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Match Report: Stockport County 0 - 0 Leicester City (LCFC advance 3-1 on penalties)

There’s just something about Danish goalkeepers...

Stockport County v Leicester City - Carabao Cup Second Round
So good to have to copy and paste his name again.
Photo by Charlotte Tattersall/Getty Images

Stockport County held Leicester City to a draw on Tuesday night in Cheshire, but the Foxes were able to advance on penalties with Daniel Iversen making three saves and Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall burying the decisive shot. Youri Tielemans and Harvey Barnes also scored with their efforts from the spot.

Pretty sure this isn’t one of those saves. There really weren’t a lot of photos available from this match.

As is tradition, the Foxes fielded a much-changed lineup for the Carabao Cup, but it wasn’t a lineup lacking in experience. The starting XI: Daniel Iversen, Marc Albrighton (C), Jannik Vestergaard, Çağlar Söyüncü, Luke Thomas, Nampalys Mendy, Youri Tielemans, Dennis Praet, Harvey Barnes, Kelechi Iheanacho, and Patson Daka.

The atmosphere at Edgeley Park was what one would have hoped for with a Premier League side visiting a club newly promoted to League 2. The supporters sang loudly enough to drown out the announcers for a good five minutes while City knocked the ball around in the County half without carving out any chances of note.

Stockport County v Leicester City - Carabao Cup Second Round
Kind of disappointed I didn’t get to type “Oliver Crankshaw” more often. County have some great names.
Photo by James Gill - Danehouse/Getty Images

While Tielemans and Iheanacho were having a contest to see who could shoot from the greatest distance, the Hatters were struggling to get out of their area. On 15’, Söyüncü went down in great pain, apparently having rolled his ankle. The Turkey international received treatment on and off the pitch but was able to carry on without any apparent difficulty.

The first non-comical chance of the match fell to the Foxes on 25’. Daka sent Praet through on goal, but for some reason, the Belgian failed to take the shot eight yards out from goal. His attempted pull-back was cleared by a grateful Mark Kitching, but it really should have been 1-0 to City.

The first hint of danger from the hosts came on the half-hour mark. Mendy’s loose pass in midfield was pounced up by Connor Lemonheigh-Evans, who worked it quickly to Callum Camps. The midfielder’s effort was goal bound and required a good save from Iverson, who’d had approximately nothing to do up to that point.

Look, I’m going to stop trying to describe specific events of the first half now. You’ve seen this before; you saw it on Saturday. Leicester had all of the possession, moved the ball briskly, but couldn’t create any real chances. Stockport County barely had a touch but somehow managed to create the best chance of the half. We do this all the time. We did it again. Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose.

The second half started precisely as the first ended. City were well in control, but either gave the ball away easily or reduced to hopeful shots from distance. The home crowd did their bit and encouraged the Hatters forward every time they got on the ball which, fortunately, wasn’t especially often.

Rodgers determined that plan A had been given enough time to work and manifestly failed to do so. He withdrew the unusually quiet Daka and Mendy and introduced James Maddison and Timothy Castagne. This moved captain Marc Albrighton to the right wing as the Foxes switched to a 4-2-3-1.

With Madders calling the dance, the Foxes suddenly looked like scoring. County keeper Vitezslav Jaros was forced to make a series of saves, none of which were difficult, but they were saves nonetheless. Rodgers, emboldened by the improvement, brought on Ayoze Perez and Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall for Albrighton and Praet.

Leicester dominated the last quarter hour but couldn’t find the final touch to win it. The Foxes had 78% of the possession and took 26 shots with 8 on target compared to 6 and 1 for the hosts. Jaros stood tall and City couldn’t find a way through. Level through 90 minutes means penalties in the 2nd round of the Cup.

Let’s go penalty by penalty since goodness knows there was little else of note during this match.

0-1 Tielemans: The keeper guessed right, but couldn’t reach the shot into the corner.

0-1 Antoni Sarcevic: Iversen saves well to right.

0-1: Maddison: Jaros lets it slip under him but recovers just in time as the ball was dribbling over the line.

0-1: Scott Quigley: Same place as Sarcevic, same result as Iversen saves again.

0-2: Barnes: Jaros gets both hands to it but there’s too much power on it.

1-2: Ryan Croasdale: Sends Iversen the wrong way.

1-2: Ayoze: Blasts well over.

1-2: Kyle Wootton: Why do they keep trying the same penalty? Iversen saves yet again.

1-3: Dewsbury-Hall: Off the post and in. Foxes advance on 3-1.

Stockport County v Leicester City - Carabao Cup Second Round
Photo by Charlotte Tattersall/Getty Images

Stockport County acquitted themselves well and on another day might have advanced in the competition. There’s no way to describe this match as anything but a mild disappointment for the Foxes. You would have expected a squad of Premier League veterans to break down the Hatters’ defence and at least make the keeper work a little harder.

I’m shocked, shocked I tell you, that a midfield of Praet, Mendy, and Tielemans didn't have the creativity to break down ten men behind the ball.

The defence did the job asked of them and looked reasonably assured doing so. It remains to be seen if this outing will affect Rodgers’ thinking in the league, but if anyone helped themselves, it would be Vestergaard and Söyüncü. Iversen had almost nothing to do, facing only one shot on target, but he came up huge during the shootout and almost single-handedly put City into the next round.