Tuesday 20 March 2018

Foxes' battle for survival is in own hands, insists Pearson


Leicester City manager Nigel Pearson has led his team off the bottom of the table
Leicester City manager Nigel Pearson has led his team off the bottom of the table

Nigel Whittaker

Momentum is certainly with Leicester City and perhaps so too are the footballing gods after their relegation escape act gathered further impetus.

Leonardo Ulloa had been scheduled to start on the bench. However, a calf injury to David Nugent in the warm-up saw him promoted to the starting line-up and in 15 minutes he had scored his first league goal of 2015.

That handed the Foxes the impetus and, having rarely looked like loosening their grip on proceedings, Andy King's late strike rubber-stamped a deserved victory over Swansea City which lifted them off the foot of the table for the first time since November.

A solitary goal is now all that stands between Nigel Pearson's team and safety and, after recording three successive Premier League wins for the first time in 15 years, a great escape now looks a distinct possibility - especially with Burnley, Newcastle United, Sunderland and QPR among their remaining fixtures.


"It is another very good win for us," Pearson said. "To achieve three wins on the trot at this stage of the season is a big plus.

"We have given ourselves a realistic chance but we are still in a difficult situation and we have to ensure our fate remains in our own hands. Winning games is the best way of doing that."

It was a raucous atmosphere as crowd and team, in turn, spurred one another on and soon Leicester's front-foot football was rewarded.

Marcin Wasilewski's floated delivery was flicked on by Ulloa to Wes Morgan, who shrugged off Ashley Williams to lay the ball back into the path of the Argentinian, who steered a low strike inside the left post.

If Leicester were guilty of any crime, it was profligacy. Marc Albrighton and Andrej Kramaric both flashed shots agonisingly wide from promising positions and the worry for the home side was that they would come to rue such missed opportunities.

That was almost the case midway through the second half when some slick Swansea interplay slipped in Nelson Oliveira only for Kasper Schmeichel to thwart him with an outstretched boot.

More Leicester chances came and went. Substitute Riyad Mahrez was twice denied either side of a Jamie Vardy penalty claim.

Victory was finally rubber-stamped in the 89th minute courtesy of a calamitous mistake from Lukasz Fabianski, who spilt Esteban Cambiasso's free-kick to enable King to pounce.

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