Not for the first time an apprentice met their master and came out on top. So it was at the Valley as Charlton Athletic beat Leicester City 2-1 and Addicks boss Chris Powell got one over his ex-boss Nigel Pearson on his 49th birthday. Some present for the man who set Powell on the road to management.
However it wasn’t an unexpected victory. Pearson had warned his players to be on their guard before the match pinpointing the partnership of Yann Kermorgant and Bradley Wright-Philips as a dangerous one and so it proved as they grabbed the goals in the first half that sealed all three points for the home side.
Charlton had been denied a win against Birmingham after Lee Clarke’s men grabbed a dramatic 94th minute equaliser on the opening day of the season. That they’ve followed that up with victory over pre-season favourites Leicester suggests they should at least come close to repeating the rapid ascent of Norwich, who won League One in 2010 and were promoted to the Premier League the following season and Southampton who returned to the top flight this season following two consecutive promotions.
Leicester themselves won League One in 2009 and only fell at the play-off semi-final stage the following season. That defeat was in part due to an infamous ‘chipped’ penalty from Kermorgant which was easily saved by the Cardiff City keeper.
It was his last action in a Leicester shirt (apart from holding his head in shame) and the visiting fans showed exactly what they thought of him at the Valley, booing his name throughout the match. He made his feelings clear, holding his finger to his lips after his goal.
Chris Powell got one over his ex-boss Nigel Pearson on his 49th birthday
It’s always hard to determine exactly what results mean at this early stage of the season but the signs are good for both teams. But for a period of poor defending during the second half, Leicester were the stronger side. Jamie Vardy saw two shots saved and Lloyd Dyer blasted wide before Wright-Phillips opened the scoring.
Following the double introduction of David Nugent and Andy King, who combined for Leicester’s goal, the visitors had several chances to secure a point or possibly more. That said they must not slip into the habit of being unable to secure consecutive victories on a regular basis.
For Charlton’s part, Kermorgant and Wright-Phillips have established a strong partnership and the team is still travelling upwards thanks to the momentum generated from last year’s promotion and four points against Birmingham and Leicester will sustain them on that upward curve. Don’t be surprised if both are in the top six come the end of the season.
The result further undermines the Premier League’s claim to be the best league in the world. Let’s face it it’s hardly what you’d call competitive. Nine months of effort and then a team from Manchester (or perhaps Chelsea) lift the trophy. You want competition? Check out the Championship.
More great articles by Roger
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