Leicester City 3 Birmingham City 2 – 24 August 2013

Leicester scored three goals in twelve minutes to complete a late rally at the King Power Stadium against Midlands rivals Birmingham City to claim their first home win of the season in dramatic style.

The visitors took a first-half lead from Matt Green’s close-range finish, but the Foxes improved after the break and drew level through a fine strike from Jamie Vardy.

Andy King put the hosts ahead five minutes later with an equally good finish in his 250th appearance for the Foxes, before David Nugent converted a penalty in stoppage time to complete the turnaround.

Substitute Chris Burke made it 3-2 with a sublime last-second goal, but it was not enough to stop Leicester continuing their unbeaten start to this Championship campaign.

Nigel Pearson will have been disappointed with his side’s first-half performance, who were without injured captain Wes Morgan, but did see huge improvements when Lloyd Dyer and Anthony Knockaert replaced Chris Wood and Danny Drinkwater at half-time, giving the Foxes more width in attack which caused Birmingham problems.

Jamie Vardy, who has enjoyed a superb start to the season, nearly opened the scoring in the second minute after breaking through the Birmingham backline and latching onto a long through ball, but goalkeeper Darren Randolph was out quickly to thwart the danger.

The visitors then took the lead ten minutes later when Shane Ferguson found space on the left wing to send a deep cross into the Leicester six-yard box, and Matt Green escaped his marker to poke the ball past Kasper Schmeichel from point-blank range.

It was a poor goal to concede from a defensive point of view, and perhaps highlighted a lack of leadership at the back without Morgan on the pitch to lead the line.

Leicester almost struck back instantly through Chris Wood, although the New Zealander’s shot was deflected wide of the mark.

The hosts, while arguably in control of the match, then struggled to create any clear-cut opportunities until the latter stages of the first-half when Jamie Vardy won the ball back in an advanced position before turning and testing Randolph at his near post, winning his side a corner in the process.

The Foxes did find themselves a goal down at half-time, but were much better after the break after reverting to a 4-4-2 formation and introducing Lloyd Dyer and Anthony Knockaert into the match, who replaced Danny Drinkwater and Chris Wood respectively.

The instant improvement was clear to see as Jamie Vardy continued to cause Birmingham problems at the back, chasing down a loose ball before forcing a close-range save from Randolph.

Lloyd Dyer then tried to pick out Anthony Knockaert at the back post as the two substitutes combined in attack, but his cross just eluded the Frenchman.

David Nugent tested Randolph with a shot on target, but Leicester could not draw level despite an extended period of dominance in the match.

At the other end, Neil Eardley almost doubled Birmingham’s lead with a free-kick from 25 yards, but Kasper Schmeichel was on hand to tip the ball around the post as the visitors looked to turn the screw.

It appeared as though Leicester were going to be handed their first loss of the season until twelve minutes from time when Lloyd Dyer burst down the left wing and found Jamie Vardy on the edge of the penalty area, and the former Fleetwood Town man powered the ball past Randolph to draw the Foxes level.

It was a fantastic finish from Vardy who has enjoyed a wonderful start to the season following a mixed 2012/13 campaign which saw the striker feature mainly as a substitute.

Leicester would not settle for a point, and just minutes later Andy King put the Foxes ahead with a fantastic curling strike from the edge of the penalty area after clever build-up play from Anthony Knockaert and David Nugent.

It was King’s 250th appearance for his hometown club and the Welsh international could not have marked it in any better fashion.

Birmingham looked shell-shocked as the home side were now fully in control, but there was still time for more drama as Kyle Bartley was adjudged to have brought down Lloyd Dyer in the penalty area in second-half stoppage time.

David Nugent stepped up to fire the ball down the middle of the goal from twelve yards, making it 3-1 to the Foxes, although Lee Clark’s men were unhappy with referee Eddie Ilderton’s decision to award the  initial spot kick.

Chris Burke gave the visitors a late lifeline with a sublime curling finish, but the goal came too late as the full-time whistle blew almost immediately after the restart.

Leicester now sit second in the Championship, having taken ten points from a possible twelve, following an encouraging start to this season.

Man of the Match – Jamie Vardy