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(Delayed) Match Report: Millwall 2 - 3 Leicester City

5 goals, all against the run of play. Funny old game, innit?

Millwall v Leicester City - Emirates FA Cup Third Round Photo by Dylan Hepworth/MB Media/Getty Images

Recap

Leicester City overcame Millwall by a score of 3-2 at The New Den on Saturday morning in the 3rd round of the FA Cup. First-half goals from Cesare Casadei and Ricardo gave the Foxes a cushion that provided vital, as the hosts scored twice on either side of a Tom Cannon strike in the second period.

As you may have noticed in the subhead, and I know you read those religiously, each goal came against the run of play. The Lions were comfortably the better side in the first forty-five but provided little, um, comfort as the Foxes buried both of their chances in the half. City were much better in the second half, but set pieces proved a problem as Millwall clawed on back early. Cannon’s strike restored the cushion, but it was reduced to a single goal again with five minutes to play even though Leicester looked the more likely side to score.

All three goals and all three goal scorers were outstanding on the day. Casadei played his best match in a Leicester shirt, scoring one and providing a through ball for Ricardo’s. Cannon was an absolute menace in the second half and Doyle reminded everyone why Ezno Marseca was so keen to bring him in. It was a fine debut from Ben Nelson, and, if I’m being honest, Jakub Stolarczyk is the only reason Millwall weren’t up by three at the half. However, I’m inclined to agree with Matt Elliott on this one: It was Hamza Choudhury who impressed me the most on the day. He was drafted into Harry Winks’ role and filled it admirably with clever passing and his usual defensive...let’s call it “enthusiasm.”

Speaking of enthusiasm, this group right here. Top-class travelling support.

The win does nothing for us on the table as it was a cup match, or as, they say in the National Basketball Association, part of the “In-Season Tournament.” Is it just me, or does that name scream “Placeholder until we find a sponsor?” Anyroad, we discover our fourth-round opponent tomorrow. Spoiler alert: It’ll be Liverpool away again. We’re headed back to the West Midlands to face Coventry City on Saturday. On the 22nd, we host Ipswich Town at the King Power

Lineups

Leicester City: Jakub Stolarczyk, Ben Nelson, Callum Doyle, Conor Coady, Ricardo Pereira (C), Cesare Casadei, Hamza Choudhury, Marc Albrighton, Wanya Marcal (Tawanda Maswanhise 77’), Yunus Akgun (Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall 72’), Tom Cannon

Millwall: Matija Sarkic, Dan McNamara, Jake Cooper, Joe Bryan, Ryan Leonard, Wes Harding, Billy Mitchell, Duncan Watmore, George Honeyman, Zian Fleming, Kevin Nisbet


Key Moments and Notes

1’- That’s a lot of changes to the starting lineup. It just goes to show how deep our roster is as this is a team you would expect to do well today. It’s nice to see Nelson getting a start. If he can work his way into the squad, that solves a lot of problems.

5’- Close! The ball falls to Watmore in the centre of the Leicester box and Stolarczyk does very well to get down and make the save.

9’- Close! It’s all Millwall right now as they’re finding joy down the Leicester left every time they get the ball. This time, it’s pulled back for Nisbet who shoots wide when he had time to take a touch and get it on target.

16’- GOAL! Where did that come from? It looks like Yunus has the angle to take a shot, but his control lets him down. He recovers well and finds Albrighton on the overlap on the right. Giving Sharky that much space is just asking for it. He stands up a cross over the keeper and Casadei barrels in to power it home.

Millwall v Leicester City - Emirates FA Cup Third Round
That is a big lad.
Photo by Alex Pantling/Getty Images

24’- Close! If you thought the floodgates would open after the goal, you thought wrongly. The Lions have been pressing for an equaliser and nearly find it through Watmore. His shot from distance is going to sneak inside the post, but Stolarczyk is alert and makes the save.

35’- The Foxes are just hanging on now, and with ten minutes until the break, that’s a long time to hang on. This time, it’s Cooper who meets a corner and should get it on target, but it’s just over the bar. Stolarczyk may have had it covered. May have.

37’- Casadei concedes another corner, and Cooper gets to it again. It turns out a lot of City’s aerial dominance is down to having Jannik Vestergaard in the box. This time, Cooper gets it on target, but it’s right at the keeper. I’m not exaggerating when I say Millwall could have four goals already.

39’- GOAL! Again, this is completely against the run of play. Leicester work the ball around the right side of the box. Ricardo finds Yunus, who squares to Casadei. The Italian midfielder’s first touch is a through ball that finds Ricardo behind the defence. City’s captain takes a touch and fires across Sarkic to double the lead.

Millwall v Leicester City - Emirates FA Cup Third Round
This man does not get the appreciation he deserves.
Photo by Alex Pantling/Getty Images

45+6’- There’s a delay during injury time as Ryan Leonard goes down with a knock and has to be replaced by Ryan Longman. Neither side finds the net though, so we go to the break with the Foxes on top.

HALF TIME: Millwall 0 - 2 Leicester City

48’- Close! Longman almost makes an instant impact if you don’t count the half-time break. The Lions break down the right and the substitute tries to find the top corner but Stolarczyk makes a fine save to maintain City’s lead.

54’- This is more like it. Shots from Cannon, Albrighton, and Yunus all come close to putting the match to bed.

56’- GOAL! Aaargh. City are on top for the first time, so, of course, Millwall get one back. Nelson concedes a corner and it finds Cooper, whose header is deflected in by Watmore from a yard out. Nothing Stolarczyk, or any keeper, could do about that one.

61’- GOAL! Well, there’s a goal of the month candidate. Doyle plays a raking ball out of defence, fully 60 yards, that finds Cannon’s run behind the defenders. The keeper comes out, but Cannon knocks it around him and rolls the ball into an open net. I love JJ, but I don’t think he’s got that ball in him.

69’- Close! You’d have bet on Cannon to get a second here. He creates a little space and should find the back of the net, but he fires across the keeper and just wide. That says a lot about his impact that this seemed a certain goal.

72’- Maresca makes his first change, replacing Yunus with Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall. It was another match where it almost happened for the Turkey international, but not quite. I still think he’s more than good enough for this level, and his workrate is fantastic.

77’- Tawanda Maswanhise comes on for Wanya Marcal, That’s academy product-for-academy product if you’re keeping score at home.

81’- Close! Another flurry from the Foxes as they get off three close-range shots in a single minute. Casadei misses to the left, then Cannon’s effort is saved, and finally, Albrighton takes a crack at it and can’t beat the keeper. The xG for that segment is going to be painful to look at.

85’- Close! Millwall are stubbornly refusing to admit they’re beaten. Bradshaw’s angled drive is going to find the net, but Stolarczyk turns it around the post for a corner.

86’- GOAL! The Foxes fail to clear their lines and it falls to Flemming. His shot through traffic manages to evade the obstacles and Stolarczyk sees it too late to do anything. It’s going to be a nervy finish.

90+2’- Cannon is knocked over in the area and gets a yellow for simulation. I’ve seen it from multiple angles and this isn’t a Diogo Jota situation; I think he was legitimately fouled but there’s no VAR at this level.

90+4’- The hosts win a free kick in a dangerous area. Flemming decides to take the shot rather than trying to find one of his teammates in the mixer.

90+6’- The Foxes see out injury time and are through to the next round.

FULL TIME: Millwall 2 - 3 Leicester City