Iheanacho fires Leicester into FA Cup fifth round
Leicester edged into the FA Cup fifth round as Kelechi Iheanacho’s early goal sealed a 1-0 win at second tier Brentford on Saturday.
Brendan Rodgers’ side are chasing a trip to Wembley on two fronts and they took the next step in the FA Cup after surviving a hard-fought fourth round clash in west London.
Flying high in the Premier League, third placed Leicester could be set for a memorable end to the season.
Leicester, who have never won the FA Cup, are hoping to reach the final for the first time since 1969.
In the League Cup, they are through to the semi-finals and head to Aston Villa in the second leg on Tuesday after being held to a 1-1 draw in the first match at the King Power Stadium.
Rodgers made nine changes from Wednesday’s Premier League win over West Ham, with only Caglar Soyuncu and Ayoze Perez remaining in the starting line-up for Leicester’s first meeting with Brentford since 1993.
Kasper Schmeichel, Youri Tielemans and James Maddison were on the bench, while Jamie Vardy was sidelined by a glute injury suffered against West Ham.
Despite Vardy’s absence, it took Leicester just four minutes to go ahead when Nigerian striker Iheanacho met James Justin’s cross with a clinical close-range finish.
It was Iheanacho’s seventh goal in 12 appearances this season — and his ninth in nine FA Cup starts — proving he can be an able deputy for Vardy while the 17-goal star is sidelined.
Dennis Praet and Hamza Choudhury had shots blocked as Leicester pushed for killer second, while Demarai Gray almost caught out Bees keeper Luke Daniels with a low free-kick.
Brentford, chasing promotion from the Championship, were looking to reach the FA Cup fifth round in successive seasons and they pushed hard for an equaliser.
Emiliano Marcondes fired just wide before Dominic Thompson forced a finger-tip save from Danny Ward.
Ward preserved Leicester’s lead in the closing stages with a superb save to keep out Luka Racic’s overhead kick from the edge of the area.
In a tense finish, Brentford’s Bryan Mbeumo had a goal correctly ruled out for offside as Leicester held on.