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Leicester City lucky to force replay after woeful performance at Fleetwood

Not looking forward to another 90 minutes of that

Fleetwood Town v Leicester City - The Emirates FA Cup Third Round Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images

If you got up early to watch that one, I can only apologise, though Leicester City should really be the ones saying it.

The game started in disappointment, with the confirmation that Jamie Vardy wouldn’t be fit enough to play against his old club. Things did not get better from there at any point.

The Foxes on display were certainly a weakened side, but with the likes of Adrien Silva, Demarai Gray and Islam Slimani on display, they certainly should have had enough to put away League One opposition. They did not.

The first half was a turgid and frankly boring affair, neither side creating much at all. The closest the game had to a real talking point came after 10 minutes, when Aleksander Dragovic nearly turned the ball into his own net, only to be denied by a great save from Eldin Jakupovic.

It wasn't just bad defending; by the letter of the law it was a pass back, and Fleetwood should have had an indirect free kick from about two yards out.

The second half began in the same vein as the first. Leicester had the majority of the ball, but were unable to do anything with it. Shortly before the hour mark, Puel made some changes, introducing Okazaki and Albrighton to match the energy of the hosts, but it made no difference.

If anything, Fleetwood pushed on from there, taking control of the game and looking like the only side that were going to win it in the end.

As usual, set pieces were a big weakness. Fleetwood took ten corners in the end, five of them finding the head of Cian Bolger. That no goals came from them was much more down to a lack of quality finishing than to the defence, which looked leaky at best.

Nonetheless, defence turned out to be Leicester City’s strong suit in the end, as they failed to achieve even a single shot on target. Of course, there’s two sides to every story, and the real silver lining here is that Fleetwood keeper Chris Neal won a year’s supply of pizza.

In the dying minutes, the hosts nearly won the game as Ashley Hunter’s long range shot was deflected onto the post by Yohan Benalouane. Jakupovic fumbled the save, but eventually kept the ball out.

At some point, Kelechi Iheanacho featured.

It was really no fun at all to watch, and now they’re going to have at least 90 minutes more.