A huge match between two sides who would, no doubt, be gunning for promotion from the Championship awaited the fans at Carrow Road on Wednesday evening. David Wagner’s Norwich came into their second home game in a row having narrowly defeated Stoke City on Saturday, while Enzo Maresca’s Leicester City won big at Southampton on Friday.
NOR: Gunn; Stacey, Duffy, Gibson, Giannoulis; Gibbs, Sara, McLean; Fassnacht, Barnes, Rowe
LEI: Hermansen; Faes, Vestergaard, Doyle; Akgun; Casadei, Choudhury, Winks, McAteer; Mavididi; Iheanacho
On what was a breezy night in Norfolk, it was Leicester who were almost caught cold early doors as Shane Duffy’s wonderful pass found Jack Stacey in the box, but the right-back’s shot ended up forcing a comfortable save out of Mads Hermansen.
Leicester began to grow into this game and Enzo Maresca’s side recorded their first chance of the game with under ten minutes gone. Kelechi Iheanacho was released by Stephy Mavididi and the Nigerian was through on goal, but the former Manchester City striker’s attempt to chip the ball over Angus Gunn was thwarted quickly by the Scotsman as he collected the ball calmly.
The Foxes had been dominant throughout this game so far, but a severe lack of chances after the opening ten minutes saw the first half almost finish goalless, until Stephy Mavididi won a penalty just before half-time after Christian Fassnacht brought down the Englishman in the box. Kelechi Iheanacho then stepped up and fired the spot kick past Angus Gunn to send Leicester in at half-time with a deserved lead.
The away side could have made it two as Mavididi could have had a goal of his own just before half-time, but his low curling effort just floated wide of the far corner.
The second half began in a rather timid fashion, with both sides settling back into the game after the half-time break. However, in the 52nd minute, the first chance of the half for either side arrived, and it was the Canaries who almost grabbed an equaliser. Half-time substitute Przemyslaw Placheta made a wonderful run down the left hand side and cut inside before firing his shot towards the top corner, only for Callum Doyle to make a last-ditch block.
Leicester’s first clear cut chance came to light with 21 minutes left, as Stephy Mavididi got down the left before firing in a wonderful cross for substitute Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall, who got his header all wrong and thus sent it over the bar.
Moments later, Norwich were prevented from finding the equaliser again, as substitute Onel Hernandez found Shane Duffy in the box. The Irishman’s header from close range was then saved superbly by Mads Hermansen to keep the Foxes’ lead intact. Kenny McLean then picked up the ball from a poor clearance by Hermansen, and bent the ball towards the top left corner, but the Scotsman was left to wonder what might’ve been as his effort came back off the underside of the bar and out!
Gabriel Sara also thought he’d found that elusive leveller for the home side in the 79th minute, but his free kick narrowly missed the near post and Mads Hermansen was able to breathe a sigh of relief.
Kasey McAteer should have sealed the three points for Leicester just five minutes from time, but his header somehow went over the bar instead of in the back of the net.
However, two minutes later, the young Englishman would atone for his missed header as he made sure the points were heading back to Leicestershire. A wonderful counter attack stewarded by Jamie Vardy saw his pass find Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall, who squared it across goal for Kasey McAteer to simply tap the ball past Canaries stopper Gunn.
Both sides play their third consecutive league matches this Saturday, with Leicester hosting Nigel Pearson’s Bristol City side, while Norwich travel to Plymouth Argyle. Both matches kick off at 3pm.