Rachid Ghezzal

City Exit FA Cup At Hands Of Newport

Leicester City’s 2018/19 Emirates FA Cup campaign came to an end at the third round stage on Sunday evening following a 2-1 defeat to Newport County at Rodney Parade.
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A total of seven changes to Claude Puel’s side allowed midfielder Matty James to make his first start of the season, with Jonny Evans, Danny Simpson, Hamza Choudhury and Rachid Ghezzal all retaining their spots in the starting XI.

Despite Ghezzal forcing Newport goalkeeper Joe Day into a brilliant stop and Shinji Okazaki having a shot of his own saved early on at Rodney Parade, the hosts went ahead with 10 minutes on the clock as striker Jamille Matt headed in off the post.

Wales international goalkeeper Danny Ward made two fine saves to deny midfielder Matty Dolan either side of an effort from Marc Albrighton, who had his head in his hands after the ball deflected over the bar from close range.

Okazaki then flicked a header wide before winger Ghezzal, midway through the first half, curled a 20-yard free-kick over Day’s bar – right in front of the stand housing the Blue Army.

Another opportunity for striker Okazaki followed five minutes before the interval, but after good work from Christian Fuchs down the left-hand side of the pitch, his shot was blocked by Mickey Demetriou on the line.

After the break, Kelechi Iheanacho had a header saved by Day and shot wide from a tight angle, while Albrighton’s delivery struck the crossbar as City edged closer to a levelling goal in South Wales.

The introduction of Demarai Gray and James Maddison provided added threat going forward for City, with the latter seeing a low strike blocked by Fraser Franks deep inside the Newport box.

The Foxes finally found their equaliser on 82 minutes. Maddison’s initial effort was saved by Day, but Ghezzal, with a fine strike, found the top corner to make it 1-1 at Rodney Parade.

But the travelling side were level for just three minutes. A delivery from Vashon Neufville, on loan from Premier League outfit West Ham United, struck Albrighton’s arm in the box and Michael Flynn’s men were awarded a penalty.

Striker Padraig Amond, a former Northern Ireland Under-21 international, stepped up and converted from 12 yards to restore the Exiles’ lead with just five minutes plus stoppage time to play.

Substitute Andy King, making his maiden appearance of the term, looked to have rescued a draw in injury time, but his placed strike was swallowed up by Day in the Newport net.

Major moment

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Padraig Amond
Padraig Amond

Padraig Amond scored from the penalty spot to win the game for Newport County.

After finally grabbing an equaliser through Rachid Ghezzal on 82 minutes, the Foxes looked to have at least secured a third round replay.

However, the unfortunate Marc Albrighton, who had earlier hit the woodwork, was penalised for handball and Newport grabbed a winner from 12 yards through Padraig Amond.

Who impressed?

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Christian Fuchs
Christian Fuchs

Christian Fuchs has been a source of creativity for Leicester City down the left wing in the first period against the Exiles.

Christian Fuchs caused Newport problems down the left flank throughout the 90 minutes, first setting up Marc Albrighton on 18 minutes before teeing up Shinji Okazaki, whose effort was blocked by Mickey Demetriou.

The Austria international has made six appearances for the Foxes this term and played a major role in their run to the quarter-finals of the Carabao Cup.

Coming up…

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Hamza Choudhury
Hamza Choudhury

Hamza Choudhury shows his appreciation to over 1,000 travelling Leicester City fans at the full-time whistle.

Leicester City’s Premier League campaign resumes on Saturday 12 January (3pm GMT kick-off) with a fixture at King Power Stadium against Claude Puel’s former outfit Southampton. The Foxes currently sit seventh in the table after 21 games.

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