No animal magic from wary Wolves and Foxes

Leicester City 0 Wolverhampton Wanderers 0
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The Independent Football

Two sides who had produced a cascade of seven goals when they last met in October could not manage one between them at the Walkers Stadium. What they did confirm in this disappointing, frequently dire, stalemate was that they are among the poorest teams in the Premiership, though Wolves have crept away from the bottom three.

What had been touted as a six-pointer in the relegation struggle was a no-hoper, almost a no-brainer. There was one outstanding save in each half, the first from the much-derided Ian Walker and then one of equal merit by Paul Jones. For the rest, it was scuffles, misses and an unappetising mix from opponents who seemed prepared in advance to accept stalemate.

The return from injury of Muzzy Izzet, who had missed six matches with a calf strain, added imagination to Leicester's midfield but Wolves, who had taken the unusual step beforehand of appealing for firm control from referee Jeff Winter, were able to cope with Leicester's policy of throwing themselves at the ramparts.

Paul Dickov, as ever, made a pest of himself and there was an inevitability about his clash with another confrontational Scot, Alex Rae, just before half-time. After they tangled on the fringe of Wolves' box the two men appeared to indulge in a mutual head-butt, which floored Rae and left Dickov with a cut forehead. The Wolves manager, Dave Jones, summed it up as "a bit of argy-bargy", adding "but Jeff [Winter] dealt with it well". There was, Jones went on, "a bit of shouting in the tunnel at half-time but it was something about nothing at the end of the day". Mr Winter has not flourished a red card at all this season, but he might have been forgiven for waving yellow over the incident. Rae, towards the end, was the only player on either side to be cautioned. Nor has this referee awarded a penalty so far this season, though he must have come close when Paul Ince clattered into Dickov in a frantic finishing siege by Leicester.

Leicester have now gone 13 matches without a win, yet they opted to leave top scorer Les Ferdinand on the bench. When he was brought on midway through the second half, he got his head to a punt from Jordan Stewart, and only Jones's plunge to save one-handed denied him.

Leicester's manager, Micky Adams, publicly defended Walker beforehand following criticism about points-costing mistakes, and there was even a loudspeaker announcement urging the crowd to get behind their goalkeeper. What was needed from Walker more than anything was a top-class save, and this he duly produced to keep out Kenny Miller's angled header five minutes before the interval.

By then Lee Naylor had somehow managed to kick Dickov's header off the line while facing his own net, and soon afterwards Steve Guppy got in behind the defence to turn Riccardo Scimeca's cross on to a post. That was virtually the sum of Leicester's meaningful efforts.

With the worst away record in the division (four points from 14 games), Wolves were not expected to run away with this one, and they produced nothing in the second half to match Miller's effort in the first. As Jones pointed out, "the biggest thing for us today was not to lose. So from our point of view a draw was a fair result".

Leicester City 0 Wolverhampton Wanderers 0

Attendance: 31,768