Football League Championship

Ten Years on Filbert Way : The 10 Greatest Matches

August 2012 marks the tenth anniversary of the first competitive fixture played at Leicester City’s new home, The King Power Stadium. We’ve seen ups, downs, drunken fans attacking goalkeepers, Newcastle players knocked unconscious from a sharp free-kick, wordly strikes from Nalis to Gudjonsson and a 12-month-cameo by a super Swede. But here are the 10 picks for Leicester’s greatest match at our new home.

10. Leicester City 4–0 Norwich City

2007/08 Coca-Cola Championship        Att:  25,854

The first on the list is an oddity of sorts. A win under Ian Holloway in the dreaded 2007/08 season and on top of that DJ Campbell found himself on the scoresheet for the Foxes. It may not be the Foxes’ fan’s favourite win over the six-fingered faithful from Norwich but at the time, it was quite a scalp. Norwich had been on a 13-game-unbeaten run and Leicester were staring a relegation scrap straight in the face. The game also sparked violence from the Norwich fans in the city centre which led to Leicester fans being unjustly and nonsensically labelled ‘high risk’ for 2012’s FA Cup fixture. Cue David Nugent.

Trounced… High-risk Howard punishes the canaries.

9. Leicester City 3–0 Coventry City

2006/07 Coca-Cola Championship      Att: 25,816

What a difference a chairman makes! Number 9 on the list is Leicester’s first game under sneaky Serb, Milan Mandaric and it was a fruitful affair indeed. The Foxes kicked off Mandaric’s manager-chopping reign with a dominant win over M69 rivals, Coventry City. One the Hinckley-dwelling Foxes will savour for years to come.

Handful… City’s scorers embrace.

8. Leicester City 4–0 Nottingham Forest

2011/12 FA Cup 3rd Round Replay      Att: 16,210

It was inevitable really, the 8th best game on Filbert Way was the classic FA Cup replay of January 2012. In truth, Leicester dismissed Forest with ease. In some respects, the scoreline was flattering to the away side who couldn’t even hit the back of the net from 3 yards with an open goal. It says it all that hat-trick hero, Jermaine Beckford scored 3 times despite suffering from a cold. I’m starting to think, that Alan Birchenall could have taken to the pitch and scored himself. However, if there is one downside; this game seemed to be the turning point that saved Forest from relegation.

Rout… But it’s okay. Forest only hate Derby, remember?

7. Leicester City 2–0 Brighton & Hove Albion

2002/03 Nationwide Division One     Att: 31,909

Number 7 on the countdown is the 90 minutes that confirmed a controversial promotion for the Foxes. Having suffered relegation at Filbert Street 12 months earlier, Leicester bounced back to the big time at the first attempt after beating the Seagulls two-nil. Of course as Neil Warnock would have it, Leicester’s remarkable 92 point tally was condemned as ‘farcical’ due to financial issues. News flash, Neil – If the Foxes had had a 10 point deduction, they would have still finished in an automatic promotion spot.

Promotion…Jordan Stewart scored the crucial goal that sent Leicester up

6. Leicester City 4–0 Derby County

2011/12 nPower Championship    Att: 22,496

They say history never repeats itself and that was proven to be false in October 2011 as the 1994 classic ‘Silence of the Rams’ churned out a thrilling sequel at the King Power Stadium. The Foxes and the Rams had had unexpected starts to the season; Promotion favourites, Leicester had found themselves in the bottom half whilst Derby were leading an unlikely play-off charge. However, a convincing 4 goal winning margin in the East Midlands derby brought the feel good factor back to Leicester and left a handful of travelling sheep slunking back to Derby with nothing but a spanking.

Baaaaaad luck… Vassell sends the home crowd in to raptures.

5. Leicester City 2–2 Manchester City

2010/11 FA Cup 3rd Round     Att: 31,200

The only draw to make the countdown is the FA Cup third round clash against Man City. To fit the old cliché, it was a classic cup tie; two sets of passionate fans, two big spenders and a fascinating teacher vs. pupil battle in the dugout between Leicester’s Sven-Goran Eriksson and Man City’s Roberto Mancini. However, Leicester not only took the game to the Premier League club, they were unlucky to only get a replay. Bamba bundled the ball across the line in the first 50 seconds before Leicester let their lead slip. Andy King found the equaliser in the 64th minute with the search for the winner continuing in to the last minute. Even former fox, Mancini revealed he was ‘relieved’ to escape with a draw.

