Brendan Rodgers made his changes for this fixture as we all had thought he would do, but probably braver than expected, giving starts to Lewis Brunt and Kasey McAteer, and also starts for a number of other fringe men, among them Kelechi Iheanacho, Jannik Vestergaard and Daniel Iversen..
Good to see Caglar Soyuncu also being on the field for the full 90 minutes. The Priestfield Stadium pitch was far from standards and as we did see to a minimum of pitch size allowed.
Leicester came out in a 3-5-2 formation, with Brunt being lined up alongside Vestergaard and Soyuncu and as we all know probably not much drilled as a unit and it all looked a bit difficutl, especially Brunt struggling with passing and placement, trying to play in a Brendan Rodgers way, but still not much of a inner belief in his play, he looked very nervous.
Leicester had great trouble on a terrible pitch and of course playing the bottom team of the football league pyramid, made it probably worse as we watched a display of horror in the first half. We could only count one half chance in the first half and Gillingham doing the most out of their performance.
Daniel Iversen had again a steady performance and whenever Gillingham tested him, he was safe and solid. Of course playing so many players who are far from match fit, and not either drilled together, it can be a mess, and it was.
The correct decision from Brendan Rodgers as he gave all of them game time, but again would have loved to see the team more penetration orientated and throwing more balls into the Gillingham penalty area and with a more aggressive style than what we did see.
The midfield area was in real the trouble and of course having forwards that are far from a good duo, as they have a similar way of playing, both Vardy and Iheancho used to be to top target man, and it was not real connection. Kasey McAteer was also a bit in between midfield, defence and up front as he seldom managed to get down the line and make those passes into the box..
Leicester came out half time eager to settle the score and get what they came for, an ugly win, as we all know how difficult it can be in the 3rd round of the FA Cup against opponents from lower tiers. Leicester managed to get in front in the 56th minute, with a pass from Kasey McAteer stumbling on to Vardy and from him to Iheanacho, as Kelechi clinical finish found the net.
Leicester lost a bit of momentum, but still a good defensive act from Soyuncu and Vestergaard, doing the clear outs needed, to stop a hungry Gillingham team that did put on a good performance trying as much as they could with direct style and fighting spirit.
Kelechi Iheanacho and Jamie Vardy had other chances during the game that should have been goals, but again a good performance from the former England U.19 international Jake Turner as he kept the scoreline as it was.
Patson Daka, Wilfred Ndidi and Luke Thomas came on for Jamie Vardy, Papy Mendy and Kasey McAteer late on, as the Leicester team managed to secure their 1-0 lead and getting to the next round of the FA Cup.
- Winning away on a very poor pitch
- Possession of 70% shows what Gillingham was playing for
- Great to see so many fringe players given a chance and then also manage to win
- McAteer and Brunt getting vital first team minutes
- Kelechi scoring and reaching a tally of 16 FA Cup goals. the most of any player in this competition
- Little or no penetration despite having 70% possession
- Must be more direct and getting players in that has the ability to push forward with much more pace
- Not able to score more than one goal and settle this game long before the finish
Player Ratings: Iversen 6, Soyuncu 5, Vestergaard 6, Brunt 5, Tielemans 5, Mendy 5, McAteer 5, Iheanacho 6, Vardy 5, Perez 5, Albrighton 6 Subs: Daka, Ndidi, Daka
- Leicester City, Man of the Match
- Kelechi Iheanacho
Match Stats (H/A)
- Possession: 30 / 70
- Corners: 1 / 7
- Shots on target: 3 / 6
- Fouls: 4 / 11