Leicester vs Aston Villa match report: Paul Konchesky continues Foxes revival despite late double-sending off

Leicester 1 Aston Villa 0: Matty James and Ciaran Clark were dismissed late on after the two teams clashed

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The Independent Football

Leicester's revival continued as Paul Konchesky's winner handed them a valuable 1-0 victory over poor Aston Villa.

A rare goal by left-back Paul Konchesky gave the home side a third win in four games, including last Saturday’s in the FA Cup against Newcastle, and for the second week running there was furious abuse here from visiting supporters.

Any of them loyal enough to have watched all 21 of Villa’s Premier League games have seen a paltry 11 goals and there was precious little chance of a 12th yesterday. As a result they sit a mere three points above the relegation places, having scored once in six matches since winning 2-1 a month ago against Leicester, who are now only two points from a safe berth and already looking forward to another winnable home game against Stoke on Saturday.

They will have to play it, however, without midfielder Matty James, sent off in injury time for a studs-up challenge on Jores Okore. Villa’s Ciaran Clark reacted to the tackle and received a second yellow card, joining James in the tunnel, where the stewards were hard-pressed to keep the peace.

Clark could be the greater loss. It is the defence that has kept Villa out of more serious trouble, conceding fewer goals than all teams outside the Champions League places, but lynchpin Ron Vlaar is injured, too. “Ciaran’s been absolutely fantastic for us, so losing him is a big blow,” Lambert said.

As for the personal abuse: “The game’s more important than people saying things at myself.” His complaint that “we never did enough in the final third” must be an oft-repeated one.

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Leonardo Ulloa slides in on Ashley Westwood

Tom Cleverley and Joe Cole were so narrow, with Carlos Sanchez and Ashley Westwood in defensive roles behind them, that Villa’s lack of width meant they barely got behind the home defence once, resorting to long balls forward for Christian Benteke and Gabriel Agbonlahor.

Benteke was rightly given offside, not for the first or last time, when he tucked Cleverley’s pass past Ben Hamer after 20 minutes. Otherwise, such excitement as there was in the first half was squashed into the final three minutes and occurred at the other end of the pitch.

First, Leicester’s right-back Danny Simpson crossed, and Okore cleared only as far as David Nugent. His fierce drive struck the bar and bounced down, Leo Ulloa heading it on to the roof of the net. Then, in added time, a throw from the right was hooked on by Ulloa, Alan Hutton nodded unconvincingly away and Paul Konchesky drove home his first goal in 46 matches. It was also the first effort on target in the game, Nugent having missed badly as he slid Marc Albrighton’s cross wide earlier on.

Leicester (4-4-2): Hamer; Simpson, Wasilewski, Morgan, Konchesky; Albrighton (Lawrence 71), Hammond (King 74), James, Knockaert; Nugent, Ulloa (Vardy 71).

Aston Villa (4-2-2-2): Guzan; Hutton, Okore, Clark, Cissokho (N’Zogbia 89); Westwood, Sanchez (Richardson 76); Cleverley, Cole (Weimann 71); Agbonlahor, Benteke.

Referee: Michael Oliver 

Man of the match: Konchesky (Leicester)

Match rating: 7/10

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