Facing the Citizens in the rearranged 2020/21 competition at Academy Stadium, Leicester were more than a match for the cup holders until a flurry of second-half goals secured a safe passage for Gareth Taylor’s side.
There were five changes from the weekend’s team, including a first start of the season for Demi Lambourne between the sticks and a full debut for Academy graduate Mackenzie Smith.
The Foxes began in a 4-4-2 formation with Esmee De Graaf and Shannon O’Brien out wide, supporting Natasha Flint and Jess Sigsworth in attack. And it was former Manchester United forward Sigsworth who had the game’s first attempt, but it was a tame one that Karima Taieb could claim.
Sigsworth then combined with her strike partner Flint, with the latter carrying the ball forward before playing City’s No.9 in, but her latest effort flew a whisker above the bar.
And while Man City also threatened when Lauren Hemp’s cross was headed towards goal by Jess Park and subsequently held by Lambourne, Leicester looked just as likely to grab the opener.
The visitors’ positive start was almost undone when a teasing Caroline Weir centre had to be turned behind to avert the danger with several Man City attackers lurking for a tap-in.
And then, with five minutes to go until the break, Filippa Angeldahl fired high and wide from distance, a demonstration of the home side’s frustration at not being able to break down a stubborn Foxes defence.
Within 60 seconds of the second half, however, the hosts managed to find a way through. Alex Greenwood’s cross was met by Weir, who played a slide-roll pass into Khadija Shaw. The forward applied the finishing touch, turning the ball in off the crossbar.
Angeldahl fired over from Hemp’s cut back soon after, as the Citizens looked to assert some dominance on proceedings.
Man City’s second goal arrived on 52 minutes. Leicester gave the ball away in their own half, allowing Vicky Losada to take a touch before rifling a fierce strike into the top corner from 25 yards out.
Just after the hour mark, Shaw was able to net her second of the evening and the home side’s third, though it was a fortuitous one, deflecting into the net and giving Lambourne no chance of keeping the ball out.
With 20 minutes to play, De Graaf was adjudged to have felled Greenwood in the box and the Man City defender stepped up to convert the resulting spot-kick, curling the ball into the right-hand bottom corner.
Leicester kept plugging away but were unable to muster any clear-cut opportunities, other than Flint’s low strike from distance, which sailed past the post, and substitute Paige Bailey-Gayle’s wayward left-footed shot.
Just when the Foxes had enjoyed a spell of possession, Man City hit a fifth. Jill Scott managed to get to the byline and cross for Shaw to head home from inside the six-yard box and complete her hat-trick.
Angeldahl rounded off the scoring with two minutes of normal time to play, turning home Park’s low cross to seal a semi-final place for Manchester City.
The Foxes made a bright start to the cup clash in Manchester.
The Foxes had more than held their own in the opening 45 minutes and to concede right after the break was a bitter blow. Man City largely dominated from there on in, while Leicester were left wondering what might have been.
Where does it leave us?
Jess Sigsworth went close to opening the scoring early on.
The Foxes exit the 2020/21 Vitality Women’s FA Cup at the quarter-final stage. LCFC Women will come into this season’s competition in the fourth round, along all other Barclays FA Women’s Super League and FA Women’s Championship clubs.
Foxes forward Natasha Flint came up against her former club.
LCFC Women are back in Barclays FA Women’s Super League action on Sunday, facing Tottenham Hotspur Women at King Power Stadium (2pm kick-off).
City: Lambourne; Howard (Bailey-Gayle 62'), Tierney, Plumptre (c), Purfield; O’Brien, Pike, Smith (Cain 62'), De Graaf; Flint, Sigsworth.
Subs not used: Harris, Camwell, Robinson, Powell.
All times BST.
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