English Premiership

Leicester escape with draw at Fleetwood

2018-01-06 17:09
Marc Albrighton (Supplied)

London - Former Premier League champions Leicester City came within a whisker of suffering an FA Cup shock on Saturday but clung on to draw 0-0 at lower-league Fleetwood Town while Middlesbrough eliminated Sunderland.

The big news before kick-off was that Leicester's star striker Jamie Vardy was denied an emotional return to his former club due to a groin injury while Riyad Mahrez was also missing from the teamsheet.

In a first half of little incident a much-changed Leicester side almost fell behind in the opening minutes when defender Aleksandar Dragovic played a loose backpass, sending goalkeeper Eldin Jakupovic scrambling to keep the ball out.

The visitors, revitalised since Claude Puel took the helm earlier this season, enjoyed the lion's share of possession on a crisp January day on England's northwest coast but offered little consistent threat going forward.

Fleetwood, who play in League One, English football's third tier, upped the ante in the second period, putting pressure on the Leicester defence and going close to taking the lead.

Puel threw on midfielder Marc Albrighton and forward Shinji Okazaki but Fleetwood continued to threaten, earning a succession of corners.

The League One side came within inches of winning in the dying seconds when Ashley Hunter struck the ball from distance and it deflected off Leicester's Yohan Benalouane onto a post. Jakupovic fumbled it back onto the post before gathering the ball, ensuring a replay.

In the other lunchtime kick-off on Saturday, Middlesbrough beat northeast rivals Sunderland 2-0 in an all-Championship clash.

The third round sees teams from the Premier League and Championship enter the fray in the famous cup competition, throwing up the potential for shocks as the minnows seek to unseat famous opponents.

Later Saturday, Manchester City visit Burnley in an all-Premier League clash while Championship leaders Wolverhampton Wanderers will fancy their chances against Swansea, rooted to the bottom of the Premier League.

On Friday, Liverpool beat Everton 2-1 to progress to the fourth round while Manchester United beat Championship high-fliers Derby 2-0.

Read more on:    leicester city  |  fa cup  |  soccer
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Fixtures
Saturday, 22 September 2018
Fulham v Watford, Craven Cottage 13:30
Liverpool v Southampton, Anfield 16:00
Cardiff City v Manchester City, Cardiff City Stadium 16:00
Leicester City v Huddersfield Town, King Power Stadium 16:00
Manchester United v Wolverhampton Wanderers, Old Trafford 16:00
Crystal Palace v Newcastle United, Selhurst Park 16:00
Burnley v AFC Bournemouth, Turf Moor 16:00
Brighton & Hove Albion v Tottenham Hotspur, The American Express Community Stadium 18:30
Sunday, 23 September 2018
West Ham United v Chelsea, London Stadium 14:30
Arsenal v Everton, Emirates Stadium 17:00
Saturday, 29 September 2018
West Ham United v Manchester United, London Stadium 13:30
Arsenal v Watford, Emirates Stadium 16:00
Manchester City v Brighton & Hove Albion, Etihad Stadium 16:00
Everton v Fulham, Goodison Park 16:00
Wolverhampton Wanderers v Southampton, Molineux Stadium 16:00
Newcastle United v Leicester City, St. James' Park 16:00
Huddersfield Town v Tottenham Hotspur, The John Smith's Stadium 16:00
Chelsea v Liverpool, Stamford Bridge 18:30
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