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MATCH REPORT

PUBLISHED
17:00 24th May 2015

MATCH REPORT: LEICESTER CITY 5, QPR 1

LEICESTER City ran out convincing winners as the curtain came down on relegated Rangers’ campaign at the King Power Stadium.

Goals from Jamie Vardy, Marc Albrighton, Leonardo Ulloa, Esteban Cambiasso and Andrej Kramaric saw Chris Ramsey’s first game in permanent change of QPR end in defeat.

Charlie Austin scored a consolation goal for the Hoops in the second half – but it was no more than that.

Rangers boss Ramsey made three changes to his QPR team in total after last weekend’s 2-1 home success over Newcastle United.

Rob Green (concussion), Steven Caulker (hand) both missed the trip to the Midlands, while Junior Hoilett dropped to the bench.

Reece Grego-Cox came into the side for his first senior start. The young striker joined Austin in attack, who was called up for England in midweek. 

There were also starts for Alex McCarthy and Yun Suk-Young.

Elsewhere, there was plenty more youth in reserve, with Michael Doughty, Darnell Furlong, Brandon Comley, Cole Kpekawa and Michael Petrasso all named among the substitutes.

Hosts Leicester, meanwhile, went into the contest already safe from demotion, following a tremendous run of results.

At the end of March, the Foxes were cut adrift at the bottom of the Premier League table. Many predicted their fate was already sealed.

However, a remarkable run of form saw City go into this fixture having won six games in eight and, naturally, the home crowd were in buoyant mood ahead of the season finale.

Leicester were almost ahead inside two minutes. Vardy took possession down the left and when he fed Ulloa, the Argentine curled just wide from 12 yards.

There was plenty of gusto in this affair early on, albeit without a plethora of opportunities. Matt Phillips took aim in the 15th minute for QPR but could only slice wide.

But the home side would take the lead only a minute later. 

Riyad Mahrez did well to shrug off a number of challenges and manufacture a shooting chance for himself. The winger’s subsequent low blast from 20 yards looked to be heading into the arms of McCarthy but when he spilled the shot, Vardy followed up to hammer home.

Clear-cut chances continued to be scarce in the first half although Leicester’s Ulloa went close on the half-hour mark when he fizzed a half-volley over, following good work from Albrighton on the right.

Vardy headed straight at McCarthy soon after, before Austin’s deflected shot had City custodian Kasper Schmeichel scrambling across his line. Luckily for the Dane, the ball dropped just past the post.

In the 35th minute, Phillips also went close for Rangers. His 25-yard blast swirled away from the target – but only just.

However, Leicester would take a two-goal lead into half-time after they scored a second in first half stoppage time.

Jeffrey Schlupp crossed from the left, and Albrighton arrived right on cue on the edge of the box to smash home. 

Rangers enjoyed a couple of opportunities at the beginning of the second period.

Austin shot straight at Schmeichel from distance, before Grego-Cox spurned an even-better opportunity at close range, following Phillips’ deflected effort.

But the Foxes were three goals to the good come the 51st minute. A corner from the left eventually fell to Wes Morgan in the box, and his scuffed shot prompted Ulloa into an improvised effort with his chest to turn the ball home.

And just a minute later, 3-0 turned to four. Richard Dunne’s headed clearance fell to Cambiasso on the left-hand edge of the box, before the former Inter Milan star drilled a low shot across McCarthy and in.

Rangers pulled a goal back in the 57th minute. Joey Barton’s free-kick from the left was met by Austin in the penalty area, who headed home beyond Schmeichel for his 18th strike of the league campaign.

Leicester almost added another goal shortly after.  Schlupp drove into the box before blazing the ball into the side netting. Cambiasso also shot wide in the 64th minute. 

The R’s almost added a second goal in the 76th minute. Barton’s corner found Nedum Onuoha at close range, but he missed the target with a header when it looked easier to score.

Four minutes later, QPR handed a senior debut to academy product Comley. He replaced Karl Henry. 

And fellow youngster Kpekawa was also introduced for his debut in the 86th minute, coming on for Suk-Young.

Unfortunately, Leicester made it 5-1 in the very same minute. Schmeichel’s long kick forward was flicked on to substitute Kramaric, who shot beyond McCarthy and into the net.
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