Mystique of Sven wears off rapidly

Leicester City 1 Hull City 1: Swede waves magic wand for fastest goal of day but former Leicester manager earns share of spoils.

The evidence of the Sven effect was easy to spot. As Leicester's biggest crowd of the season made their way into the stadium, if the former England coach's face was not beaming down from a giant TV screen, it was staring at you from a souvenir mug or signed photograph in the club shop; and the matchday programme, naturally. The Swede, besieged by fans, took 25 minutes to walk from his car to the stadium entrance.

Journalists from Thailand and Sweden swelled the press box numbers to more than 100. The teamsheet showed the instant results of Eriksson's pulling power, as Kyle Naughton and Curtis Davies, two Premier League defenders signed on loan, bolstered the leakiest defence in the Championship. Davies, Aston Villa's £10m misfit, was outstanding, as calm and composed on the ball as his manager – as always – appeared in the dug-out.

When Andy King scored after two minutes and two seconds, Leicester fans may have felt Eriksson had mystical powers. It was a dream start. But there the effect ended. Leicester failed to build on King's fifth goal of the season and Robert Koren equalised seven minutes into the second half, after which the result could have gone either way, as Eriksson acknowledged.

"We started well and scored early, and we created chances to score more goals," he said. "Some of our football was very good. But in the second half, though we still created chances, we gave the ball away too much. We could have won but we could also have lost. So maybe 1-1 was a fair result.

"It was a little similar to the game I watched against Scunthorpe. We could not sustain our energy for the full 90 minutes. Is there a fitness issue? Maybe. We'll see, starting tomorrow."

The result suited the mood of the stadium in a way, given the nature of the sub-plot to Eriksson's first League match in charge since he succeeded Paulo Sousa, scandalously sacked after a mere nine games at the helm.

In the opposite technical area, by coincidence, stood Nigel Pearson, whose reign at Leicester ended when he left in the summer for Hull, his nose put out of joint when the club's new Thai owners invited Sousa to be their guest in the directors' box at the end of last season.

Pearson dragged Leicester back into the Championship after dropping into the third tier for the first time, and came within a penalty shoot-out of reaching the play-off final last season, when they would have seen themselves as favourites to beat Blackpool to a place in the top flight.

Little wonder, then, that he remains a popular figure and the welcome he received was perhaps even warmer than the one offered to Eriksson. "I was pleased to hear that," Pearson said. "I'd like to think it was a reflection of what the staff achieved here.

"I was mindful of not wanting to disrespect the Hull fans but I am grateful for the reception. It was very nice. But my thoughts now are on the rebuilding job I have to do at Hull, and Leicester certainly have a very experienced manager at the helm."

Leicester's goal was a poor one from Pearson's viewpoint, a block-tackle by Matt Oakley falling kindly for King. His shot seemed to deceive the goalkeeper Matt Duke, who was diving to his right as the ball nipped past him on the left, inside his near post.

Martyn Waghorn drew a save from Duke, and Davies flashed a header narrowly wide as Leicester dominated the first half, with further chances falling to King and Bruno Berner.

Koren's leveller, from Hull's first shot of the match, after Nolberto Solano's cross had been half-cleared, came as a surprise. But Pearson had clearly delivered some well-chosen observations at half-time. Chris Weale made two important saves, from Caleb Folan and substitute Kevin Kilbane.

Leicester stepped up their tempo towards the end and had Jack Hobbs or Paul Gallagher reacted more effectively to chances that fell their way, they might have sneaked three points and measured the Eriksson effect in the way they had hoped for most.

News
i100 In this video, the late actor Leonard Nimoy explains how he decided to use the gesture for his character
Arts and Entertainment
Secrets of JK Rowling's Harry Potter workings have been revealed in a new bibliography
arts + ents
News
Robert De Niro has walked off the set of Edge of Darkness
news The Godfather Part II actor has an estimated wealth of over $200m
Arts and Entertainment
Fearne Cotton is leaving Radio 1 after a decade
radio The popular DJ is leaving for 'family and new adventures'
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

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

Career Services

Day In a Page

HIV pill: Scientists hail discovery of 'game-changer' that cuts the risk of infection among gay men by 86%

Scientists hail daily pill that protects against HIV infection

Breakthrough in battle against global scourge – but will the NHS pay for it?
How we must adjust our lifestyles to nature: Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch

Time to play God

Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch where we may need to redefine nature itself
MacGyver returns, but with a difference: Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman

MacGyver returns, but with a difference

Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman
Tunnel renaissance: Why cities are hiding roads down in the ground

Tunnel renaissance

Why cities are hiding roads underground
'Backstreet Boys - Show 'Em What You're Made Of': An affectionate look at five middle-aged men

Boys to men

The Backstreet Boys might be middle-aged, married and have dodgy knees, but a heartfelt documentary reveals they’re not going gently into pop’s good night
Crufts 2015: Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?

Crufts 2015

Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?
10 best projectors

How to make your home cinema more cinematic: 10 best projectors

Want to recreate the big-screen experience in your sitting room? IndyBest sizes up gadgets to form your film-watching
Manchester City 1 Barcelona 2 player ratings: Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man?

Manchester City vs Barcelona player ratings

Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man at the Etihad?
Arsenal vs Monaco: Monaco - the making of Gunners' manager Arsene Wenger

Monaco: the making of Wenger

Jack Pitt-Brooke speaks to former players and learns the Frenchman’s man-management has always been one of his best skills
Cricket World Cup 2015: Chris Gayle - the West Indies' enigma lives up to his reputation

Chris Gayle: The West Indies' enigma

Some said the game's eternal rebel was washed up. As ever, he proved he writes the scripts by producing a blistering World Cup innings
In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare and murky loyalties prevails

In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare

This war in the shadows has been going on since the fall of Mr Yanukovych
'Birdman' and 'Bullets Over Broadway': Homage or plagiarism?

Homage or plagiarism?

'Birdman' shares much DNA with Woody Allen's 'Bullets Over Broadway'
Broadchurch ends as damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

A damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

Broadchurch, Series 2 finale, review
A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower: inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

Inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower