English Premiership

Okazaki ruins it for Rafa

2016-03-15 08:18
Shinji Okazaki (TEAMtalk)

Cape Town - A moment of ingenuity from Shinji Okazaki was enough for Leicester City to claim a 1-0 win over Newcastle United at the King Power Stadium on Monday.

Despite Leicester being the strong favourites, the first chance of the match fell to Newcastle when Giorgino Wijnaldum worked his way into the box and the ball fell to Ayoze Perez, whose shot flew wide of goal.

The next good chance fell to Moussa Sissoko, who couldn't quite get a proper header on an inviting cross from marauding right-back Daryl Janmaat, marking a bright opening quarter of an hour for new manager Rafa Benitez.

But the Magpies were behind after 24 minutes despite their strong start thanks to a moment of magic from Shinji Okazaki.

Christian Fuchs whipped in a free kick from deep that caused all sorts of trouble for Newcastle when it was recycled by Marc Albrighton, allowing the Japan international to meet Jamie Vardy's header with a well-taken bicycle kick.

It was almost two-nil to the Foxes soon afterwards when Marc Albrighton had a run at Steven Taylor, who backed off enough to allow the winger space to try to curl one in, but it was narrowly wide.

Newcastle were taking the game towards their hosts in the second period as they looked for an equaliser, but would rarely threaten Leicester's lead, with Sissoko failing to find a teammate in one of their more-promising situations, before laying it off for Perez blast narrowly wide thanks to slight deflection.

The next chance also fell to Sissoko when a cross from Andros Townsend was cleared by Wes Morgan straight into the Frenchman's path, but his shot was blocked by Morgan, possibly with his arm, which was the subject of a penalty appeal from the desperate Magpies. Nothing given.

Newcastle continued to search for a point, but Leicester put in a good shift to defend their lead and take another step towards the Premier League trophy.

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