EFL

Middlesbrough stun Championship leaders Leicester at home

By Sports Desk February 17, 2024

Middlesbrough claimed their first win at the King Power Stadium with a 2-1 victory over Championship leaders Leicester.

After the Foxes missed two big chances to take the lead, Finn Azaz opened the scoring in the 24th minute with a clever finish from Lewis O’Brien’s square pass before Samuel Silvera’s emphatic strike after 37 minutes extended Boro’s advantage.

Substitute Jamie Vardy halved the deficit in the 85th minute, producing an excellent finish into the bottom left corner, but Boro held on to end a four-game winless run and complete the double over Leicester.

The Foxes, who lost at home for the first time since November, are now nine points in front of second-placed Leeds – their next opponents on Friday.

The home side spurned a golden opportunity to take the lead after five minutes when Jannik Vestergaard headed Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall’s cross from the right into the side netting from five yards.

Leicester missed another gilt-edged chance soon after as Patson Daka somehow miscued his close-range header, sending the ball across the face of goal.

Moments later, Abdul Fatawu cut in from the right and saw his goalbound effort blocked behind by Matt Clarke.

Boro took full advantage of those missed opportunities to break the deadlock when Silvera released O’Brien in behind and the midfielder squared the ball across the box to Azaz who coolly lifted into the top left corner.

Foxes defender Ricardo Pereira then made a crucial interception as he cut out O’Brien’s square ball after Boro caught Leicester on the counter attack from their own corner.

However, the visitors doubled their lead after Stephy Mavididi played a short pass to James Justin from a throw-in and Riley McGree pounced to slip in Silvera who smashed the ball into the left corner of the goal.

Leicester searched for a way back into the game before the break as Fatawu’s shot from 20 yards dipped narrowly over the crossbar before Dewsbury-Hall saw his effort deflect over the top.

Boro could have extended their lead early in the second half when Azaz lifted a pass through to McGree and Foxes goalkeeper Mads Hermansen hesitated coming off his line only for the midfielder to carry the ball out of play.

McGree then curled a free-kick inches wide of the post from 25 yards after Wout Faes bodychecked Azaz to break up a promising Boro attack.

Leicester should have reduced the deficit when Kasey McAteer played a ball across the box to fellow substitute Vardy only for the veteran striker to blaze his shot over the bar from close range before Vestergaard repeated the feat moments later.

However, Vardy made amends for his earlier miss five minutes from time when he produced a clinical finish into the bottom left corner after racing onto Tom Cannon’s ball in behind the Boro defence.

The Foxes were unable to find a leveller as Boro put their bodies on the line to win away at Leicester for the first time since September 2001 and bring an end to the home side’s four-game winning run.

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    Illan Meslier came out to block the ball, which bounced underneath him and into the path of Jones, who raced past defender Junior Firpo and stabbed the ball into an empty net.

    Leeds composed themselves and equalised just seven minutes later when Anfernee Dijksteel clipped Georginio Rutter’s ankles in the area and Summerville stepped up to fire the subsequent spot-kick into the bottom left corner.

    The visitors took the lead in the 18th minute when former Boro striker Bamford came back to haunt the Riverside, bundling in Firpo’s cross with his thigh past goalkeeper Seny Dieng.

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    Leeds regained their lead nine minutes later with a well-worked attack through the middle involving Archie Gray, with Summerville threading the ball into Gnonto, who smashed it past Dieng.

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    Illan Meslier came out to block the ball, which bounced underneath him and into the path of Jones, who raced past defender Junior Firpo and stabbed the ball into an empty net.

    Leeds composed themselves and equalised just seven minutes later when Anfernee Dijksteel clipped Georginio Rutter’s ankles in the area and Summerville stepped up to fire the subsequent spot-kick into the bottom left corner.

    The visitors took the lead in the 18th minute when former Boro striker Bamford came back to haunt the Riverside, bundling in Firpo’s cross with his thigh past goalkeeper Seny Dieng.

    After threatening from some corners, Boro got an equaliser on the half-hour mark when Leeds were dispossessed from a throw-in in their own half. Azaz found an unmarked Latte Lath on the edge of the box and Meslier could only palm the forward’s powerful strike into the net.

    Leeds regained their lead nine minutes later with a well-worked attack through the middle involving Archie Gray, with Summerville threading the ball into Gnonto, who smashed it past Dieng.

    The visitors nearly had another just minutes later in a similar style, but Bamford’s effort was pawed away by Dieng and Sammy Silvera smashed a shot over the bar just before the break.

    The hosts patiently passed around the pitch in a quieter start to the second half and Lewis O’Brien and Dijksteel tested Meslier with some dangerous crosses.

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