Goals! And a win! They said it couldn’t be done, but here we are, a game actually won and (late on at least) a good performance to go with it, as Leicester City knocked out Derby County and will move on to the next round.
While a performance against the Rams’ second team does need to be taken with a pinch of a salt, don't forget that it was even more comfortable than it looked in the end. Derby’s goal was lucky, while the Foxes were denied two clear penalties and a red card for the opposition keeper (not that we’re keeping track or anything).
Ron-Robert Zieler - 7
Not tested often, but did make one fantastic save. Made no mistakes on the ball, but he never looks as comfortable with back passes as Kasper and we play LOTS of them.
Daniel Amartey - 7
Offers a little more going forward than the other two we’ve seen at RB this year, but never looked fully comfortable at the back. Let’s be fair though, he hasn’t played there all year, or ever with that CB pair.
Benalouane and [Marcin] Wasilewski were good and if you can imagine, Daniel Amartey arrived at 5.30am this morning and played 120 minutes. Unbelievable - the manager was rightly impressed with the back line
Marcin Wasilewski - 7
He was hard to watch in the first half and was turned to stone trying to catch Anya. That’s not meant to be his job though and as the game went on he really grew into the role and settled down. They never looked like conceding a second.
Yohan Benalouane - 7
Just as above, it was a rocky start, but he looked very solid afterwards. Of all the players given a chance, I might be happiest for him; he’s been sat playing with the under 23s for 18 months and I haven’t heard a single word of complaint come out. An example others could follow.
Ben Chilwell - 8
He’s certainly our best fullback at making an impact in and around the box (although Fuchs is still the best crosser). He doesn’t give ground defensively either, leading the team in tackles and interceptions.
Matt Elliott: "For me, Gray and Chilwell have certainly showed enough to start at Swansea on Sunday."— BBC Leicester Sport (@BBCRLSport) February 8, 2017
Marc Albrighton - 7
Not quite at his best with the ball, although technically he got two assists. I’m not sure the pass to Gray should count, and other was just for getting on the end of Gray’s cross and knocking it down.
Nampalys Mendy - 5
Ranieri: There’s no point playing it long just to give the ball away downfield.
Mendy: Great point boss, it would be much more efficient to give it away in our half.
Ranieri: Wait, that’s no what I
Andy King - 9
He was everywhere today. For the first 90, until Ndidi took over, he was the team’s best defensive player, and he kept popping up at the other end too.
Demarai Gray - 9
These weren't Premier League defenders, but they were the defenders he was asked to beat and he did, consistently. The goal, obviously is the standout moment but he put plenty of dangerous balls into the box, including the set up for King’s goal.
Dimi!!!! what a goal! Special talent!— Kasper Schmeichel (@kschmeichel1) February 8, 2017
Bartosz Kapustka - 7
He was pretty good for a first start. He didn’t manage something spectacular like the others, but he worked hard to force a couple of defensive errors and he looked pretty skilful. He’s not there yet, but there’s definitely a bright future in there.
Ahmed Musa - 6
They still haven’t worked out how to use him properly. Or they have but he’s not as good as they hoped. Still working hard though, and he wins more of the high balls than you’d think.
Riyad Mahrez - 7
He wasn’t on for that long, but he made an impressive impact. Still not exactly last year’s magician, but his passing was absolutely pinpoint.
Wilfred Ndidi - 8
Came on fresh legged against a tired Championship second team, so he should have dominated and he did. That goal was also pretty special.
238 - Wilfred Ndidi scored just 238 seconds after coming on for Leicester against Derby. Introduction.— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) February 8, 2017
Islam Slimani - 5
Only on for half an hour, but he had just 7 touches. An 8th would have been a simple tap in, but he let it through his legs.
The future is bright, at least in the long term, thanks to the likes of Gray, Chilwell, Ndidi, Kapustka etc. Hopefully we’ll also get some positivity in the short term now, too. Mt Man of the Match is captain-for-a-day Andy King. Who was yours?