Premier League? You’re Having a laugh… Bamba makes a name for himself

4. Leicester City 3–2 Tottenham Hotspur

2005/06 FA Cup 3rd Round     Att: 19,844

The Gary Lineker derby as it was affectionately dubbed on the day is perhaps one of the most infamous victories of Leicester’s recent history. Having been two-nil down by the 41st minute, The Foxes who were 21st in the Championship at the time embarked on a remarkable second half comeback led by the Elvis Hammond and Steven Hughes. The Foxes were back in it by the hour mark, leaving Mark ‘donkey’ de Vries to score the 90th minute winner and dump Premier League Spurs out of the cup.

Scalp… De Vries’ placed shot sends City through

3. Leicester City 3–0 Nottingham Forest

2009/10 Coca-Cola Championship     Att: 31,759

The first ‘El Clasico me duck’ thrashing came in February 2010. Both Leicester and Forest were locked in a battle for promotion and having been on the receiving end of a 5-1 defeat at the City Ground, it was time for the Foxes to get some revenge. The two East Midlands’ giants played out a dull hour with no real chances before a fifteen minute deforestation would get the Walkers rocking. A goal each from Bruno Berner and Andy King and a memorable free kick from Paul Gallagher ensured 3 points as the Foxes sank their teeth in to their bitter rivals, knocking them out of the top two.

Tale of two thrashings… Leicester exact their revenge on the Tricky Trees

2. Leicester City 1–0 Leeds United

2008/09 Coca-Cola League One     Att: 25,507

It was the battle of the big clubs in April 2009 as the Foxes edged closer and closer towards a remarkable turn in fortunes. Following years of decline, the Foxes were finally back on the up after a dramatic last minute header spread vibes of delirium around the Walkers Stadium. In truth, the game was a rugged affair and to fit the old cliché; a tremendous advert for England’s third tier. But it was Leicester who stood tall as Howard headed Gradel’s corner in to the back of the net, writing off the 2008/09 season as Leicester’s one and ONLY third tier tour.

Classic… ‘Super’ Steve Howard practically seals Leicester’s Championship return

1. Leicester City 4–0 Leeds United

2003/04 Barclays Premier League     Att: 30,460

The greatest game to ever unfold before our eyes at the King Power Stadium is the famous four-nil drubbing of Leeds United. The victory seen by millions on Sky Sports’ Monday Night Football captured all the best Leicester’s most recent Premier League team had to offer. From the first whistle, the Foxes were on the hunt and the scoreline was one the home side had earned. Complete with four tremendous goals, in particular, a jaw-dropping 30-yard volley from Lilian Nalis, Leicester saw off a Leeds United team that had graced Europe just one season before. The victory was celebrated by fans alike including Chris Moyles’ breakfast show colleagues who concocted a jingle mocking Leeds’ (Moyles’ team) defeat to City. The win was the first of only five Premier League wins that season but boy was it a sweet one.

Rankings based on the votes by members of the FoxesTalk forum. 

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Out of the Blue : A Dawning Rivalry?

When Leicester meet Peterborough on Saturday during the nPower Championship’s season opener both will be gunning for three points but for one set of supporters, a victory will mean so much more.

All blue affair… Leicester and Posh are Championship comrades once more

History

Historically, the Foxes meetings with the Posh have been few and far between with Saturday’s encounter only the 16th competitive

Sour grapes…Some Posh fans still envy Leicester’s League One triumph

meeting between the two clubs. Typically, Leicester are considered a much bigger club than their Eastern blue counterparts with Leicester traditionally competing in the top two tiers of English Football and Posh in the basement divisions  of the Football League. This could explain Leicester fan’s disillusion to the rivalry believing that Peterborough’s history is beneath them. In fact, United’s highest ever finish in the league ladder was 10th place in the 2nd tier (currently the nPower Championship), one place below Leicester’s standing from last season, a season the Foxes faithful considered a failure. But meetings between the two are becoming more and more frequent with 40% of the fixtures between the two being played since 2008.

