Leicester City 1-0 Newcastle United: Foxes hold on in Rafa’s NUFC debut
- Foxes move lead back to five
- Newcastle remains in drop zone
- Okazaki scores lone goal
Shinji Okazaki’s first-half bicycle kick led Leicester City to a 1-0 home win over Newcastle United at King Power Stadium on Monday.
Leicester moves its Premier League lead back to five points, while Newcastle remains in 19th place with 24 points and a key match-up Sunday with Sunderland in the Tyne-Wear Derby.
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It’s no surprise that the “new” Newcastle’s approach was to play direct toward Aleksandar Mitrovic, and both Ayoze Perez and Jack Colback had chances as Leicester dealt with Mitrovic.
Perez then sent a long cross back post to a streaking Moussa Sissoko, whose flying header flashed off his hand and wide.
[ WATCH: Okazaki’s goal ]
A Riyad Mahrez chance moments later was headed clear by Steven Taylor, and Marc Albrighton settled into a corner kick that was headed over goal by Robert Huth.
The Foxes’ first real sniff of danger ended in the back of the net, as a pinballing series of clearing attempts in the box was bicycled home by the Japanese international.[ MORE: Latest Premier League standings ]
4 - With four of the last five clubs Rafael Benitez has managed, he has drawn his opening league match (W1). Stalemate.
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) March 14, 2016
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Sissoko had a prime opportunity to set-up an equalizer, but passed his square ball to no one. Daryl Janmaat rescued a corner for the visitors, but it came to nothing with 32 minutes to play.
The Magpies carried the play for the second half as well, and the Foxes showed just how well they defend. Positionally-sound and decisive at key moments, Newcastle was frustrated in its attempts to get into the 18 with the ball.
Leicester dodged a late bullet when Sissoko’s hard volley took a turn off a leaping Morgan’s elbow and careened out of play. Morgan’s elbow was slightly off his body, but he leapt into the path of the ball with no call.