Leicester City

Schmeichel Saves Two Penalties In Shootout Success At Everton

Leicester City advanced to the semi-finals of the Carabao Cup for the first time in nearly two decades as they followed a 2-2 draw in normal time with a 4-2 victory on penalties at Goodison Park on Wednesday night.
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Brendan Rodgers made three changes to the side that drew 1-1 with Norwich City on Saturday in the Premier League, handing starts to captain Wes Morgan, Marc Albrighton and Ayoze Pérez.

It was indeed the Spaniard who had City's best opportunity of the opening stages on 16 minutes, when, after a fine run from Ricardo Pereira, he lifted an effort over the crossbar from inside the box.

The Foxes continued to dominate in the first period and deservedly went ahead on 26 minutes. Ricardo caused more damage to the Everton back line by bursting down the right and teeing up James Maddison, who took a touch before finishing into the bottom corner.

Just three minutes later, City were 2-0 up. Maddison again played a role as his corner to the front post was flicked on by Jamie Vardy and into the path of Jonny Evans, who side-footed in from close range to net his second goal in his last three appearances in all competitions.

Heading into the interval with a two-goal lead, Pérez forced Jordan Pickford into a smart save on 51 minutes, while Yerry Mina came just inches away from connecting with a Leighton Baines corner shortly after.

Everton’s Pickford then denied Dennis Praet just before the hour mark as City searched for a third, and while Albrighton’s excellent curling effort struck the crossbar on 66 minutes, the Toffees pulled one back just moments later, as Tom Davies converted from Richarlison’s delivery.

That gave the hosts momentum, and they capitalised in the first minute of injury time, when Baines slammed a sweet strike into the top corner for 2-2.

Going straight to penalties, Maddison was first denied from 12 yards, before Kasper Schmeichel saved from Cenk Tosun and Baines either side of Ben Chilwell’s converted penalty.

Ricardo, Mason Holgate, Demarai Gray and Dominic Calvert-Lewin were all on target in the following four spot-kicks, leaving Vardy the task of winning for the Foxes.

He did exactly that, as he stepped up and slotted into the bottom corner to send Leicester into the last four of the competition.

Major moment

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Kasper Schmeichel
Kasper Schmeichel

Kasper Schmeichel celebrates with his team-mates after saving two penalties at Goodison Park.

Leicester City’s first-half dominance produced two goals, but Everton rallied in the second period and responded through Tom Davies on 70 minutes and then Leighton Baines in stoppage time.

A cruel blow after such an impressive performance, City had to stand strong on Merseyside and it was Kasper Schmeichel who made two crucial penalty saves to help send his side in the semi-finals.

Who impressed?

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Ricardo Pereira
Ricardo Pereira

Ricardo Pereira set up James Maddison's opener before scoring in the penalty shootout.

Gerry Taggart told LCFC Radio: "Wilfred Ndidi I thought was excellent tonight and James Maddison scored a fantastic goal, you have to say. For me, it’s that little Portuguese geezer on the right-hand side. Yet again, he’s the one player that brings that extra bit of spark when you most need it. He was terrific down that right-hand side, so I’m giving it to Ricardo Pereira."

Where do we stand?

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James Maddison & Marc Albrighton
James Maddison & Marc Albrighton

The City duo punch the air after a 4-2 shootout win against Everton.

For the first time since 2000, when they went on to win the competition, the Foxes advance to the last-four of the Carabao Cup Semi-Finals.

They will play Aston Villa in the last four, with the first leg taking place during the week commencing 6 January, 2020, before the second leg is scheduled for the week commencing 27 January, 2020.

Coming up…

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Ben Chilwell
Ben Chilwell

The England international left-back scored his penalty at Goodison Park.

The Foxes next head to Etihad Stadium to take on Manchester City in the Premier League on Saturday (5:30pm kick-off), before returning to King Power Stadium on Boxing Day to entertain current leaders Liverpool (8pm kick-off).

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