MX23RW : Wednesday, March 3 21:29:39| >> :60:3332:3332:
Apr 19, 2014 at 12.15pm UK at King Power Stadium
LeicesterLeicester City
QPRQueens Park Rangers
Nugent (68')
FT(HT: 0-0)

Live Commentary: Leicester City 1-0 Queens Park Rangers - as it happened

Relive Leicester's 1-0 win over QPR this afternoon courtesy of Sports Mole's live minute-by-minute coverage.

Leicester City took another step towards clinching the Championship title this afternoon courtesy of a 1-0 win over 10-man Queens Park Rangers at the King Power Stadium.

David Nugent got the only goal of the game with just over 20 minutes remaining as he fired an effort into the bottom corner from inside the box.

The visitors were reduced to 10 men in the 78th minute as Benoit Assou-Ekotto was shown a second yellow card for a mis-timed challenge on Andy King.

You can read how it all unfolded with Sports Mole's live coverage of the game below.

Good morning! Thank you very much for joining Sports Mole for today's Championship clash between leaders Leicester City and promotion hopefuls Queens Park Rangers. Both of these sides will be looking to make a strong finish to the season, so we should be in for an entertaining encounter today. Let's start with a look at the hosts...

Leicester's title-winning party was put on hold by Burnley's victory over Blackpool yesterday, a result that cuts the gap between the Clarets and the Foxes to just four points. With promotion to the top flight already sewn up, the title is now the priority for Nigel Pearson's side, and they could take a big step towards securing it with a victory today.

Another target for the Foxes could well be triple figures in terms of points, which would really seal what has been an emphatic season. They have led the way for the majority of the campaign and are now just 10 points off the 100-point mark with 12 still left to play for. They can afford one draw but will have to win at least three of their last four games if they are to make the century.

They certainly have the ability to do exactly that. They are the top scorers in the league this season having netted 78 goals in their 42 games, while they also have the best goal difference with +35. There is little doubt that they deserve to be where they are in the table, and Pearson will be quietly confident of his side holding their own in the Premier League next season, particularly if they can make some shrewd additions in the summer.

However, what was turning into a title procession has faltered in recent weeks, with Leicester seeing their 21-match unbeaten streak come to an emphatic end in the shape of a recent 4-1 defeat to Brighton. A 1-1 draw with Reading in their last outing makes it two games without a win, and they haven't gone three without victory since December.

That defeat to Brighton also saw a 13-match home unbeaten streak in the league come to an end, but they do still have the best record in the Championship in front of their own fans. They have lost just twice at the King Power Stadium all season, and Pearson will be hoping that he can create a similarly formidable record in the top flight next year.

QPR also had pre-season aspirations of reaching the Premier League, but they now must do it via the playoffs have seen their hopes of automatic promotion fade away. Burnley's win yesterday made it a mathematical impossibility for them to finish in the top two, and that has to go down as a disappointing season considering their wage bill and financial muscle compared to other teams in the league.

A top six place is still not guaranteed for QPR, but it would take a highly unlikely set of results for them to drop out of it now. With just four games left of the season they are nine points clear of the chasing pack, meaning that even a draw today could be enough to mathematically secure their playoff spot.

It promises to be an intriguing set of playoffs this season, with no clear favourite from the likes of Derby, QPR, Wigan and one more. QPR will fancy their chances, however, not least because they have a formidable defensive record that suggests that they could keep any side out on their day. They have conceded just 39 goals in the league this season, the third lowest tally behind only Burnley and Brighton. They have kept 17 clean sheets too, which is a number that only Brighton can better.

It is at the other end where the problems lie, however. Only Brighton have scored fewer goals in the top 16 than the 54 QPR have managed this season, and it is that lack of firepower which may well have cost them automatic promotion. However, they do have players returning from injury just in time for the run-in, and that should help their cause from an attacking standpoint.

Harry Redknapp will have concerns over his side's away form, however, particularly as a trip to Wembley is what they are hoping for now. QPR have won just two of their last eight matches on the road, losing the other six. Their final position in the table will have an impact on the playoff draw in that respect, so there is still plenty to fight for from QPR's point of view.

