Leicester continued their fine run of form against a Sunderland side that showed a lot more fight than many thought they had left in the tank. The match had an old-school feeling to it, as the Black Cats matched Leicester in their formation, but were unable to find the killer blow they so desperately needed.

Sunderland started the match boldly, pressing high and understandably keen to get Defoe on the ball and firing, having previously scored four goals in eight games, and they started the match encouragingly - Fabio Borini provided a good foil for the veteran Englishman, as he stretched the play, whilst defensively, Billy Jones looked lively, with the midfield ably closing down the threat of Riyad Mahrez. 


The problem was that their play became one dimensional, with the Foxes happy to let them keep possession and even have set pieces, such is their defensive solidity since Craig Shakespeare took over. The Black Cats were missing the physicality of a player like Victor Anichebe, to compete with behemoths like Robert Huth. 

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The first half finished in stalemate, with Sunderland looking stronger than many would have predicted, with Lamine Kone looking more like the player he was last season and carrying the biggest threat from set pieces. 

 

Seeming to detect that his side wasn't playing particularly well, Craig Shakespeare threw Islam Slimani and Marc Albrighton on, clearly looking for crosses into the opposition box for the Algerian to feed on, and provide more of a physical threat to Kone and defensive partner Jason Denayer. 

Leicester City v Sunderland - Premier League

Sunderland eventually matched this, with Anichebe making his long awaited return, and adding a more physical threat to Sunderland's front line.  


However, Leicester's change began to take effect, and both substitutes combined for Slimani to power in Albrighton's outstanding cross. The goal reflected incredibly harshly on Sunderland's performance, as well as incredibly generously on Leicester's. 

​​Sunderland were disappointed but still firmly in the game,  and shortly after, there followed a goal mouth scramble where Anichebe, Defoe, and substitute Wahbi Khazri all had chances, with the NIgerian coming closest, his deflected shot hitting the post. 


If Sunderland felt Leicester's first goal was cruel, their second must have felt even worse, as straight from Sunderland hitting the post, Leicester went up-field, and Jamie Vardy smashed in his fifth goal in as many games after  being played in by Albrighton.

Understandably, Sunderland's players began to look deflated. Leicester continued their pressing however, and played a similar game against the Black Cats to how they played last season, although obviously in very different circumstances. 

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The Foxes now are surely safe and can begin to focus on the daunting task of Atletico Madrid in the Champions League quarter-finals. Sunderland meanwhile must focus on their home form, and look to continue to play at this level. 


They host both Manchester United and West Ham in their next fixtures, although many fans will be wondering just where their next points are coming from, after losing despite a spirited display. 

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