Leicester City 2:2 Manchester City
City delighted a full house with an immense performance in their FA Cup Third Round tie against Manchester City at Filbert Way on Sunday evening, earning a replay with a 2-2 draw…
Former Man City boss Sven Goran Eriksson made one change to his side with Sol Bamba making his debut in place of the departed Morrison; while former City-player Roberto Mancini made a handful of changes to what still looked a very strong line-up.
It was important that Leicester got off to a good start, and it couldn’t have been better.
Gallagher took a short corner on the left, combining with Dyer, before sending a cross over which Bamba steered home with the outside of his foot from close in. The goal, coming 45 seconds into his debut, nearly lifted the roof off the stadium.
City continued to press early on and Hobbs tested Hart with a header. But the visitors started to build some attacking moves with Tevez a constant threat and Welae blocking a close range header from Vieira.
Leicester’s lead lasted until the 22nd minute when Milner went on a powerful surge, shrugging off Abe and Bamba before planting a low shot to Weale’s right. Man City almost went ahead in the 29th minute when Kolarov set up Tevez, who laucnhed his shot over the bar.
At the other end Abe, having a magnificent game for City, made room for himself before blasting a 25 yarder that Hart did well to tip round the left hand post at full stretch.
Bamba, providing an aerial threat from corners that we have missed all season, almost bagged another goal but his first header was beaten out my Hart and his second effort went straight to the relieved keeper.
The Premier League club should have gone ahead as half time approached; Tevez delivered a slide rule pass out to Boateng on the right and he pinged a low cross over which Johnson somehow screwed wide with the goal at his mercy.
It was only a stay of execution for City however, as Man City took a 45th minute lead. Johnson and Milner combined for a short corner on the right before Milner fired in a low cross, which Tevez met at the near post with a clever back heel to beat Weale.
It was a blow for City, who deserved better for their first half efforts.
City took the game to Roberto Mancini’s side early in the second half and Vassell fired a shot on the run over while Hobbs sent a header just over the bar. Then, in the 63rd minute, a slice of luck helped them back on level terms.
Gallagher swung a cross in from the left, which Hart fumbled into the path of King, who was left with a simple tap-in to an unguarded goal. It was no less than City deserved.
Mancini, who had bought De Jong on for Wright-Phillips at the break, introduced Zabaleta for Jo.
Gallagher’s departure for Waghorn was then announced as he was about to take a corner, but the City bench appeared to change their mind. Gallagher took the flag kick which Bamba headed towards the top right hand corner before Milner headed it off the line.
When Waghorn did come on it was for Dyer, who was warmly applauded for playing his part in a great team performance.
Both sides were still looking for a winner and it looked bad for City when Tevez turned in the area and laid an inviting ball off for De Jong who placed his shot close enough to Weale for the City keeper to pull off a fine save.
Abe went close with a shot, while at the other end Bamba continued to block off chances for Tevez in what may have been the best City FA Cup debut since Joe Waters.
The final whistle saw honours even after City’s best performance of the season, and regardless of the replay result, Sven’s team proved that they have what it takes.
Eriksson beamed into the cameras: “I must be pleased with the performance and it was a good football match. I’m very proud of my players and they should be proud of their display. We stood up to Manchester City, one of the best teams in the country. All the players were brilliant.”
Leicester: Weale, Berner (Neilson 89), Bamba, Hobbs, Naughton, King, Dyer (Waghorn 79), Abe, Wellens, Gallagher, Vassell (Howard 83). Subs Not Used: Logan, Oakley, Moreno, Moussa.
Man City: Hart, Toure, Boateng, Kolarov, Lescott, Wright-Phillips (De Jong 46), Milner, Vieira, Johnson, Tevez, Jo (Zabaleta 73). Subs Not Used: Given, Santa Cruz, Nimely, Boyata, Ibrahim.
Referee: M L Dean (Wirral). Attendance: 31,200.
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