Leicester City 3 Blackpool 1 – 15 March 2014

Leicester extended their unbeaten league run to sixteen games after coming from behind to beat Blackpool at the King Power Stadium this afternoon.

David Goodwillie gave the Seasiders an unlikely lead four minutes before the interval after Leicester had squandered a number of goal-scoring opportunities in the first-half.

But Nigel Pearson’s men were much-improved after the break, and drew level on the hour mark courtesy of a fantastic strike from Riyad Mahrez.

Blackpool continued to frustrate the Foxes, but Wes Morgan’s close-range header gave Leicester the lead with eight minutes remaining, before substitute Kevin Phillips added a third to complete the turnaround.

It was Leicester’s fourth win in a row, and one that not only extends their unbeaten run to sixteen games, but also widens the gap between themselves and third-placed Derby County to seventeen points.

Nigel Pearson named an unchanged starting eleven to the side that comfortably won at Barnsley, preferring to stick with Jeff Schlupp and Marcin Wasilewski over the now-available Paul Konchesky and Liam Moore.

The Foxes dominated the opening stages of the game, with Riyad Mahrez curling a shot from distance wide of Matt Gilks’ far post, before Marcin Wasilewski found Jamie Vardy in the Blackpool penalty area with an excellent long ball just moments later, although the in-form striker misjudged his header and the danger was cleared by the visitors.

Danny Drinkwater then fired wide as the Foxes started to turn up the pressure on Blackpool, before Jamie Vardy had a goal ruled out by the offside flag after a clever through ball from his strike partner David Nugent.

Anthony Knockaert’s mazy run in on goal allowed the Frenchman to test Matt Gilks’ with a low shot which almost slipped underneath the Blackpool shot-stopper, while, at the other end, Neal Bishop really should have put the visitors ahead after finding himself unmarked in the Leicester penalty area following a corner kick, but his header was well off-target.

On the half-hour mark, Jamie Vardy almost broke the deadlock with a close-range volley from Ritchie De Laet’s cross, but his effort flew wide of the mark and the chance went begging.

Leicester had a glorious chance to go ahead before half-time when Riyad Mahrez put Vardy through on goal with a fantastic through ball, but the former Fleetwood Town striker dragged his shot wide of the far post.

The Foxes were then made to pay for their lack of composure in front of goal with four minutes remaining in the first half, when Kasper Schmeichel’s poor punched clearance from a long throw-in by the visitors led to the ball falling to David Goodwillie, who volleyed in from close-range.

It was a poor goal for the hosts to concede and one which came against the run of play for Barry Ferguson’s side.

Leicester were improved in the second-half, with the majority of the attacking play involving the impressive Mahrez, who almost picked out Jamie Vardy in a dangerous position, but the ball evaded the striker’s outstretched leg in the penalty area.

With players and fans alike becoming frustrated with the way the match seemed to be going and some of the decisions being made by referee Nigel Miller, the Foxes drew level on the hour mark when Riyad Mahrez cut inside from the right wing before firing a superb swerving strike into the far corner of the goal with Matt Gilks absolutely helpless to stop it.

It was a real moment of magic from the winger – his second goal of the game since making his move to the King Power Stadium – and one which provided the impetus for Leicester to push on and take control of the game.

Jamie Vardy came close to instantly putting Leicester ahead after the restart, but was thwarted at the last possible moment by the Blackpool backline, before Matty James’ positive run into the area came to an end after the midfielder took one touch too many.

Matt Gilks had to be alert to keep out David Nugent’s header after Riyad Mahrez picked out the frontman after a set play had broken down, before substitute Gary Taylor-Fletcher came close with a wonderful team move including Nugent and Jeff Schlupp, but the former Blackpool man couldn’t quite hit the target.

Nugent then saw his header cleared off the line with time running out in the match, but, with eight minutes remaining, Riyad Mahrez superbly picked out Wes Morgan at the back post with a pinpoint cross, allowing the Foxes captain to head the ball into the net.

It was an excellent cross from Mahrez and a timely goal from Morgan for his first of the season.

The turnaround was complete three minutes before the end when Danny Drinkwater’s cross intended for Gary Taylor-Fletcher fell to substitute Kevin Phillips, and the veteran striker did well to turn inside the box and fire the ball high into the net.

It was a neat finish from Phillips, who showed admirable respect to his former club with a muted celebration, and a perfect demonstration of why Nigel Pearson brought him to Leicester City earlier this year.

Leicester had a number of chances to extend their 3-1 lead in the dying stages of the match, with Phillips firing over the bar from close range and Danny Drinkwater having a dangerous pass across goal parried away by Matt Gilks, but the three points were very much safe by that point, and the final whistle confirmed Leicester’s fourth win in as many games as their quest for automatic promotion continues.

Man of the Match – Riyad Mahrez