Millwall 1:0 Leicester City
League One Millwall added another Premier League scalp to their FA Cup collection on Saturday at the Den, out-fighting a limp Leicester side despite going down to 10 men…
Claudio Ranieri made ten changes to the side that lost at Swansea, with Wagué making his debut, and for the first half hour they dominated the side two divisions below them.
The first real chance came in the 10th minute when Kapustka lobbed a ball to Gray, cutting in from the left, but his attempted curler flew wide.
A procession of chances followed with City in complete charge, but none of them found the net. Musa sliced one wide, and Okazaki had an effort blocked, before Archer parried Okazaki’s near post header from a corner.
Musa then fired a low 22 yarder narrowly wide of the right hand post, and Okazaki had a shot well smothered by Archer.
Having failed to capitalise on their best spell, City then had some defending to do as the Lions came into the game towards the break winning a series of corners and Zieler was called into action, saving a Butcher header. Following another Zieler save just before the break Cooper slid in and fouled the City keeper, who had both hands on the ball, causing a flare up in the goalmouth and earning himself a yellow card.
Seven minutes into the second half Cooper sent Musa flying with a late challenge and Craig Pawson had no option but to show him a second yellow card. This proved to be a major turning point in the game, but not in the way City would have hoped. Being reduced to ten men seemed to strenghten the Lions resolve and City lost the upper hand.
Onyedinma threatened on the edge of the area and Zieler was booked for handling outside. Kapustka then sent an ambitious overhead kick wide, before being replaced by Albrighton.
City then had to make another change in the 70th minute when Wagué’s decent debut ended with what looked like a dislocated shoulder, Wasilewski replacing him in defence.
Gray had a shot blocked before being replaced by Vardy with fifteen minutes left.
City’s gilt-edged chance to win the tie arrived in the 80th minute. Albrighton’s cross from the right was nodded on by Vardy into the path of Okazaki, three yards out and with only the keeper to beat. But he appeared to hesitate before pulling the trigger and Archer made a fine block. Mendy was first to the loose ball but his effort sailed off target.
Archer was in action again moments later when Okazaki’s cross was deflected towards goal, but the Millwall keeper managed to paw it away.
Having wasted so many chances, City were made to pay when Millwall took the lead as the game moved into injury time.
Gregory chested down a pass on the edge of the area and slipped a ball through to Cummings, who prodded the ball past Zieler despite three defenders being in close attendance.
It was perhaps the lowest moment of a season that has had no shortage of bad times, and a chance to progress into the quarter finals had been squandered against a side who simply had more heart for the battle.
The final whistle saw riotous scenes of celebration, that then turned into an assault on the away stand, though the thin flourescent line, bolstered with four horses, managed to hold.
Claudio Ranieri cut a forlorn figure after the game: “I am very disappointed. We played well in the first half, so-so at the beginning of the second until it went to 10 v 11. After then they played better than us, with more desire and heart and deserved to win.”
Millwall: Archer, Cummings, Webster, Cooper, Craig, O’Brien (Gregory 79), Butcher (Abdou 75), Williams, Ferguson (Romeo 86), Onyedinma, Morison. Subs Not Used: Hutchinson, Worrall, Smith, King.
Leicester: Zieler, Amartey, Wagué (Wasilewskiat 70), Benalouane, Chilwell, King, Mendy, Musa, Kapustka (Albrighton 64), Gray (Vardy 73), Okazaki. Subs Not Used: Hamer, Ndidi, Mahrez, Fuchs.
Referee: C Pawson. Attendance: 18,012.
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