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Manchester City beat Leicester on penalties

Manchester City have booked their spot in the semi-finals of the EFL Cup courtesy of a penalty-shootout victory over Leicester City at the King Power Stadium.

Jamie Vardy’s 97th-minute penalty cancelled out a first-half Bernardo Silva effort as the last-eight tie headed for extra-time, which failed to produce another goal.

A penalty shootout was therefore needed to decide the outcome, and Man City won it 4-3 after Vardy and Riyad Mahrez both missed for the home side.

Both managers shuffled their packs for the League Cup fixture, with Ben Hamer, Aleksandar Dragovic, Shinji Okazaki and Kelechi Iheanacho among those coming into the Leicester team.

As for Man City, the likes of Tosin Adarabioyo, Oleksandr Zinchenko, Phil Foden and Brahim Diaz were all handed starting roles, while Yaya Toure, Gabriel Jesus and Bernardo Silva also made the XI.

Bernardo Silva had two good chances to make the breakthrough in the early moments, but the Portuguese saw his first effort saved by Hamer before firing narrowly wide of the post with his second.

Ilkay Gundogan also had a brilliant opportunity in the 14th minute after Leicester’s defence failed to deal with a through ball, but the midfielder saw his goal-bound effort cleared by Harry Maguire.

Gundogan came close once again in the 20th minute as his chipped effort brought a save from Hamer, before Adarabioyo headed just wide of the post from the resulting corner.

Leicester improved as the half developed, and it was Iheanacho causing problems against his former club.

Man City made the breakthrough in the 26th minute, however, when Gundogan clipped a super pass into Bernardo Silva, and the Portuguese found the back of the net with a smart finish.

Leicester had the chance to level the scores in the 34th minute when Okazaki fed Iheanacho inside the Man City box, but the Nigerian could not find a route past the diving Claudio Bravo.

Iheanacho, who caused Eliaquim Mangala all sorts of problems in the first 45 minutes, then sent one over the crossbar late in the first period as Man City took a one-goal lead into the interval.

Ben Chilwell had the first half-chance of the second period after meeting a high ball on the edge of the Man City box, but the Leicester defender saw his header just miss the crossbar.

Vardy and Mahrez both came off the Leicester bench in the 57th minute as head coach Claude Puel looked to take advantage of his team’s strong start to the second half of football.

Bernardo Silva might have sent Man City two goals ahead just before the hour after driving into the home side’s box, but the attacker could only poke across the goal from close range.

Demarai Gray followed Vardy and Mahrez off the Leicester bench for the final 20 minutes, but clear chances were at a premium as Man City kept their one-goal lead in tact approaching the latter stages of normal time.

Vardy headed a Mahrez cross wide of the post in the 80th minute before Bravo just about managed to hang onto a Mahrez delivery moments later as Leicester pushed for the goal that would have forced extra-time.

The fourth official signalled that eight additional minutes would be played due to a number of stoppages in the second period, and Leicester were incredibly awarded a penalty in the 96th minute when Gray went down under a slight challenge from Kyle Walker.

Vardy stepped up to level the scores in the 97th minute, forcing extra-time at the King Power Stadium.

The best chance of the first half of extra-time fell to Vardy after the Leicester striker closed down Bravo, but luckily for the Man City goalkeeper, the ball just bounced the wrong side of the post.

Zinchenko had Man City’s best chance in the second half of the extra 30 minutes after unleashing one from the edge of the box, but the left-back’s effort just missed the crossbar as the quarter-final tie headed for penalties.

City scored all four of their spot kicks to put the pressure on the home side, and Vardy and Mahrez failed in back-to-back penalties as the visitors booked their spot in the semi-finals with a 4-3 success.

ajike

Ajike is one of Nigeria's top Sportscasters with over 15 years of experience in writing and talking Sports.

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