Leicester City - Leicester 2-2 Manchester City
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Leicester City 2 - Manchester City 2

Walkers Stadium

09/01/11 - 4.30 pm

Attendance: 31,200

Leicester 2-2 Manchester City

Leicester battled back from a half-time deficit to claim a well-deserved replay at the hands of free-spending Manchester City.

Sol Bamba made a dream start to his Foxes career with a goal inside the first minute, but James Milner and Carlos Tevez ensured that Roberto Mancini's side went into the break ahead at the Walkers Stadium.

But Andy King's opportunistic finish after a calamitous error from Joe Hart in the second-half helped Sven-Goran Eriksson's side to a merited replay.

Leicester headed into the match against a strong City side which included star striker Carlos Tevez, but hoped to continue their unbeaten home record under Eriksson.

And the Foxes enjoyed an incredible start to the match when Bamba struck inside the first minute with his first ever touch in English football.

Paul Gallagher's superb delivery from a short corner evaded the entire City defence, allowing Bamba the task of stabbing home to give Eriksson's side a superb start at the Walkers.

The goal had come as quite some shock to Mancini's side, who certainly hadn't expected their Championship opponents to pose such threat early on.

The Blues settled somewhat after the early goal, but posed little threat to the Foxes backline with a host of hopeful balls inside the opening stages.

Despite the poor start, it was Mancini's side who could have found themselves level soon afterwards. Patrick Vieira connected with an Adam Johnson corner, but his effort was parried well by Chris Weale in the Leicester goal.

But the Premier League side did have an equaliser in the 22nd minute. James Milner picked up on captain Tevez's ball, beating two men before cracking an impressive effort into the bottom corner.

The goal was somewhat harsh on Leicester, who had restricted their opponents to second-rate football following the opener.

Milner's leveller came at an appropriate time, arriving just before the travelling army's 24th-minute tribute to 1969 FA Cup final goal hero Neil Young.

Leicester posed a threat from set pieces throughout the first period, with Bamba proving a constant menace inside the area against marker Jerome Boateng.

The visitors wasted a glorious opportunity to put themselves a goal ahead before the break when Adam Johnson poked Boateng's drilled cross wastefully wide.

But Mancini's side found a second on the stroke of half-time through Tevez. A corner looked a likely source of danger from both sides, and the influential captain made no mistake of flicking a James Milner cross brilliantly past Weale.

It was a disappointing goal to concede on a Leicester behalf, with Tevez allowed far too much room inside the area.

Nevertheless, the Foxes found themselves a goal down at the break after two moments of individual quality from an otherwise average City side.

Half-time: Leicester 1-2 Manchester City

Nigel de Dong replaced Shaun Wright-Phillips at the interval as City switched to their preferred 4-3-3 formation.

The Foxes sprang out of the traps in the second period, however, and took the game to their free-spending visitors.

Jack Hobbs found himself with a superb opportunity to head Eriksson's side level from another Gallagher corner, but flashed his effort over the bar.

Leicester knew an equaliser was well within reach and had their reward in the 62nd minute. Joe Hart fumbled a Gallagher ball in from the left, allowing Andy King to sweep in his 10th goal of the campaign for a deserved Foxes leveller.

In truth, it was Eriksson's team who created much of the remaining play. While opportunities were minimal for both sides, the Foxes continued to fight for a winner.

Bamba found himself desperately close to his second goal of the match when Milner cleared off the line from another dangerous corner.

Instead, however, it was the visitors who almost had a third goal. Good work from Tevez inside the area allowed De Jong the perfect opportunity to slot his side ahead, but the Dutch international fired straight at Weale to keep the tie level.

The final stages of the game saw little in the way of opportunities for both sides, as Leicester rode out a daunting spell of late City pressure to prevent a cruel late goal at the Walkers.

The Foxes will head to Eastlands in high spirits after an impressive showing on home soil, hoping to book an away clash with Notts County in the fourth round when the two sides meet again in just over a week's time.

Leicester: Weale, Naughton, Hobbs, Bamba, Berner (Neilson, 93), King (c), Abe, Wellens, Gallagher, Dyer (Waghorn, 77), Vassell (Howard, 83)

Subs not used: Moreno, Oakley, Logan Moussa,

Manchester City: Hart, Boateng, Toure, Lescott, Kolarov, Vieira, Milner, Johnson, Wright-Phillips (De Jong, 46), Tevez (c), Jo Silva (Zabaleta, 73).

Subs not used: Given, Boyata, Santa Cruz, Ibrahim, Tchuimeni-Nimely.

The Journalist

Writer: JBFox Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Sunday January 9 2011

Time: 7:23PM


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