Date: 23rd December 2012 at 4:22pm
Written by:

Foxes frustrated by high-flying Bluebirds

Leicester City 0 Cardiff City 1

[Report and match detail compiled by fellow SK1-goer @cxxp25]

First Half

3. Good outside of the foot cross from Bellamy almost finds Conway in the box.

7. Drinkwater shot from 25 yards over the bar after good build up play from Dyer down the left.

[Cardiff pressing well high up the field for first 10 mins, led by Bellamy and Conway]

12. Long ball from Morgan into the inside right channel over Hudson to Nugent, good control then powerful right-footed shot across goal from 15 yards, parried by Marshall.

13. Good attacking work from De Laet on right hand side, low cross controlled by Vardy with back to goal, couldn`t turn so set back to King, deflected from 20 yards for a corner.

Resulting corner from Knockaert headed by Morgan from 8 yards, good save from Marshall.

Ball cleared, then quick throw taken by and ball crossed in by Knockaert, headed by King to Morgan, who lays ball off to King, hits inside of post with Marshall well beaten, follow up falls to Vardy who is offside (hits bar with effort anyway).

15. Drinkwater switches play to Knockaert who cuts inside onto his left foot and shoots from 25 yards, parried out unconvincingly by Marshall.

16. Nugent shot from 25 yards blocked.

[Leicester completely dominant at this point, running Cardiff ragged in final third. Cardiff fullbacks and central midfielders unable to cope with pace and energy of Leicester attacks]

19. Dangerous cross by Bellamy eludes everyone in the box.

22. Another run from Knockaert who cuts onto his left foot and strkes from 30 yards, again parried by Marshall but falls to a defender.

24. Knockaert drops deep into midfield to pick the ball up and sets off on another run. Plays a great slide-rule ball through to Vardy who takes a good first touch and is then barged over from behind by Ben Taylor. Looked a clear penalty but not given.

25. Conway chases a long ball down Leicester`s left hand side. Does well to work a low cross in towards Bellamy who has drifted away to the edge of the area. Scruffy right footed shot on the turn beats Schmeichel just inside the right post. 1-0 Cardiff, completely against the run of play.

26. Free kick from halfway hit long towards back post, knock down deflects of Drinkwater and causes panic in the Leicester box, almost falling to Whittingham.

27. Cross from Andrew Taylor just too high for Helguson who is unable to get a good contact on the ball.

[Cardiff starting to control the game, Leicester looking rattled in defence and midfield, losing possession quickly and often].

30. Whittingham with free kick from halfway, pumped in deep towards the back post. Schmeichel comes to punch clear but makes a weak contact, falls to Bellamy as Schmeichel tries to scramble back into goal, Bellamy volleys over from 10 yards, when a shot on target would have made it 2-0.

32. Good work from Dyer down the left wing but cross doesn`t find a Leicester player in the box.

33. Knockaert cross headed back across goal by Vardy, Hudson heads clear for a corner from almost under his own crossbar.

34. Cardiff counterattack through Conway and Bellamy, De Laet makes important clearance. Leicester immediately attempt their own counterattack but Nugent is pulled back cynically by Connolly, free kick given but no yellow card.

36. Vardy shot from edge of the box deflected for corner that comes to nothing.

37. Good build up play from Nugent and Knockaert with play switched out left to Dyer, whose cross is blocked for a corner, which is cleared. Morgan collects ball on left wing, hacked from behind by Ben Taylor, first booking of the game. Resulting free kick from Knockaert is poor and is cleared.

40. Almost a wonder goal from Andy King. Nipped in with an intercepting header from a Cardiff throw in the left back position. Carried the ball through midfield, evading tackles and with defenders backing off, reached the edge of the Cardiff area before placing a side-footed shot just wide with Marshall beaten.

[As first half ends, Cardiff defenders winning all headers, no joy for Leicester from long ball, Nugent being manhandled but getting no decisions]

46. In first half injury time, great skill from Knockaert to free himself from two defenders and spread a crossfield ball to Dyer on the left. He plays the ball back to Konchesky who hits a first time cross, great near post run from Vardy and with a powerful glancing header hits the crossbar with Marshall again beaten.

Half Time – applause from all sides of the ground for an excellent first half. Leicester fans recognising their best first half performance of the season despite the scoreline.

Second Half

[No changes at half time]

[No immediate urgency from Leicester, scrappy first 5 minutes]

50. Substitution Leicester – Vardy off, Waghorn on.

51. Cardiff substitution – Helguson off, Gestede on.

52. Build up down right hand side from Nugent and De Laet. De Laet cross, Waghorn header from 10 yards comfortably saved by Marshall.

54. Build up down left hand side between Waghorn and Dyer – Dyer`s shot blocked. Ball breaks to De Laet on right hand side, plays it into Waghorn who shoots wide from 25 yards.

55. Cardiff substitution – Kim Bo-Kyung off, Cowie on.

56. Great slide-rule pass from Drinkwater to Dyer, cross for Nugent who shoots straight at Marshall.

[Cardiff slowing game down, delaying goal kicks and playing for corner already on 57 mins]

58. Dyer hacked by Cowie, no yellow card. Free kick from Waghorn hit straight at the keeper.

60. Waghorn on counter attack in midfield hauled down by Connolly – yellow card.

63. Counter by Cowie bursting through the middle, slipped into left channel for Gestede, fantastic block by De Laet. Resulting short corner headed just over by Gestede.

65. Counter attack by Leicester, Waghorn to Knockaert, delayed ball through to Nugent but first touch too heavy and Marshall comes out to smother at Nugent`s feet.

67. Double substitution for Leicester – Knockaert and Dyer off, Marshall and Lingard on.

69. King intercepts ball in midfield and drives toward goal. Could have played in Waghorn but elects to shoot from edge of the area, shot blocked by Ben Turner.

72. Corner by Marshall headed by Nugent, cleared off the line by Hudson with goalkeeper beaten.

74. Another Cardiff counter attack by Conway and Cowie. Cowie drives into the box and is brought down after being sandwiched by Konchesky and Whitbread. Looked a clear penalty as did the challenge on Vardy in the first half, referee not interested and play continues.

75. Cardiff substitution – Mutch off, Gunnarsoson on.

78. Morgan robbed in possession at the back by Gestede. Interchange with Cowie and crosses to Gunnarsson who misses open goal from 6 yards as he overruns the cross and the ball hits his heels. Leicester counter and Whittingham drags down Waghorn, booked for challenge/kicking the ball away.

[Leicester beginning to play long ball up to Nugent/Waghorn but not working due to aerial dominance of Cardiff CBs. Cardiff getting success from long ball to Gestede. Midfield largely being bypassed].

81. Marshall shot from outside the box hits defender`s hand away from body, no penalty.

[Crowd becoming increasingly frustrated as direct play from Leicester not working. Lingard in particular seems ineffective, when Futacs would have been a better choice]

86. Morgan has now moved up front, Waghorn dropping into attacking midfield position.

88. Lingard tries a clever through ball to De Laet which is just intercepted by Connolly.

[3 mins added time]

91. Schmeichel goes up for corner from Waghorn. Good corner right under the bar, Schmeichel almost gets a header on it, but Marshall punches clear well. Ball comes back into the box towards Morgan who is being fouled by Hudson, referee gives free kick to Cardiff.

93. Konchesky makes a pointless challenge near touchline in left back position. Free kick Cardiff, into the corner.

Referee blows for full-time. Cardiff fans ecstatic. Leicester fans disgruntled at result and substitutions but generally appreciative of how well the team played, particularly in the first half.

Referee – Graham Salisbury

Attendance – 25,055