The game played in the Welsh capital just a calendar month ago was as poor a game as we've been involved in all season. It ended, quite rightly, 0-0 and very rarely did it ever look as if we were going to lose it and even less likely that we were going to win it.
|Charlie Austin who headed against both posts|
Last night was so different. This time it was a game where we could have lost it but could have won it. A goal always looked like it might come one way or the other with both teams playing some good and enjoyable football that was a million miles from the slow motion stuff at Cardiff.
The season is drawing to a close and last night, no matter what either camp said ahead of the game, there was nothing to play for other than jockeying for position in the middle of the table. The seasons have been a contrast for the two clubs. We sold a lot of players last summer to help balance the books and at Leicester they were paying over the odds for fun for a collection of players expected to take them straight up.
The two squads eventually assembled are now very close to each other in the middle of the table and that was reflected in last night's game that really could have gone either way with Leicester probably having more of the play but the Clarets carving out the better chances.
There was a surprise ahead of kick off with one of the two team changes from Saturday. It was the same sixteen, hardly a surprise with very few other players available, and I don't think any eyebrows were raised with the news that Marvin Bartley would start in preference to Josh McQuoid.
Maybe a recall for Danny Lafferty was no surprise either but replacing Danny Ings probably was although this was explained after the game.
Lafferty went to left back which allowed Ross Wallace to move forward, and back on the right hand side, in a 4-4-1-1 formation that employed captain Chris McCann in the position behind the lone striker Charlie Austin.
Leicester started the better and we did have one or two worrying moments at the back. Michael Duff and David Edgar stood firm and on the couple of occasions the home side got past them they found Lee Grant more than capable of dealing with things.
It was no more than an early burst and we were soon very much into our stride and for the rest of the first half were much the better of the two teams. With Lafferty at left back it allowed us to attack down both sides with full backs getting forward.
It was from a left wing raid that we might have gone in front. Lafferty linked up with McCann who set up Austin. The striker had a tight angle and could only fire straight at Kasper Schmeichel.
Situated in the corner at one end of the ground, most of the action was some distance away from the Burnley fans as the Clarets, or all yellows again, really got on top. A lead looked a real possibility but it just didn't come although we should have had a penalty by all accounts after Sol Bamba got two hands to a McCann effort.
It was still 0-0 at half time but there was plenty to enthuse about during the interval. We'd been the better side, we'd created some chances, we'd move the ball at some pace and looked a much better side for it. We'd even restricted David Nugent, almost always a scorer against us, to just one long range effort which was probably as close as Leicester came.
It wasn't quite the same in the second half as Leicester had much more possession of the ball, but we certainly still had our moments and came closer to a goal with one effort than Leicester had done all night.
They'd started the half brighter than us and we'd Kieran Trippier to thank for keeping us level with a goal line clearance before Grant saved well from Nugent.
Almost immediately, Austin was within inches of giving us the lead. He headed a Trippier cross against Schmeichel's right hand post and the ball incredibly went across the line and hit the other post.
Even then, Austin looked as though he might just force it home but Bamba got their first and scrambled it away for a corner.
In truth, we didn't get too many more opportunities with Leicester dominating the play without ever threatening us and the game looked to be ending for a 0-0 draw when one last chance came our way.
Wallace and Trippier linked up down the right and Austin again got to Trippier's cross but this time, disappointingly, headed over.
That was it, 0-0 but an enjoyable 0-0 and a lot of positives to talk about on the way home. We'd looked secure at the back, we'd worked well in the midfield and Austin had again, despite not being able to get a goal, given us another good performance up front.
I think the Leicester fans looked a bit relieved when they left the ground and I bet they were stunned when their manager Nigel Pearson confirmed he'd seen an entirely different game. Pearson's under pressure; it would be no surprise if he wasn't around next time the two teams meet.
Now, on to Blackpool as the road show for 2011/12 comes to an end.
The teams were;
Leicester: Kasper Schmeichel, Lee Peltier, Wes Morgan, Sol Bamba, Paul Konchesky, Ben Marshall, Richie Wellens, Daniel Drinkwater, Lloyd Dyer (Paul Gallagher 72), Jermaine Beckford (Jeffrey Schlupp 72), David Nugent. Subs not used: Sean St. Ledger, Andy King, Steve Howard.
Burnley: Lee Grant, Kieran Trippier, Michael Duff, David Edgar, Danny Lafferty, Ross Wallace, Marvin Bartley, Dean Marney, Junior Stanislas (Josh McQuoid 67), Chris McCann (Danny Ings 79), Charlie Austin. Subs not used: Brian Jensen, Cameron Howieson, Joe Jackson.
Yellow Card: Dean Marney.
Referee: Michael Jones (Chester).
Attendance: 19,806 (including 294 Clarets).