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Ten man Millwall dump Leicester out of the Cup

Millwall 1:0 Leicester City

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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.

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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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Leicester Edged Out By Lions

Millwall 1:0 Leicester City

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A Taylor tap-in proved to be the difference between Millwall and Leicester at the Den on Saturday afternoon…

Nigel Pearson made one change to his side for this trip to South East London, with Vardy in for Waghorn who had his appendix out last week.
City got off to a decent start but couldn’t keep it going against a tough home side on a bobbling pitch.
Vardy set up King for an early opportunity but his progress was blocked by Lowry.
At the other end former City man N’Guessan sent a free header from a free-kick over the bar when he should have done better; and then Schmeichel saved from Trotter.
City’s best chance came when Vardy crossed to the far post from the left and Nugent’s volley struck keeper Forde from close in.
The last chance of a fairly uneventful half saw Schmeichel saving from N’Guessan, neither side really deserving to go down the tunnel a goal ahead.
Millwall were the better side in the period after the break, Wood sending a pull back from Lowry over the bar, and they took a 67th minute lead.
Trotter undid City on the break with a clever move down the left that saw him exchange passes with substitute Andy Keogh before squaring the ball to present  Taylor with the easiest of tap-ins from close range.
Nigel Pearson, having already brought Marshall on, then introduced James and Futacs with three up front.
But City never really troubled Millwall’s defence with Shittu having the upper hand over Futacs.
Marshall’s 30 yard free-kick tested Forde, but he gathered at the second attempt, and Nugent sent an effort narrowly wide of the left hand post, but even 5 minutes of time added on couldn’t help City claw back a point.

Nigel Pearson commented: “I see the game as a bit of a missed opportunity for us. We did quite well in the first half but conceded a sloppy goal which is difficult to take. Going into the game, we thought we had a good chance to get something out of it but we couldn’t find that bit of quality in the final third, but you’ve got to give Millwall credit, they played with great spirit and defended everything we threw at them.”

Millwall: Forde, Smith, Shittu, Beevers, Lowry, Henry, Trotter, Abdou, Malone (Taylor 46), N’Guessan (Keogh 66), Wood (Batt 79). Subs Not Used: Taylor, Wright, Feeney, Smith.
Leicester:Schmeichel, De Laet, Morgan, Whitbread, Konchesky, Knockaert (Marshall 64), King (James 70), Drinkwater, Dyer (Futacs 70), Vardy, Nugent. Subs Not Used: Logan, Schlupp, Moore, Lingard.

Referee: Simon Hooper (Wiltshire).  Attendance: 10,189. 

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Frustration for City in the Lions’ Den

Millwall 2:1 Leicester City

City were, once again, guilty of failing to ‘turn up’ when it really mattered and Millwall deservedly took all three points from this vital fixture.

Nigel Pearson made two changes from the side that won so well at Ipswich on Easter Monday and chose to bring back King and Gallagher in place of Dyer and the unfortunate Drinkwater.
It was City who started more positively and for twenty minutes they dictated the pace of the game and knocked the ball around well but failed to trouble Taylor with any serious efforts on goal. Nevertheless, it was still against the run of play when Millwall took the lead from a set piece after 20 minutes. Henry floated a free kick to the far post where Robinson knocked the ball down and as City defenders were ball-watching, Kane (on loan from Spurs) had too much time to tee himself up for a shot in to the roof of the net.
After that it was Millwall who settled down and played their own game of defend deep and counter-attack which they did very well although City could have equalised within two minutes of Kane’s goal when Morgan set up Nugent for a shot from ten yards that Taylor did very well to keep out.
Half time arrived with City fans hoping for a second-half turnaround in fortunes that sadly, never arrived. The Lions continued to show more desire and work rate and it was no surprise when they doubled their lead after Konchesky had brought down Kane for a stonewall penalty. Keogh stepped up and did a ‘van Persie’ which gave Schmeichel no chance.
It could have been three soon afterwards when a long-range, dipping effort from Wright was tipped on to the bar by Schmeichel although the referee gave a goal kick.
Nigel Pearson had already introduced Dyer and Drinkwater in to the action during the second half but the arrival of Howard sent a number of travelling City fans heading to the exits. City did get a goal back with 8 minutes remaining when Nugent rolled the ball in to the path of Drinkwater who side-footed past Taylor from twenty yards. It was too little, too late though and the game finished with Millwall defending their lead comfortably and their supporters making a huge noise as they enjoyed the fact that they were safe and will be playing in The Championship again next season.
The final whistle brought some boos from the large travelling contingent and Konchesky appeared to give the ‘finger’ to one particularly vocal critic (he has since apologised via Twitter).

So City’s season stutters again and they find themselves beaten by a side that showed more desire. It was a poor game played out by two poor sides with Millwall doing enough to fashion two goals. It is also a typical match in this division and City haven’t found the right formula to rise above it yet.
If we look up then we can see Reading and Southampton leading the way with squads of players that are no better than ours but they have astute managers that know what is needed to consistently win matches in this division. We don’t seem to have cracked that code yet.

Millwall: Taylor, Smith, Robinson, Lowry, Craig, Henry (Trotter 84), Abdou, Wright, Barron, Keogh (Batt 90), Kane. Unused Subs: Forde, Dunne, Feeney.

Leicester: Schmeichel, Peliter (Howard 76), Morgan, Bamba, Konchesky, Gallagher (Dyer 58), Wellens (Drinkwater 69), King, Marshall, Beckford, Nugent. Unused Subs: St Ledger, Schlupp.

Referee: P Gibbs (West Midlands). Attendance: 11,525.

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