Anelka nicks replay for Keegan               Return to Main Page

Duncan Mackay for Get Your Kits Out
Saturday January 3, 2004

Across Europe Nicolas Anelka has left a string of managers out of pocket and deeply frustrated. The Incredible Sulk still has a haughty air about him but his two goals, while failing to end a barren run of 12 matches without a victory for Manchester City, at least rescued his side from suffering their second defeat in three months here at the hands of Leicester.

Former Manchester City favourite Paul Dickov arrived to a hero's welcome but left to a chorus of boos after winning and scoring a controversial penalty. A fan in the programme had noted that only at this club could a one-time favourite plummet from hero to villain in such a short space of time. Dickov did nothing to restore his popularity by putting his new side ahead after only four minutes when he got across the front of the home defence to steer home Marcus Bent's low cross.

It was also a sweet moment for the Scottish striker who had promised to dedicate a goal to his father who died suddenly last month after contracting pneumonia. But the Manchester City fans were in no mood for sympathy and it was to another chorus of heckles he departed in the 63rd minute following a series of controversial incidents during which things threatened to get out of hand.

'I took him off because I didn't want him to get into trouble,' said Micky Adams, the Leicester manager. 'But Paul Dickov epitomises everything that is right about our football club. Even when he's had a personal tragedy he just loves playing football.'

Anelka first drew his side level in the 27th minute from the penalty spot after Leicester's defensive frailties had been highlighted. It was Anelka again to the rescue after Bent gave Leicester the lead in the 66th minute.

Three minutes later Anelka rose higher than a Leicester defence ravaged by injuries and suspension - Matt Elliott was serving a three-match ban and Ricardo Scimeca was forced off in the 54th minute with a shin injury - to head home Robbie Fowler's corner. 'That showed what a great striker he is,' said Adams.

It was his fourteenth of the season but first from open play since scoring against Poland's Groclin in the Uefa Cup, the match that marked the start of Manchester City's unproductive run.

The celebrations after both goals were muted from Anelka, fuelling rumours he is not happy here. 'I don't know if he smiles or not,' said Kevin Keegan. 'I'm just bothered whether he scores or not. He can cry for all I care.' He probably will Kevin, he probably will.

Man City: Seaman, Jihai, Sommeil, Dunne, Distin, Wright-Phillips (Sinclair 80), Reyna, Bosvelt (Barton 80), McManaman (Sibierski 45), Anelka, Fowler.
Subs Not Used: Stuhr-Ellegaard, Macken.

Booked: Sommeil.

Leicester: Walker, Impey, Heath, Scimeca (Stewart 55), Davidson, Hignett, McKinlay, Izzet, Scowcroft, Bent (Brooker 85), Dickov (Ferdinand 62).
Subs Not Used: Coyne, Nalis.

Booked: Dickov.

Attendance: 30,617.                      Return to Main Page

Referee: G Poll (Hertfordshire).

City grab late win at the Walker Stadium

Leicester 1-3 Manchester City

Antoine Sibierski
Sibierski heads in the opener
Late strikes from Nicolas Anelka and John Macken ended Manchester City's 14-match run without a win.

The visitors led through Antoine Sibierski's header from a pin-point cross from Trevor Sinclair.

Leicester equalised through a Les Ferdinand free-kick that looked like sending the game into extra-time.

But Anelka took advantage of some sloppy play by Frank Sinclair to prod home and there was still time for Macken to side-foot a third.

On a run of eight games without a win themselves, the evening did not start well for the Foxes, who lost defender Steve Howey to a hamstring injury sustained in the warm-up.

Goalkeeper Kevin Stuhr-Ellegaard was drafted in for only his fourth start for Kevin Keegan's side with new signing David James cup-tied.

Stuhr-Ellegaard was tested early by a thunderous 20-yard strike by Ferdinand.

But the 20-year-old Dane had little to do in an opening half where Leicester struggled to create goalscoring opportunities despite fielding three strikers in Ferdinand, Marcus Bent and Paul Dickov.

11 mins: Sibierski puts Man City ahead with a diving header
72 mins: Ferdinand equalises from a free-kick
83 mins: Anelka misses a glorious chance from eight yards out
89 mins: The Foxes defence is in disarray and Anelka takes advantage to score
90 mins: Macken races away to secure the win for Man City
The visitors took the lead in the 11th minute when Trevor Sinclair skipped past namesake Frank and delivered an inch-perfect cross to the far post, where Sibierski was unmarked to head home his fifth of the season.

Frank Sinclair's miscontrol gave Nicolas Anelka the chance to tee up John Macken, who was standing in for the injured Robbie Fowler, but the striker failed to make clean contact.

An Anelka snapshot forced a good save from Ian Walker and John Curtis cleared the loose ball with Macken ready to pounce.

Leicester were a different side after the break as James Scowcroft fired narrowly wide in the early stages of the second half.

The workman-like Dickov did well down the right before picking out Matt Heath, but the defender could only head straight at Stuhr-Ellegaard when he should have scored.

It was little surprise when Leicester got an equaliser through a Ferdinand free-kick.

The striker, who had earlier fired a set piece from a similar position high and wide, got the help of a deflection off the wall that deceived Stuhr-Ellegaard. Anelka looked to have blown the chance to win it when the Frenchman fired inches over the bar from close range.

But he was handed another opportunity when Sinclair and Walker failed to deal with a harmless looking throughball to stab past the Foxes keeper.

With Leicester piling forward for an equaliser City broke and Joey Barton set-up Macken and he produced a calm finish to wrap up the tie and earn City a fourth-round tie against Spurs.


Leicester: Walker, Curtis, Sinclair, Heath, Davidson, Scowcroft, McKinlay, Stewart, Dickov, Bent, Ferdinand (Elliott 83).
Subs not used: Coyne, Hignett, Gillespie, Brooker.

Booked: Sinclair, Scowcroft.

Man City: Stuhr-Ellegaard, Sommeil, Distin, Dunne, Tarnat, Sinclair, Bosvelt, Barton, Sibierski, Macken, Anelka.
Subs not used: Schmeichel, Jihai, Wiekens, McManaman, Wright-Phillips.

Attendance: 18,916

Referee: G Poll (Hertfordshire).                                          Return to Main Page