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Walsall v Leicester City Live Commentary, 28/01/2023

FT
0 - 1
WAL
LEI
K. Ịheanachọ (68)
Poundland Bescot Stadium

Commentary

Thanks for joining us for live coverage of Leicester City's 1-0 FA Cup fourth-round victory over Walsall at the Bescot Stadium.
Rodgers' men may be struggling in the league, but getting through to the next round of the FA Cup could provide them with the impetus to kick on and pull away from the drop zone. They will eagerly await the draw for the fifth round, due to be made on Monday. For the Saddlers, they will turn their attentions back to League Two as they look to push for the play-offs in the remainder of the season.
The referee blows the whistle for full-time, and it is Leicester who get their name into the hat for the FA Cup fifth round. They run out 1-0 winners, but they were much the better side in truth and could have won by four or five. Iheanacho scored the winner, coming off the bench to fire a deflected strike past Evans in the 68th minute. Walsall huffed and puffed in search of an equaliser, but their Premier League opponents were able to see the remaining minutes out relatively comfortably.
90' + 5' FULL-TIME: WALSALL 0-1 LEICESTER CITY
90' + 4' Wilkinson opts to shoot with the free-kick, but his effort curls wide, and that will surely be that.
90' + 4' Tielemans brings down Knowles, and Walsall will have one final opportunity to get the ball into the box.
90' + 2' Leicester win a couple of corners in succession as the seconds tick away.
90' There will be four minutes of additional time. Can the hosts force a replay?
89' Dewsbury-Hall should kill the game off, but he sidefoots wide from Kristiansen's cross from the left as Walsall remain in the tie.
87' A corner is swung into the Leicester box, and it is only headed out to Maher. The substitute shoots, but it bounces off the ground and sits up for Wilkinson to head towards goal, though his effort is tame and gathered by Iversen at the second attempt.
86' What a chance! Gordon loses possession to Praet in a dangerous area, and the wide-man delivers a pinpoint cross to pick out Iheanacho. Unfortunately for the Foxes, the former Manchester City man shoots straight at Evans, who is able to punch it away.
84' A couple of brilliant last-ditch blocks prevent Leicester adding a second as Barnes sees a couple of low shots in quick succession kept out.
82' Walsall are starting to put a bit more pressure on Leicester, but the Premier League side are standing up to it well so far.
R. Maher
R. Willmott
Walsall
80' Willmott is replaced by Maher with 10 minutes of normal time to play.
T. Allen
J. Maddox
Walsall
80' Allen comes on for Maddox.
77' Walsall will have to muster more of an attacking output if they are to keep their hopes alive of reaching the next round, having registered just four attempts and one shot on target so far.
D. James-Taylor
B. Comley
Walsall
74' Comley makes way for James-Taylor as Flynn looks to get his side back into the tie.
73' Iheanacho now has 17 goals in 23 appearances in the FA Cup, netting seven goals in his last seven games, including the winner against Gillingham in the third round.
71' Walsall have defended well, but now their resistance has been broken, they will have to go in search of an equaliser and could leave themselves open at the back.
N. Mendy
Assist
Leicester City
68' Mendy fed the ball into Iheanacho, before the striker's deflected effort put Leicester in front.
K. Ịheanachọ
Goal
Leicester City
68' Leicester take the lead!!! Substitute Iheanacho gives Leicester the advantage with a deflected strike. He picks up the ball outside the area, before shifting onto his left foot and letting fly. Unfortunately for Walsall, it takes a nick off one of their defenders and dips over Evans and under the crossbar. The Foxes are 1-0 up!
67' The Foxes have only lost one of their nine FA Cup ties against a team from the fourth tier of English football (won eight) – that defeat was against Newport County in the 2018-19 season, who were then managed by current Walsall boss Flynn.
65' Rodgers looks on frustrated as Tielemans sloppily gives the ball away with Leicester in a threatening position.
D. Praet
J. Maddison
Leicester City
63' Praet is on for Maddison.
K. Ịheanachọ
P. Daka
Leicester City
63' Daka comes off for Iheanacho up top for Leicester.
V. Kristiansen
L. Thomas
Leicester City
63' Rodgers replaces Thomas with new signing Kristiansen, on for his debut.
Y. Songo'o
I. Hutchinson
Walsall
62' Songo'o comes on for Hutchinson.
C. Wilkinson
A. Williams
Walsall
62' Williams makes way for Wilkinson.
61' Maddison whips a dangerous free-kick into the Walsall box, but it somehow eludes all of his team-mates as the ball skims away from danger.
59' Leicester have been much the better side so far in this second half, holding 84 per cent of the possession with the hosts just looking to get through this pressure.
