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Match Report: Leicester City 1-2 Barnsley (Leicester Fan's Perspective)

Sunday 15th January 2012
After an unspectacular season so far, losing 2-1 to Barnsley at the King Power Stadium plunged Leicester City's campaign into new depths of disappointing underachievement.

The Tyke's took only 12 minutes to find a way through the heart of the City defence, after striker Andy Gray capitalised on excellent build-up play and service from Ricardo Vaz Te and Danny Drinkwater, placing the ball in the bottom right corner of the net, from the edge of the 6 yard box.

As Andy Gray's namesake on past FIFA editions stated: 'A team is most vulnerable after they score'. This was most certainly the case in this encounter, Lloyd Dyer firmly establishing himself as the best player in a Leicester jersey on the day, after skilfully controlling a route one ball sent from the malicious power of keeper Kasper Schmeichel's right foot, before sending the received ball crashing into the net behind Barnsley keeper Luke Steele on 14 minutes. This instant resurgence in play transferred to the stands, as the King Power Stadium shook under the shock-waves of the now infamous Poznan dance celebration.

After the somewhat eventful opening, the game soon simmered down into a processional affair, with only a handful of half hearted efforts by the on-form Dyer being enough to encourage the home fans. The Foxes' faithful were soon in full voice again though, but for all the wrong reasons; Manchester United loanee Danny Drinkwater sending a lofted cross onto the awaiting head of Andy Gray, who tucked away his second of the day with a calmly taken header past the gloves of Schmeichel, who was merely a statue in the impressive move. The game went to asleep immediately after again, until a chorus of disgruntled booing around the stadium signalled half time.

It seemed evident that Nigel Pearson had provided a god-like half time team talk to turn around his teams fortunes, as Leicester started the second half with a much needed spring in their step; a precise 25 yard free kick from Paul Gallagher, aswell as efforts from Neill Danns and Andy King all went close for the Foxes', but were ultimately fruitless in penetrating the oppositions goalmouth for a second time to draw level. After ten minutes of huffing and puffing, Leicester went into self-destruct mode, with a restless crowd catalysing their downfall. 'Flow' is an awfully passive term to describe a teams movement in Football, but one that Leicester couldn't muster up unlike there opponents, who despite receiving less of the ball, were admirable in how they made the most out of what they were given. With a cocktail of booing, empting stands, and poor football, the final whistle sounded, with the North Yorkshire side leaving the King Power stadium 2-1 victors over a dysfunctional and massively under-performing.

The defeat to Barnsley will be sure to test the resolve of the Leicester City owners, who on the back of the last defeat at the King Power Stadium, sacked manager at the time Sven Goran Eriksson, with the club in a relatively strong position, just two points outside of the illusive play-off spot zone. At the end of the weekend however, Nigel Pearson's team will sit a lowly 15th in the Championship- the lowest the club has been since the Sousa-Eriksson transitional stage at the end of 2010. With calls from all four corners of the ground to sign a new winger capable of providing much needed improved service to the front men, Pearson does at least find himself at an ideal point in the season: the January Transfer Window. Whether he listens and agrees with the fans demands remains to be seen, but with a squad as strong as Leicester's, languishing in the depths of the Championship, make no mistake that 'Big Nige' and his squad will be feeling the pressure from fans and club authority alike.
Joe Diamond
Im Joe- an aspiring Sports Journalist student who likes to rant, rave, review, preview, question, and support all things Football.

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