The Carabao Cup is a great opportunity for fringe players and Claude Puel gave a number of them a chance against Southampton. Ward, Silva, Diabate, Soyuncu, Simpson and Fuchs were all included and played in a well organized team with ordinary first teamers, Ndidi, Evans, Vardy, Iheanacho and Gray.
Puel had named a strong bench as well with young flank midfielder Thakgalo Khanya Leshabela. The 19 year old South African has impressed in the U.23 set up this season and was rewarded with a place in this match squad.
Leshabela could have followed Hamza Choudhury as the second development player to be handed his debut by Claude Puel, but was not lucky this time, seeing more experienced players such as Albrighton, Mendy and Okazaki preferred in the game.
Southampton fielded a strong side in a game that was a bit dull without any goals scored in ordinary time. Defensively a credit to both teams who had strong players and they outplayed the opponents attackers who never had a chance of scoring.
The VAR system avoided two possible penalty errors by the referee, and it’s great to see that such a system is introduced, soon this should be part of the Premier League as well, and this will most certainly happen. Both Leicester and Southampton had one penalty disallowed, and the closest to a goal was in real Southampton hitting the bar on one occasion.
The game never really came to a point were anyone had a great advantage and to see a penalty shoot out, with Darren Ward in goal, probably thrilled fans, and also this time they were able to celebrate.
Both teams scored on all their first five penalties, but when the sixth penalty was to be taken Southampton, Gabbiadini missed his chance with a nice save from Ward, and in the end Nampalys Mendy became the hero scoring nicely with his shot.
Leicester are through to the quarter finals and will face Manchester City at home. A difficult draw and with this type of performance against Pep’s men, we will have no chance to reach the Semi’s.
This Leicester City team never managed to put any real pressure on Saints, at home, but again a win is a win, and to see six good penalties and all of them scored is something to celebrate.
- Great goalkeeping from Darren Ward
- Keeping a clean sheet
- Scoring six in a penalty shoot out
- Getting through to the quarter finals
- Soyuncu with a good performance, looks solid
- A good mix of fringe and firs team regulars
- Not able to put much pressure on Southampton
- Not able to score in open play
- Player Ratings: Ward 8. Simpson 6, Fuchs 7, Evans 6, Soyuncu 7, Silva 4, Gray 6, Iheanacho 5, Diabate 4, Vardy 6, Ndidi 6, Subs: Albrighton, Okazaki, Mendy
Match Stats: H/A
- Possession: 51 / 49
- Corners: 6 / 6
- Shots on target: 3 / 1
- Shots wide: 4 / 4
- Fouls: 12 / 14
- Offsides: 2 / 0