UNDONE by an Italian against Watford at the weekend, Huddersfield Town last night fell foul of a Frenchman as they suffered a second home defeat in four days.
France Under 21 international Anthony Knockaert produced a masterclass in finishing with spectacular goals in each half to sink Simon Grayson’s side who, after a bright beginning to the Championship campaign, produced another disappointing display.
While Town will look to hit back at former boss Lee Clark’s Birmingham City on Saturday, Knockaert – a £2.5m close season signing from EA Guingamp – will look back with delight on his first Football League goals.
Town boss Grayson made a single change to his starting line-up which was in enforced, with Leicester loanee Jermaine Beckford ruled out against his parent club.
As a result Sean Scannell was handed a first start in six matches as part of a 4-3-3 formation, while Anton Robinson was among the Town substitutes.
Leicester, who picked up their first away win of the season at Middlesbrough on Saturday, made changes bringing in experienced midfielder Andy King, wide man Lloyd Dyer and teenage right back Liam Moore.
Leicester were making only their sixth visit to Huddersfield in 50 years and just their third to the John Smith’s Stadium.
But they made a lively start with Dyer forcing an early corner which had the Town defence scrambling to get the ball clear.
Scannell responded with a darting break but the Foxes defence got back to clear the danger.
Town keeper Alex Smithies had to punch clear when Knockaert swung in a dangerous corner after nine minutes, then former England striker David Nugent drilled a long range effort just wide.
Town were working hard and passing neatly, but struggling to prise open the visitors’ defence and when Oliver Norwood did find some space he shot well off target.
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Quick passing by Leicester led to a fierce shot by Halifax old boy Jamie Vardy which Smithies did well to block, but the keeper had less to worry about when Knockaert wasted a 25 free kick much to the frustration of the travelling support.
Town won their first corner in the 23rd minutes but Kasper Schmeichel also elected to punch clear from Norwood’s in-swinger, then a foul on Danny Ward gave Norwood the chance to send in a free kick which led to a volley from skipper Peter Clarke which was blocked.
Just when Town seemed to be getting into the game Leicester grabbed the opening goal with Knockaert making up for his earlier lapse taking Moore’s pass from the touchline and cutting inside to unleash a screaming 35 yard shot which flew over Smithies grasp.
With Town’s defence stretched a counter attack gave King a great chance for a second but his shot went wide.
Town, now with the wind behind them, pushed forward at the start of the second half but Leicester defended in numbers and when Nugent led a counter attack, Knockaert’s shot was deflected into the path of Vardy who missed from ten yards out.
Town were finding it tough to track City’s breaks and when on the hour Dyer set up Paul Konchesky, Knockaeart met the cross to double the lead with an unorthodox but highly effective back-heeled volley which completely wrong-footed the home defence.
Desperate to spark his side into life Grayson made a triple substitution, with Alan Lee, Scott Arfield and Calum Woods, but Town continued to find the going hard.
Leicester looked like making it a three goal margin in the 89th minute, but Smithies pulled off a great save from Nugent as he met Martyn Waghorn’s cross.