Leicester City grabbed a hard fought 1-0 win against the Magpies at the King Power on Monday. The victory comes in a run of well-earned victories for the Foxes. New Toon manager Rafa Benitez did manage to inspire his beleaguered team to some extent but, facing the team on top of the Premier League was never going to be an easy task. The match will take the Foxes five points clear of the Spurs again who won at Villa Park on Sunday.
The visitors’ looked the more determined side for the first ten minutes, no doubt a response stoked by the arrival of the new manager. But the ten minutes went far too quickly for Newcastle as Leicester took control of the game thereafter. There high pressing was eventually rewarded when a sloppy header from Taylor found its way to Vardy, who slid it to Okazaki and thus came the first goal of the match. The home side continued to press hard and pinned Newcastle very deep into their half. The meticulous organization was clearly evident of Newcastle’s back four, something they’ve been found wanting this season.
The second half saw the home side largely conceding the possibility of another goal as they were happy to control the game in the midfield. The restraint forced Newcastle into attacking as the visitors’ seemed desperate to build on some momentum. Townsend’s introduction seemed to aid that cause as the Magpies started piling forward to nick an equalizer. The match was seemingly heading to a nervy ending for Leicester when once again the talismanic Maharez helped his team out by making incisive runs on the counter, thus pushing the visitor’s back in the dying minutes.
The defeat won’t be a painful one for Newcastle, although they could have taken a point off Leicester. They will now host Sunderland in what might be the most gruesome Tyne-Wear derby in the last few years as both clubs hope to avoid the drop. Leicester, on the other hand, will happily take home another three points as they move closer every week to the elusive Premier League crown. The question now isn’t whether they will succumb eventually but, whether someone will be able to stop them as they grow from strength to strength with every passing game.