Leicester ease past Swansea to move clear at top of Championship

30 January 2024 0 By Total Football News

Leicester moved 10 points clear at the top of the Championship following a convincing 3-1 victory over Swansea.

Enzo Maresca's side took the lead through Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall after only three minutes.

Dewsbury-Hall is believed to be a January transfer target for Brighton, but he showed no signs that the speculation was affecting his game.

Leicester then missed a number of opportunities to put the game beyond Swansea's reach, before Stephy Mavididi scored a 69th-minute penalty and substitute Yunus Akgun added a third, just three minutes later.

Joe Allen scored a stoppage-time consolation goal, but the result left Luke Williams still searching for his first win as Swansea manager.

Leicester took the lead after only three minutes as Dewsbury-Hall scored his 10th goal of the season

Patson Daka played the ball through Nathan Wood's legs for Dewsbury-Hall, who took his time before picking his spot and putting the ball past Swansea goalkeeper Carl Rushworth.

But Leicester should have added a second after 19 minutes when Dewsbury-Hall crossed from the right for Daka, who was back in the team after returning from the Africa Cup of Nations with Zambia. But he sliced the ball wide from four yards out.

Leicester came close adding a second on the stroke of half-time when Mavididi's shot from the edge of the area was tipped on to the crossbar by Rushworth.

Dewsbury-Hall then set up Daka for another chance, but he put his effort over.

The hosts had another chance to score - six minutes after half-time - and this time it was Dewsbury-Hall's turn as he put a Dennis Praet cross wide from close range at the far post.

Swansea defender Harry Darling then went off injured after 61 minutes.

Leicester's Kasey McAteer saw a long-range effort fly over the bar and Swansea almost hit back straight away when Jamie Paterson went close from 20 yards out.

But the Foxes finally found the net after 69 minutes from the penalty spot.

Daka took the ball off Swansea's Bashir Humphreys on the halfway line and raced towards goal.

Wood caught up with the Leicester striker but was penalised for a lunging challenge, missed the ball and left Daka falling over in the box. Wood disputed referee Keith Stroud's decision, but Mavididi stepped up to convert the spot-kick.

Leicester were three up after 72 minutes as substitute Yunus scored for the second-successive game.

Galatasaray loanee Yunus made the most of some hesitancy in the Swans defence to pounce following a poor clearance from Rushworth.

Swansea scored in the fifth minute of stoppage time when Jay Fulton's cross was headed back into the six-yard area by Ben Cabango and Jerry Yates failed to connect before Allen scored from eight yards out.

The managers

Leicester's Enzo Maresca on Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall's future:

"I don't want Kiernan to go - ask the club if we need to sell or not. The only way we can do something is to sell players. I don't think that Kiernan's future was about this game. Kiernan is a Leicester player, hopefully he can play in the next game.

"Here, he showed once again he is in love with the club, if something will happen now, I don't know.

"He cares about the club and he has 10 goals this season, probably for the first time in his life, these kind of things, people don't give the right importance to and it's not a good thing."

Maresca added on Leicester supporters' frustrations: "You can feel the fans when they're not happy, some people take things for granted," said the Italian coach.

"We have won 26 of 34 games this season, unbelievable, a huge number.

"The only thing I can say is that people think it's easy, but it's not. I came to this club to play with this idea, the moment there is some doubt about the idea, the day after, I will leave, it's so clear."

Swansea's Luke Williams:

"Leicester are a fantastic side who played in a fantastic way, they unlocked us. We held our own after the first goal, but you need to be clinical to come away with anything from Leicester.

"But then it was really quite frustrating to lose concentration, the second two goals were gifts. We made it a little bit too easy for those goals. I haven't seen the penalty back, but what I know is that what came before it was a lack of concentration and focus and you cannot do that against a top side.

"It's really difficult and challenging for the players to concentrate for 96 minutes against a side posing so many questions, but if you want to compete at the right end of the division, it'll require the players to be focused for the entire game.

"We've had very tough fixtures, but it'd be lovely to get a victory for sure. Williams said he expected to be busy as the transfer deadline approached.

"We're going to be trying to bring the right players in, but it's challenging. I hope it's busy and I hope it's fruitful as well."

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