Keller clouds the issue for Keegan

It takes a certain unflappability to handle the post-match interview, to keep your cool when circumstances have called for some harsh comments in the dressing room, the necessary bruising of a few egos.

The chore gets to Kevin Keegan. A heart on the sleeve type, it shows on his face, and in sharp rejoinders. I don't need this, but keep calm, you imagine him thinking.

As Newcastle's manager shouldered his way through a crowded corridor at Filbert Street, he could be heard muttering darkly about being turned over by somebody from one of the television channels. Grumpy was the best word to describe him.

Well, wouldn't you know it. Just a week after the result that had Newcastle wallowing in euphoria, Keegan found himself back with the persistent reality of life in the Premiership. How can you put five goals past Manchester United and then go down 2-0 at Leicester?

Easy. Get caught up in midfield skirmishes at the expense of passing, further reveal the shortcomings that have led to the appointment of Mark Lawrenson as defensive co-ordinator, and, especially in the case of David Ginola, react childishly to the referee's decisions. Understandably, Keegan made it clear to the temperamental Frenchman at half-time that, one way or another, he would not complete 90 minutes.

There were other factors to explain Keegan's pained countenance. The sidelining of Alan Shearer - "We were a good team before he joined us" - the brilliance of Kasey Keller in Leicester's goal and the sustained effort put in by Martin O'Neill's team.

But for Keller's gymnastics and positioning, Les Ferdinand would have made Shearer's absence irrelevant. "Looking at two of the saves made, you think about Pat Jennings and Peter Shilton," O'Neill said. Yes, they were that good, both from headers, the first before Steve Claridge gave Leicester the lead following a neat move along Newcastle's left.

Of course, O'Neill found questions easier to deal with. "I watched Newcastle beat Manchester United last week, and it was frightening," he said. "I thought we'd better show up at the wrong time like Estonia did against Scotland. They've got some terrific players and whoever finishes above them this season will win the Championship."

For O'Neill it is mainly a question of survival, and a great deal will depend on how long the energy lasts through a long and inevitably difficult season. Nevertheless, there is comfort in having taken Leicester to near half-way in the table.

That was ensured 11 minutes from time when Emile Heskey claimed Leicester's second with a goal of remarkable maturity for a player who is still well on the right side of his 20th birthday.

It showed also how rapidly a game can change, going from nearly being one thing to another. In one of many attacks that had O'Neill wondering if his watch had stopped, Peter Beardsley found Philippe Albert with an exquisite chip that should have brought Newcastle an equaliser. Albert sent an easy header wide and almost immediately the enterprising Mustafa Izzett played Heskey in with a pass that caught Newcastle square.

The youngster didn't panic. Keeping his head, he rounded Pavel Srnicek and scored with the sort of coolness that enters conversations whenever Jimmy Greaves's name is mentioned. Heskey has got a long way to go but you would not want to bet against him getting there.

Coming off at the end, Ginola was still complaining. Booked in the first half for feigning an injury, jeered incessantly by Leicester's supporters, he was an altogther different proposition after the interval. A class act until he forgets that even the very best footballers must fight for the right to show how good they are.

Goals: Claridge (17) 1-0; Heskey (79) 2-0.

Leicester City (5-3-2): Keller; Grayson, Prior, Watts, Walsh, Whitlow, Lennon, Izzet (Lawrence, 90), Taylor; Claridge (Marshall, 55), Heskey. Substitutes not used: Parker, Hill, Poole (gk).

Newcastle United (4-4-2): Srnicek; Watson (Kitson, 69), Peacock, Albert, Beresford; Lee, Batty, Clark (Asprilla, 69), Ginola; Ferdinand, Beardsley. Substitutes not used: Barton, Elliott Hislop (gk).

Referee: G Poll (Tring).

Bookings: Leicester: Lennon, Taylor. Newcastle: Batty, Albert, Lee, Ginola.

Man of the match: Keller.

Attendance: 21,134.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

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

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Telesales / Telemarketing Executive - OTE £30k / £35k plus

£18000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company specialises provid...

Austen Lloyd: Commercial Property Solicitor - Exeter

Excellent Salary: Austen Lloyd: EXETER - A great new opportunity with real pot...

Austen Lloyd: Senior Private Client Solicitor - Exeter

Excellent Salary: Austen Lloyd: EXETER - An outstanding senior opportunity for...

Sauce Recruitment: Retail Planning Manager - Home Entertainment UK

salary equal to £40K pro-rata: Sauce Recruitment: Are you available to start a...

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