Team: Green, Suk-Young (Traore), Caulker, Onuoha, Isla, Fer, Henry, Barton, Vargas (Mutch), Kranjcar (Hoilett), Austin.
Subs Not Used: McCarthy, Ferdinand, Phillips, Wright-Phillips.
Attendance: 18,054 (including 1,841 Leicester fans)
Another ‘must win’ game…and we did just that, but as always, we just don’t do easy. It was another cracking atmosphere, and a team selection that looked suspect, which subsequently proved to be a slow start. However, we had our moments, as did Leicester.
We always looked suspect at the back throughout the game, giving the ball away far too easy, Barton being the prime culprit. That said, he does have the knack of being, right place, right time, and then delivering a sublime pass.frustrating!
No Zamora, but Vargas is far more effective playing wide, indeed, we lacked width from the start. However, Fer did more than well as did Karl Henry, indeed, he epitomised just how we managed to get a result.work rate, desire and a belief.
It was not convincing, but a result when anything else would have been close to a disaster.
Happy daysonwards and upwards.
It was Harry Redknapp’s sort of game: bright, attacking play and more shots than a fairground rifle range on a busy Bank Holiday. There were 51attempts all told (apparently the most since records were first kept eight years ago), five of which finished in the net.
No wonder the manager was purring as his team scored one more than Leicester, who replaced them at the bottom of the table after remembering how to score but forgetting how to defend.
“It was a great game of football, an excellent attacking game,” he said. For Redknapp to claim “we defended very well,” was a pardonable exaggeration in the circumstances, even if it reflected the way bodies were thrown in the way of the last flurry of shots to hang on to the win.
All Rangers’ 11 points have now come on home turf, where there could be more to come in a favourable run of games before the end of the year.
Of the three clubs who came up in May and now occupy the bottom three places, they do look like the ones with the most scoring potential; as long as Charlie Austin stays fit. He claimed his fifth in as many games to win this one.
Leicester, at home to Liverpool on Tuesday, will have to console themselves with having ended a barren run of five games without a goal, though not of eight without a win.
Their manager Nigel Pearson said: “It’s a game we should have won in many ways,” and Esteban Cambiasso, Riyad Mahrez and Jamie Vardy were among those who did not deserve to lose.
After 500 minutes without a goal before Saturday, Cambiasso had them off to a perfect start with a fine drive just inside the near post. Rangers’ defending was shaky enough to offer them more, but they were still ahead by half-time.
First, the centre-half Steven Caulker was unexpectedly in space on the left to take the excellent Niko Kranjcar’s pass and drive a ball low into a dangerous area, where Wes Morgan lunged and diverted it past his own goalkeeper.
Then in added time at the end of the first-half, Joey Barton put over an accurate cross for Austin to head at Kaspar Schmeichel, who could not hold the ball, allowing Leroy Fer to drive it into the ground and thence the net.
It was the former Norwich man’s first goal for the club and he became the first Rangers player other than Austin to score for them in five matches.
Between those goals, Robert Green had preserved the lead when Mahrez played Vardy clear, offering a warning that Rangers fully heed. Vardy headed against the bar and shot wide after a quick free kick before Jeffrey Schlupp drove in the equaliser,
With some 25 minutes remaining there seemed to be every chance of more to come and so it proved. After Schmeichel did well to keep out Fer’s header from one corner, Austin forced in the winner from the next one.
Steve Tongue – The Independent
The first thing I did before the match was to walk over to the steps by the Box Office. As many will know that was Malcolm Oakley’s vantage point before home games and a wreath rested on the spot where he always stood.
Whilst I was there, paying my respects, others were gathered. Someone then left a photo of Malcolm and some were in tears.
The interview in the programme with Bobby Hazell was a very good read and Martin Rowlands was on the pitch at half-time reflecting on his time at the club.
As for the game, I was on the edge of my seat – it was certainly frantic at times, resembling a battle from the Championship. The stats record that there were over 50 shots at goal.
The visitors were dangerous at times and there was a spell after the interval when Rob Green was forced down to make a very good save and just after that they hit the crossbar.
We deserved that win but can we win a bit more comfortably next time please.
God Bless you Malcolm.