- Leicester vs Sunderland

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Saturday 22 November 2014 | King Power Stadium | Referee: Robert Madley | Attendance 31,825

0 - 0

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Match report

Leicester City's goal drought in the Barclays Premier League stretched to five matches as they were held to a 0-0 draw by Sunderland on Saturday.

Both teams showed plenty of endeavour at the King Power Stadium, but a lack of composure in the final third meant neither could break the deadlock.

The stalemate comes after Leicester manager Nigel Pearson spoke of the need to "reignite the confidence" at the club.

A point does see Leicester move out of the relegation zone and ends a run of four straight league defeats, but they remain without a goal since a 2-2 draw against Burnley on October 4.

Sunderland arguably created the better openings in the first half, with Leicester goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel showing his worth with two fine saves to deny efforts from Steven Fletcher and Adam Johnson.

The second half proved a more lively affair, and Leicester's Matty James should perhaps have done better when one-on-one with Costel Pantilimon, while Fletcher was once again denied by Schmeichel.

In a bid to end Leicester's barren run in front of goal, Pearson named an attack-minded XI, with Riyad Mahrez and Paul Konchesky coming in after the 2-0 loss at Southampton before the international break.

Mahrez was the focal point in the hosts' lively start and he orchestrated the first meaningful opening in the 13th minute with an intricate throughball that picked out Jeffrey Schlupp, whose shot from a tight angle hit the side-netting.

Sunderland were initially guilty of sloppy errors but they soon grew into the match and Fletcher - passed fit after missing Scotland's friendly defeat to England on Tuesday with a knock - was denied by a smart stop from Schmeichel when clean through against the Leicester goalkeeper.

Schmeichel was called into action again just before the half-hour mark when he got down well to keep out Johnson's low and dipping strike from 30 yards that would have found the bottom corner but for the shot-stopper's intervention.

The away side's pressure continued after the break and Fletcher could have scored when he fired over the crossbar from just inside the area from Sebastian Larsson's clever low corner in the 48th minute.

At the other end, Mahrez remained a threat and he fired into the side-netting from close range after his dazzling footwork had bamboozled Wes Brown.

Mahrez then saw claims for a penalty waved away by referee Robert Madley after the winger had been tripped by Anthony Reveillere, while Sunderland midfielder Lee Cattermole - back in the team after suspension – escaped punishment following a robust challenge on Esteban Cambiasso.

The pace intensified as both teams looked for a winner and James should have done more to test Pantilimon when he was sent through on goal after a neat one-two with Leonardo Ulloa.

Gus Poyet's men also had chances, Schmeichel once again foiling Fletcher with a save at his near post after the striker broke down the left in the 70th minute.

David Nugent and Cambiasso were guilty of getting in each other's way in a promising position for Leicester late on, but there was no way through.

Leicester manager Nigel Pearson: "I thought we played pretty well under the circumstances of a difficult run of results and created some good chances. You could argue we did enough to win the game.

"Before today we had only kept one clean sheet so there are always positives from getting a point. It is frustrating for the players because they played well and created many opportunities.

"We tried to win the game. I felt we were more likely to win than our opponents. We were aggressive with the way we went about things but it didn't quite happen for us."

Sunderland manager Gus Poyet: "We were waiting to see the shape of Leicester because they have been changing it the last few weeks. We knew after first 15 minutes it would be difficult and they would come at us but after that we were comfortable.

"I think we had the best chance of the game with Fletcher. It was a game where you are trying to win but don't risk enough to lose it. It was a balanced game I think.

"We have got much better in recent weeks. We are a difficult team to beat again. When we conceded eight goals at Southampton it was after an international break, so we had a big point to prove today and I am very pleased we proved it."

Fan Rating

- rate the player performances for this match

Line-up All Fans BFR
1. Kasper Schmeichel - 6.19
2. Ritchie de Laet - 5.56
5. Wes Morgan - 5.65
3. Paul Konchesky - 5.12
27. Marcin Wasilewski 10.0 4.56
8. Matthew James - 4.39
19. Esteban Cambiasso - 6.24
26. Riyad Mahrez - 5.18
15. Jeffrey Schlupp - 5.05
23. Leonardo Ulloa 5.0 7.04
9. Jamie Vardy 6.0 7.12
Substitutes All Fans BFR
24. Anthony Knockaert - 5.2
39. Chris Wood - 5.88
35. David Nugent - 6.32
12. Ben Hamer - 5.34
4. Daniel Drinkwater - 5.85
18. Liam Moore - 5.43
10. Andy King - 5.4
Line-up All Fans BFR
1. Costel Pantilimon 1.0 5.22
27. Santiago Vergini 4.0 4.19
16. John O'Shea 2.0 4.69
5. Wes Brown 5.0 4.14
15. Anthony Réveillere 6.0 4.77
6. Lee Cattermole 6.0 5.18
7. Sebastian Larsson 1.0 4.93
14. Jordi Gómez 5.0 4.67
9. Steven Fletcher 5.0 5.51
11. Adam Johnson 7.0 5.51
10. Connor Wickham 9.0 5.12
Substitutes All Fans BFR
34. Thomas Robson - 0.0
22. Sebastián Coates - 4.31
4. Liam Bridcutt - 4.3
25. Vito Mannone 2.0 5.17
8. Jack Rodwell - 4.95
17. Jozy Altidore - 5.53
30. William Buckley - 4.63

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