Leicester City 0-1 Stoke City
- Stoke have lost only one of last six
- Leicester's four-game unbeaten run ended
- Bojan's low drive secures points for Potters
- Foxes leave record signing Kramaric on bench
Bojan Krkic produced a brilliant finish for Stoke to end Leicester's chances of climbing off the bottom of the table for the first time in two months.
The former Barcelona striker spun and shot left-footed past Ben Hamer from 16 yards to earn Stoke a fourth away win.
Leicester boss Nigel Pearson surprised many by starting with £9m record signing Andrej Kramaric and eight-goal top scorer Leonardo Ulloa on the bench.
Anthony Knockaert came close for the Foxes but Stoke had the better chances.
It was an impressive response from Mark Hughes's side, who had been outplayed at Arsenal the previous week and were dealt a major blow before kick-off when skipper Ryan Shawcross failed a fitness test. The Potters captain had played in every league and cup game this season.
Hughes, though, was able to select Victor Moses and Bojan in the same line-up.
Moses, on loan from Chelsea, has been out with a thigh injury since November, during which time the 24-year-old Spaniard has emerged as Stoke's key attacking player.
"If we can get them both firing at the same time, then we should be in good shape," Hughes had said before the game.
And so it proved, with Moses constantly probing and Bojan illuminating a contest low on quality when, fed by Jonathan Walters with half an hour remaining, he turned and fired a low shot into the bottom corner for his fourth goal of the campaign.
|Jonathan Walters produced his third assist of the season. Only once (2011-12) has he provided more in a single Premier League campaign. No player has been involved in more Stoke goals than Walters this season (seven: four goals, three assists).|
It was a blow for Leicester, who had gone into the contest unbeaten in four matches and in good spirits, with club record £9m signing Kramaric given the go-ahead to play after being granted a work permit.
But the Croat was left on the bench, along with the man he supplanted as the Foxes' record signing - Ulloa - as Pearson went with the pace of Jamie Vardy and David Nugent.
Asmir Begovic saved smartly from Foxes defender Knockaert in a poor first half and Stoke's Philipp Wollscheid headed a corner wide.
In the second half, Marko Arnautovic's shot wildly into the side netting after being put through by Moses and Steven Nzonzi's fierce volley was brilliantly saved by Hamer.
But Bojan had been the stand-out player from the start and it was little surprise that it was he who provided the game's decisive moment.
Pearson eventually introduced both Kramaric and Ulloa once behind, but Stoke were well organised and still looked the likelier team to score, substitute Peter Crouch coming close to doubling the lead with a spectacular late effort.
While Stoke continue to head towards mid-table safety, Leicester remain bottom as they bid to become only the third team in Premier League history to stay up after propping up the division at Christmas.
Leicester boss Nigel Pearson: "I am disappointed because of how other results have gone. It is a missed opportunity for us. The only piece of quality on the day won the game.
"Stoke have Premier League know-how, there is no doubt about that. They are a big, powerful side, and we didn't find our own performance levels."
On record signing Kramaric: "It is always difficult for players to make an impact when the side is not quite at its best, as was the case with us second half. But if he gets his chances he will put them away."
Stoke boss Mark Hughes: "We were always a threat going forward, scored with a great goal, and didn't allow them to get any momentum against us going forward.
"I wouldn't say we created chance after chance but there were passages of play in and around the box where we did well and the goal was a great goal.
"When Bojan gets the ball in those areas of the pitch, you always sense something will happen."
- 27WasilewskiBooked at 19mins
- 15SchluppSubstituted forLawrenceat 71'minutes
- 9VardySubstituted forKramaricat 65'minutes
- 35NugentSubstituted forUlloaat 71'minutes
- 2de Laet
- 10ArnautovicSubstituted forCrouchat 81'minutes
- 13MosesSubstituted forCameronat 86'minutes
- Andre Marriner
- Shots on Target