Leicester City 2 (Knockaert 24, Nugent 73)
Wolves 1 (Sako 51)
Despite a much improved performance, Wolves slipped to a 2-1 defeat against promotion chasing Leicester City at the King Power Stadium. It was
close though with Sylvan Ebanks-Blake hitting the outside of the post deep into stoppage time.
Dean Saunders made four changes with Danny Batth making his full League debut in place of the suspended Roger Johnson, and Björn Sigurdarson, Tongo Doumbia and Stephen Ward replacing Kevin Doyle and Slawomir Peszko, both named as substitutes, and the departed Ronald Zubar.
Wanderers kicked-off but they were soon on the backfoot and could easily have been behind in the third minute. David Nugent pushed a pass into the path of Anthony Knockaert who cut inside and was only three yards out when Christophe Berra played the ball off him making it bounce out for a goal kick.
Nugent and Knockaert, twice, were wide with low long distance shots as City stamped their authority on the early proceedings, before Wolves’ first chance arrived in the 15th minute following a Bakary Sako corner. The home defence struggled to clear the ball and when it was played back to the winger he drove a shot across the face of goal and narrowly wide of the far post.
Former Baggie Chris Wood was inches too high with a dipping 25-yarder and, seconds later at the other end, Sigurdarson beat the offside trap as he ran into the City area but he failed to pick out a team-mate with his cross.
Carl Ikeme failed to cleanly collect a shot from Ben Marshall but the keeper managed to smother the ball before Nugent could take advantage. But City moved ahead in the 24th minute.
Kasper Schmeichel’s clearance went to Knockaert wide on the right just inside the Wolves half of the field. He cut inside and ran deep into the area before hitting an angled shot that Ikeme did well to get both hands to, but was unable keep it out.
The setback appeared to spur Wolves on and after Doumbia had a low shot saved by Schmeichel, Batth was only just wide with a powerful header following Sako’s corner.
Then, in the 33rd minute, Sako played Ward in on the overlap and from his cross both Sigurdarson and then Ebanks-Blake failed to make proper contact in the crowded goalmouth. The ball bounced into the path of Sako whose powerful shot bounced clear off Paul Konchesky.
Just before the break City almost grabbed a second but Knockaert lifted the ball over the bar from just inside the area after Nugent had flicked on
Half-Time: City 1 Wolves 0
Wolves drew level six minutes after the break thanks to a terrific strike from Sako. Doumbia played a short pass into his path and without a moment’s hesitation, from then edge of the box, he drilled a ferocious half volley just inside the far post.
Within two minutes City had the chance to regain the lead as Richie De Laet lashed a cross into the middle and Wood, in front of goal, succeeded only in flicking the ball wide.
Having endured a tempestuous opening half-hour, Wolves were now giving as good as they got and Sako almost hit his second of the evening with a rising drive that was wide of the near post.
Nugent restored Leicester’s lead in the 73rd minute when he latched on to a long clearance from Wes Morgan and advanced towards the box before unleashing a curling shot into the corner that left Ikeme with little chance.
Kevin Foley was booked for kicking the ball away after obstructing Leicester substitute Lloyd Dyer before Saunders made three changes to his team with Peszko coming on for Sigurdarson , Dave Edwards for Karl Henry and David Davis for Doumbia.
In the 84th minute Peszko was unlucky when Jamie O’Hara’s through ball just didn’t run kindly for him, and as the game neared its conclusion a header from Ebanks-Blake was deflected narrowly wide after a cross from Davis.
Schmeichel had to punch a Sako shot over the bar before Ebanks-Blake held his head in his hands after he controlled a low cross from Ward, swivelled and clipped the outside of the post with his shot.
Foxes: Schmeichel, De Laet, Konchesky, Drinkwater, Morgan (capt), Marshall (Dyer 69), King, Keane, Knockaert (Vardy 76), Nugent (Waghorn 90+2), Wood.
Unused subs: Logan, Gallagher, Wellens, Futacs.
Wolves: Ikeme, Foley, Ward, Henry (capt) (Edwards 81), Batth, Berra, Sigurdarsson (Peszko 76), O’Hara, Ebanks-Blake, Doumbia (Davis 83), Sako.
Unused subs: De Vries, Doyle, Margreitter, Cassidy.
Booking: Foley (73 – unsporting behaviour).
Referee: R. Madley.
Attendance: 21,677 (772 away supporters).