A solitary David Nugent goal in the 81st minute was enough for The Foxes to gain the advantage in a pulsating encounter that saw a host of chances for either side in front of 30,000 fans at King Power Stadium.
But after flying out of the blocks, Leicester’s quality and determination shone through as they now sit 90 minutes away from a spot at Wembley in the final on 27 May.
However Pearson was cautious at half-time in the tie, telling media afterwards: “It’s evenly poised. Both sides will still feel they have a very good chance of progressing.
“I think the game was what you would expect – tight. We started the game very well, and there’s always going to be that element that when you don’t turn your advantage in terms of possession and so on into goals, that people can get frustrated.
“But I think we dealt with the occasion very well and it’s nice to go into the second game with a narrow advantage.
“In terms of how we go about the next game now, we’ll try and win that one. Even before we started [the first leg], our approach was always going to be to try and win both games, because I think we are a better team when we are on the front foot playing positive football.”
The manager was also delighted for his top scorer Nugent to get on the score sheet, as the 28-year-old capped off a man-of-the-match display with a sublime header from Anthony Knockaert’s free kick to end a goal drought stretching back to 31 January against Wolves.
Pearson added: “Hopefully it will give him (Nugent) that extra confidence. What I would say about him is that he always gives you a lot of enthusiasm, a good work rate and he can affect the game.
“Normally with him, when he gets one, he can get two, three and four. It’s been a while, but with him around, you always feel he’s capable of scoring.
“He always works hard, but I’m pleased for him and he’s got us that narrow lead.”