Plymouth stun Championship leaders Leicester

Sat, Apr 13, 2024
By editor


PLYMOUTH Argyle dealt Championship leaders Leicester City’s automatic promotion hopes a blow and gave their own survival hopes a huge boost with a 1-0 victory at Home Park.

Having been outplayed for the first 20 minutes Argyle took the lead when Mustapha Bundu ended an excellent counter-attack with a calm right-footed finish.

Leicester’s Patson Daka had two fantastic chances to equalise in the first 20 minutes of the second half but the hosts doggedly kept out a Foxes side that grew increasingly frustrated.

Argyle keeper Michael Cooper did well to deny substitute Jamie Vardy in the 87th minute as the visitors failed to turn late pressure into a goal.

Leicester players
Leicester lost back to back game for just the fourth time this season

The loss for the Foxes – a second successive away defeat after Tuesday’s loss at Millwall – means they stay on 88 points at the top of the table.

They are level on points with Ipswich Town and one ahead of Leeds united and both sides have chances to go above the Foxes on Saturday as Leeds host Blackburn and Ipswich welcome Middlesbrough.

Argyle have now gone unbeaten in all three games since Ian Foster was sacked as head coach, taking seven points out of nine.

The win sees Plymouth – under the temporary leadership of director of football Neil Dewsnip and first-team coach Kevin Nancekivell – move up from 20th to 16th and puts them five points clear of the relegation zone.

Leicester – who earlier in the day found out they would not face a points deduction this season over financial issues – showed their intent early on as Daka had a sixth-minute strike ruled out for offside before Ricardo Pereira forced a good save from Cooper after a neat one-two with Wilfried Ndidi two minutes later.

The Foxes dominated the possession, but it was Argyle who took the lead when two of five players recalled to the side after Tuesday’s draw with QPR linked up.

Adam Forshaw’s superb pass from midfield sprung Bundu down the left wing and the Sierra Leone forward cut inside and found the bottom corner as Wout Faes stood off him.

Leicester continued to dominate the ball and Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall and Harry Winks went close from long range, but they struggled to turn their possession into meaningful chances.

And as Home Park’s noise levels rose, the hosts could have gone further ahead five minutes before the break as Morgan Whittaker and the impressive Forshaw played a neat one-two on the edge of the box before the former blasted his effort high over the bar.

The hosts started the second period with a higher intensity as they upped the pressure on the Foxes – but it was Leicester who should have equalised 10 minutes into the half as Daka somehow scuffed wide from close range after Abdul Fatawu had got to the byeline down the right.

Substitute Dennis Praet headed over for the visitors soon after before Daka missed another superb chance as he sliced wide at the far post from four yards out after a Praet flick-on.

Leicester were encamped in the home half for long periods, but failed to find the decisive pass as the hosts put their bodies on the line and forced the Foxes into mistakes.

Vardy had the best effort late on as he was put through but Cooper faced off his line to smother the former England striker as Argyle held on for a memorable victory that was deafeningly welcomed by their fans, who now feel they could well stay up after the turbulent three months of Foster’s reign which saw them fall down the table.

Plymouth Argyle director of football Neil Dewsnip told BBC Sport:

“I’m delighted. We knew exactly how difficult it was going to be.

“We knew we were going to play against an outstanding football team in possession of the ball, but we had a game plan and thankfully it’s paid off.

“It was our night, and I’m delighted for our players, they worked incredibly hard, harder than they probably realised they could.

“We know it’s not done yet, so we’re going to work really hard in the next three games to get more points.”

Leicester City manager Enzo Maresca told BBC Sport:

“It’s been a tough week, two defeats in a row that we didn’t expect.

“We are upset, the only good thing is fortunately it stays in our hands

“We need to take our chances to win our games.

“At this moment we are struggling to score goals but we’ve created chances inside the six-yard box, in the box, outside the box.

“Tonight was one of the games it that it didn’t matter which way, we needed to win the game

“But the positive thing is it’s still in our hands in the last four games.”


13th April, 2024.