Wood bags debut brace as Foxes hit Huddersfield for six
Chris Wood scored twice on his Leicester City debut as the Foxes thrashed Huddersfield 6-1 at the King Power Stadium this afternoon.
Wood, who recently signed from West Bromwich Albion following a productive loan spell at Millwall, scored the first of his two goals from a corner kick after just six minutes, and then doubled Leicester`s lead midway through the first-half with a fine finish.
Ritchie De Laet added a third for the Foxes in first-half stoppage time before Anthony Knockaert scored twice in quick succession after the break to make it 5-0.
Scott Arfield netted a consolation for Simon Grayson`s side on the hour mark, but substitute Martyn Waghorn rounded the scoring with a fine volley inside the penalty area.
It was a fine performance from the Foxes and a fantastic start to 2013 – a year which will see Nigel Pearson`s men aiming for promotion to the Premier League.
Leicester started the match strongly and could have been ahead inside the first minute when Anthony Knockaert saw his effort cleared off the line by Adam Clayton.
Debutant Chris Wood then almost opened the scoring when David Nugent played a wonderful through ball into the path of his new strike partner, but Alex Smithies was equal to the shot and Huddersfield were able to clear their lines.
But the hosts, and Wood, did not have to wait much longer for their opening goal when David Nugent`s header from Anthony Knockaert`s corner kick was well-saved by Smithies, but the goalkeeper could do nothing about the New Zealand international rising above the defence to head the ball into the net.
The goal set the tone for the first-half and was an indication of Wood`s strength and aerial threat as a centre forward.
Leicester, as they often do, looked much more comfortable after taking an early lead and were almost 2-0 up after a little over ten minutes, but David Nugent`s strike on goal was well-saved by Alex Smithies.
Huddersfield, now without a win in ten games, had their first real chance on goal after twenty minutes through Adam Hammill`s free-kick, but Kasper Schmeichel was able to deal with it comfortably.
Leicester did double their advantage midway through the first-half when the Foxes broke on a counter-attack, and as David Nugent carried the ball out to the right wing, his pass back into the penalty area was buried into the bottom corner by Chris Wood to extend the lead.
It was a wonderfully worked goal, and possibly a sign of things to come in the second-half of the season if Nugent and Wood are to form a good strike partnership.
Leicester were now coasting, and Wood could have had a first-half hat-trick had his header from a corner-kick been on target, but Nigel Pearson`s men did grab a third goal before the break when Anthony Knockaert robbed the Huddersfield defence of possession and held the ball up well for Ritchie De Laet to fire the ball across Alex Smithies` goal and into the bottom corner.
It was De Laet`s first goal for the club since making the move to the King Power Stadium last summer, and a well-taken one by the two-time Belgian international.
Despite a more positive start to the second-half by the visitors, who by now had lost goalkeeper Alex Smithies through injury, Leicester continued their ruthless approach to the game and soon added a fourth goal through Anthony Knockaert as the Frenchman swept the ball past substitute Ian Bennett to put the game out of sight.
Former Fox Simon Grayson will bemoan his side`s defending but Knockaert really shone in the match, giving Huddersfield a torrid time from start to finish.
Knockaert added his second – and Leicester`s fifth – just two minutes later with a fine curling effort from the edge of the penalty area after easing past his marker, giving Bennett no chance in the Huddersfield goal.
It was a wonderful finish by the former Guingamp midfielder – his seventh in all competitions for the Foxes this season.
Huddersfield then enjoyed their best period of the match and managed to pull a goal back on the hour mark when Scott Arfield fired past Kasper Schmeichel on the second attempt.
It was a sloppy goal for Leicester to concede, although it did prove to be little more than a consolation for the Terriers.
Kasper Schmeichel was then called upon to make a good save from Adam Clayton`s low strike – a passage of play which saw Ben Marshall injured by a heavy tackle in the build-up.
As Huddersfield tried to find a way back into the game, Leicester restored their five-goal advantage with just over fifteen minutes remaining when substitute Martyn Waghorn volleyed home from twelve yards after a clever header across goal by Chris Wood.
It was another well-worked goal, and an example of what Chris Wood can bring to the side as an aerial threat.
Substitute Paul Gallagher then came close with a ferocious strike from 30 yards which sailed just over the crossbar, but the final whistle eventually ended Huddersfield`s misery and gave Leicester the best possible start to 2013.