LEICESTER STARTING XI: Schmeichel; De Laet, Morgan, Wasilewski, Schlupp; Hammond, Drinkwater, King, Mahrez, Knockaert; Nugent

LEICESTER SUBS: James, Dyer, Moore, Taylor-Fletcher, Logan, Phillips, Wood

QPR STARTING XI: Green; Simpson, Yun, Onuoha, Hughes, Kranjcar, Henry, Benayoun, O'Neil, Assou-Ekotto, Maiga

QPR SUBS: Murphy, Morrison, Dunne, Wright-Phillips, Keane, Zamora, Donaldson

PREDICTION: We're nearing kickoff at the King Power Stadium now, which means that it is about time I made my prediction! Leicester are rather limping over the line after a dominant season, and they are certainly not in their best form going into this match. However, they have been impressive at home all season and QPR have struggled on the road recently. I think this one will end 2-0 to the hosts.

The reverse fixture back in December ended 1-0 to Leicester at Loftus Road, and they would certainly take a repeat of that result today. The Foxes have only won one of their last five meetings with QPR at the King Power Stadium, losing three including the most recent game between them here back in 2010.

KICKOFF: QPR get us underway at the King Power Stadium as they look to cast another little bit of doubt over Leicester's title hopes. Can they do it or will the hosts take another step towards clinching the crown today?

Lovely football from Leicester on the right flank as they knock the ball about with some slick passing. Mahrez eventually cuts inside and dances past a defender, but he slips when shooting and the effort is blocked.

Mahrez threatens again, and this time it is an important block from Assou-Ekotto that denies the winger. Schlupp did well on the left to squeeze a good cross into the box, and Mahrez took a touch before shooting towards the bottom corner. It may well have been nestling in as well had it not been for Assou-Ekotto.

Leicester have made the stronger start to this match, controlling the ball in the early stages and dictating the tempo of the play. QPR are struggling to hold on to possession at the moment, which is allowing the hosts control.

The hosts have gone for a slightly different formation for today's game, which is an interesting decision from Pearson. It could well be that he is now experimenting different styles with one eye on the Premier League, and one striker up front is certainly a formation that we are more used to seeing in the top flight.

Still nothing to report in terms of chances at the moment. Mahrez's early sight of goal is the only half-chance we have had this afternoon as Leicester continue to probe for a way through. They have had the better of the first 10 minutes or so.

Schlupp is looking to cause problems on the left flank whenever he gets the ball. So far he has been dealt with quite well, but his pace and power is a test for the full-back and he is looking as likely as anybody to open this game up at the moment.

SHOT! Nugent races in behind the defence to latch on to a lofted through ball, taking a touch, holding the ball up well and then teeing it up for Knockaert on the edge of the box. However, it is on his weaker foot and he sends a poor effort a long way off target.

SHOT! Knockaert goes for goal again, and this time it is on his stronger left foot. However, it is once again a disappointing effort as he drags it wide having driven forward from midfield.

Better from QPR as they threaten for the first time today. Knockaert takes a risk and tries to run the ball out from the back, losing possession in a dangerous area. However, Leicester recover well and push the visitors back out before Kranjcar has a shot that deflects behind for a corner.

The hosts have had 65% possession in the opening exchanges here, but there is still no way through. QPR have been solid defensively and are now beginning to come into the match more in an attacking sense.

SHOT! QPR come forward again through Maiga, who cuts back to create space for a shot before dragging a rather tame effort wide of the upright. However, there was the slightest of deflections on the way through, so it will be a corner.

SAVE! The first shot on target of the match goes to the visitors as they continue this decent spell they are having. It was good play from Maiga as he held the ball up well before giving it back to Yun, whose long-range effort was comfortable for Schmeichel.

Dodgy moment for Rob Green in the QPR goal there as he dinks the ball over an onrushing Nugent, before receiving it back via the head of his defender. Risky business from the former England number one, but he got away with it.

SAVE! Kranjcar is starting to get involved in this match more and more now, and that is a big reason behind QPR enjoying the better of things at the moment. He links up well with Maiga here before firing an effort towards goal from the edge of the box that Schmeichel needs to tip over the top.

