City 2 Brighton 2 (City won 4 – 2 on penalties
Report by Kate Thompson
I wasn’t expecting much from this game and I was not disappointed. There were ten changes from the Brentford match, only Soyuncu retaining his place – perhaps to help him to get back to his earlier form after some worrying displays. However, the team included some strong players who will have been disappointed to have been left out in recent matches, such as Barnes and Lookman.
On a poignant night, three years to the date since the tragic death of the former chairman, Hamza Choudhury led the team out in a sentimental nod to the importance of bringing on home-grown players. Brighton rested fewer of their regulars but Cucurella, Dunk, Maupay and Bissouma all came on in the second half. On a side note, I am not happy with five substitutes but it looks like it is going to become the norm in all competitions shortly.
To my surprise, City scored in the 6th minute when Barnes capitalised on a sloppy back pass from the Brighton keeper and nipped in to score a well-taken goal.
Most of the rest of the first half was very disjointed, with both sides making sloppy passes and failing to take advantage of good positions. An excellent run by Daka on the left wing led to him teeing up Dewsbury-Hall who was very unfortunate to see his piledriver tipped onto the crossbar by the keeper.
Most of the action happened in time added on at the end of the first half. Brighton equalised from a corner, when the City defence seemed static, but Lookman capitalised on another sloppy back pass to make the score 2-1 to Leicester at the break.
The second half was pretty uneventful and both sides brought on their ‘big guns’ – Mendy, Maddison, Soumare, Pereira and Iheanacho for Leicester. In the 71st minute Mwepu scored an excellent header to send the tie into penalties.
Apparently Mwepu is a former colleague and friend of Daka, both of them Zambian and who played for RB Salzburg in Austria. Maddison took the first penalty for City, followed by Barnes, Daka and Pereira, all of whom scored, but Maupay hit the crossbar and Mwepu’s shot was saved by the ever-reliable Ward. City did not need to take a fifth penalty and progressed to the quarter-final of the competition.
I did wonder if a 160-mile round trip to watch this match was really worth it, but we won and have a chance of more silverware. I was also unhappy with the man sitting next to me (not the usual occupant of the seat) who coughed repeatedly without making any attempt to cover his mouth! I took a covid test this morning and it was negative, so hopefully he just had a cold! I hope the checking of vaccination status for everyone entering the stadium is brought in soon as I can’t be the only Leicester supporter who is uncomfortable attending matches.
One final note – Bissouma was booed every time he touched the ball, for reasons that eluded me; did it perhaps refer to his part in the contentious Premier League match last month?
Leicester: Ward, Söyüncü, Vestergaard. Bertrand (Mendy 59): Daley-Campbell (Ricardo 73), Dewsbury-Hall (Maddison 59), Choudhury (c) (Soumare 66), Thomas: Lookman (Iheanacho 73), Barnes, Daka. Subs (not used): Amartey, Castagne, Jakupovic, Marcal-Madivadua.
Scorers: Barnes 6, Lookman 45 (+5). Penalties: Maddison, Barnes, Daka, Ricardo
The views expressed in this report are the opinions of the Trust member nominated to file the report only and do not represent the views of the Foxes Trust organisation