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Match Reports

Blades 1-4 Leicester - report

22 August 2017

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United exited the Carabao Cup at the second-round stage, despite a spirited performance against Leicester City.

In an end-to-end second-half, which saw five goals, it was the Foxes that came out on top, despite a consolation goal from Caolan Lavery.

For the second-round clash against the Foxes, Wilder made eight changes to the starting XI from the weekend victory over Barnsley. Baldock made his debut, with Wright taking over the captaincy. For the visitors, Maguire started on his return to S2, whilst Vardy and Mahrez were named amongst the substitutes.

The first action of note, saw Lafferty collect an early booking for a late tackle on Maguire. Having missed his kick twice inside the open ten minutes, Musa fired into the side netting from Slimani's through ball. At the other end, Carruthers saw a long-range saved by Hamer.

Leicester almost capitalised on Lafferty losing possession moments later, but Eastwood denied Gray from a narrow angle, before punching away the loose ball with Musa in close attendance. But it was the Blades through Evans, who had an even better chance to open the scoring, after Lavery had headed down Brooks's diagonal pass, but he could only head tamely at Hamer.

The yellow card count was levelled up, when Musa was cautioned for upending Lafferty. The decibel level inside the Lane went up a notch or two when Hamer almost spilled a Brooks effort into his own net, only claiming in the nick of time. Slimani became the second Foxes player to be booked for a lunge on O'Connell
With ten minutes of the first-half remaining,

Eastwood was called into to deny the dangerous Chilwell, after the left-back had advanced with purpose at the Blades defence. As half-time approached, the home supporters were demanding referee Harrington to show Slimani a second yellow for a late challenge on Wright.

The Blades were quickly out of the blocks in the second period and after some indecision in the visitors defence, Lavery fired a powerful effort at Hamer. But it was City who took the lead in the 52nd minute. A swift counter attack saw Hamer release Musa who in turn fed GRAY, he turned past Freeman and Wright before slotting under Eastwood.

The Blades reacted positively, despite Lundstram harshly seeing yellow and Brooks again tested Hamer, following a well worked corner. Just after the hour, Evans received a warm hand as he was replaced by Sharp. But from the restart, Leicester doubled their advantage, as SLIMANI latched onto Musa's through ball, rounded Eastwood and slotted home.

But for Eastwood's finger tips, it would have been three up after Gray curled an effort towards the top corner, but the third did come in the 67th minute, following sustained pressure. Musa whipped in a ball to the back post, where SLIMANI tapped home his second of the night.

With the clocking ticking against United, the home fans were up for a penalty as Chilwell and Freeman collided, but Harrington waved away the appeals. At the other end, Slimani was denied a hat-trick by the assistant referee's flag.

With seven minutes remaining, United gave themselves hope by pulling one back. Brooks played the ball out to the right and LAVERY fired home into Hamer's near post, catching the goalkeeper off guard.

In the 90th minute, United almost grabbed a second, but Knight somehow blocked Sharp's goal bound effort with Hamer appearing beaten. The Blades kept plugging away throughout the four minutes of injury-time, but City added a fourth with the final action of note, as MUSA got the goal his persistent deserved.

Blades: Eastwood, Baldock (Coutts 68), O'Connell, Lundstram, Wright (Basham 68), Freeman, Lavery, Lafferty, Evans (Sharp 62), Brooks, Carruthers.
Unused: Stevens, Thomas, Duffy, Blackman.

Leicester: Hamer, Amartey, Maguire (Knight 80), Fuchs, Chilwell, Musa, N'didi (Mendy 77), King, Gray, Ulloa, Slimani.
Unused: Jakupovic, Mahrez, Albrighton, Vardy, Okazaki.

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