Foxes bite back despite Blues’ two-goal cushion

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August 2, 2015 by Shane Ireland

Birmingham City 2-3 Leicester City 

Written By: Tom Heslop

First half goals from David Cotterill and Demarai Gray were not enough to stop Leicester City walking away from St.Andrew’s with a win on Saturday 8th of August.

Three goals in the second half from Robert Huth, Danny Drinkwater and Shinji Okazaki gave the visitors victory, but it was far from straight forward.

During the opening exchanges, the Premier League side showed their quality with some great crosses into the box but the Blues defence dealt with everything that was thrown at them.

Throughout the first half, debutant Maikel Kieftenbeld highlighted why Gary Rowett had brought him in.  The Dutch midfielder broke up play superbly and produced some cutting edge passes which drove Rowett’s men forward.

As per usual, Andy Shinnie and Clayton Donaldson linked up well enough to produce chances for other team mates.  Courtsey of Birmingham Mail

In the 23rd minute, Blues got their reward for their defensive resistance. Gray was brought down 30 yards from goal and Cotterill stepped up to take the freekick. Striking the ball beautifully, the Welshman saw his effort fly past Foxes keeper Kasper Schmiechel who just stood and watched it crash in off the underside of the bar.

Just a minute later and the two wingers were helping each other out once more. This time, Cotterill fired the ball out to Gray on the left hand side and the England under 21 international powered his way down the touchline, only to cut inside of former Aston Villa man Marc Albrighton and find the top right corner.

Heading into the second half with plenty of new faces in the side, Leicester were back in the game just before the hour mark.

An Albrighton corner was flicked on by half time substitute Andrej Kramaric at the front post and met by the boot of Robert Huth at the back, with the German defender getting away from his marker to smash past Tomasz Kuszczak in front of the travelling fans.

With the last 15 minutes of the game approaching, Claudio Ranieri’s side pulled themselves level with a sloppy second.

Okazaki was brought down just outside the penalty area and Riyad Mahrez stood over the ball for the free kick. The Algerian international struck the post with his effort and Danny Drinkwater reacted the quickest to fumble the ball over Kuszczak.

The second half comeback was complete with seven minutes to go when the lively Mahrez found an unmarked Okazaki inside the box. The Japanese striker thundered his header past a helpless Kuszczak in the Blues goal.

It could have been worse for Rowett’s side with Jeff Schlupp going close in the final stages of the game and Kramaric having an effort cleared off the line by a solid Jonathan Spector.

All in all, despite losing the game, Blues will be very happy with their performance heading into their Sky Bet Championship opener against Reading.

Blues: Kuszczak, Caddis, Morrison, Spector, Grounds, Kieftenbeld (Davis 64), Gleeson, Cotterill (Arthur 83), Shinnie (Toral 64), Gray (Maghoma 72), Donaldson (Novak 78).

Subs not used: Legzdins, Robinson, Edgar, Eardley, Arthur, Thomas, Hancox, Brown.

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