Leicester have lost their way in this match in the last five or 10 minutes. QPR are very much on top at the moment and are looking most likely to score. There is a strangely subdued atmosphere inside the stadium, and it certainly doesn't feel like the home side are on the verge of winning the title.

Kranjcar picks up a loose ball on the left after De Laet had tried to run it out from the back, and he goes down under the challenge of Wasilewski, giving QPR a free kick in a good crossing position. It is good work from Schmeichel, however, as he meets the delivery with a commanding punch clear.

Big call from referee Scott Duncan as he chooses not to award Leicester a free kick right on the edge of the box. It was a challenge from behind by Henry on Knockaert, and on first glance it looked like a foul. However, the replays show that it was a good decision from the ref as it was a great tackle.

Worrying moments for Leicester as De Laet goes down under a strong but fair challenge from Onuoha. He stays down and eventually QPR kick the ball out in a dangerous position, allowing the full-back to receive treatment. It looks like he should be able to continue, but Leicester won't want to take any risks with a player who has had his injury troubles this season.

Leicester are beginning to get themselves back into the game a bit now, but the performance is still a bit flat, as is the atmosphere. The hosts are certainly not at their best, with passes going astray and a lack of urgency about the team.

CHANCE! That is a let-off for Leicester! A Yun free kick on the right flank causes havoc in the area, with Kranjcar poking an effort goalwards amidst a messy scramble. There were a couple of good saves from Schmeichel involved in there before the Foxes eventually got it clear.

Modibo Maiga was hurt during that goalmouth scramble but he should be able to continue. He receives a bit of treatment before slowly meandering off the field and returning shortly afterwards.

CHANCE! Big chance for the hosts as Nugent does well to knock a cross down from King inside the box. The ball pops up at an awkward height for him which means that he can't get enough power on his effort, eventually sending it into the arms of Green.

YELLOW CARD! The first card of the game goes to Benoit Assou-Ekotto, and after a long wait it is a yellow that the referee produces. The home fans wanted a red and it was certainly a strong challenge, but I think a caution is the right call.

OFF THE LINE! So nearly an opening goal for the hosts! Green gives the ball to Henry in a dangerous area, and his control gifts the ball back to the hosts. King immediately pounces upon it and goes round the keeper, but Onuoha does brilliantly to slide in and clear the ball off the line. Leicester flash a shot just past the far post moments later and QPR survive their biggest scare of the game so far. Great defending from Onuoha to clear it off the line.

Leicester have improved in the last 10 minutes or so having struggled midway through the half. They began the match well and are ending the half on top, but Pearson won't be too pleased with how his team have performed overall today.

YELLOW CARD! Kranjcar goes into the book for a late challenge on Drinkwater in midfield. The QPR man is bemused as to why he is being shown the card, but once again the ref got that one right.

There will be a minimum of three minutes added time at the end of this first half.

CLOSE! Sloppy play from Leicester again as they give the ball away in a dangerous area. Kranjcar pounces on it and plays a good one-two with Benayoun to race down the left channel. He shows good awareness to play it back for Maiga, whose effort deflects a whisker wide. It should be a corner, but the referee did notice what was a vital touch from the defender.

At the other end the ball breaks for Knockaert inside the area, but he just can;t get it out of his feet in time to take advantage. His shot is well blocked and QPR scramble it clear.

HALF TIME: Leicester 0-0 QPR

Referee Scott Duncan brings an end to a first half that took a while to get going but certainly starting heating up as time wore on. It remains goalless between Leicester and QPR and, in truth, it has had a very much end-of-season fell about it. The atmosphere is a little flat and neither side are playing with any great amount of urgency.

The hosts will feel that they should be ahead, however, having had an effort cleared off the line five minutes before the break. The chance came from a sloppy piece of play from QPR and King almost took full advantage when he rounded the keeper and slid the ball towards what looked like an empty net. However, Onuoha came flying in to clear it really well. It was very good defending, but King should not have given Onuoha the chance to clear it.

King has also had another decent opportunity after Nugent had knocked the ball down to him inside the box, but he couldn't get enough power on his shot as Green made the save. He has certainly had the best chances for the hosts today, and he will be disappointed not to have scored one of them.

