Town fall foul of Foxes’ Frenchman
Frenchman Anthony Knockaert produced a superb display of individual skill to succumb Town to its second home defeat in a matter of days.
The young winger scored a superb effort from 35 yards in the first half before flicking in a second half an hour from time as Town dropped out of the play-off positions.
As hard as they tried in midfield and attack Town looked to be missing a spark to ignite their play in the final third as the Terriers went the whole game without forcing Foxes’ stopper Kasper Schmeichel into a save.
Sean Scannell returned to the starting line-up for the first time since Burnley in place of the ineligible Jermaine Beckford, as Town looked to return to winning ways following its defeat against Watford.
Town, playing in a 4-3-3 formation, started the game brightly with the returning Scannell skinning Lloyd Dyer before being inches out with a pass, which would have put Lee Novak through on goal.
Paul Dixon was showing no fear in getting forward from left-back early in the game, and his cross in the seventh minute almost found Novak at the front-post but was intercepted by the powerful figure of Wes Morgan.
Leicester was enjoying decent amounts of the ball themselves during the early exchanges, with winger Anthony Knockaert causing Town problems down the left. It was the Frenchman’s cross in the tenth minute which forced Adam Clayton to acrobatically clear at the front post to prevent the danger – the midfielder was making the 100th start of his professional career.
The visitors tried again through Nugent and then Jamie Vardy before a Kasper Schmeichel goal-kick – assisted by the wind – wasn’t dealt with by Town and almost fell to the onrushing Nugent, but Anthony Gerrard cleared at the vital moment.
Summer signing Knockaert was looking Leicester’s biggest threat cutting in from the right, and in the 30th minute, after he had once again sliced inside, he unleashed a thunderous effort from 35 yards which swerved wickedly before flying past Alex Smithies and into the top corner. The score line was slightly unfair on Town, who had matched their Play-Off counterparts during the opening half an hour of the game, and they almost responded on their next attack when Novak was inches away from converting Ward’s deep cross to the back post.
Schmeichel’s long dead-balls continued to cause Town’s problems as the half wore on with midfielder Andy King almost benefitting from one, but could only manage to direct his half volley wide of Smithies’ goal.
HALF-TIME – HUDDERSFIELD TOWN 0 LEICESTER 1
The Foxes almost doubled their lead shortly after returning for the second-half when a deflected shot fell in the path of Vardy, who somehow missed the target from only eight yards out.
Town were struggling to deal with City’s pace on the break and on the hour mark they doubled their advantage when Konchesky chipped in a cross from the by-line and Knockaert audaciously flicked the ball into the net with his outstretched heel.
Leicester’s second forced Simon Grayson into a three man switch with Adam Clayton, Paul Dixon and Oliver Norwood making way for Alan Lee, Scott Arfield and Calum Woods. The changes saw Sean Scannell move onto the wing with Alan Lee partnering Novak in attack.
Nugent, fresh from his maiden hat-trick last week, was looking lively in attack and had Peter Clarke on his backside with a neat dummy before slicing just wide of the diving Smithies’ right post as the Foxes continued to dominate play.
Town huffed and puffed in attack with both wingers, Ward and Scannell, trying hard to create chances, but as the game ticked past the 80 minute mark they had failed to trouble Schmeichel in the Leicester goal.
Leicester almost made it three in the 90th minute when substitute Martyn Waghorn played the ball across for Nugent, but he hit straight at Smithies from eight yards out.
FULL-TIME- HUDDERSFIELD TOWN 0 LEICESTER CITY 2
Alex Smithies; Paul Dixon (Calum Woods 63), Anthony Gerrard, Peter Clarke (c), Jack Hunt; Adam Clayton (Scott Arfield 63), Keith Southern, Oliver Norwood (Alan Lee 63); Sean Scannell, Danny Ward, Lee Novak
Ian Bennett, Murray Wallace, Anton Robinson, Jimmy Spencer
Bookings Leicester: Anthony Knockaert 59,