Bojan conjures up moment of magic

first_img With both sides showing four changes apiece, the first half had little going for it bar a handful of half chances as neither the Foxes’ Ben Hamer nor Stoke’s Asmir Begovic were ever truly tested. There was understandably industry and effort from two teams renowned for hard work and graft, but then this was never going to be a hand-warming classic on a crisp afternoon. Indeed, a near sell-out crowd had to wait 11 minutes for the opening effort following a tedious first 10 minutes. Even then it was an inadvertent one as an attempted clearance from Marc Muniesa to an Anthony Knockaert corner looped just wide of Begovic’s left-hand post. Four minutes later and Stoke had what proved to be their only chance on target in the first half with a 25-yard free kick from Marko Arnautovic comfortably scooped up by Hamer after Bojan had been fouled by Marcin Wasilewski. That challenge clearly counted against Wasilewski because in the 19th minute another poor tackle on Jonathan Walters resulted in referee Andre Marriner dishing out what proved to be his only yellow card of the game. Just before the half-hour mark some life was finally injected into the proceedings with the Foxes creating two chances inside a minute. Jeff Schlupp, pulled from African Nations Cup duty with Ghana earlier this month due to a knee injury but back in the City side on the day the competition began, was the architect of the first. Bojan Krkic brought Leicester’s mini-revival grinding to a halt with a moment of magic in an otherwise tame top-flight midlands derby clash. The Spaniard’s fourth goal of the season just after the hour proved decisive, ending the Foxes’ four-match unbeaten run and so ensuring Nigel Pearson’s side remain at the foot of the Barclays Premier League. For Mark Hughes’ Potters, after being thumped 3-0 at Arsenal a week ago, the 1-0 victory was the perfect tonic, particularly after losing skipper Ryan Shawcross to injury ahead of the game. last_img read more

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