Leicester City are five points clear at the top of the Premier league after Leonardo Ulloa scored the game`s only goal in the 89th minute to break Norwich hearts and send the home crowd into raptures.
The usually dynamic Foxes were mostly subdued by Alex Neil`s use of a new formation that involved three centre backs and two wing backs. Seb Bassong and Wes Hoolahan were both absent from the squad due to injury, while Ivo Pinto made his first appearance since the Spurs defeat. Ryan Bennett played as one of the three central defenders with Klose and Martin, while Jerome kept his place up front.
Norwich did well to confine the home side to sporadic efforts, none of which were on target in the early stages, as Leicester dominated. Norwich eventually started to work their way into the game and should`ve been in front on 38 minutes when Brady`s perfect corner was met by Jerome but the City striker could only head wide, unchallenged, from just five yards out. Jerome then turned provider as he picked out Redmond only for the winger to see his low angled shot parried by Schmeichel.
Brady then played Jerome in but the striker`s shot was blocked on the edge of the area by Wes Morgan with a suspicion of handball but it would`ve been harsh.
Naismith and Bennett were both booked within minutes of the re-start for wild challenges on Mahrez and Vardy respectively. Vardy went down heavily but bounced straight back up and made nothing of it as referee Swarbrick played an advantage before coming back to Bennett with his yellow card.
Vardy tested Ruddy with a low free kick but the newly reinstated Norwich number one was equal to it. Brady then headed clear in the 61st minute from inside his own six yard box with Albrighton lurking and Ruddy then had to be alert to deal with an effort from the former Villa winger.
Matt Jarvis replaced the rather ineffective Steven Naismith with eight minutes to go and then with five minutes to go, Redmond`s screamer flashed a yard wide of Schmeichel`s post with the Dane at full stretch.
It had been a decent display from Norwich. They worked hard and deserved something from the game but as always seems to be the way for a team in our position, they ended up with nothing when substitute Ulloa poked home Albrighton`s low cross in the 89th minute. Mbokani and Bamford immediately entered the fray and the latter had a half chance to equalise at the death but sliced wide from 16 yards.
A hammer blow at the end and yet again we have no points to bring home from our travels. A point at least wouldn`t have been undeserved and Jerome will know he should`ve scored with his headed chance in the first half. Once again, he showed why he cost £2m and not £32m. He leads the line well and chases and runs the channels – the difference is his finishing at this level.
The “new” formation looked good though, well, I`d at least describe it as promising and it`s something that may well be considered again against Chelsea on Tuesday night. It was generally solid and gave the wing backs, Pinto and Brady, the opportunity to provide some width. Dare I say that we seem to have the players to play this system?!
Once again, close but no cigar.