Burton Albion 1:3 Leicester City
A late goal from James Maddison finally saw off the threat of a spirited Burton side at the Pirelli Stadium on Tuesday night.
Brendan Rodgers made nine changes to his side for the short trip to Burton, with possibly the most talented subs bench in the club’s history.
In a frantically paced opening spell Nigel Clough’s side pressed hard and high and didn’t give City a moment on the ball. But this left them vulnerable to the counter attack.
In the 4th minute City broke and Iheanacho stroked a shot narrowly wide.
Burton continued to play in City’s half and they were made to pay in the 7th minute. Gray sent Tielemans down the left and his low cross into the area was clipped past the advancing O’Hara by Iheanacho.
Burton went close in the 18th minute when a Boyce shot was blocked by Morgan and the follow-up from Fraser shaved the post. But two minutes later City doubled their lead with another punishing breakaway.
Praet charged down the right and set Tielemans up with a perfect cutback, the Belgian side-footing into the bottom corner.
City looked to be cruising to victory at this stage, passing the ball round well, but Gray missed a chance to put the tie to bed, blazing a shot over after Iheanacho teed him up for a good chance.
But the League One side were still a threat. Ward had to turn a Broadhead header round the post and then got down smartly to a Broadhead shot, O’Toole sending the rebound into the stand. And City took a two-goal cushion down the tunnel with them at half time.
Nigel Clough brought on the 37-year-old Lloyd Dyer for the second half and Burton seemed to find another gear. Although Praet went close early in the half, Burton halved City’s lead in the 52nd minute. City were unable to clear as the bobbled around the edge of the area and Boyce lashed a shot through Justin’s legs, catching out Ward who forearmed the ball into the net.
Burton were pressing hard for an equaliser now and Choudhury had to head a corner from Sarkic out from under the bar.
At the other end Albrighton broke clear but sent his angled shot into the side-netting.
Brendan Rodgers made his first change in the 66th minute, bringing on Barnes for Iheanacho, who had faded after a good start.
Albrighton went clear on goal again, but his first touch took him wide and O’Hara narrowed the angle well.
Burton had a great chance to level in the 74th minute when Boyce volleyed from 7 yards but Ward made amends for the earlier goal with a brilliant reaction save.
City went close in the 77th minute when Evans header from a corner was blocked by Wallace, and then the lively Barnes had the ball in the net but it was ruled offside.
With things a little too close for comfort Rodgers brought Maddison on for Praet and then Ndidi for Choudhury.
Sarkic then had a great chance to take the game to penalties, but lifted his shot way over from close in.
The travelling City fans could finally relax in the 89th minute, when Gray found plenty of room down the right and cut back for Maddison who sent his shot across O’Hara and in at the far post.
After apparently 2-0 up and cruising after twenty minutes City had to battle hard for a place in the quarter-finals.
It would be nice to avoid Manchester City in the draw for once, on Zoe Ball’s Breakfast Show on Thursday morning…
Burton: O’Hara, Brayford, O’Toole, Wallace, Hutchinson (Dyer 45), Edwards (Sbarra 88), Quinn, Fraser, Sarkic (Templeton 88), Boyce, Broadhead.
Substitutes: Daniel, Buxton, Anderson, Garratt.
Leicester: Ward, Justin, Morgan, Evans, Fuchs, Choudhury (Ndidi 88), Gray, Praet (Maddison 83), Tielemans, Albrighton, Iheanacho (Barnes 66).
Substitutes: Schmeichel, Söyüncü, Vardy, Ricardo.
Referee: Darren England. Attendance: 6,186.
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