Patson Daka

Leicester's Carabao Cup Journey Ends In Newcastle

Leicester City were knocked out of the Carabao Cup at the quarter-finals stage on Tuesday evening – losing 2-0 to Newcastle United at St. James' Park.
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Dan Burn and Joelinton struck in the second half for Eddie Howe's upwardly-mobile Toon outfit to end the Club's bid for a fourth League Cup success in 2022/23. 

The City XI on the night benefitted from the freshness of eight changes from Saturday’s 1-0 win at Gillingham in the Emirates FA Cup – Danny Ward, Wout Faes and Patson Daka among those to return. The away end, up in the clouds, also included hundreds of supporters who had followed a three-hour drive to Kent with another hefty road trip to the North East.

Under a jet-black night sky, the home fans made a racket, and Leicester got matters underway in an initial 4-2-3-1 shape. The visitors would survive an almighty scare just 60 seconds in. Miguel Almirón bulldozed through the middle, laying it off to Joe Willock, and his cross was blazed over by Sean Longstaff deep in City’s area. Bruno Guimarães then thrashed wide from range.

From Birmingham to Eindhoven, City have grown familiar with the roller-coaster that is knockout football during Brendan Rodgers’ nearly four-year tenure. The Blue Army have toasted precious nights to savour and banished others to the back of their minds. Although you have to go back to 2000 for Leicester’s last League Cup triumph, the Foxes have completed a domestic set in the 21st century. In stark contrast, over 63 years of the League Cup’s history, Newcastle have not yet hoisted that sparkling silver cup to the heavens. 

A yearning for silverware on Tyneside was undoubtedly on the minds of the regulars at St. James’ Park. The roar which greeted every opportunity was a testament to that. But for all of Leicester’s difficulties with injuries and form this season, the XI which started out in Newcastle was a line-up equipped with a great deal of experience of nights like these.

The Foxes – as they knew they needed to – were trying to ride out an early storm. There was a flash of hope when Youri Tielemans threaded the ball through to Daka, but Nick Pope raced off his line to seize it. Newcastle then broke forwards and Callum Wilson’s effort deflected off Dan Amartey’s shin. A Burn header, from the following corner, flew wide too.

Guimarães again skidded a low drive inches the wrong side of Leicester’s post on 15 minutes. Kieran Trippier’s free-kick then bobbled up in the box, Amartey’s clearance landing straight to Longstaff. The North Shields local, however, was denied by a super Ward stop. A bright start for Howe’s Premier League high-fliers was turning into an onslaught.

City had another fleeting moment on the half-hour as Timothy Castagne charged down the right, teeing up Daka in the middle. The Zambian took a touch and looked up, but decided to pass not shoot – and in a split second, the chance was gone. Tielemans, on the other hand, was beginning to cause issues for Newcastle, fizzing a dangerous cross right across goal.

Wilfred Ndidi then failed to make contact with Marc Albrighton’s out-swinging corner for what would have been a free header on the six-yard line. Almirón curled into Ward’s gloves before the break. Guimarães’ strike had more venom on it, but City’s No.1 was there again to palm it behind. City had weathered the storm and made it to half-time at 0-0.

Just seconds into the second period, in front of the Gallowgate end, Joelinton fought his way into a pocket of space – deep inside Leicester's penalty box – later seeing his shot strike the base of the post.

Burn then nodded Trippier's free-kick over Ward's head and over the crossbar. The pressure was building again. Ward nudged Longstaff's drive behind. Castagne nearly hit Burn's cross into his own net. Newcastle's breakthrough came on the hour. A give and go between Joelinton and Burn freed up the latter – a popular figure among Magpies supporters – and their No.33 was able to prod it first time beyond Ward's grasp.

Cue Jamie Vardy's introduction for Leicester, replacing Daka. Luke Thomas also made way for Kelechi Iheanacho. The momentum remained with Newcastle, though. First Almirón fired straight at Ward, before cutting through City's backline with a pass to Joelinton, which the Brazilian side-footed into the back of the net. Pandemonium in the home end.

Two missed opportunities for Vardy – hitting it wide either side of Pope's net in quick succession – summed up City's misfortune on the night. Newcastle could have extended their lead further when Willock missed the target late on, before Leicester's Papy Mendy joined the action, with Pérez heading off. Tielemans also hit an ambitious half-volley over in added time, but there'd be no comeback this time.

Major moment – Burn breaks the deadlock

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Brendan Rodgers

Brendan Rodgers offers instructions to his players from the away technical area.

For a whole hour, Leicester had resisted relentless Newcastle pressure, but when the Magpies finally broke through, they were able to ride that momentum and book their place in the semi-finals of the competition for the first time since 1976.

Where do we stand? – A last-eight exit

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Jamie Vardy

City's No.9 can't find the target for the visitors late on at St. James' Park.

City exit the Carabao Cup at the quarter-finals stage. They have appeared in the last-eight in five of the last six years. 

Coming up – Nottingham Forest away

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Leicester City fans

The Blue Army will follow their side to the City Ground for Saturday's test at Nottingham Forest.

It’s an East Midlands derby next up for the Foxes, away at Nottingham Forest in the Premier League on Saturday (3pm kick-off). Brighton & Hove Albion are then the visitors to King Power Stadium on Saturday 21 January (3pm kick-off). All times GMT.

The details…

Leicester City Crest

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