Leicester City

Shootout Success Seals Quarter-Finals Place For Leicester

Leicester City are into the quarter-finals of the Carabao Cup after a 2-2 draw with Brighton & Hove Albion was settled by a 4-2 penalty shootout triumph for the Foxes at King Power Stadium on Wednesday evening.
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City's starting XI included 10 changes from the 2-1 Premier League win at Brentford, as young full-back Vontae Daley-Campbell came in for his maiden senior appearance of 2021/22. Academy graduate Hamza Choudhury, on the other hand, was handed the captain's armband for the first time.

Before kick-off, the crowd observed a minute’s silence in memory of Khun Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha, Kaveporn Punpare, Nusara Suknamai, Eric Swaffer and Izabela Lechowicz, who lost their lives in a helicopter accident at King Power Stadium on 27 October, 2018 – three years ago exactly. 

Just six minutes into the cup tie, Leicester's high press was rewarded when Seagulls goalkeeper Jason Steele's pass to Webster was cut out by Harvey Barnes, who took a touch and slammed the ball into the back of the net to give the home side the perfect start on Filbert Way.

It would take 18 minutes for Brighton to carve out a real opportunity as Pascal Groß's corner was headed wide by Dan Burn. Soon after, Daka burst free on the left channel and dragged the ball back invitingly for Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall to hit a drive at goal, forcing Steele to tip it onto the bar. 

Jannik Vestergaard's nodded effort, meanwhile, was headed away bravely by Shane Duffy on the goal-line. That clearance was also enough to prevent Çağlar Söyüncü – the only Foxes player to remain from Sunday's visit to west London – from applying a close range finish. 

With the half-hour point approaching, Barnes charged forwards and eventually crossed for Daka, but neither the Zambia international nor Steele made contact with the ball and it went out for a Brighton goal-kick. The visitors, however, would come to cause more of a threat as the first half wore on. 

Jürgen Locadia was unlucky not to apply a finish to Joel Veltman's low ball into the area. Söyüncü also had to be alert to block Groß's long-ranger, while Duffy headed straight at Danny Ward. A spell of Seagulls pressure continued with Alexis Mac Allister having a powerful strike deflected behind. 

Inside the three additional minutes at the end of the half, Jeremy Sarmiento carried the ball forwards, before Mac Allister took charge, curling the ball at goal and prompting Ward into a spectacular save. From the resulting corner, though, Adam Webster was there to convert from close range to make it 1-1. 

It looked like City would be heading in at the interval frustrated, but when Sarmiento's backpass was short, Ademola Lookman pounced. With seconds to spare, he prodded the ball beyond Steele for his second goal of the season – after opening his account in the third round at Millwall in September.

Early on in the second period, Aaron Connolly crossed from the right, searching for Locadia, but there was Söyüncü to intervene with an essential block. When Mac Allister played Connolly through later on, Brighton's No.7 hit it first time, instead of running at goal, allowing Ward to save comfortably. 

Half-time substitute Enock Mwepu's strike from the edge of the area was deflected behind by Dewsbury-Hall too. On the hour, Leicester manager Brendan Rodgers made a duo of changes, with James Maddison replacing Dewsbury-Hall, while Ryan Bertrand's place was taken by Papy Mendy.

Seconds later, after Daley-Campbell's interception, Daka commuted the ball forwards, locating the run of Barnes, whose first-time hit was saved by Steele. Maddison's effort on the rebound, on the other hand, was deflected behind for a corner by Duffy. Steele then denied Barnes again from distance also.

Stand-in skipper Choudhury was then substituted on 65 minutes, handing the armband to Ward, before allowing Boubakary Soumaré to join the action. But it was two fresh faces for Brighton who would combine to get them back on level terms as Marc Cucurella's cross was nodded in by Mwepu.

Rodgers' response was to introduce Ricardo Pereira and Kelechi Iheanacho for Daley-Campbell and Lookman with just under 20 minutes remaining. Meanwhile, when Graham Potter's visitors won a free-kick on the angle of the area, Groß tried to catch out Ward at his near post, but it skidded wide. 

Duffy was in the way of Daka's low drive with six minutes to spare, after Iheanacho's determined gallop forwards for Leicester, while Mendy's effort was far too high to worry Steele from the following corner. Neal Maupay, another player to emerge from the bench, then headed into Ward's gloves for Brighton.

Connolly's header over was the last action of note in 90 minutes, as a penalty shootout loomed. Maddison stepped up first for City, sending Steele the wrong way, before Groß made it 1-1. Barnes was successful, too, while Maupay rattled the crossbar for Brighton. Advantage Leicester.

That lead was extended by Daka, whose spot-kick headed straight for the top corner. Seagulls midfielder Mac Allister, though, made no mistake. Ricardo maintained the Foxes' 100 per cent record, meaning Mwepu had to score. Ward, though, had other ideas, palming it away and winning the tie for City.

Major moment

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Danny Ward

Foxes shot-stopper prepares for Enock Mwepu's penalty, which he'd ultimately save to settle contest.

There was little between two Premier League outfits on Filbert Way, producing a thoroughly entertaining knockout tie on Wednesday evening. It all came down to one penalty kick as the clock hit 10pm. After Neal Maupay's miss, Leicester led 4-2 and Enock Mwepu needed to score for Brighton.

Danny Ward, though, has been a reliable figure for City in these situations through the years and it proved to be the case again this time around, as the Wales international leapt to his left to deny Mwepu and send the Foxes into the quarter-finals of a competition the Club has lifted three times before. 

Who impressed?

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Leicester City

Harvey Barnes' strike edged Leicester ahead after just six minutes on Filbert Way.

Former Leicester City captain Matt Elliott, who scored a brace in the final of the League Cup in 2000, said on Matchday Live: "There was a few out there tonight, and of course Danny Ward is a contender, but for moments of quality, Harvey Barnes is my Man of the Match tonight."

Where do we stand?

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Brendan Rodgers

Leicester City manager Brendan Rodgers watches on from the home dugout at King Power Stadium.

Leicester go into the hat for the quarter-finals of the Carabao Cup, with the draw set to take place at 10:30am on Saturday morning. 

Coming up...

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Ademola Lookman

A second goal in as many Carabao Cup games for Ademola Lookman.

Arsenal are the visitors to King Power Stadium on Saturday in the Premier League for a 12:30pm kick-off, before the Foxes host Spartak Moscow in the UEFA Europa League next Thursday (8pm kick-off). City then head to Leeds United on Sunday 7 November (2pm kick-off) before the international break.

All times UK.

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