Important Premier League wins over Hull City and West Ham United came either side of a historic UEFA Champions League triumph against Sevilla.
Leicester City 3 Hull City 1
Saturday 4 March, 2017
Goals: Fuchs 27, Mahrez 59, Huddlestone o.g. 90; Clucas 14
Leicester City came from behind to win for the first time this season after recording a deserved 3-1 victory over Hull City at King Power Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
A determined and dominant opening 15 minutes from an unchanged Foxes side saw Harry Maguire put in a fine challenge to prevent Marc Albrighton from slotting in at the back post, while Robert Huth had two chances of his own to break the deadlock.
Sam Clucas swept home a deflected cross to put Marco Silva’s men in front, but that did not faze the hosts, who just 12 minutes later were level through Christian Fuchs.
Leicester’s second goal proved to be a matter of when, not if, after City put in a convincing second-half display to go on and win the game.
Riyad Mahrez put the Foxes in front, before Tom Huddlestone’s own goal rounded off the scoring on Filbert Way.
Craig Shakespeare’s reaction:
“The challenge that we asked of the players was to put together back-to-back wins. It was a difficult game on Monday night [against Liverpool]. I felt that the emotions might have been taken out of it [against Hull City] but we started really well.
“To go 1-0 down in the manner we did on the counter [was tough], but we bounced back from it. We showed great character, great resilience and I’m very pleased for the players.
“I think momentum in football can swing and change during a game and I think that they benefitted from the confidence that they gained in the win the other night.
“We are in a results business and we needed to get the result to give us the environment to blossom. The win the other night gave them that confidence.”
League position: 15
Leicester City 2 Sevilla 0
Tuesday 14 March, 2017
Goals: Morgan 27, Albrighton 54
UEFA Champions League
A superb 2-0 victory over Sevilla on Tuesday night saw Leicester City qualify for the quarter-finals of the UEFA Champions League.
Aiming to recover from a 2-1 first leg deficit, the Foxes headed into the game on the back of successive Premier League wins over Liverpool and Hull City, prompting Craig Shakespeare to field an unchanged side for the tie against Jorge Sampaoli’s men.
Wes Morgan bundled Riyad Mahrez’s cross over the line midway through the first period to open the scoring and City built on their early dominance inside 10 minutes of the second half by doubling their advantage through Marc Albrighton.
With around 15 minutes to play, Sevilla were reduced to 10 men after Nasri picked up a second booking for an altercation with Jamie Vardy, but that only spurred on the visiting side, who had a huge chance to force the tie to extra-time from the spot.
Vitolo went down in the box under challenge from Schmeichel and it was Steven N’Zonzi who stepped up to take the penalty, only for the Denmark international, for the second time in the tie, to guess the right way and parry the ball to safety.
Craig Shakespeare’s reaction:
“I was very pleased [with the players]. Of course in a cup tie of this stature against one of the best teams in Europe, we needed to make sure that we kept cool heads.
“We also needed to show a competitive edge and I think we showed that from the first minute. I think we set our stall out really well from the first minute.
“That was the game plan, to try to make it as uncomfortable as we could for Sevilla. We didn’t want them playing their passing game and you could see that from the first minute.
“We know when the crowd get behind us here it can lift the players but also the players can lift the fans with the type of football that we started with from the first minute.”
West Ham United 2 Leicester City 3
Saturday 18 March, 2017
Goals: Lanzini 20, Ayew 63; Mahrez 5, Huth 7, Vardy 38
Leicester City recorded their first Premier League away win of the season by surviving a late onslaught to beat West Ham United 3-2 at the London Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
The City boss spoke of just how effective his side can be when on the front foot prior to the clash and it was that exact style of play which saw them race into a 2-0 lead inside the opening 10 minutes in the capital following goals from Riyad Mahrez and Robert Huth.
Slaven Bilic’s men replied shortly after through a well-taken Manuel Lanzini free kick, but the visiting side restored their lead with six minutes of the first period to play following Jamie Vardy’s close-range finish.
Andre Ayew then pulled one back for West Ham just after the hour mark by nodding in Andy Carroll’s knock-down to set up a tense final 30 minutes for the men in blue, but some heroic stops from Kasper Schmeichel helped City earn all three points.
League position: 15
Top scorer: Riyad Mahrez (two goals)
High point: The Foxes battled back from a 2-1 first leg deficit to beat Sevilla 3-2 on aggregate, in turn advancing to the quarter-finals of the UEFA Champions League during their maiden campaign in Europe’s platinum competition.
Low point: There wasn’t one! City were excellent in March, as their exploits in Europe were coupled with two fine results in the Premier League.