however, and could have levelled with just over 10 minutes remaining when Gordon found the head of Thomas from the left channel.

To the City new boy’s despair, his header was scooped up comfortably by O’Hara.

In the very last minute, as the Foxes cranked up the pressure, Connor Wood’s volley had alarm bells ringing for United, but O’Hara got a firm hand to it.

Key moment

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Demetri Mitchell scores
Demetri Mitchell scores

United go 1-0 ahead in the second half.

It was a flash of magic that no side – at whatever level – can legislate for.

Once a free-kick was conceded in the 61st minute, it was always likely to cause Daniel Iversen problems in the Foxes net, such is Demetri Mitchell’s reputation for set-plays.

It changed the course of the match and, despite City’s potency in pre-season, they ended their opening fixture in Premier League 2 by firing a blank.

Who impressed?

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Alex Pascanu
Alex Pascanu

Pascanu jumps for the ball at Belvoir Drive.

After making the step up to Under-21s level with Romania this summer, Alex Pascanu has returned to City with a newfound confidence.

While ensuring he got the basics right at the back, Pascanu also was full of menace on the gallop down the right flank, freed up by the presence of those behind him in defence.

As the fledgling PL2 season gathers steam, his knowhow at the back will be key for the Foxes if they are to challenge for silverware this term.

Coming up…

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Admiral Muskwe
Admiral Muskwe

It gets no easier for Leicester with a trip to Merseyside to face 2017 champions Everton on Friday evening (7pm kick-off).

Then, seven days later, it’s the turn of Manchester City to welcome the Foxes to Etihad Stadium (7pm KO) ahead of a trip to Fleetwood in the Checkatrade Trophy. 

City: Iversen, Pascanu, Wood, Choudhury, Moore (c), Huth (Knight 62), Thomas, Kaba Sherif, Muskwe (Johnson 74), Trialist (Ndukwu 64), Gordon.

Subs not used: Bramley, Watts.

United: O’Hara, Olosunde, Warren, Williams, Mitchell, Willock, McTominay (Buffonge 90), Riley, Kehinde, Boonen (Hamilton 87), Bohui.

Subs not used: Richardson, Sang, Scott.

Referee: Peter Wright

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