Why?

The first flickers of rivalry arose in the 2008-09 League One season in which both clubs found themselves towards the top of the table with Peterborough finishing runners-up to champions, Leicester. Accompanied by two convincing home wins that season by both clubs (4-0 at Leicester and 2-0 at Peterborough),  an on-the-pitch gulf in class was becoming shorter as Posh would go on to spend the two of the next three seasons at Leicester’s side even totting up some shock victories as they became City’s bogey team. Peterborough’s seemingly inability to roll over and die at the feet of Leicester is perhaps the only reason any dislike is felt on the Foxes side whereas Posh fans seem to harbour much more.

Big day out… Posh always travel well to Leicester

Geographically, the cities of Leicester and Peterborough are only 41 miles apart and with Leicester supporters scattered in towns such as Corby, Stamford and Kettering, it is clear to see why there might be friction with the neighbouring Posh fans. Especially as their traditional rivals Cambridge United and Northampton Town seemed to have disintegrated in to Sunday League outfits. However, despite being the closest club to Posh in the Championship, Leicester are not short of rivals in the congested East Midlands with their sights firmly fixated on Derby and Forest. In fact, a football rivalry survey I conducted in March of this year revealed Posh considered the Foxes among their top 3 rivals whereas Peterborough stood a lowly 8th place for Leicester fans behind the likes of Aston Villa and Leeds United.

How Leicester see it

Quotes from FoxesTalk forum;

Tinpot. Small time. Deluded supporters, a team that no-one really takes much notice of. “

“I like their terrace. But otherwise I don’t think much of them, just another team in the league that we’ll play at some point.”

“Third or fourth tier club who’ve done very well in the past few years, that we unfortunately lose a number of points to, presumably from not treating the game seriously enough/them putting in a good performance.”

“Underestimate anyone at your peril! Of course they don’t have a particularly illustrious history but they seem like a good, albeit old fashioned, football club.”

“It’s a decent day for a drink up plus they have a terrace. Shame their fans don’t make the most of it.”

“Very efficient train station”

The general consensus among Leicester fans seems to be that Posh are not considered rivals.  Having stumped up a lowly eighth place in the Foxes rivalry ranking, it is clear that only a very few fans consider Posh to be a rivalry. Of course those roaming the streets of the major Northamptonshire and Cambridgeshire towns may look at Posh with a healthy contempt but in reality The Foxes have bigger fish to (Barry) fry.

How Peterborough see it

“Big club, with a big fan base but too over-rated , think they can buy the league and they lose or draw to teams which they should be beating, and we consider them as rivals cus of all the meetings they had in League 1 and Championship”

“I think for some we have lost all rivalry with other clubs due to our rise in leagues so they are looking for a new rival…Leicester is relatively close to Peterborough so for some I think they want to create a rivalry, for others its a money thing”

“Hmm, I know there are a few Posh fans who think Leicester as a rivalry but I reckon it’s more to do with the fact that Leicester got the League One title instead of us! And there’s the obvious geographical but we don’t really class Leicester as rivals. They’re a decent club, and I reckon they could get a top 10 finish this season!”

“I appreciate that the feeling isn’t really mutual, but most Posh fans would love to beat Leicester!”

However for Peterborough fans the fixture seems to be increasingly more important. Evidence for this includes one fan naming Leicester as the team they would most like to beat this season, the chants of ‘If you all hate Leicester clap your hands!’ and ‘Shoot the Leicester scum!’ at the King Power Stadium and an FA Cup tie in which Posh faced Sunderland last season. Reports spread on Twitter at the end of April that Peterborough fans were chanting anti-Leicester songs as they passed through the city on their way to Pride Park to face Derby County and the Peterborough Telegraph even described the opening day fixture as a ‘mouth-watering derby trip’ on the day of the fixtures’ release.

So when the thousands of blue clad supporters descend upon the King Power Stadium this Saturday. It will be a battle for 3 points for one but a fight for pride for the other. But who knows, maybe something extraordinary will happen and we can all enjoy a rivalry that both clubs partake in equally. But given the gulf in the extent of our histories and traditions, I’d say it’s fairly unlikely.

Peterborough beware… The Foxes lie in wait