Leicester seize FA Cup final berth after double act produce trademark moment

Date published: Sunday 18th April 2021 8:23 - Steve Pearson

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Leicester remain on course to lift their maiden FA Cup after their dynamic strike duo settled a nervy semi-final against Southampton.

Leicester made the brighter start to the semi-final, crafting an early chance for Ayoze Perez down the left. The Spaniard lacked composure at the critical moment, firing wide from a position that deserved better.

A cat-and-mouse game soon took hold of the contest, with the weight of the occasion seemingly stifling each side’s attacking spirit.

The Foxes came closest to breaking the deadlock just prior to the half-hour mark through a sweeping move down the left.

Clever interplay created a man-advantage at the far post, but Perez’s could not find the open Kelechi Iheanacho with the goal gaping.

Youri Tielemans then carved the Southampton defence open with an incisive pass for Jamie Vardy to gallop on to. The striker’s first touch took him away from goal, tightening the angle for his delicate chip that flew wide of the near post.

The dour occasion limped on to half time with little more by the way of goalmouth action.

The second half sparked into life in the 55th minute when a trademark Vardy burst of pace teed up Iheanacho.

Vardy broke away after feinting to take the ball short before cutting back to his strike partner.

Iheanacho’s initial shot was blocked, but afforded a second chance with a fortunate rebound, the in-form hitman made no mistake.

The goal awoke the Saints from their slumber, with Ibrahima Diallo coming within a whisker of restoring parity with a sweetly struck volley.

With the game opening up, chances were inevitably beginning to fall to Leicester’s forwards to wrap things up on the counter.

Substitute James Maddison was the beneficiary of one such chance, though after being played in by Iheanacho, blazed over the bar with his weaker left foot.

Southampton sought to haul themselves back into the contest, though rarely posed a threat to the Foxes backline. As injury time approached, Kasper Schmeichel was yet to make a save.

Their laboured efforts were ultimately in vain as Leicester booked a date with Chelsea in the FA Cup final on May 15th.

 

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