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Poor, but it's far from over - Rob Tanner's Barnsley v Leicester City verdict


Leicester City's dismal run continued as they produced a poor display against relegation-threatened Barnsley.

It was a performance which offered little light at the end of the tunnel for City's increasingly frustrated supporters.

The 2-0 reverse made it three consecutive defeats for the first time this season.

City have now picked up just two points from the last seven games and just one win in their last 11 games.

With Brighton, City's main rivals for sixth spot, due to play tonight it is possible they could be heading to the Amex Stadium next Saturday four points off a play-off spot and the promotion dream is starting to fade.

It isn't over yet, by any means. The fact that five games out of their final six are all against play-off rivals gives them plenty of opportunity to make in-roads into that deficit and dent their opponents' own aspirations.

However, on the evidence of this display, City will need a dramatic turnaround in form.

It is hard to think of a poorer 45 minutes this season than City produced in the first half.

Just two months ago, City were playing an attractive brand of free-flowing football but that has slowly eroded over the past 11 games to the point that it was non-existent at Oakwell.

This City team was unrecognisable to the side that was looking every inch promotion candidates, to the extent that you would have been forgiven in thinking it was Nigel Pearson's men who had just slipped into the bottom three and the Tykes were the team going for promotion.

Every City fan knew how important captain Wes Morgan was to this team and, if they didn't, they were certainly shown why that is the case in the first half.

City were all over the place defensively, off the pace in midfield and almost non-existent in attack.

They were repeatedly carved open by the hosts and fell behind after just three minutes when Scott Wiseman was allowed to burst forward from the back and his low cross into the box was turned into his own net by Michael Keane.

Jason Scotland was waiting at the far post, but not really putting the young defender under that much pressure.

It wasn't a one-off as it was becoming alarmingly easy for Barnsley to crack City open like an Easter egg and only poor finishing and good goalkeeping from captain Kasper Schmeichel prevented them from going further behind.

But then, five minutes before the break, Scotland sent Chris O'Grady free to slip the ball past Schmeichel for the second and City had a mountain to climb, especially as they showed absolutely nothing in attack, with Chris Wood being virtually a spectator.

As the half-time whistle blew, some of the 2,000 travelling City fans vented their frustration at their own players, which, while understandable, certainly wouldn't have helped the younger members of the side.

Pearson sent his troops back out early after what would have been a frank half-time team talk, but it made little difference as City were opened up five minutes later and David Perkins was brought down clumsily by Paul Konchesky.

Schmeichel came to City's rescue by saving Scotland's spot-kick with his feet.

City were becoming a one-man team as Schmeichel then made a great double save form Martin Cranie and Scotland.

The introduction of Jeff Schlupp in particular for the ineffectual Wood injected some life into City as they made a fist of the last half-an-hour. They will be scratching their heads as to how they didn't score as Schlupp was denied by a mixture of some great goalkeeping and then some desperate defending, while David Nugent found his spark and was only denied by a great save.

City did finally apply some pressure in the closing stages but to no avail and they have to lick their wounds quickly if they are to stop this season fading away from them.

Poor, but it's far from over - Rob Tanner's Barnsley v Leicester City verdict

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