Tuesday 26th September 2013

Capital One Cup Third Round

Kick Off: 7.45pm


Leicester City 2-1 Derby County


Adam Redfern reporting from King Power Stadium.


Leicester City continued their unbeaten home run as they defeated local rivals Derby County 2-1 to progress into the fourth round of the Capital One Cup.


Leicester snatched victory in the final 10 minutes despite being on the back foot for large periods of the game, as Derby continued to show why they have been unbeaten on the road this campaign.


Late second-half goals from Anthony Knockaert and Danny Drinkwater cancelled out Chris Martin’s first half opener for the visitors.


A thunderous free-kick from Knockaert got the Foxes back in it with 13 minutes remaining before Drinkwater guided in a header to win the game for the hosts with just 10 minutes left on the clock.


Head to heads had seen the visitors win just one in the last seven meetings, with Leicester winning six and conceding just three goals in the process. However Derby were in fine scoring form having scored five goals on two occasions this season.


Both sides also scored five in their second leg ties, Derby against Brentford and Leicester at Carlisle.


The Foxes would also go into the fixture with bags of confidence after a fine start to the season which saw them sit healthily in second place in the SkyBet Championship.


First starts for Dean Hammond; Zoumana Bakayogo; Gary Taylor-Fletcher; Marcin Wasilewski and Tom Hopper, saw Nigel Pearson make eight chances from the weekends 2-2 draw away at Blackpool.


Leicester came mightily close to opening goal in just the first minute. Liam Moore deployed a long throw into the box which was flicked on and Keiron Freeman had to muster up a goal saving clearance from right on the line.


Minutes later Jake Buxton’s header was cleared off the line by Leicester’s Jeff Schlupp as the game showed signs of early goals from sides who have been scoring for fun of late.


Craig Bryson tried his luck on 10 minutes, with a right-footed drive which Kasper Schmeichel punched away as the Rams looked for an opener.


Paul Coutts; a bright spark in Derby’s opening attacks was forced to make way for Ben Davies on 27 minutes following a challenge with Danny Drinkwater in the area. The midfielder felt he should have had a penalty as did disgruntled manager Nigel Clough.


However the injury blow did not change Derby’s game plan and it was Davies who tried his luck from distance as he looked to make an instant impact, but his effort didn’t trouble Schmeichel.


Johnny Russell then did well to turn Bakayogo and almost found Chris Martin who was darting into the box.


After a Rams bombardment, Johnny Russell and Martin linked up well. A neat lay-off from the former Dundee United man allowed Martin time and space in the area to slot the ball home.


The goal was thoroughly deserved from a side who continued to show confidence going forward away from home.


After a disappointing half-time scoreline for Nigel Pearson and his side, the introductions of David Nugent and Lloyd Dyer somewhat rejuvenated the Foxes for a time.


Yet after a brief spell of pressure from the home side, Derby remained in search of a second and threatened to do so on numerous occasions.


The best chance came when Craig Forsyth fizzed in a low cross which Russell diverted towards goal from close range, narrowly evading the bottom corner.


Then completely against the run of play, Anthony Knockaert had a chance with a free-kick in a dangerous central position, 25 yards from goal. The Frenchman unleashed a venomous strike which cannoned in off the crossbar to level the scores at 1-1.


Leicester had come to life after being on the back foot for much of the game and just moments later they would capitalise on Derby’s missed opportunities. This time a free-kick out wide from Matty James’ was diverted home by Drinkwater, finding the bottom corner as Lee Grant helplessly sprawled to his right to prevent the effort.


Derby needed an equaliser and fast, but the Foxes defence stood strong clinching the victory after the visitors perhaps deserved more from the game.


Leicester’s start to the season could not have gone much better. They now go into the fourth round of the cup and are still going strong in the league.


Speaking after the game Nigel Pearson said: “We didn’t show the positive intent I would have liked to of seen, but we are through to the next round and that was the aim.”


When asked about Knockaert’s goal he said: “He is a talented boy who still has a lot to learn, but he has come on leaps and bounds.”


Derby County manager Nigel Clough said: “I felt we did enough to win the game.


“We deserved more than just the one goal lead and we looked comfortable before the last 10 minutes.


“We’ve got to learn a bit quicker, we’re a bit naive at times.


“We need to learn to play differently at different stages of the game.”


Leicester City: Schmeichel; Moore; Wasilewski; Miquel; Bakayogo (Dyer 45’); Hammond; James; Drinkwater; Gary Taylor-Fletcher (Knockaert 62’); Hopper (Nugent 45’); Schlupp. Unused Subs: De Laet; Konchesky; Whitbread; Logan.


Derby County: Grant; Freeman; Keogh; Buxton; Forsyth; Coutts (Davies 26’); Bryson; Hughes (Jacobs 88’); Sammon; Russell; Martin. Unused Subs: Deeney; Smith; Bennett; Eustace; Ward.


Attendance: 14,043 (2,209 away)