Foxes bounce back with win over Blackpool
Ben Marshall’s second-half penalty was enough to give Leicester all three points in a 1-0 win at the King Power Stadium over table-toppers Blackpool this evening.
The goal came ten minutes after the break after Jamie Vardy was brought down inside the box by Portuguese midfielder Tiago Gomes.
Ben Marshall’s converted from twelve yards to send the Foxes faithful into raptures and quash any fears of a fourth consecutive defeat for Nigel Pearson’s side.
It was another disappointing return to Leicester for former manager Ian Holloway, who has now seen his Blackpool side lose five times against the Foxes since parting ways with the club in 2009.
Following Leicester’s Capital One Cup midweek 4-2 defeat to League Two Burton Albion, Nigel Pearson will have been delighted with the reaction of his players, as Jamie Vardy, Lloyd Dyer and the goalscorer Marshall all looked threatening going forward.
But it was in defence that Leicester really excelled, as the partnership of Wes Morgan and Liam Moore managed to shut out a dangerous Blackpool side that had scored ten goals in their previous three league outings, including six against Ipswich last weekend.
Leicester looked positive from the outset and almost took an early lead when Ben Marshall’s piercing through ball sent Jamie Vardy through one-on-one, but Blackpool keeper Matt Gilks did well to save the former Fleetwood striker’s low shot with his feet.
Danny Drinkwater then tested his luck from distance with a shot on goal, before Thomas Ince for the travelling side saw his near post effort parried away for a corner by Kasper Schmeichel.
Jamie Vardy had another effort blocked midway through the first-half as Leicester began to dominate possession, and the hosts were almost ahead when Ben Marshall’s low free-kick evaded the Blackpool wall, but Matt Gilks did well to get a hand to it and push the ball out for a corner.
The Tangerines finished the half strongly when Thomas Ince had another effort saved by Kasper Schmeichel, before Barry Ferguson’s dipping volley struck the foot of the Leicester post.
If Leicester ever needed to come out swinging in the second-half, today was certainly that day, following three consecutive losses for the first time since 2010, and Nigel Pearson’s men did exactly that by taking the game to the visitors and looking like the only team who would break the deadlock.
Jamie Vardy had a penalty appeal turned down within minutes of the restart before Andy King’s shot from 20 yards beat Matt Gilks and several Blackpool defenders, but clipped the offside-David Nugent on its way into the net, resulting in the goal being disallowed.
Ben Marshall then played Lloyd Dyer in behind the Blackpool defence, but he was well-tackled before having the opportunity to get the ball out from under his feet.
Marshall was in the thick of the action again when David Nugent latched onto another through ball from the former Sheffield Wednesday winger, but he was adjudged to have been offside before playing the ball across goal to an unmarked Jamie Vardy who surely would have put the Foxes ahead.
Leicester did eventually take the lead two minutes later when the Vardy was clumsily brought down by Tiago Gomes just inside the Blackpool area, resulting in the home side being awarded a penalty.
Ben Marshall stepped up to convert from twelve yards with a powerful strike into the left-hand corner, and while Matt Gilks got a hand to the ball, he was unable to keep his side from falling behind with just over half an hour left to play.
It was a deserved lead for Leicester, who had been by far the better side for the opening hour of the match, continually piling pressure on Blackpool and causing their defence all sorts of trouble.
Vardy should have doubled the Foxes’ advantage on the hour mark when he pounced on a poor throw in, but never managed to get a shot away and the chance fell begging.
David Nugent then had a shot tipped wide after a clever through ball from Lloyd Dyer, while Thomas Ince continued to keep the Leicester defence on their toes after popping up at the back post, but he could not find the target.
Lloyd Dyer had a chance cleared off the line, before Jamie Vardy and Jermaine Beckford wasted good opportunities to put the hosts out of sight with time running out.
Blackpool looked as though they might grab an equaliser in the final minutes of the match when Thomas Ince’s shot across goal was just out of reach for substitute Kevin Phillips.
Either side could have scored during an end-to-end injury time period, but Leicester held on until the final whistle to alleviate some of the pressure before the international break and end Blackpool’s 100 per cent start to the Championship campaign.