Manchester City’s Edin Dzeko came out of the wilderness to claim two goals to see his side safely through to the semi-final of the Capital One Cup, outclassing Leicester City 3-1.
The visitors controlled throughout the match, with lynchpins David Silva, Vincent Kompany and Edin Dzeko showcasing their Premier League prowess, condemning Leicester to their second home defeat of the season.
Pellegrini’s side took the lead after Aleksandar Kolarov converted a sumptuous free-kick from 30-yards, caressing the ball in to the top corner leaving Schmeichel a hapless spectator.
Manchester City then doubled their lead on the edge of half-time through Edin Dzeko, who headed home at the back post to put the visitors firmly in the ascendancy.
Dzeko enhanced his claims of a regular starting berth by slotting home a third, and his second, after industrious work from James Milner down the right-hand side.
Leicester restored a certain degree of parity through grabbing a consolation goal in the second half, after Lloyd Dyer’s deflected strike cannoned in over Joe Hart, but the home side struggled to capitalise on their solitary goal as City cruised to their 3-1 win in the final stages.
After a frantic start from both sides, the visitors soon found their feet and flirted with Schmeichel’s goal after just five minutes, following telepathic interplay from Silva and Dzeko, setting Milner through on goal only to be denied by a stretching Schmeichel.
The home side’s resistance was soon tested once more, as Anthony Knockaert conceded a free-kick after cynically tripping Edin Dzeko who was driving in to the heart of the Foxes’ defence.
Nigel Pearson’s men were dully punished as Kolarov stepped up and silenced the King Power Stadium with a devastating free-kick which nestled in the top-left hand corner.
Thereafter the visitors dictated large spells of the first half.
Once more Silva orchestrated another City attack, effortlessly finding Kolarov in space who fired in a low cross along the 6-yard box to the feet of Dzeko who was only denied by a stunning save from Schmeichel at full stretch.
The visitors came close to doubling their lead once more on the 39th minute, when the out-of-favour forward Edin Dzeko shrugged off Ignasi Miquel before firing a vicious effort off the post from 25-yards.
However the Bosnian found the net just two minutes later, tapping home at the back post following a flowing move from Silva and Milner to set the forward up for his first goal in five games.
The enigmatic Spaniard Silva escaped the snapping Danny Drinkwater in midfield to set free Milner who blitzed passed Wasilewski and fed Dzeko at the back post to steal in and double the visitors lead.
Despite a half-time cameo from X Factor winner Sam Bailey, the home fans lifted spirits were soon deflated as the visitors restarted the second half with electrifying pace and panache, which was almost rewarded with a goal when Dzeko’s pile-driver was parried by Schmeichel.
Moments later the game was put beyond all doubt, as England International Milner capitalised on some lacklustre defending from Drinkwater to square the ball to Dzeko who nonchalantly side-footed home.
A quick throw-in from Kolarov caught the Leicester defence napping, with Milner easily evading Drinkwater to drive in to the box and cut a ball back to Dzeko who slotted home from 12 yards.
Despite the introduction of the industrious pairing of Vardy and James at half-time for the home side, Nigel Pearson’s men struggled to find any continuity in the opening exchanges, with Andy King squandering their best chance firing a weak shot in to the clutches of Joe Hart in the Citizens’ goal.
Notwithstanding ManchesterCity’s superiority, the home side handed themselves a life-line when Lloyd Dyer’s strike evaded the outstretched Joe Hart to pull a goal back on the 78th minute.
Following neat inter-change from Konchesky and Dyer down the left-hand side, the Foxes’ bright spark and man of the moment, Dyer, popped up in the box and unleashed a powerful effort which deflected over the reaches of Hart in the City goal.
The goal rejuvenated the home side, but the visitors, lead by the talismanic Vincent Kompany, restricted the Foxes to no attempts on target in the closing stages.
Defeat sees Leicester bow out of the Capital One Cup at the Quarter-Final stage, but Nigel Pearson’s side can take great credit in being the last team outside of the Premier League left standing in the competition this year. Meanwhile, the win sees Manchester City advance in to the next round of the Capital One Cup, with the draw for the semi-finals to be made on Wednesday night.
Leicester City team: Schmeichel, Konchesky, Morgan, Miquel, Wasilewski, Drinkwater, King, Knockaert, Dyer, Nugent and Taylor-Fletcher.
Subs: De Laet, Hammond, James, Vardy, Schlupp, Moore and Logan
Manchester City team: Hart, Zabaleta, Kompany, Lescott, Kolarov, Rodwell, Garcia, Navas, Milner, Silva and Dzeko
Subs: Nasri, Negredo, Fernandinho, Demichelis, Pantilimon and Boyata