Leicester 1-0 Reading: Royals Suffer Post-Christmas Blues

Ben Hoskins

The second game of the busy festive period saw the Royals travel to the East Midlands and the King Power Stadium on Boxing Day. After a poor result against Wigan five days previous, Reading were looking to get back to winning ways. However, illnesses and power failures aside, David Nugent’s first half penalty ensured that Leicester took all three points.

Leicester City: Schmeichel, de Laet, Konchesky, Drinkwater, Morgan, Moore, Knockaert, James, Vardy (Taylor-Fletcher, 88), Nugent (Waghorn, 75), Dyer (Hammond, 86)

Scorers: Nugent, 22 (pen)

Bookings: Konchesky

Reading: McCarthy, Gunter, Pearce, Gorkss, Cummings, Blackman, Guthrie, Williams, Drenthe (Sharp, 71), McAnuff (Le Fondre, 83), Pogrebnyak

Bookings: Guthrie, McAnuff

Leicester had been a joyful place for the Royals to visit in recent seasons, with the last three results going in Reading’s favour. The Royals had also won each of the team’s last six meetings, so they must have been hoping for a result to make this Boxing Day one to remember.

However, even before a ball was kicked, Reading suffered some setbacks including a knee injury to Hal Robson-Kanu, and an illness forcing both Jordan Obita and Garath McCleary out of the starting XI. Then the afternoon took another bizarre turn in the 3rd minute of the game as the whole stadium lost power due to supply problems in the local area.

Leicester were the dominant force during the first period of play, and they were awarded a penalty in the 21st minute after Antony Knockaert was deemed to be fouled in the box by Shaun Cummings. David Nugent stepped up and scored the resulting penalty in the fast fading daylight – his 8th spot kick this season. Leicester also had other decent chances in the first half, most notably when Nugent hit the outside of the bar. Thankfully, by the end of the first half the floodlights were working on emergency generators and the game was able to continue.

Reading were able to offer much more when they came back from the break, in a much improved second half performance. Kaspars Gorkss forced a good save from Kasper Schmeichel after his head met a great free kick from Royston Drenthe. The Royals were once again denied quite soon afterwards when Alex Pearce had a chance narrowly headed off the line.

Reading did also find the back of the net in the second half, with a diving header from Pavel Pogrebnyak. However, the linesman decided that he was offside, although at the time it looked like a very close call.

Leicester was never going to be an easy place to travel to, especially when you consider the Christmas period, the presence of illness and injury and the added distraction of the power failure. However, it was once again frustrating that we didn’t take our decent chances that we were presented, and also the fact that we only had one shot on target throughout the entire game. But on  a positive note, it is definitely not the worst I have seen us play this season, and hopefully Reading can pick up some more points in Middlesbrough on Sunday.

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