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Match Reports

Leicester 1-0 Blades - repot

16 February 2018

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United pushed 2016 Premier League champions Leicester City all the way in the Emirates FA Cup tie at the King Power Stadium on Friday evening.

But unfortunately for the Blades, the combination of Riyad Mahrez and Jamie Vardy proved the difference, with the latter heading home in the second-half to settle the last 16 tie in the Foxes favour.

For the fifth-round clash against the 2015/16 Premier League Champions, boss Wilder made several changes. Wright, Carruthers, Lundstram, Lafferty, Donaldson and Wilson were all handed starts, with Ched Evans and Brooks named amongst the substitutes that also included Sharp, Duffy and Stearman. Clarke missed out through illness and Fleck because of suspension.

United enjoyed the best of the opening exchanges, Wilson forced an early corner, before testing Schmeichel at his near post. At the other end, Wright made a timely block to deny Vardy at the expense of corner from Ndidi's through ball. The England international came even closer moments later, firing inches wide of Blackman's far post.

City were now enjoying the majority of possession and Blackman had to be alert to deny Ndidi from 25 yards. Wright was again well positioned to make a block, this tim from Iheanacho, after a marauding run from Chilwell.
In response, their was some panic in the City box from Carruthers' corner, but Maguire cleared with Wilson ready to pounce. Then the former Blade needed to make a last-ditch block to deny Stevens after Simpson failed to clear.

On 35 minutes, the Blades had a big let off, Mahrez played Vardy in on goal, but Blackman stood tall to deny Leicester's number nine. Mahrez was again influential, before Chilwell crossed and Iheanacho deflected the ball wide from close-range, but that was the last action of note in the first period.

At the break, Brooks replaced Wilson, who had earlier received treatment, following a clash with Maguire. The beginning of the second period saw little action of note, although Brooks nearly got the better of Maguire on a counter attack.

But in the 66th minute the Foxes produced a touch of quality to take the lead. Mahrez worked spaced on the right-wing and floated a cross to the back post where VARDY had peeled off Basham to loop a head back across goal into the far corner. Leicester were now on top and only an excellent save low to his left from Blackman denied Gray adding a second.

On 71 minutes, the Blades were so close to restoring parity. Lafferty played a ball behind the Leicester defence and it fell inviting for Baldock to fire an effort goalwards, only for Schmeichel to get down in the nick of time and parry wide. In United's next attack, Carruthers volleyed just off target from a Stevens cross.

Back at the other end, Vardy thought he had got his second after Mahrez had head across goal from Chilwell's cross, only for the assistant referee to rule it out for offside.

With the clock the enemy, United pressed forward in numbers, but Schmeichel was Leicester's calming influence and despite the best efforts of the travelling supporters to galvanise the players it proved in vain.

Leicester: Schmeichel, Simpson, Morgan, Maguire, Chilwell, Ndidi, Iborra, Mahrez (James 90), Gray, Iheanacho, Vardy (Albrighton 84),
Unused: Hamer, Dragovic, Fuchs, Silva, Diabate.

Blades: Blackman, Baldock, Stevens, O'Connell, Basham, Lundstram, Donaldson, Wilson (Brooks 45), Wright (Evans 76), Lafferty, Carruthers (Duffy 76).
Unused: Sharp, Stearman, Heneghan, Eastwood.

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