QPR's best chance of the game came right on the stroke of half time as Maiga's effort deflected an inch wide of the post after good work from Kranjcar. The visitors have not been at their best today, but they would have been happy enough with the opening half an hour or so. They were on top in a largely forgettable half an hour without really threatening that much.

Both sides have been far too sloppy in defence today, which makes it surprising that we are still goalless. There have been a number of occasions where defenders have tried to play it out from the back and lost the ball in a dangerous position, but so far neither side have managed to take full advantage.

QPR SUB: Harry Redknapp has made a change at the break, with Shaun Wright-Phillips making a rare appearance in place of Yossi Benayoun, who has picked up a groin strain.

KICKOFF: We're back underway at the King Power Stadium as both sides look for an improved second-half performance here. Neither manager will have been too pleased with their team after the opening 45 minutes.

Nigel Pearson is just taking his usual seat in the stands now and he looks very relaxed and content with how things are going. Of course, the pressure is off for his side having already sealed promotion, but I expected him to still be unhappy with his side's performance so far.

SHOT! Maiga drives forward from midfield and gets within shooting range, but his subsequent effort is disappointing as he drags a tame strike wide of the post. Schmeichel was a little worried, but he seemed to have it covered anyway.

Risky play from Kranjcar as he dives into a tackle and brings Mahrez down. The referee clearly feels that he got the ball, but the replays show that he didn't and he is fortunate not to be penalised and shown a second yellow card. QPR should be down to 10.

The opening 10 minutes of the second half have been very flat, it must be said. The game has fallen back into a similar pattern, with neither side showing a great deal of urgency. The crowd is subdued and the players on the field are doing nothing to change that at the moment.

It will be interesting to see how Redknapp will approach his subs in this game. He has already brought on Wright-Phillips for a rare outing, and he could use this opportunity to play a couple more players that don't usually get much game time. I'd be surprised if he chose to risk Morrison or Dunne if it stays goalless.

YELLOW CARD! O'Neil goes into the book and he can have no complaints having scythed down Knockaert with a poor challenge.

This game really needs someone to grab it by the scruff of the neck. The likes of Knockaert and Mahrez have the ability to do that, but there aren't any signs of it happening at the moment. Pearson must be starting to think of making a change here.

SHOT! Poor from Maiga as he gets the ball in plenty of space inside the area but refuses to move onto his right foot, where most of the room is. Instead, he waits for Schlupp to get across before curling a shot a few yards wide. That was a wasted opportunity.

For once, Leicester look to inject a bit of pace into their play, but Nugent's run down the right is thwarted by the linesman's flag. It looks to be a close one on first viewing, but the replays show that it was a good offside call from the official.

Good defending from Wasilewski as he makes a great block to deny Kranjcar's shot from the edge of the box before recovering in time to put Assou-Ekotto's low ball behind for a corner. He gets a well-earned pat on the back from his keeper for that.

LEICESTER SUBS: The hosts make their first changes of the day as Lloyd Dyer and Matty James come on for Knockaert and Hammond.

GOAL! Leicester 1-0 QPR (David Nugent)

We finally have the opening goal, and it is a rare piece of class in this match! Some slick passing sees Nugent races through down the right channel and his finish is clinical as he slots an effort into the bottom far corner. Really good finish from the Leicester top scorer.

The home fans are now singing about being champions, and that goal puts them a whole lot closer to achieve that feat. As things stand, they will be seven points clear at the top with just three games remaining. They can't clinch the title today, remember, but they would be within one match of doing so if things stay the same.

QPR SUB: Harry Redknapp responds to falling behind with a change as Bobby Zamora replaces Maiga up front.

YELLOW CARD! Schmeichel goes into the book for a foul on Yun right on the edge of the box. The QPR man was racing through on goal and got to the ball just before the keeper, but his shot dropped wide of the post and the ref pulled play back for Schmeichel's foul in the build-up. It is a harsh one as Schmeichel couldn't stop himself while racing out of goal.

The hosts survive from the resulting free kick as the effort deflects off the wall and bounces a few yards wide of the upright.

Worrying moments for the hosts as Schlupp goes down and stays down, clutching his left leg. Dyer eventually knocks the ball out so that his teammate can receive treatment, and it looks like he won't be able to continue.

