Cesare Casadei's third goal of the season – a powerful 16th-minute header – was added to by a lashed Ricardo Pereira finish in the 39th minute. Duncan Watmore got one back from close range for the Lions with 56 minutes played, before Tom Cannon's breakaway strike for the Foxes just after the hour. Zian Flemming narrowed the arrears again for the home side with four minutes to play, but City held out to put their name in Monday's draw. Leicester, FA Cup winners in 2021, have now won nine of their last 11 matches, form which sees them currently hold a 10-point lead at the top of the Championship table.
Seven changes to the XI which defeated Huddersfield Town on New Year’s Day included a full Club debut for Academy graduate Ben Nelson. Tawanda Maswanhise would also later emerge from the bench to make his senior bow for City. The Lions, who had won their last three matches over the festive season, started brightly on a chilly January afternoon. In the fifth minute, Watmore broke away down the right channel. The former Sunderland and Middlesbrough frontman had options to pass, but slammed his drive straight at young goalkeeper Jakub Stolarczyk. Dan McNamara, on the other hand, also hit a powerful half-volley too close to the Polish shot-stopper. Kevin Nisbet then curled over in front of an away end packed with 2,967 travelling City supporters. Enzo Maresca’s rotated Foxes were soaking up the pressure but were in a clinical mood.
In the 16th minute, the Championship’s leaders were in front. Two of the new names on the teamsheet linked up for a simple yet effective opener in south London. Marc Albrighton – who lifted this famous trophy with Leicester just under three years ago – was the architect. His superb delivery flew across Matija Sarkic’s goalmouth, where Casadei was waiting at the back post. The Italian threw his body at it, getting a powerful header onto the cross, crashing the ball into the net.
Millwall, much improved since Joe Edward’s appointment late last year, remained a threat. Another solid Stolarczyk stop was needed to keep Watmore’s latest effort out on 24 minutes. On his first start since returning from injury, Callum Doyle was needed to get in the way of Joe Bryan’s hit inside the Leicester area. Watmore had no shortage of opportunities, blazing over again just after the half-hour. Dan McNamara’s effort was also deflected behind by Conor Coady, before Jake Cooper nodded a free header over the bar. Millwall were a danger but also unable to break through a determined City backline.
A firm hit from Ricardo Pereira gave City a two-goal lead in the first half.
Leicester made them pay with six minutes of the half remaining. Silky football down the right channel eventually ended with Casadei slotting the ball through to skipper Ricardo, bursting into the box. The Portuguese took a moment to take in his surroundings before blazing it into the far bottom corner and doubling his side’s advantage in the capital. Despite the changes, it was a continuation of a theme for the visitors, who have enjoyed an excellent winter spell of form. Yunus Akgün, one of City’s better performers before the break, then barrelled into the area himself, seeing a low strike well saved by Sarkic.
Two Coady blocks on Nisbet shots came either side of the interval. Substitute Ryan Longman also drilled it into Stolarczyk’s clutches as Millwall’s frustration continued. There was more anguish in the stands as Hamza Choudhury shielded a loose ball from Watmore which allowed his ‘keeper to scoop it up and deal with the danger. Leicester’s chances were fleeting but clear cut. Only a fabulous one-armed stop from Sarkic denied Cannon after Doyle’s threaded forward ball. The Millwall stopper was also there to prevent Albrighton scoring on the follow-up before Yunus curled wide on the far side.
Tom Cannon's third goal in two games was ultimately enough late on.
The Lions finally broke through 10 minutes into the second half. George Honeyman’s corner was headed on by Flemming, with Watmore at the back post to apply a side-footed finish past Stolarczyk. Just as hope started to swell around The Den, it wilted again on the hour, with a devastating Leicester counter restoring the two-goal advantage. A perfect ball upfield from Doyle cut Millwall in two. Sarkic cantered off his line to try and block Cannon’s route to goal. The former Everton man, though, calmly prodded the ball past him and finished the break from around 20 yards out, converting well on the right flank. Breathing space for the Foxes, who almost repeated the feat shortly afterwards.
There was a healthy Academy representation in Millwall on Saturday.
Again it was Doyle with the penetrating ball forwards. Wes Harding got there for the hosts, but his touch was misplaced, and Cannon was away. Sarkic this time, however, got a hand to it and tipped the ball around the base of the far post. Into the final 10 minutes, Sarkic made a strong save with his chest to keep Cannon’s powerful attempt out, later getting a leg to Albrighton’s rebound. When Bryan's corner was knocked into the net by Flemming with four minutes to play, the home fans were again on their feet. Tom Bradshaw's header needed saving, but Stolarczyk was up to the task. Flemming's free-kick then skidded inches wide of the far post. Maresca's men, though, dug deep to see out the victory and put their name in the hat.
- Share via Facebook
- Share via Twitter
- Share via Email
- Share via Whatsapp
- Share via Facebook Messenger
คัดลอก URL ลงคลิปบอร์ด
URL copied to clipboard