Konchesky extends Leicester run

Date published: Monday 24th August 2015 1:24

Konchesky extends Leicester run

Konchesky’s strike on the cusp of half time gave the hosts a deserved lead at the break and proved to be the game’s pivotal moment as Villa went a fourth game without scoring a goal.

The game was marred in the final stages as Matty James received a straight red for a challenge on Jores Okore. The tackle sparked a brawl which resulted in Ciaran Clark picking up a second booking and leaving the field as well.
But Leicester extended their unbeaten run to four games in all competitions and moved to within touching distance of those around them at the bottom of the table.

With Riyad Mahrez away at the Africa Cup of Nations, Nigel Pearson handed Marc Albrighton only his second start this season and the former Villa midfielder looked determined to make the most of his rare outing and prove a point to his former employers as Leicester started the game brighter than their opponents.

Having tried to establish a connection with David Nugent in the opening exchanges, where only a combination of adverse weather conditions and last-ditch defending prevented two early openings, Albrighton then took the lead role in the game’s first chance of quality.

After challenging Alan Hutton in the air, the winger raced into space down the left channel before rolling the ball across to Nugent to tap into an empty net. Nugent’s shot, though, skewed wide of the target and his touch inadvertently prevented the on-rushing Anthony Knockaert from finishing from an easier position.

Christian Benteke proved to be the early out-ball for the visitors but the Belgian took his time to come to terms with the Foxes’ offside trap and saw an effort ruled out by the linesman after 20 minutes.

Within minutes, though, Nugent had another chance to open scoring but, under pressure from Clark and Okore, his header missed the target.

Villa responded with their best move of the game five minutes later as Benteke, Alan Hutton and Gabriel Agbonlahor  combined to tee up Tom Cleverley on the edge of the box, but his shot was deflected by a combination of Marcin Wasilewski and Wes Morgan before it could draw Ben Hamer into action.

As the interval approached, Leicester had strong claims for a penalty ignored. A corner evaded everyone in the box and Okore mis-controlled the ball and gifted it straight to Dean Hammond, who was clattered from behind by Hutton. Penalty claims fell on deaf ears despite contact being apparent.

Nugent then rounded off his hat-trick of near misses as he cushioned a clearance with his chest before unleashing a dipping volley that looked destined to nestle in the back of the net.

His effort struck the underside of the bar before bouncing a foot from the line and then away from goal. Leonardo Ulloa looked to be on hand to convert the rebound but his header floated onto the roof of the net.

Leicester were finally rewarded when Konchesky broke the deadlock in first-half stoppage time. Ulloa collected a thrown-in from the right and acrobatically hooked it into the six yard box where it appeared Hutton had seemingly relieved the danger.

But in came the left-back who slotted inside Guzan’s post.

James came close to extending the Foxes’ lead but his header drew a fine save from Guzan as the second half passed with few clear-cut chances on goal.

Nugent and Alrbighton’s opportunism was nearly rewarded but another sublime save from Guzan denied the winger before Clark denied his former team-mate for finding the net.

Nigel Pearson’s side had another penalty claim waved away in the second half at Ulloa dithered in possession after Knockaert’s excellent play down the right created another great opening for the hosts.

Clark appeared to have fouled the Argentine but his hesitation really was to blame for his failure to double his side’s lead.

And the game took a turn for the worse when, in the final moments of the game, James saw red for a high challenge on Okore. On seeing the tackle Clark reacted furiously, shoulder-barging James to the ground before sparking a tussle which ended with him receiving a second booking. 
It compounded a disappointing day for Villa who are without a win since their victory over Leicester in December and they drop to 13th in the Premier League, five points clear of their opponents.
Player ratings

Leicester: Hamer (5), Simpson (6), Wasilewski (6), Morgan (5), Konchesky (6), Albrighton (7), James (4), Hammond (6), Knockaert (6), Ulloa (5), Nugent (7).

Used subs: Vardy (5), King (4), Lawrence (4).

Aston Villa: Guzan (7), Hutto (5), Okore (4), Clark (6), Cissokho (5), Westwood (4), Sanchez (4), Cleverley (4) Cole (4), Benteke (5), Agbonlahor (5).

Used subs: Weimann (5), Richardson (4), N’Zogbia (4).

Man of the Match: David Nugent.

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