Blues suffered a 2-1 defeat to a very good Leicester City side at St. Andrew’s on Tuesday evening.
The Foxes scored a goal in each half. Their first came from Lloyd Dyer and the second from Jamie Vardy. Blues pulled a consolation goal back in the 90th minute courtesy of substitute Peter Lovenkrands, but it was too little too late for Lee Clark’s side.
In fairness it was a deserved victory by at Leicester team that also bagged a club record eighth successive league win at the same time.
There were four changes to the Blues starting XI from the weekend’s FA Cup reverse against Swansea City.
Teenager Amari’i Bell was given his first-team debut at left-back in place of Mitch Hancox, who was forced to pull out of the game late on because of an ankle injury. Darren Randolph took over from Colin Doyle; Tom Adeyemi came in for Shane Ferguson and Kyle Bartley for the suspended Paul Robinson.
Leicester set the tone for things to come when they won a free-kick in a dangerous position just outside the Blues area after just 14 seconds, but fortunately Matty James curled his kick just wide.
The Foxes continued to pile on the early pressure and Will Packwood was forced to put in a last-gasp tackle to deny Jamie Vardy, with the Leicester front-man looking odds-on to score.
Blues were struggling to get a hold of the ball and as a result, attacking play was few and far between for the hosts.
With 21 minutes gone, Darren Randolph had to produce a diving save to push James’ curling shot away.
The breakthrough for the Foxes came after 24 minutes when David Nugent threaded a decisive pass through to Dyer and the winger made no mistake as he smashed the ball home past Randolph.
The Blues keeper was called into action again minutes later when he was forced to save with his feet as Anthony Lockhart shot from just five yards out.
Leicester were showing why they are clear at the top of the table as they continued to put slick passing moves together all over the pitch and looked dangerous every time they went into Blues’ half of the pitch.
At half-time Lee Clark made a change to his side as he sent on substitute Peter Lovenkrands for Olly Lee.
Whether coincidental or not, the Dane’s introduction saw Blues start to keep the ball more effectively.
It also meant that the hosts started to get the ball into Leicester’s box more often.
Paul Caddis sent in a cross for Lee Novak but the striker headed it straight at Kasper Schmeichel. Schmeichel was then tested by free-kick from Albert Rusnak which he pushed away.
Blues had a lucky escape after 68 minutes when Bartley attempted to clear the ball away but instead kneed the ball onto his own cross bar and behind for a corner.
But they were soon back on the attack themselves and Bartley flicked a header just wide from Rusnak’s free-kick.
On 83 minutes it was game over as far as Blues were concerned and like Saturday against the Swans it came about after a Blues attack broke down as they went in search of an equaliser.
Following a melee in the Leicester area the ball was quickly sent forward before it found Jamie Vardy, who finished with a clinical low shot which flew past Randolph into the far corner of the net.
As the game entered the final minute of normal time, the St. Andrew’s crowd were given a brief glimmer of hope when Lovenkrands headed home Burke’s cross, but it simply wasn’t to be Blues’ night.
Clark’s men now face another tough test on Saturday when they play host to Derby County.