Derby County 2:2 Leicester City
A late equaliser from Wes Morgan forced a 4th round replay for City in a entertaining 2-2 draw at Pride Park on Friday night…
Claudio Ranieri made three changes for this East Midlands derby with Ndidi, Mendy and Gray making way for Chilwell, King and Albrighton.
After a lively opening at a cold and rainswept Pride Park, City were gifted an 8th minute lead. Huth met an Albrighton corner with his head, the ball deflected off Baird to Bent guarding the goal line. It looked like a straightforward clearance, but Bent took a wild swipe at the ball and sliced it into his own net. The City players celebrated amongst themselves as Bent stood and scratched his head.
But the Championship side responded well to this setback and Bent made amends at the other end in the 21st minute, rising above Chilwell to meet a Hughes cross with a glancing header that left Schmeichel grasping thin air.
City almost regained the lead instantly when Okazaki charged forward and struck a fierce shot from just outside the area that Carson did well to tip over.
Although Vardy also had a shot deflected wide, the Rams were the better side up to half time and delighted the home support, taking a 40th minute lead.
A header out of defence from Simpson fell for Bryson who easily carved his way through the City defence before slotting a low shot across Schmeichel and into the bottom right hand corner.
Claudio Ranieri introduced Gray for Fuchs in the second half and a more positive line-up saw the Champions dictating the play.
An Albrighton chip from the right was headed goalwards by Okazaki, but a deflection off Keogh’s arm took it wide of the post.
Moments later another Albrighton cross from the right was punched out by Carson to Gray, but his shot from 7 yards went straight into the body of the Rams keeper.
Okazki then went on a run down the right, finding Vardy on the edge of the area who in turn teed up Gray for a low shot that thumped against the right hand post. The rebound fell for Okazaki whose shot was blocked by Johnson, returning to the Japan international, but his second shot went straight at Carson.
A rare chance came for Derby on the hour when Baird launched a ball to the far post, but but Russell’s header found the side-netting from a tight angle.
Mahrez, on for Okazaki, then caught out the Derby defence with a quick throw to Drinkwater, who crossed for Vardy to connect well with a header, but the orange shirt of Carson was attracting the ball like a magnet and he didn’t have to move to save it.
Musa, on for Albrighton fired a shot wide and it looked as though time was running out for City, who were struggling to find a way past the Rams who had everyone behind the ball.
But they rescued the tie with four minutes remaining.
Gray’s well-delivered corner from the left saw Morgan outwit his marker to direct a header past Carson from six yards out.
5,400 City fans were still celebrating that goal when there was a late scare at the other end. Camara jinked his way into the area and his attempted pass hit Huth on the thigh, the ball jumping up to hit his hand. Thankfully Mark Clattenburg waved play on, and both sides had to be content with a replay.
Ranieri didn’t mind this extra burden on the fixture list: “It’s important for our confidence. I am very happy with our attitude and our character. When we show this character anything can happen.”
PHOTOS: Simon Kimber
while the unframed one is £6.50 inc postage — pay via paypal HERE
or send a cheque or cash to our new address:
22 Cosby Road,