Rob Tanner's Leicester City v Huddersfield verdict: Anthony Knockaert is star of show
Chris Wood had a dream debut but it was Anthony Knockaert who stole the show.
Wood was signed on an emergency loan deal as soon as the January transfer window opened so he would be clear to make his City bow, and he made his presence felt immediately with two goals inside the first 25 minutes.
But it was the diminutive Frenchman who then took centre stage as he set up Ritchie De Laet for his first goal for City in first-half added-time before scoring two fantastic goals straight after the break to inflict more misery on Simon Grayson’s side.
Knockaert had announced his arrival in English football with two stunning strikes as City beat Huddersfield on their own soil earlier in the season and he again terrorised the Terriers.
His performances since his move from French second-tier side Guingamp have already led to speculation that Arsenal are considering a £5 million move for him and, after this display, they might not be the only Premier League club considering trying to tempt City into a sale.
Manager Nigel Pearson has already said Knockaert is not available because, on this form, he has a key role to play in City’s promotion push. But so does Wood.
The deal to bring the New Zealander to the King Power Stadium is potentially worth £2 million, and it already looks like a bargain.
Wood had already scored 11 this season on loan at Millwall, two of which came against Huddersfield.
He was at it again as he headed home his first goal after just six minutes.
David Nugent had climbed superbly to reach Knockaert’s teasing cross only to be denied by a spectacular save from keeper Alex Smithie, but Wood out muscled the Terriers defenders to head home the rebound.
It was a goal that looked simple enough but it was the sort of goal City had not been scoring and demonstrated why Pearson had fought so hard to sign him.
Wood then combined superbly with Nugent, who looked like he had forged an instant understanding with his new team-mate, in the 24th minute to slot home his second and he demonstrated his selflessness when he headed down a high ball for substitute Martyn Waghorn to score City’s sixth in the 76th minute.
City were rampant against a Huddersfield side who are without a win in 10 games and slipping perilously close to the relegation zone. But they were given some consolation when Scott Arfield made it 5-1, which sparked a sloppy spell from City until Waghorn’s goal.
The only other negative on what was a fantastic way to kick off 2013 for Pearson and his men was what appeared to be a serious injury to Ben Marshall.