Leicester City remain rooted to the foot of the Premier League as their recent revival ended with a 1-0 defeat at home to Stoke City on Saturday.
Bojan Krkic scored the only goal of the game in the 63rd minute, following a period of pressure from Mark Hughes’ men, who in truth spent the large part of the game on the back foot.
Leicester had the better of the first-half opportunities, but Stoke emerged with added belief and adventure about their play in the second half and got their reward in the form of a fourth away league win of the season.
Nigel Pearson named Leicester’s record signing Andrej Kramaric among his substitutes, following the completion of the Croatian’s move from HNK Rijeka.
The striker was waiting to come on when the crucial goal was scored, and he could not prevent Leicester slipping to a first defeat in five, which leaves them three points from safety.
Shorn of captain Ryan Shawcross to injury, Stoke were cautious out the blocks as Leicester dominated possession, though chances were ever-present on the break for the visitors.
Only a last-ditch Danny Simpson challenge stopped Victor Moses tapping home the opener, however Leicester’s dominance of the ball began to tell as the half drew on.
Jeffrey Schlupp showed no ill-effects of the injury concerns which forced him from Ghana’s Africa Cup of Nations squad, creating good opportunities for Anthony Knockaert and Jamie Vardy – but neither could beat Asmir Begovic in the Stoke goal, who also saw a curling David Nugent effort drift just over.
For all their good work at the end of the first half, Leicester could have been behind within 60 seconds of the restart.
A clever ball from Moses, in behind Paul Konchesky, put Marko Arnautovic in on goal, but the Austrian lashed at his shot and only his the side-netting from close range, while Steven N’Zonzi hit the target with a stinging volley 10 minutes later but Ben Hamer was equal to it.
This prompted Pearson to look to Kramaric, but before the Croatian could be introduced, Stoke took the lead.
Buoyed by their strong start to the half, the visitors looked more dangerous with every foray forward and Bojan broke the deadlock neatly pirouetting to collect a Walters pass, turning and firing into the bottom corner in one swift motion.
There were encouraging signs from Kramaric in the closing stages as he held the ball up well and brought others into play, but his debut – and Leicester’s performance – was devoid of that final touch in front of goal, leaving them cur adrift at the bottom.
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