Three things we learned from Leicester - Southampton
LONDON -- Leicester - Southampton was a narrow 1-0 win for the Foxes, as Kelechi Iheanacho set up an FA Cup final against Chelsea on May 15.
Over 4,000 fans enjoyed the early spring sun at Wembley, as the biggest crowd in English soccer for over a year saw a tight, tense semifinal, decided by Iheanacho’s second half goal.
[ MORE: How to watch PL in the USA ]
Brendan Rodgers has led Leicester City to the FA Cup final for the first time since 1969 and just the fifth time in their history. Ralph Hasenhuttl and Southampton came up short and never really threatened, as the local fans at Wembley for a test event by the UK government saw the Foxes ease through.
3 things we learned from Leicester - Southampton
1. Leicester’s class got them to final: Throughout the game they just had that extra bit of class to keep the ball, create chances and they took it when it came. Tielemans dominated midfield, Vardy raced down the right to set up the winner and Iheanacho was coolness personified when given the chance. There wasn’t much in it, but Leicester’s extra quality was enough.
2. Southampton lacked cutting edge: Danny Ings was feeding on scraps and that was because Saints kept giving the ball away needlessly, especially in the first half. After a few good moments early in the second half, Saints only woke up when they went 1-0 down. That was too late and although this game was closer than many thought it would be, Saints never got going and didn’t look a threat as they had zero shots on target. That will be a huge regret for Hasenhuttl.
3. Rodgers will fancy chances of FA Cup glory: They will face Chelsea in the final on May 15 and the Foxes will fancy their chances of winning the FA Cup for the first time in their history. Leicester’s pace on the counter will cause Chelsea problems and Rodgers will hope even if their season doesn’t end in a top four finish, it will end in FA Cup glory. What a final this should be.
Man of the Match: Youri Tielemans - Dominated midfield and the tempo of the game. Class display.
Ibrahima Diallo picked up an early yellow card as he caught Jamie Vardy, as robust tackles flew in.
Leicester sprung a counter as Vardy and Ayoze Perez linked up and crossed for Iheanacho, but Perez overhit his cross badly.
Diallo gave the ball away and Vardy raced through after a great ball from Tielemans, but Vardy clipped his shot just over the bar from a tight angle.
Southampton’s James Ward-Prowse drilled a low corner kick into the box which caused problems, as the first half was a tight, tense affair as Wilfred Ndidi caused problems from two corners but Saints survived. Just.
Iheanacho then put Leicester 1-0 up as Jamie Vardy did superbly to race down the left and cross, and while Iheanacho’s first shot was poor and was blocked, the rebound went in his favor and he buried it.
Southampton responded well to going behind as Ings set up substitute Che Adams but his shot was blocked, Diallo hammered two shots just over and Ings didn’t make the most of a chance when clean through.
James Maddison jumped off the bench and hammered a good chance over and fired wide late on, as Leicester held on easily to reach the final.