Stoke vs Leicester match report: Leonardo Ulloa strikes again to give Leicester a win to spark their season

Stoke City 0 Leicester City 1: Hughes curses his luck after Stoke dominate game but fall to a forward very much in form

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The Independent Football

A third goal in four Premier League matches from record signing Leonardo Ulloa secured Leicester City’s first victory since returning to the top flight and left Stoke to contemplate a second home defeat after the euphoria of winning at Manchester City ahead of the international break.

Ulloa, Nigel Pearson’s £8 million signing from Brighton, scored from a Paul Konchesky cross after 64 minutes of a match thoroughly dominated by the home side, who enjoyed roughly two thirds of possession and had 16 shots compared with Leicester’s two.

The outcome was one that Mark Hughes, the Stoke manager, could only greet with a frustrated acceptance. “We were in control for the most part but you need something to fall for you in the box and it didn’t happen today,” he said.

“Likewise, you need to defend correctly during the period in the match when inevitably the opposition are going to have a spell of possession and unfortunately we didn’t do that.”

Peter Crouch missed Stoke’s best chance, heading wide from a first-half corner, although Hughes felt his striker’s aim was not helped by a push in the back. 

 

Hughes left his Etihad matchwinner on the bench until the closing stages, Mame Biram Diouf having travelled 12,000 on international duty with Senegal, but he did not make an excuse of that.

In any event, the international break had consequences for Leicester, too, with goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel forced to miss his first League match since May 2011 because of a knee injury picked up playing for Denmark.

It meant the former Charlton goalkeeper Ben Hamer had to make his Premier League debut but rose to the occasion, coping well with the aerial threat posed by Crouch and pulling off a double save close to the end to keep out shots by Diouf and Victor Moses.

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Esteban Cambiasso made his Leicester debut

There were some outstanding performances in Leicester’s back four, notably from the captain, Wes Morgan, and his central defensive partner Liam Moore. Pearson’s high-profile midfield recruit, the Argentinian Esteban Cambiasso, provided some much needed calm in midfield when he was introduced in the second half.

Nonetheless, the Leicester goal came somewhat out of the blue after Pearson switched to 4-2-3-1. Dean Hammond fed the ball to the left where Konchesky delivered a low cross almost behind Ulloa but which the former Brighton forward managed to retrieve and drag past Asmir Begovic in one movement.

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David Nugent is still looking for a first goal back in the Premier League

“Whether we deserved to win is irrelevant,” Pearson said. “Stoke are a good side and we needed to defend with a lot of commitment. There were a lot of good performances from my players and they got the reward.”

Line-ups:

Stoke City (4-2-3-1): Begovic; Bardsley, Shawcross, Wilson, Pieters (Muniesa, 84); Whelan, Nzonzi; Moses, Bojan (Diouf, 73) Walters (Assaidi, 81); Crouch.

Leicester City (4-4-2): Hamer; De Laet, Morgan, Moore, Konchesky;  Mahrez (Drinkwater, h-t), Hammond, King (Cambiasso, h-t), Schlupp (Vardy, 78); Ulloa, Nugent.

Referee: Michael Oliver.

Man of the match: Morgan (Leicester).

Match rating: 6/10

PA

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