Newcastle 1 Leicester 0
Match report by Colin Hall
Gabriel Obertan's first goal in three seasons proved enough to condemn Leicester City to defeat against relegation-threatened Newcastle at St James' Park.
The Foxes have now lost in 14 of their last 16 visits to this venue – an abysmal record which Nigel Pearson's side rarely threatened to improve upon during a display which left the 3000+ travelling supporters frustrated and perturbed in equal measure.
A safety issue involving a big screen at the stadium forced the kick-off to be delayed by an hour, giving fans more time to digest Pearson's team selection and formation.
Curiously, Riyad Mahrez was deemed unfit to make the squad following a midweek appearance in an Africa Cup of Nations qualifier, yet Jeff Schlupp – who had endured a far longer flight, following duty in the same tournament – was retained in the starting line-up.
Marc Albrighton took Mahrez's place, while Matty James and Esteban Cambiasso replaced Dean Hammond and Jamie Vardy as Pearson opted to deploy a 4-5-1 system. However, despite the defensive flaws that had plagued the side in recent games, the manager decided against making changes to the back four.
Both sides made a tentative start in front of a near-capacity crowd. The most significant early chance fell to home skipper Fabricio Coloccini, who steered a shot wide of the far post when he should really have found the target.
However, as the visitors started to put some moves together, Matty James should have put City ahead when sent clear by Leonardo Ulloa. But the midfielder, making his first start of the season, sent a weak effort straight at home keeper Tim Krul.