Leicester ease past lacklustre Man United into the FA Semi Final
Goals from Iheanacho and Tielemans helped Leicester set up a tie with Southampton in the FA Cup Semi Final. Manchester United will now have to win the Europa League if they want to end their 4-year drought without a trophy.
Leicester welcomed Man United to the King Power stadium on Sunday evening in a bid to reach their first FA Cup semi-final. Despite being without James Maddison, James Justin, Ricardo Pereira and Harvey Barnes, the Foxes were still a force to be reckoned with.
The game began with both teams trying to get onto the front foot and make an early impact. Vardy had the first chance of the game as he attempted to pick out the far corner of Henderson’s goal, but the English keeper denied the striker. Vardy found himself in a similar situation but United’s captain Maguire was quickly across to block out any potential danger.
The deadlock was broken in the 23rd minute when The Foxes’ high press was rewarded as an in-form Iheanacho managed to capitalize on a sloppy pass back from Fred and take the ball round Dean Henderson and finish into an empty net.
United dragged themselves back off the floor after falling behind. An instant response saw a fine piece of trickery from Pogba on the left before he played a dangerous ball into the Leicester box. A smart dummy from Van De Beek allowed Greenwood to fire home from the penalty spot twelve yards out.
United had their tails up and continued to ask questions of the Leicester defence. This time Greenwood set Pogba up on the edge of the box who didn’t strike the ball with any conviction and Schmeichel was able to gather comfortably.
On the stroke of half time, the game became end to end. Tidy footwork on the edge of United’s box from Ayoze Perez helped him shape up a shot that narrowly whistled wide of the post.
The lively encounter continued straight after the interval as a smart one-two between Tielemans and Iheanacho created space for the Belgian to penetrate into. Leicester’s number 8 fired a delightful strike into the bottom left corner from outside United’s box. Nothing Henderson could’ve done.
United tried to respond quickly again but a long shot from Telles that arrowed wide of the post was the only chance the visitors could mount up.
With United seeking an equaliser, Leicester found space to exploit at any given second. They managed to get into these spaces and a lovely nutmeg from Vardy on Maguire set the striker one-on-one with Henderson but dragged his shot wide from only a few yards out. Leicester should’ve doubled their lead.
Four changes at once for United (Fernandes, Cavani, Shaw and McTominay) helped bring a bit of spark to their attack. Cavani was instantly picked out in the six yard box but he couldn’t adjust his body in time to direct his effort goal bound.
The man of the moment was at it again as McTominay fell asleep at the back post and Iheanacho managed to head home from a wide free kick. Nothing less than Leicester deserved.
With a mountain to climb, Bruno Fernandes had a free kick in the closing moments that looked to be heading into the top corner but a scrambling Schmeichel managed to get across to deny United’s talisman.
Schmeichel (7), Fofana (7), Soyuncu (7), Evans (7), Albrighton (7), Tielemans (8), Ndidi (9), Castagne (7), Perez (7), Iheanacho (9), Vardy (7)
Subs: Praet (7), Choudhury (N/A)
Henderson (6), Wan-Bissaka (6), Lindelof (5), Maguire (5), Telles (6), Fred (4), Matic (5), Van De Beek (5), Pogba (6), Martial (5), Greenwood (7)
Subs: Fernandes (6), Shaw (6), Cavani (6), McTominay (5)
FA Cup Semi Finals:
Leicester City vs Southampton
Chelsea vs Manchester City
Written by Thomas Barnes