Lively Ifill makes life awful for Leicester

Sheffield United 4 Leicester City 1

Although this may appear to have been a comfortable victory for the South Yorkshire side, Leicester only had themselves to blame for failing to return to the Walkers Stadium with all three points, let alone a draw.

Two of their debutants, Rab Douglas and Nils-Eric Johansson, conceded penalties, neither of which were conclusive, while they contrived to squander chance after glorious chance. Mark de Vries was the principal culprit, but David Connolly, otherwise outstanding, Jason Wilcox and Momo Sylla were hardly free from blame either.

Andy Gray, heavily linked with a move to Sunderland late last week, converted the first penalty before Connolly equalised early in the second half. Steve Kabba, part of a triple substitution from Neil Warnock, the United manager, dispatched the second spot-kick before Paul Ifill, on his debut, and Leigh Bromby gave the scoreline an entirely lopsided appearance late on.

"I'm a bit shell-shocked, to be honest," said Craig Levein, the Leicester manager. "I can't for the life of me understand how we lost that match. I thought we played well, and it might sound strange but I'm not too concerned. The game was decided by the referee awarding the second penalty."

United's opening goal, after 34 minutes, was certainly harsh on Leicester, who had started much the better. Douglas, the former Celtic goalkeeper, hesitated when favourite to beat Ifill to the ball. That allowed the winger to get the all-important first touch before the two tangled untidily and the penalty was awarded.

Leicester continued to press without reward for the remainder of the half, but five minutes after the break they did draw level. Joey Gudjonsson fed the sprightly Connolly, who turned inside Bromby before taking a shot which took a deflection off Jon Harley and squirmed into the bottom corner.

If there was an element of fortune involved, Leicester had earned it, and with De Vries becoming more involved, Connolly was able to take advantage of the space behind his strike partner.

Both men missed good opportunities, though De Vries was the more culpable. As chances continued to come and go, Sylla's volley screwed over the crossbar and the hapless De Vries slipped at the crucial moment with a clear sight of goal.

How they were punished. Warnock's growing frustration resulted in a triple substitution, and it proved an inspired move. That said, none of the three replacements were directly involved in the day's second penalty, harshly awarded for handball and scored by Kabba.

Another of the substitutes, Keith Gillespie, playing against his former club, delivered a trademark cross that Ifill met at the near post with a flashing header. Douglas then made a horrible job of dealing with Ifill's cross and Bromby bundled the ball in.

"It's nice to get a win on the first day," said Warnock. "We lost our shape at the start of the second half, and that was their best chance, but after the substitutions we deserved it."

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Ray Whelan was arrested earlier this week
Arts and Entertainment
In a minor key: Keira Knightley in the lightweight 'Begin Again'
Arts and Entertainment
Celebrated children’s author Allan Ahlberg, best known for Each Peach Pear Plum
peopleIndian actress known as the 'Grand Old Lady of Bollywood' was 102
Wayne’s estate faces a claim for alleged copyright breaches
newsJohn Wayne's heirs duke it out with university over use of the late film star's nickname
Life and Style
It beggars belief: the homeless and hungry are weary, tortured, ghosts of people – with bodies contorted by imperceptible pain
lifeRough sleepers exist in every city. Hear the stories of those whose luck has run out
Mick Jagger performing at Glastonbury
Life and Style
fashionJ Crew introduces triple zero size to meet the Asia market demand
Santi Cazorla, Mikel Arteta and Mathieu Flamini of Arsenal launch the new Puma Arsenal kits at the Puma Store on Carnaby Street
sportMassive deal worth £150m over the next five years
Arts and Entertainment
Welsh opera singer Katherine Jenkins
musicHolyrood MPs 'staggered' at lack of Scottish artists performing
Life and Style
beautyBelgian fan lands L'Oreal campaign after being spotted at World Cup
Arts and Entertainment
Currently there is nothing to prevent all-male or all-female couples from competing against mixed sex partners at any of the country’s ballroom dancing events
Potential ban on same-sex partners in ballroom dancing competitions amounts to 'illegal discrimination'
Caption competition
Caption competition

Bleacher Report

Daily World Cup Quiz
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: Peace without magnanimity - the summit in a railway siding that ended the fighting

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

Peace without magnanimity - the summit in a railway siding that ended the fighting
Scottish independence: How the Commonwealth Games could swing the vote

Scottish independence: How the Commonwealth Games could swing the vote

In the final part of our series, Chris Green arrives in Glasgow - a host city struggling to keep the politics out of its celebration of sport
Out in the cold: A writer spends a night on the streets and hears the stories of the homeless

A writer spends a night on the streets

Rough sleepers - the homeless, the destitute and the drunk - exist in every city. Will Nicoll meets those whose luck has run out
Striking new stations, high-speed links and (whisper it) better services - the UK's railways are entering a new golden age

UK's railways are entering a new golden age

New stations are opening across the country and our railways appear to be entering an era not seen in Britain since the early 1950s
Conchita Wurst becomes a 'bride' on the Paris catwalk - and proves there is life after Eurovision

Conchita becomes a 'bride' on Paris catwalk

Alexander Fury salutes the Eurovision Song Contest winner's latest triumph
Pétanque World Championship in Marseilles hit by

Pétanque 'world cup' hit by death threats

This year's most acrimonious sporting event took place in France, not Brazil. How did pétanque get so passionate?
Whelks are healthy, versatile and sustainable - so why did we stop eating them in the UK?

Why did we stop eating whelks?

Whelks were the Victorian equivalent of the donor kebab and our stocks are abundant. So why do we now export them all to the Far East?
10 best women's sunglasses

In the shade: 10 best women's sunglasses

From luxury bespoke eyewear to fun festival sunnies, we round up the shades to be seen in this summer
Germany vs Argentina World Cup 2014: Lionel Messi? Javier Mascherano is key for Argentina...

World Cup final: Messi? Mascherano is key for Argentina...

No 10 is always centre of attention but Barça team-mate is just as crucial to finalists’ hopes
Siobhan-Marie O’Connor: Swimmer knows she needs Glasgow joy on road to Rio

Siobhan-Marie O’Connor: Swimmer needs Glasgow joy on road to Rio

18-year-old says this month’s Commonwealth Games are a key staging post in her career before time slips away
The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

A future Palestine state will have no borders and be an enclave within Israel, surrounded on all sides by Israeli-held territory, says Robert Fisk
A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: The German people demand an end to the fighting

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

The German people demand an end to the fighting
New play by Oscar Wilde's grandson reveals what the Irish wit said at his trials

New play reveals what Oscar Wilde said at trials

For a century, what Wilde actually said at his trials was a mystery. But the recent discovery of shorthand notes changed that. Now his grandson Merlin Holland has turned them into a play
Can scientists save the world's sea life from

Can scientists save our sea life?

By the end of the century, the only living things left in our oceans could be plankton and jellyfish. Alex Renton meets the scientists who are trying to turn the tide
Richard III, Trafalgar Studios, review: Martin Freeman gives highly intelligent performance

Richard III review

Martin Freeman’s psychotic monarch is big on mockery but wanting in malice