Leicester and Burnley Draw Ensures Both Stay Down!
King Power Stadium
Tuesday 17th April 2012 @7:45pm
A goalless draw in the King Power Stadium last night ensured that both Burnley and Leicester would face another season in the Championship next season. Both still had a remote mathematical chance of still reaching the play offs, especially the Foxes who with two points more than the Clarets ahead of the clash were just six points behind the 6th placed spot with three games to play.
The point sees the Clarets remain in eleventh spot on 61 points but it is now impossible to catch the 6th placed club Cardiff who are now ten points ahead of the Clarets with only two games to play.
For the Clarets the draw also meant they could not now achieve a record twelve away games in a season and will now have to be content with a record-equalling eleven should they beat Blackpool in their final game on the road this Saturday.
How the clash against the Foxes remained goalless is quite remarkable with both teams going hell for leather to find a winning goal. Performance wise the Clarets probably shaded it on the night but could not find that elusive goal to break the deadlock despite the best efforts of Charlie Austin.
Austin went agonisingly close for the Clarets in the second half with a header which hit both posts and he then just failed to tap-in from the rebound thanks to a superb tackle by Sol Bamba.
Bamba was also lucky not to concede a penalty in the first half after seemingly handling an attempt from Chris McCann in the area.
Kieran Trippier came to Burnley`s rescue to deny the Foxes scoring from their best chance following a header from Lee Peltier which was cleared off the line. Lee Grant also used his feet to deny former loan striker, David Nugent who for once failed to score against the Clarets.
In the end then the Clarets had to be content with a draw, only their second of the season away from home mirroring the 0-0 score line achieved at Cardiff last month. You would have taken a draw ahead of this game and let`s face it most Clarets fans were already resigned to yet another season in the Championship and had been for some weeks so there was no great disappointment following confirmation. At least now though we can stop all those mathematical calculations and concentrate on building for next season. It would however still be nice to finish this season on a high since we are now undefeated in four matches. Let`s win our final two games away to Blackpool and home to Bristol City and finish in the top ten! Up the Clarets!
Ross Wallace was relieved of his out-of-position left back role last night following the return of Daniel Lafferty. Danny Ings and Josh McQuoid were also surprisingly dropped to the bench with Marvin Bartley returning to the starting eleven as part of a five man midfield.
The line-up then was as follows:
Grant, Trippier, Duff, Edgar, Lafferty, Wallace, Marney, McCann, Bartley, Stanislas, Austin
Subs: Jensen, McQuoid, Ings, Howieson, Jackson,
Full Match Report
It was the Foxes, undefeated in seven games who came storming out of the blocks to put the Clarets under some early pressure. The pacy Lloyd Dyer was soon testing Grant with Leicester then continuing to test the Burnley defence. Our back four held firm though and generally put in a good defensive rearguard display all night.
The Clarets now started to put some of their own passes together and began to put the Leicester defence under some pressure as the first half progressed. Ross Wallace was causing the Foxes defence all sorts of problems. In one attack charging forward he linked well with McCann to set-up Austin who let rip with an angled drive which just failed to beat Foxes keeper, Kasper Schmeichel.
Austin perhaps would have done better too had he not tried to return the favour to Chris McCann in another Clarets attack following a defensive blunder by Bamba. Latching onto the Foxes defender`s short back pass, he should have gone it alone but instead laid the ball off to McCann (playing a more forward midfield role in the absence of Ings) and the attack came to nothing.
The Clarets were enjoying quite a bit of space as the open game developed and it was Austin again who then came closest to breaking the deadlock. Bartley and Lafferty combined well before the recalled left back got over a low cross that Austin just failed to latch onto.
The busy Bamba then denied Austin again with a sliding block tackle just as the former Swindon striker was about to pull the trigger before Wallace had a couple of long-distance shots that failed to beat Schmeichel.
Leicester too though had their chances led mainly by a lively David Nugent. He unleashed a 35 yard screamer that flew just over the bar as both sides looked for the opener in a pulsating first half. The Foxes nearly broke the deadlock from a Ben Marshall free-kick but thankfully Lee Grant got his hand to the ball to save the day for the Clarets. A Danny Drinkwater header too came close but it was glanced wide of target with the score somehow remaining 0-0 at half-time!
The Foxes in the second-half again came storming out and they were nearly two goals up in the first ten minutes from the restart. Kieran Trippier first got in a superb goal line clearance to deny Lee Peltier after his header from a Marshall corner looked certain to cross the line. A mistake by Junior Stanislas then nearly let in Nugent but Grant came to the rescue to make an excellent save.
The Clarets were still very much in the game though and were enjoying a spell of possession of their own. It looked like it would pay off too after Austin latched onto a Trippier cross with a glancing header. Schmeichel was well-beaten but was soon hero-worshipping his woodwork, not once but twice! The ball stubbornly hit the post and then bounced across the goal line to the other post only to hit that one as well! If that was not bad enough for the Clarets, the ball then fell again to Austin who looked certain this time to score with a tap in before Bamba arrived from nowhere to clear the danger!
294 Clarets looking on could not believe our luck and probably neither could the Foxes fans!
The Foxes sensed with luck on their side they might sneak a winner but once again our keeper and back four thwarted their attempts with Nugent in particular continuing to be frustrated.
With 11 minutes to go, Howe was forced into his second substitution of the night after McCann was unable to shake off a knock. On came Danny Ings who spent most of his time on the pitch helping out in defence with the back four continuing to soak up the pressure needing every bit of help they could get. The last word though was Burnley`s but it still could not break the deadlock. In added time, Austin`s header from a Trippier cross flew over the bar and that was it! Now it really was season over for both teams!
The Post-Match Eddie-torial
Eddie Howe said after the game:
'It's another clean sheet, which is really pleasing for us, but we said before the game that we were desperate to go for the 12 wins and make history for the football club.
'But it's a good point really. In the first half I thought we were excellent.
'We had some great moves, especially in the first half on the counter attack, and we created some decent chances and on another day I'd like to think we could have taken one of them.
'In the second half it was more defensive from us as Leicester were on top but I still thought we had the best chances in the game.'
Leicester City: Schmeichel, Peltier, Konchesky, Bamba, Morgan, Dyer (Gallagher - 72), Drinkwater, Wellens, Beckford (Schlupp - 72), Marshall, Nugent
Subs Not Used: St Ledger, King, Howard
Burnley: Grant, Trippier, Duff, Edgar, Lafferty, Wallace, Marney, McCann (Ings - 79), Bartley, Stanislas (McQuoid - 67), Austin
Subs Not Used: Jensen, Howieson, Jackson,
Booked: Yellow Card for Marney (82)
Possession: 51% Leicester City, 49% Burnley (Source: BBC Sport)
Ref: Michael Jones (Chester)