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Dickov Stars for City (Leicester)

Sunday November 09 2003.

Paul Dickov gave Manchester City a painful reminder of how things used to be by firing Leicester City to a 3-0 win at the City of Manchester Stadium.

The Leicester striker not only found the target from the penalty spot but was the driving force behind this remarkable victory.

A cult figure during his time with City, Dickov got just the boost he needed ahead of Scotland's Euro 2004 play-off against Holland on Saturday.

Leicester went into this game without a point from their opening five matches on the road.

Yet they cruised to victory with Jordan Stewart and Marcus Bent also on the scoresheet.

City were again out of sorts on home soil after being forced to settle for a draw on Thursday in the UEFA Cup against the unknown Polish side Groclin.

There would appear to be enough talent in the squad - but not for the first time this season they failed to gel.

Leicester showed good organisation and discipline, setting the tempo right from the off.

They advanced into City's half in the first minute when Andy Impey swung in a deep cross from the right.

Bent got on the end of it but he was unable to test goalkeeper Kevin Ellegaard, making his debut with David Seaman injured.

Joey Barton then surged forward in the sixth minute and drove in a powerful shot for City, but goalkeeper Ian Walker got down quickly and saved with a degree of comfort.

Barton tried to put the pacey Nicolas Anelka away but Impey read the situation well and made a timely interception.

Leicester took the lead after 11 minutes with a superb finish from Stewart. Referee Mike Riley played the advantage when Barton hauled back Dickov on the centre circle and Stewart raced on and curled an unstoppable shot into the corner from 20 yards.

James Scowcroft almost added a second from a header that cleared the bar with City again on the back foot.

That goal stung City and Berkovic drove the ball low across the face of the goal after 28 minutes - but no-one was able to get a vital touch.

City kept up the pressure and Richard Dunne headed over with Berkovic again pulling the strings.

Michael Tarnat then played the ball in from the left as Leicester back-pedalled, but Steve McManaman and Antoine Sibierski got in each other's way inside the area and the chance went begging.

Then defender Steve Howey did just enough to distract Anelka when Tarnat played the ball in.

City won a corner at the start of the second half and Tarnat got clear of his marker only to head wide.

Leicester hit back and got a free kick when Tarnat bundled over Scowcroft.

Muzzy Izzet floated the ball in from the right but Dunne managed to clear with Bent ready for any error.

Leicester extended their lead in the 50th minute when Dickov was wrestled to the ground by Sylvain Distin. Dickov dusted himself down and stroked a penalty neatly into the corner.

And the visitors made it 3-0 in the 58th minute when Bent got on the end of Izzet's cross to head home.

City manager Kevin Keegan rang the changes two minutes later, bringing on Fowler and Paul Bosvelt for Wanchope and Barton.

Leicester, however, almost added a fourth with Bent finding the sidenetting from Izzet's delivery.

Anelka then came close to pulling a goal back but found the wrong side of the post after being released by Dunne.

The supporters began streaming out of the stadium with 20 minutes to go. Anelka gave those who remained a glimmer of hope in the 83rd minute but flicked a header wide.


Man City: Stuhr-Ellegaard, Jihai, Distin, Dunne, Tarnat, Berkovic, Sibierski, McManaman, Barton (Bosvelt 61), Anelka, Wanchope (Fowler 61).
Subs not used: Weaver, Sommeil, Macken.

Booked: Distin, Bosvelt.

Leicester: Walker, Scimeca, Howey, Thatcher, Impey, Izzet, McKinlay, Stewart, Scowcroft, Bent (Ferdinand 79), Dickov (Hignett 86).
Subs not used: Coyne, Elliott, Gillespie.

Booked: Izzet, McKinlay. Attendance: 46,966.

Referee: M Riley (W Yorkshire).

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