LEICESTER SUB: Indeed, Schlupp can't continue and he makes way to be replaced by Liam Moore.

RED CARD! Benoit Assou-Ekotto (QPR)

QPR's task of getting back into this game just got a lot harder as they are reduced to 10 men. It is a second yellow for Assou-Ekotto as he dives into a challenge on King, catching the midfielder and getting none of the ball. He has no complaints about the decision and seemed resigned to going off as soon as he made the challenge.

SHOT! From the resulting free kick the ball drops to Drinkwater just outside the area, but his left-footed volley flies a few yards over the bar. It was a decent effort, but it would have had to have been a very good strike to score from there.

CLOSE! This time the ball is played down to James to volley towards goal from range, and he fizzes a lot effort a few yards wide of the post. Again, that was a decent enough effort but it was never troubling the keeper.

QPR SUB: The visitors make their third and final change of the day as Ravel Morrison comes on for Kranjcar, who was treading on thin ice with a yellow card of his own.

Leicester are pushing for a second now and Mahrez looks to provide it as he picks up the ball in a dangerous area, around 20 yards from goal. He lines up his shot but then can't keep it down, ballooning the effort well over the crossbar.

The hosts are cruising now. QPR aren't threatening in an attacking sense at the moment and Leicester look more likely to get a second than the visitors do of equalising.

This match is fading out a bit now, and has been since the red card. It feels as if QPR have already resigned themselves to defeat, while Leicester are just seeing out the closing stages as they take another step towards the title.

SAVE! Tricky play from Mahrez as he moves into the box before beating his man and firing a low strike towards the near post. However, Green would be very unhappy if he was beaten from that angle, and sure enough he gets down to make the stop.

There will be a minimum of four minutes added time at the end of this match.

PENALTY SHOUT! Mahrez again threatens down the right flank as he advances into the box, with O'Neil snapping at his heels. The winger looks to be tripped inside the area, but the replays show that he went over his own leg rather than it being a foul from O'Neil. Another good decision from the referee.

The home fans rise to a chant of 'Stand up for the champions', and it certainly looks like that will be the case now. They will be just one step away from the title after this, and they could even be crowned champions before they kick another ball.

FULL TIME: Leicester 1-0 Queens Park Ranger

The referee brings an end to the match as Leicester pick up all three points courtesy of a clinical David Nugent finish. It was not the best game you will see this season, but Leicester did the job and got the result against a QPR side that ended the day with 10 men. It means that they are once again seven points clear at the top of the table and, with just nine points left to play for, the title is within their grasp now.

Right, that is all we have time for this afternoon! Thank you very much for joining Sports Mole for another important step in Leicester's journey towards what now seems to be an inevitable title. I will leave you with our match report, and be sure to stick around for the 3pm Championship kickoffs. We will have Barnsley vs. Leeds covered for you live, and it should be an intriguing Yorkshire derby. Until then, though, it is goodbye from me!

Share this article now:
Did you know...?
Leicester boss Nigel Pearson on the touchline on March 29, 2013
Read Next:
Preview: Leicester vs. QPR
Latest Sports Video
Sports Mole Logo
Enter your email address to subscribe to Sports Mole's free daily transfer newsletter! Sent twice a day during the transfer window.

rhs 2.0
Todays Game Header Right
1Manchester CityMan City27205256173965
2Manchester UnitedMan Utd27149453322151
3Leicester CityLeicester27155746311550
4West Ham UnitedWest Ham2613674031945
8Tottenham HotspurSpurs25116841271439
9Aston Villa251231038271139
11Leeds UnitedLeeds26112134344-135
12Wolverhampton WanderersWolves2797112837-934
13Crystal Palace2797112943-1434
16Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton26511102633-726
17Newcastle UnitedNewcastle2675142744-1726
19West Bromwich AlbionWest Brom2638152055-3517
20Sheffield UnitedSheff Utd2742211643-2714

Subscribe to our Newsletter

Transfer Talk Daily
Match previews - twice weekly
Morning Briefing (7am UTC)
Ultra close-up image of Kevin De Bruyne [NOT FOR USE IN ARTICLES]Get the latest transfer news, match previews and news direct to your inbox!