Leicester City consolidated their automatic promotion spot with a 2-1 win over Midlands rivals Wolverhampton Wanderers at the King Power Stadium this evening.
Anthony Knockaert put the Foxes in front midway through the first-half with his eighth goal of the season, but Wolves were much improved after the break and deservedly drew level through Bakary Sako’s powerful 20-yard strike.
David Nugent eventually scored the winning goal with just over fifteen minutes remaining with a fantastic curling shot into the bottom corner, giving Leicester their fifth consecutive league win.
It was a scrappy game for the most part, but an important win for Leicester as they now go into this weekend knowing that they cannot lose their grasp on second-place in the Championship regardless of other results.
Both sides started slowly, but it was Wolves who had the first chance of the game when Bakary Sako fired the ball across the face of the Leicester goal after the hosts had struggled to deal with a corner kick.
But the Foxes soon found their groove, with new signing Chris Wood lashing a powerful volley just over the crossbar from 25 yards.
Ben Marshall then tested Wolves’ goalkeeper Karl Ikeme, who bobbled the winger’s long-range effort, but it was Anthony Knockaert who opened the scoring when he latched on to Kasper Schmeichel’s long goal-kick before bearing down on goal and firing past Ikeme into the far corner.
It was a fine goal for the Frenchman who has continuously impressed Foxes fans since his move to the King Power Stadium over the summer.
Wolves’ response was almost instant when Sylvan Ebanks-Blake managed to hit the target from just outside the penalty area, but Kasper Schmeichel was equal to it.
Leicester then had appeals for a spot-kick waved away by referee Robert Madley when Anthony Knockaert clearly appeared to be fouled inside the penalty area, before Danny Bath headed just wide from a corner kick at the other end as Leicester continued to struggle with set plays defensively.
Wolves were much improved in the second-half, and it was not long before Dean Saunders’ side were deservedly level through Bakary Sako’s stunning 20-yard strike which gave Kasper Schmeichel no chance.
It was a deserved goal for the visitors who had grown into the match, and were playing at a much higher level than their league position of nineteenth had suggested.
Leicester nearly restored their lead instantly when Ritchie De Laet’s low ball across goal found Chris Wood in the penalty area, but the talismanic striker was unable to hit the target from close range.
Wolves had enjoyed the lion’s share of possession in the second-half, impressing the visiting fans with close passing and composure on the ball, but they were dealt a hammer blow with seventeen minutes remaining when David Nugent was given far too much time and space to run at defenders before cutting inside and curling a sublime effort into the bottom corner.
It was a trademark David Nugent goal, made possible by a fantastic decoy run by substitute Lloyd Dyer.
Wolves huffed and puffed in the closing stages with Bakary Sako testing Schmeichel again from distance, before Sylvan Ebanks-Blake hit the post in the closing stages, but Leicester’s defence, led by captain Wes Morgan, was resolute, and eventually good for their win after three added minutes of stoppage time.
Leicester’s eleventh home win closes the gap on league leaders Cardiff City, who face Leeds United this Saturday.
Man of the Match – Wes Morgan