Foxes secure back-to-back league wins
Leicester claimed back-to-back league wins for the first time in over a year this afternoon following a comfortable 2-0 victory over relegation-threatened Coventry City.
David Nugent put Leicester ahead in the first half after Neil Danns was thwarted from the penalty spot by Sky Blues goalkeeper Joe Murphy.
Jermaine Beckford doubled the hosts’ advantage on the hour mark with a close-range finish, with Nugent again involved in the build-up alongside Richie Wellens.
Substitute Sammy Clingan saw his second-half penalty saved by Kasper Schmeichel, before Foxes full-back Paul Konchesky was shown dismissed for a dangerous foul on Alex Nimely late in the game.
Leicester held on to secure an important three points, registering consecutive league wins for the first time this season.
Nigel Pearson named an unchanged starting XI from the side that won at Derby County last week, although Jeffrey Schlupp was named among the replacements for the Foxes.
Leicester were given a glorious opportunity to take an early lead when captain Richie Wellens was cleared out by Martin Crainee inside the penalty area, giving referee Lee Probert no alternative but to point to the spot.
In the absence of set-piece specialist Paul Gallagher, Neil Danns stepped up to take the penalty but saw his effort pushed wide by Coventry’s Joe Murphy.
The hosts did take the lead five minutes later when Jermaine Beckford’s low shot was parried by Murphy into the path of David Nugent, who was quickest to react from six yards, claiming his thirteenth goal of the season.
It was an instinctive finish by the former England striker, whose goals have been very important to Leicester’s recent good run of form.
At the other end, Alex Nimely came close for Coventry when he was given space to cut inside Lee Peltier but was unable to test Kasper Schmeichel.
Leicester looked the side most likely to score the next goal, and could have doubled their lead when Sean St. Ledger latched onto Ben Marshall’s corner kick at the back post, but the Republic of Ireland international could only volley over from close range.
Leicester wasted another good chance to extend their lead when Jermaine Beckford’s dicing pass split open a disorganised Coventry backline, but Ben Marshall’s effort sailed over the bar.
It was one-way traffic for the Foxes, and it should have been 2-0 before the break when Joe Murphy spilled a high ball in a dangerous position, but Ben Marshall again was unable to hit the target.
Paul Konchesky was next to capitalise on some shaky defending after a mix-up between two Coventry players allowed the former Liverpool full-back to have a clean run on goal, but he was unable to find an unmarked David Nugent inside the penalty area as another chance went begging.
Leicester continued to dominate the first-half, but were unable to find that all-important second goal before the break – and it was Coventry who came out stronger in the second period, threatening the home side with a succession of corners, although never really bringing any real pressure or shots on target.
The Foxes eventually did find double their lead fifteen minutes into the second-half when Richie Wellens and David Nugent linked up beautifully on the right side, before Nugent threaded a perfect pass across goal and into the path of Jermaine Beckford, who coolly slotted the ball past Joe Murphy.
It was a well-worked goal that demonstrated Leicester’s ability to play free-flowing football, and diminished any threat of a comeback by Coventry – who have picked up just three points away from the Ricoh Arena this campaign.
Neil Danns was close to making it 3-0 after further fantastic build-up play in midfield allowed the former Crystal Palace man to get a shot off, but his low drive trickled just wide of the post.
Coventry were handed a lifeline with just under twenty minutes remaining when Wes Morgan was adjudged to have unfairly challenged Alex Nimely in the penalty area – but the visitors were unable to pull a goal back as Kasper Schmeichel did well to save Sammy Clingan’s spot kick.
The game did end on a sour note for the Foxes when Paul Konchesky was shown a straight red card for a dangerous foul on Alex Nimely, reducing the hosts to ten men with just over eight minutes remaining.
But Leicester held on for a crucial three points and back-to-back league wins at just the right time in the season, pushing Nigel Pearson’s men up to eleventh in the Championship and keeping their play-off hopes very much alive.
Man of the Match – Wes Morgan