Leicester City 5-3 Bolton Wanderers

  • December 29, 2013 | By Chris Mann
  • URL Short URL: http://b-ac.es/89cf0

2013 ended in defeat for Bolton Wanderers, as they were beaten 5-3 by Leicester City in a pulsating game at the King Power Stadium.

No fewer than six goals were scored inside the opening 45 minutes, which started when Danny Drinkwater put the Foxes ahead five minutes in. Quickfire goals from Andre Moritz and Jermaine Beckford had Wanderers in front at the 20 minute mark, before Anthony Knockaert brought the scores level eight minutes before the break.

Moritz got his second, and Bolton's third, with 39 minutes on the clock, before an own goal from Matt Mills ensured the sides went in at half-time level at 3-3.

The second half was a more subtle affair, until Andy Lonergan made up for conceding a penalty by saving from David Nugent with 16 minutes to go. The celebrations were short lived, though, as Lloyd Dyer slotted past the Wanderers goalkeeper just 30 seconds later, before substitute Gary Taylor-Fletcher finished the scoring in the final minute.

Wanderers boss Dougie Freedman made six changes to the side that won at Barnsley on Boxing Day. Neil Danns and Kevin McNaughton dropped out after their loan spells came to an end, while Darren Pratley, Chris Eagles, Mark Davies and Joe Mason moved to the bench. Mills, Moritz, Beckford, Medo Kamara, Robert Hall and Lee Chung-Yong took their places.

Leicester gave an early warning sign of their intent, with David Nugent and Lloyd Dyer threatening down the left-hand side early on, and the hosts took the lead with just five minutes played courtesy of some slack defending from Bolton.

Danny Drinkwater received the ball just outside the Trotters box and unleashed an unstoppable drive that flew past Andy Lonergan and into the corner of the net.

The Foxes continued to press forward in search of a second, with Anthony Knockaert seeing a shot deflected away, before Alex Baptiste almost sliced the ball past his own goalkeeper.

Lonergan did well to deny Matthew James moments later, before the game turned within the space of just five minutes. Bolton equalised on the quarter-hour, as Chung-Yong worked his way into the box from the left and squared for Moritz to slide home from close range.

The visitors were on top at this stage and went in front on 20 minutes, as a neat passing move ended with the ball at the feet of Beckford. The former Leicester forward worked himself a yard of space and rolled the ball past Kasper Schmeichel to silence his former admirers.

Knockaert and Dyer threatened to get the hosts back into the game at the other end, while Kamara saw a speculative 30-yard strike punched away by Schmeichel.

A crazy four-minute spell was to follow, with three goals seeing the opening 45 minutes end with a rare 3-3 scoreline.

Leicester pulled themselves level eight minutes before the break, as an unmarked Knockaert was allowed time and space to head past Lonergan from six yards. But Wanderers found themselves back in front just two minutes later, as Moritz notched his second to put Freedman's men 3-2 up.

The celebrations lasted just 60 seconds, however, as Paul Konchesky's low ball into the box was turned past Lonergan by a combination of Mills and Tim Ream - with the former being credited with the own-goal.

With the final act of the first-half, Chung-Yong was picked out at the far post. He headed the ball towards goal, but Schmeichel made a good save to ensure the two sides went in level at the break.

With Leicester's attacking threat coming down the Wanderers right in the opening 45 minutes, Pratley was introduced as the expense of Robert Hall at the start of the second period.

Bolton started brightly after the restart, with Beckford denied a one-on-one opportunity by a superb sliding challenge.

Chung-Yong and Pratley both saw shots flash wide, while Konchesky also struck an attempt into the stands at the other end. With one own-goal already against them, Wanderers were then fortunate as Lonergan did well to stop Ream's sliced clearance from going into his own net.

Zat Knight and Jamie Vardy both escaped with yellow cards on the hour, as the pair clashed off the ball, as tempers threatened to boil over between the opposing duo.

Leicester should have gone back in front at the midway stage of the half, but Liam Moore somehow scooped a shot wide from six yards after Knockaert's free-kick had come back off the crossbar.

Mark Davies came on for the injured Moritz moments later and almost made an instant impact, as his deflected goalbound strike was somehow turned behind by an excellent save from Schmeichel.

Then, with 17 minutes to go, the Foxes were awarded a penalty as Nugent went down inside the box under a challenge from Lonergan. The duo went head-to-head from the spot, with Lonergan winning the mind-games by diving to his right to deny the former Preston North End and Burnley striker.

Wanderers' celebrations were short-lived, however, as Lonergan was beaten less than 60 seconds later. Dyer, a constant menace to the Trotters backline, powered into the box and fired low past the goalkeeper to make the score 4-3 to the hosts.

Bolton had penalty appeals turned down with six minutes to go, as a Pratley shot appeared to strike the arm of a City defender, before Nigel Pearson's side rubbed salt into the wound by completing the scoring in the final minute of normal time.

Taylor-Fletcher, on as a substitute for Nugent, ghosted in behind the combination of Knight and Mills, before slotting past a helpless Lonergan from just inside the area.

Davies came within inches of pulling the game back to 5-4 in stoppage time, but Wanderers were beaten by the Championship's top side and end the year in 18th position.

Freedman's side return to action on New Year's Day, when they begin 2014 with the visit of Middlesbrough to the Reebok Stadium.

Leicester City: Schmeichel, de Laet, Morgan, Moore, Konchesky, Knockaert (Hammond 86), James, Drinkwater, Dyer, Nugent (Taylor-Fletcher 77), Vardy (King 86)
Subs Not Used: Waghorn, Miquel, Logan, Wasilewski
Booked: de Laet, Vardy
Goals: Drinkwater 5, Knockaert 37, Mills 41(og), Dyer 75, Taylor-Fletcher 89

Bolton Wanderers: Lonergan, Baptiste, Knight, Mills, Ream, Spearing, Kamara (Mason 79), Hall (Pratley 46), Moritz (M Davies 67), Chung-Yong, Beckford
Subs Not Used: Eagles, Ngog, White, Lee-Barrett
Booked: Baptiste, Knight, M Davies
Goals: Moritz 15,39, Beckford 20

Referee: Mick Russell
Attendance: 26,614

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