It wasn’t quite changes all round for Leicester City, as Harry Maguire and Wilfred Ndidi kept their places from the weekend as the Foxes took on Sheffield United in the Carabao Cup. Christian Fuchs also stayed in the 11, moving over to CB.
Leicester started brightly, with Islam Slimani dropping deeper and doing a good job of feeding his teammates. In particular, the speed of Ahmed Musa created all kinds of openings, but the Nigerian was struggling to take advantage. Or even make proper contact on the ball.
His best chance came in the 12th minute, but he couldn’t quite round the keeper, though nor could Gray when he came through similarly just two minutes later.
Though Leicester were on top, the Blades had their own chances, and nearly scored after Brooks shot from range in the 23rd. It was comfortably reached by Ben Hamer, but he nearly spilled the ball into his own net.
From there, the game became much scrappier, with few clear cut chances. Leicester continued to be on top, peppering the Blades with corners. Harry Maguire came closest, heading just over, while Islam Slimani put a free header comfortably wide.
United came out sharply in the second half, with Lavery getting a good chance to break the deadlock after just two minutes.
In the end though, it was a moment of magic from Demarai Gray that made the breakthrough after 51 minutes. Played through by Ulloa, the tricky winger dribbled through a tight space int he box, before slotting home a calm finish.
The Blades responded strongly and brought on top scorer Billy Sharp, but instead it was the Foxes who extended their lead. Andy King picked put through Islam Slimani, who rounded the keeper for a second in the 62nd minute.
Minutes later Gray cut inside and was only denied by a great save, but the pressure kept coming. Slimani added his second and the team’s third in the 66th minute, getting onto Gray’s cross at the far post. Seven minutes later he had the ball in the net a third time, but it was incorrectly ruled out for an offside in the build up.
With the game seemingly wrapped up, Leicester started to make their own changes, with Nampalys Mendy returning to action, while Josh Knight came on for his debut.
United, however, kept pressing strongly throughout and were eventually rewarded. A mishit cross from Lavery completely caught Ben Hamer off guard at his near post to put the Blades on the board. With four minutes of added time announced, we could have been in for a stressful ending, had Knight not intervened with a well timed block.
In the end it was Ahmed Musa, who finished the game off. Again his pace created the opportunity and again he made a slight mess of it, but he pushed on and eventually scrambled the fourth goal across the line.
Leicester move on to the 3rd round now. The draw takes place in Beijing on Thursday. That means it’s going to be a late night draw in America or 4am in the UK. In others words, we’ll let you know on Thursday morning.