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Goalkeeper Muric the shoot-out hero as City see off Leicester

By December 18, 2018No Comments

Holders Manchester City remained in the hunt for the quadruple after beating Leicester on penalties in the Carabao Cup.

Oleksandr Zincheko scored to win the shoot-out 3-1 after the match finished 1-1, sending City into the last four.

Arijanet Muric saved from James Maddison and Caglar Soyuncu, while Christian Fuchs also missed for Leicester.

It spared Raheem Sterling’s blushes after the forward chipped his spot-kick over the bar.

Kevin De Bruyne, on his first start for seven weeks after two knee injuries, opened the scoring at the King Power Stadium.

City were in command for long spells, but Marc Albrighton’s 73rd-minute leveller sent the tie to penalties.

Leicester boss Claude Puel, who left Jamie Vardy out of his squad, ultimately suffered another missed opportunity against a second-string City.

Goalkeeper Muric the shoot-out hero as City see off Leicester PLZ Soccer
Raheem Sterling missed from the spot, but it did not prove costly (Joe Giddens/PA).

Having lost on penalties in the quarter-final to Pep Guardiola’s side last season, the Foxes suffered a repeat with the same feeling of regret.

It was a competition the club wanted to win following the death of owner Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha in October so Puel’s team selection remained a surprise.

Leicester travel to Chelsea on Saturday before welcoming the champions again on Boxing Day and defeats would heap heat on Puel, with just two wins from his last 10 Premier League games.

He watched on as the Foxes initially offered a listless first-half performance as the visitors dominated and it took just 15 minutes for De Bruyne’s rocket to announce his return.

The midfielder teased Hamza Choudhury on the edge of the area before unleashing a crisp low drive which left the diving Danny Ward with no chance.

The returning Riyad Mahrez hooked over from close range soon after as the Foxes looked likely to roll over.

They had been passive participants prior to the goal, but Demarai Gray did have a 20th-minute effort turned wide by Muric.

It was as good as it got for the Foxes as the visitors looked comfortable without seriously threatening again before the break.

But within two minutes of the re-start Sergio Aguero forced Ward into a smart low save after De Bruyne had robbed Vicente Iborra.

Maddison was thrown on as Leicester searched for inspiration and the midfielder’s introduction did at least raise the tempo.

But it was Mahrez who nearly added a second when his curling effort from 18-yards whistled inches wide with 23 minutes left.

Goalkeeper Muric the shoot-out hero as City see off Leicester PLZ Soccer
Leicester were left to contemplate a penalty shoot-out defeat (Joe Giddens/PA).

Leicester’s threat had been slowly growing and they shocked City with the equaliser 17 minutes from time.

Wilfred Ndidi picked out Albrighton with a deep ball which the substitute controlled before rifling an excellent half volley in across Muric.

For the first time the holders were rattled, but they regained enough composure to conjure a chance for Phil Foden but he fired wide.

Choudhury escaped a penalty shout after Gabriel Jesus tumbled before the game had to be settled from the spot.