Manchester City 4:2 Leicester City
Leicester put in a spirited performance in their FA Cup Third Round replay at the City of Manchester Stadium on Tuesday night, but clinical finishing from Manchester City ensured a 4-2 win for the Premier League side…
Sven Goran Eriksson made one change to his side, with Vassell injured and Yakubu ineligible Howard was drafted in to lead the line.
6,000 travelled up from Leicester for the game, especially impressive given that it wa sbroadcast live on ESPN, and they almost had something to cheer about when an early King effort was deflected narrowly over the bar. Bamba headed straight at Hart from the resulting corner.
The home side should have gone a goal up when Johnson broke clear on Weale but the City keeper blocked out the England player’s attempt. But Man City didn’t have long to wait for a goal. After a quarter of an hour the remarkable Tevez wriggled his way through the Leicester defence like an eel before lashing a shot into the top left hand corner.
But Leicester were undaunted and pushed forward, finding an equaliser just four minutes later. Dyer was tripped in the area and referee Mark Halsey pointed to the spot after a quick glance at his linesman.
Gallagher opted for power rather than placment, making the net bulge and giving Hart no chance.
After a good spell for Leicester, which saw a few half chances go off target, Gallagher limped out of the action on the half hour, replaced by Moussa.
If Leicester were hoping to make half time on level terms the roof collapsed eight minutes before the break.
City regained their lead when Weale saved a Silva shot, but Vieira was in the right place for an easy tap in; and then, less than a minute later, Silva sent Johnson through and this time he made no mistake, beating Weale with a precise shot.
Tevez almost finished City off just before the break but Weale did well to smother his effort.
Oakley replaced Wellens for the second half and for a while it was difficult to see a glimmer of hope for Leicester in this contest, especially when Hobbs brought Tevez down in the box in the 57th minute. But Weale saved the Argetinian’s straight down the middle spot kick and the visitors gained a new momentum.
Waghorn replaced Howard in the 68th minute, but sent a free-kick straight into the wall when well placed.
Dyer and Vieira were then both booked after they clashed in the penalty area.
In the 82nd minute, with the host apparently in control, the game suddenly became interesting again as Dyer outpaced Lescott to reach a ball from Abe, before planting it past Hart.
City tried to press forward, but it wasn’t easy against a side costing £160M, and they were caught on the break in the 89th minute. Kolarov was given a little too much room to manouevre on the edge of the area and picked his spot low to Weale’s left. It was all over this time and Man City had dumped us out of the FA Cup for the eighth time…
Sven was pleased with his side and optimistic for the future: “We have played one of the best teams in Europe, and in the first game we were as good as they were. They were better than us today. I am happy at Leicester. We are not Manchester City, but it is a clear project to try to get into the Premier League and then we will try to beat them again. It is very good to be at a club where the owners are very good and you can feel around the ground, the training ground and the city that everyone believes we will go up to the Premier League. And we will.”
Man City: Hart, Kompany, Zabaleta, Kolarov, Lescott, Toure (Jo 78), Milner, Vieira, Johnson, Silva (Barry 64), Tevez. Subs Not Used: Toure, de Jong, Given, Nimely, Boyata.
Leicester: Weale, Berner, Bamba, Hobbs, Naughton, King, Dyer, Abe, Wellens (Oakley 46), Gallagher (Moussa 30), Howard (Waghorn 68). Subs Not Used: Logan, N’Guessan, Moreno, Neilson.
Referee: M R Halsey (Lancashire). Attendance: 27,755.