Duro Ikhazuagbewith agency report
Nigerian international, Kelechi Iheanacho was the hero last night at the King Power Stadium as Leicester City defeated Manchester United 3-1 to reach their first FA Cup semi-final for the first time in 39 years.
Brendan Rodgers’ side will face Southampton at Wembley with Chelsea and Manchester City meeting in the other semi-final.
Leicester, who lost to eventual winners Tottenham in the 1982 semi-final, were the more vibrant and positive team against off-colour United as manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer once again tasted defeat in the latter stages of a cup competition, his ploy of resting the likes of Bruno Fernandes and Luke Shaw failed to produce the desired result.
The Foxes’ hero was in-form striker Kelechi Iheanacho, who struck twice and now has nine goals in nine games.
Iheanacho took advantage of Fred’s awful backpass to round Dean Henderson to score in the 24th minute after the hapless Brazilian was played into trouble by captain Harry Maguire.
Mason Greenwood crowned a crisp United move to equalise before half-time but Youri Tielemans restored Leicester City’s lead with a fine low shot seven minutes after the break before Iheanacho took advantage of shocking marking at a free-kick to head in Leicester’s third after 78 minutes.
Iheanacho has had mixed fortunes since his £25m move from Manchester City in August 2017 but it is testimony to the player’s own attitude and persistence, alongside the patience and coaching of manager Rodgers, that he has re-emerged as such an influential figure.
He has always had the natural scorer’s instinct but here he provided goals and link-up play while the cultured Belgian Tielemans was the architect of most good things.
Manchester United have shown progress this season but Solskjaer can now add an FA Cup quarter-final loss to his four semi-final defeats since taking charge at Old Trafford – and he can have no complaints here.
Solskjaer’s team were uninspired, with captain Maguire having a torrid time with the pace and running of Iheanacho and Vardy.