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Match Report


Posted Sat 01 Mar 14 at 18:13 PM

Leicester 3 Charlton 0

Olly Groome reports from King Power Stadium

Charlton had no answer for the Championship's table toppers as Leicester City picked off the Addicks with ease on Saturday afternoon. 

Second-half strikes from Danny Drinkwater and David Nugent added to Jamie Vardy's earlier goal to bring Chris Powell's side back down to earth after the elation of the previous seven days.

And while the visitors huffed and puffed at the King Power Stadium there was always going to be one winner as Leicester dominated from start to finish. 

There was only one change to the side which beat Sheffield Wednesday in the FA Cup five days earlier. Rhoys Wiggins returned in place of Morgan Fox who reverted back to the bench having made his first-team bow at Hillsborough. 

Both sides felt each other out in the opening exchanges with crosses at either end running too far for their respective strikers. 

But with the Foxes top of the league and in impressive form it was no surprise that they began with some confidence, enjoying an early majority of possession. 

And it took eight minutes for the hosts to carve out the first chance of the game. 

Jamie Vardy latched onto a through-ball and showed some skill to shimmy past Charlton's defence before finding himself one-on-one with Ben Hamer. 

But the stopper, making his first appearance in the league since November, raced out to deny the striker. 

Only a further minute passed, however, before Vardy did take his chance to put Leicester in front. 

Richard Wood laid a crunching tackle on Anthony Knockaert on the halfway line but with the ball ricocheting back towards the Addicks goal David Nugent found a way in, despite their being a hint of offside. 

Squaring the ball to Vardy once inside the box, the former Fleetwood man only had to cut inside Wiggins before driving a shot past Hamer to make it 1-0.

Nugent was playing a key part in the Foxes' forward play and was again involved when he crossed for Knockaert on 14 minutes but the Frenchman drew another good save from Hamer. 

The Addicks nearly pulled a goal back after 20 minutes when Michael Morrison picked Leicester's defence open with a chipped ball over the top. With Simon Church racing on to it the Welsh international tried the lob over Kasper Schmeichel but the Goalkeeper bared down to extinguish the danger. 

It was a rare sight on goal for Charlton with Leicester playing their role as runaway league leaders superbly well. 

And with Powell forced into a change midway through the half with Michael Morrison being replaced by Dorian Dervite, nothing seemed to be going right for the South-Londoners. 

On 20 minutes Nugent sent a header over from six yards and saw another shot deflected over moments later as the Addicks struggled to contain the hosts' pacey, attacking verve. 

Vardy had a pair of chances to double Charlton's deficit, first losing out in a foot-race to Hamer when put through and then heading wide unmarked from a Ritchie de Laet cross. 

The home side continued to threaten a second and Riyad Mahrez was the next to come close when he rasped a low effort just wide from 25 yards. 

Powell's men were getting no joy at the other end with Church cutting a lonely figure up top with little to do. 

Astrit Ajdarević took a pot-shot from 30 yards which, while struck well, never looked like troubling Schmeichel as it flew into the stand behind. 

In truth, that merely speculative effort was the closest the Addicks would come in the first 45. 

Unfortunately, not much changed as the second-half got under way and it only took three minutes before the home side were 2-0 up. 

Danny Drinkwater was the man to net, slamming home a rebound after Nugent drew a good save by Hamer to his right. 

And that early goal almost seemed to end any hope of a second-half comeback as the Foxes continued to come forward. 

Drinkwater tried his luck from outside the box, shooting straight at Hamer shortly after Vardy had sent an angled effort wide. 

Charlton needed an opening and it very nearly came in the 48th minute when Church won a free-kick midway into the hosts' half. 

Ajdarević delivered and Wood lost his marker at the back post with a superb chance to pull a goal back. 

But the centre-back just couldn't keep his header down as he stretched to reach it.  

Powell made a double change on the hour as the Addicks chief shuffled his pack in an attempt to find a way back into the game. 

Andy Hughes and Marcus Tudgay entered the fray in place of Jordan Cousins and Ajdarević but it didn't take long before Leicester all but killed the game off four minutes later. 

Nugent picked up possession and was allowed time to head towards Charlton's goal before finishing impressively from 20 yards. 

The forward's strike went in off Hamer's right-hand upright and nestled in the net to make it 3-0 and effectively over. 

Substitute Tudgay attempted to carve the Foxes open with 15 minutes remaining. 

Running at their defensive line the loanee finally unleashed a shot which was well blocked by a blue-shirted sliding tackle. 

With Leicester's job all but complete they eased off somewhat as the clock ticked down to full-time, allowing the Addicks a bit more possession as they looked to gain a consolation. 

But despite their foot having been removed from the pedal, the hosts went close to a fourth with eight minutes to go. 

Ritchie de Laet galloped forward before crossing for Nugent but the former England striker could only force yet another fine save from Hamer 12 yards out and two minutes later Knockaert volleyed wide following a similar move as the score remained 3-0. 

With the game coming to an end, Charlton might well consider themselves lucky to have only lost by three.

After riding the crest of a wave for the previous week, the Addicks were dealt a hefty lesson by Leicester. 

But, in reality, there was certainly no shame in losing to the best side in this division and with attention now turning to an FA Cup quarter-final next Sunday, Powell's men will ride again. 

Charlton: Hamer; Wilson, Wiggins, Morrison (Dervite 21), Wood; Poyet, Cousins (Hughes 60), Jackson, Harriott, Ajdarević (Tudgay 60); Church.

Subs (not used): Thuram-Ulien, Green, Ghoochannejhad, Fox.

Booked: Harriott 41 (foul on de Laet), Poyet 75 (foul on Mahrez)

Leicester: Schmeichel; de Laet, Schlupp, Morgan, Wasilewski; James (King 70), Drinkwater (Hammond 76), Mahrez, Knockaert; Vardy (Wood 67), Nugent.

Subs (not used): Logan, Moore, Taylor-Fletcher, Phillips. 

Booked: Vardy 28 (foul on Dervite)

Goals: Vardy 9, Drinkwater 48, Nugent 64

Referee: J Simpson

Att: 24, 742 (867 from Charlton)

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