Potters Pounce On Hibernating Foxes
King Power Stadium
17th January 2015
After a decent run of games, Leicester City fans could be forgiven for seeing this game as a 'must win` game for their survival status. 4 games unbeaten gave their season a much needed kick start as they floundered at the bottom of the table. Stoke meanwhile came into the game after a 3-0 drubbing at the hands of Arsenal on a week before. Leicester chose to leave club record signing Andrej Kramaric on the bench for this game, leaving his club and Premier League debut for another week. Stoke meanwhile had the pace and power of loanee Victor Moses back in the ranks, back after a lengthy spell out.
After a relatively uneventful first half for both teams, the only real chance of any note came from Leicester`s Anthony Knockaert, as a 25 yard effort went sailing over Asmir Begovic`s bar. The only other real chance also fell to Leicester, despite their inferiority in the first half to Stoke`s possession play. The ball was swung into the box and Jamie Vardy tried to flick the ball on the turn but the effort was tame, and Begovic grasped the ball very easily.
The second half, Stoke sparked into life. Stoke finally turned their domination of the game into efforts on the goal. Straight away at the start of the second half, Marko Arnautovic broke through the Leicester back line but could only blast his powerful effort into the side netting. Stoke had the ascendancy though and they kept firing efforts at Ben Hamer`s goal. A hashed clearance from Leicester`s defence fell to Steven N`Zonzi who hit it first time on the volley, and my lord the lad hit it with power. Anywhere other than straight at Hamer and it would be 1-0 to the Potters, but it was aimed straight at Hamer and the ball couldn`t be knocked in.
On the 65th minute, the deadlock was broken though, and perhaps with the only bit of real quality was produced for it. Of course, when I say quality, it had to be little Bojan who stepped up to the plate. Marko Arnautovic played a through ball to Jon Walters, who squared to Bojan. Almost everyone in the stadium was expecting Bojan to lay the ball off to Victor Moses to blast home, but no. Bojan took a touch and turned, and then placed a wonderful left footed stroke into the corner from just outside the penalty area. A wonderful, deft finish from the Calatan playmaker, surely showing the he could easily be the best signing of the season, and possibly one of Stoke`s best ever signings.
From there, the game petered out and Stoke held on for the win. Even when Leicester bought on club record signing Kramaric, they never looked like scoring. Stoke now jump up to 10th in the league on 29 points, whereas Leicester are still propping the table up, 3 points from safety. The Potters have next face Rochdale away (26/01/2015, 20:00 KO, BT Sport 1) and Leicester are away to Tottenham (24/01/2015, 15:00 KO) in the fourth round of the FA cup.