FA Cup: Kelechi Iheanacho winner sees Leicester City beat Southampton, seal passage to final

Kelechi Iheanacho scored his 15th goal of the season to take his team to the FA Cup final on May 15 against Chelsea.

Kelechi Iheanacho scored the only goal of the match to send Leicester City to the FA Cup 2021 final; photo credit:twitter/@LCFC

Leicester City advanced to their fifth FA Cup final in their 137-year history after beating Southampton by a solitary goal at Wembley on Sunday. The match was a cagey affair with both teams struggling get into the game. Kelechi Iheanacho scored the winning goal in the 55th minute. The Nigerian striker has scored 14 goals, more than any other player in the FA Cup, since 2015.

Leicester were the better side of the two teams. Tielemans controlled the midfield for Leicester and created a number of chances.

The Belgian put Jamie Vardy through in the 33rd minute, but the English strikers shot was well saved by Southampton goalkeeper Fraser Forster.

10 minutes after the break, Ricardo Pereira gave a through pass to Vardy down the left flank. He ran past the defender and provided a cut back to Iheanacho.

The striker then duly finished from the rebound after his first attempt was blocked by the defender. It was the striker’s 15th goal of the season.

Southampton, who beat the defending champions Arsenal on their way the semi-finals, failed to create any clear cut chances. Coach Ralph Hasenhuttl was a frustrated figure on the sidelines.

Rodgers’ tweaks pay off

Brendan Rodgers’ decision to tweak the formation to accommodate Iheanacho along with Jamie Vardy has worked wonders. The Nigerian striker has now scored ten goals in his last seven appearances.

Rodgers was a very happy man after the match. “It’s amazing. The club have been waiting a long time to get to the final. I thought we deserved it. We defended strongly and didn’t concede any efforts on goal,” he said.

“As the game wore on we looked really bright in our attacking play and maybe should have had more than one goal. I’m just really pleased for everyone, the players first and foremost.

“It’s a massive achievement, but we have to be hungry and keep pushing. We’re embracing the challenge, and the players today were first class. We’re certainly not frightened by the challenge.

“It’s going to be a privilege to lead the team out in the final. It was always going to be a tight game but I felt we deserved it. We had to defend well, which we did. I’m delighted for the players as they’ve shown that they’re constantly learning.

For the first time in 13 months, fans attended the game. A total of 4000 spectators were present in the 90,000-capacity stadium.

Leicester City will face Chelsea at Wembley on May 15 in the FA Cup final.




WRITTEN BY
Sportslumo Desk

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