How Leicester made it to the quarter-finals of the FA Cup

Emirates FA Cup branding (Photo by Alex Pantling/Getty Images)
Emirates FA Cup branding (Photo by Alex Pantling/Getty Images) /
Leicester City
Emirates FA Cup branding before Leicester City v Brighton (Photo by Alex Pantling/Getty Images) /

Leicester City are through to the quarter finals of the FA Cup, thanks to a late header from substitute striker Kelechi Iheanacho.

No, you’re not dreaming. That’s right. Leicester City actually scored a goal from a corner, and they couldn’t have picked a better time to do it. Kelechi Iheancho’s injury time header saved Leicester from 30 minutes of added time in a game that had already gone long past a snoozefest, ending their set-piece goal drought in the process.

Brendan Rodgers opted for the much-lamented 3-4-3 formation tonight, though with a few notable changes- Danny Ward, Daniel Amartey, Wilfred Ndidi, Cengiz Ünder and Jamie Vardy all returned to the team, while prospect Vontae Daley-Campbell was handed his long-awaited first team debut.

Chances were scarce for either side throughout, though for the majority of the match Brighton looked to be the more threatening of the two, with more attempts on goal until James Maddison’s addition in the 62nd minute. The Englishman’s introduction would prove to be the catalyst for Leicester’s late triumph, giving the Foxes the confidence to dominate the ball, get on the front foot and press for a winner. Just five minutes later, both Brighton and Leicester had the ball in the back of the net within a minute of each other, but both goals were chalked off for offside.

Set piece woes ended for Leicester City

From Maddison’s arrival onwards, Leicester were far and away the better side, with the Seagulls largely unable to escape their own half as the Foxes launched tirade after tirade on Christian Walton’s goal. Despite their best efforts, the home side simply weren’t able to find a way through Graham Potter’s back three, only creating half chances and settling for a late corner in what looked to be their last real chance of regulation time.

With the Foxes’ recent set-piece record, you could forgive any Leicester City fan for consigning themselves to extra time before a ball had even been swung in. Leicester don’t exactly have much to aim for in the way of aerial threats, and that’s if the ball gets past the first man in the first place. To my shock, Cengiz Ünder’s short corner found Youri Tielemans, who delivered perfectly to the awaiting Kelechi Iheanacho, heading confidently into the bottom corner and handing the Nigerian a well-earned goal.

With Jamie Vardy without an open play goal since Leicester’s last meeting with Brighton and Ayoze Pérez unable to fill his boots effectively, perhaps it’s time that the Super Eagles striker got a real run in the starting line up. I’m true believer that Iheanacho is a top striker when he’s high on confidence, and with two goals in his last three matches, he’s statistically Leicester’s most in-form striker.

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Though there are many points worth celebrating from today’s game, it’s not without its downsides. James Justin was stretchered off in the 75th minute following an awkward landing from a clearance, with the extent of his injury unknown at present. Justin has played every minute for Leicester this Premier League season, so it’d be a shame to see his season cut short. However, with the dynamic Ricardo Pereira recently back from injury, Leicester will be grateful for their growing defensive depth.