Leicester sink Millwall to leapfrog Ipswich into top spot again

13 December 2023 0 By Total Football News

Leicester fought back to beat Millwall 3-2 and regain top spot in the Championship.

Enzo Maresca’s side netted three second-half goals to put them back in control after Tom Bradshaw had opened the scoring for the visitors.

Jannik Vestergaard’s header levelled the scores after 48 minutes before Patson Daka scored for the second game running. The Zambia striker put the ball over the line from close range in the 52nd minute.

Ricardo Pereira scored Leicester’s third from the edge of the penalty area with a shot that took a deflection off team-mate Wilfred Ndidi and wrong-footed Millwall goalkeeper Matija Sarkic.

Millwall scored a second goal in stoppage time when substitute Kevin Nisbet forced the ball home from a corner.

Leicester lost top spot to Ipswich on Tuesday night, but they now lead them by a point.

Jamie Vardy missed the game with a knee injury and Kelechi Iheanacho was ill, so Daka got another chance after scoring against Plymouth on Saturday.

Millwall have now only won one of the last 11 games, but they took the game to Leicester and opened the scoring when Murray Wallace shook off Abdul Fatawu andcrossed for Bradshaw to glance a header into the top corner.

Leicester looked to have won a penalty after 38 minutes when Fatawu went down under a challenge from Wes Harding, who was already on a yellow card. But all appeals were waved away by referee Keith Stroud, with defender Conor Coady booked for his protests.

Leicester began the second half strongly and equalised when Vestergaard connected with a Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall cross and saw his header loop over the line.

They scored a second through Daka. Harry Winks started the move, found Ndidi on the left, and his cross was met by Daka who chested the ball in from two yards.

Leicester were fully in control by the hour mark, and Stephy Mavididi almost made it three when he connected with a Fatawu cross, but headed into the side-netting.

Leicester confirmed their third win in a row when Pereira’s shot found its way in, but Millwall’s second goal came too late to trouble the Foxes.

The managers

Leicester’s Enzo Maresca:

“I’ve been quite clear with them. If you’re playing, you deserve it. If someone comes in and they’re doing well, you need to work. Patson is scoring goals and working hard, after three or four months of having to wait. We’re going to trust him and give him more chances, no doubt.”

“It was a tough game. We expected them in one way. But since the new manager arrived, they have played always in a line of four. Here, they came here with a line of five and two holding midfielders. In the first half, we were in control of the game, but without creating clear chances. At half-time, we adjusted some things. Instead of attacking with five, we attacked with six. We brought one more player in the last line. It was much better second half for sure.”

Millwall’s Joe Edwards:

“We came here with with clear plan, which is all well and good, but the players have to execute it. I thought they did it to a tee in the first half. We had our moments. At half-time, we were pleased with our work and knew we’d given ourselves a chance. We felt confident we could go and do it again. But we conceded a sloppy goal, and after that we weren’t quick enough to things. Not clinical. Then we started playing well again in the last 10 minutes. For two minutes at the end, it’s game on.

“You’re always hoping to win, but a draw would’ve been a great result. We felt that if we came to Leicester with a high press and went toe to toe with them, we wouldn’t get any rewards by losing 4-0. But we felt we wanted to show we could offer a threat. It was a frustrated place at half-time, you could feel that. That’s what we came to do. The question then is ‘how long can we sustain it?”‘

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