Date:Saturday January 2 2010
02/01/10 - 3 p.m.
Leicester repeated their exploits of the opening day of the season, as substitute Dany N'Guessan snatched a late headed winner to put the Foxes in the hat for the fourth round of the FA Cup.
David Cotterill's brilliant 30-yard strike had put the visitors ahead after just 10 minutes, but Andy King's leveller five minutes before the break set City up for the win which sees them progress to the fourth round for the first time in four seasons.
The victory was a replication of Swansea's visit to the Walkers on the opening day of the season, where City overturned a one goal deficit to take home the win thanks to a substitute N'Guessan winner.
Manager Nigel Pearson kept faith in the side which beat Sheffield United on Boxing Day, as Ryan McGivern kept his place at left back with ongoing injury to Bruno Berner.
It was Paulo Sousa's Swansea who took the game to the hosts in the opening stages, with joint top-goal scorer Darren Pratley showing early signs of danger. His ball across the box was almost met by Cedric van der Gun, ending with David Cotterill's blocked final effort.
But the on-loan Sheffield United winger brought the game to life after 10 minutes, his unstoppable 30-yard drive flying past Weale into the back of the net.
Leicester responded to the goal with the majority of possession, but only Richie Wellens in the middle of the park seemed prepared to offer anything creative going forward.
Movement was distinctly lacking, and as a result City were unable to break down the stubborn Swans for much of the opening period.
Swansea's Spanish striker Gorka Pintado tested Weale in the Leicester goal with a decent effort on the angle, but the Foxes goalkeeper was equal to it.
The home side battled back to craft a double opportunity of their own, Dorus de Vries in the Swansea goal first denying Fryatt inside the area with a brilliant stop, before getting down low to keep out Oakley's follow-up.
Chris Weale was on hand to keep the Swans at bay soon afterwards, tipping Joe Allen's dangerous effort round the post for a corner. The visitors were looking dangerous going forward on the counter attack with a charging five man midfield, showing flashing reminders of their impressive league position.
But in the 38th minute, perhaps against the quality of play, the Foxes were level. Good work from Matty Fryatt on the edge of the penalty area set up Andy King to fire home past the helpless de Vries for City's leveller.
It was a well-timed goal for a restless crowd, putting Pearson's men into a level position going into the half-time break.
The second half began in drab fashion, as neither side was able to craft any opening of dangerous quality. Leicester right-back Robbie Neilson was on hand to make a vital challenge in the penalty area to halt a dangerous goal-mouth scramble, the only notable drama in the early exchanges.
The match was becoming somewhat of a tedious affair, and so it was no surprise when the first substitutions were made. The ineffective Lloyd Dyer was replaced by Paul Gallagher on the hour mark as Pearson set out to grab a winner.
The switch appeared to kick City into life as they began to take control of proceedings. Menacing chances for both sides remained few and far between, but Leicester were soon increasing the pressure on the Swans' backline.
Pearson's side came close with twenty minutes remaining, centre back Michael Morrison unable to get the ball under control inside the penalty area from Fryatt's ball across, winning a corner for his troubles.
Steve Howard and the booked Matt Oakley were replaced in the 75th minute, with French duo Yann Kermorgant and Dany N'Guessan coming on in their place.
Kermorgant was soon showing just why the club had offered him a new two and a half year contract, as his aerial presence and mobility began to test the Swansea defence.
Swans substitute and crowd favourite Lee Trundle came close to stealing the tie minutes from time, but his free-kick from the edge of the area sailed agonisingly wide of Weale's post.
Just as the tie looked to be heading to a replay at the Liberty Stadium, Leicester grabbed a late winner. Ryan McGivern's deep free-kick was met by Kermorgant, the Frenchman beating two Swansea players and Michael Morrison in the air to hand N'Guessan the opportunity to head home in the 89th minute.
N'Guessan has proved something of a super sub for manager Nigel Pearson, this his third headed goal off the bench for the Foxes this season.
It was another hard-fought victory for Leicester, manager Nigel Pearson's substitutions once again proving decisive as the Foxes progress to the fourth round for the first time in four seasons.
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Date:Saturday January 2 2010
|1. Leicester City||33||23||5||5||+30||74|
|3. Derby County||34||18||7||9||+17||61|
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