57' So close! Tielemans lets fly from 25 yards out and his shot looks destined for the bottom left corner, but Evans does superbly to leap to his right and palm it away.
55' Barnes receives the ball in the box, but touch takes him too wide and his shot from a tight angle is saved by Evans.
53' A couple of Leicester corners are whipped into the box, but the hosts are able to keep them out with some important defensive headers.
50' Walsall go close with a White header at goal from a long throw, but the flag goes up for offside.
Y. Tielemans
Penalty Miss
Leicester City
48' Penalty Miss Youri Marion Tielemans
48' Tielemans misses!!! The Belgium international steps up and fires towards the bottom left corner, but he just gets his angles wrong and the ball deflects off the post and away from danger. That is a huge let-off for the hosts and the score remains 0-0!
47' The Foxes have a penalty!!! Daka is brought down inside the box by Hutchinson as the Walsall midfielder tried to hoof a clearance upfield, but the referee initially points for a free-kick. However, after consultation with the linesman, he changes his decision and gives a spot-kick.
46' The hosts get us back underway for the second period.
Rodgers will be hoping for a much-improved display in the second 45 minutes as his team look to avoid a replay. With Vardy absent from the squad altogether, when will Rodgers look to the likes of Iheanacho and Praet off the bench to provide a cutting edge?
The referee blows the whistle for half-time to bring a first half desperately lacking in quality to a close. Leicester shaded it, but League Two side Walsall acquitted themselves well and will fancy their chances of pulling off the upset with a strong second-half performance. The key theme of the first half was the Foxes' profligacy in front of goal, getting in numerous dangerous positions only to waste the chance at the crucial moment.
45' + 2' HALF-TIME: WALSALL 0-0 LEICESTER CITY
45' The fourth official puts up his board and indicates there will be two minutes of additional time at the end of this first half.
43' Leicester and Walsall have met once in the FA Cup, facing off in the fourth round in the 1977-78 edition. The Saddlers won 1-0 in what remains their last victory over the Foxes (drawn one, lost five since then).
41' Rodgers' men have been very wasteful in front of goal, hitting the target just once with their 12 shots.
39' Daka goes down for a moment, but he looks like he will be okay to continue.
37' Daka has been Leicester's main focal point, but his shooting has been very poor. He does well again here to create room to let fly, but his composure eludes him as his effort misses the target once again.
35' Maddison does superbly to jink and make space for a shot, but he gets his curler horribly wrong and it goes well over.
34' Walsall receive a free-kick in a decent crossing position, but Barnes is there to head it away. The ball ends up at the feet of Knowles, but his dipping effort flies well wide of the target.
31' Daka sends a snap-shot towards the bottom corner, but he cannot get enough power on it and Evans gets down to gather with relative ease.
29' Daka lashes at goal from a tight angle, but he cannot hit the target and the ball ends up skimming away for a throw-in to the hosts.
H. White
Yellow Card
Walsall
27' White is yellow-carded for bringing down Dewsbury-Hall as Leicester came forward on the counter.
26' The Saddlers have whipped in a couple of really threatening crosses from down the right, but Leicester's centre-backs have dealt with them well to this point.
24' The ball sits up nicely for Dewsbury-Hall to fire at goal, but he gets it badly wrong and the ball skims awkwardly off his foot straight into the waiting hands of Evans.
22' The Foxes are yet to register a shot on target yet against their League Two opponents.
20' Daka gets his head on a Castagne cross, but the striker's header goes well wide as Daniels did superbly to put him off.
19' Williams is momentarily down, but it appears he will be okay to continue.
J. Maddison
Yellow Card
Leicester City
17' Maddison is back on his feet and receives a yellow card for dissent.
16' Maddison is down and looks in pain as he clutches at his knee having been brought down in midfield.
13' Tielemans sends a shot from 30 yards out well wide of Evans' goal.
12' Rodgers' men are dominating possession as they probe for a way past this rigid Walsall backline.
10' Neither side has been able to fashion a real clear-cut chance yet, with the defences largely on top.
7' Walsall have not faced Leicester in any competition since the 2008-09 season in League One. The Foxes won 4-1 away from home that season with goals from Matty Fryatt, Andy King, Tom Cleverley and Steve Howard.
5' Daka receives the ball in the box, but he is quickly crowded out and dispossessed before he can get a shot away at goal.
3' The hosts have started brightly here as they look to pull off a surprise victory and reach the fifth round.
1' The visitors kick us off and we are underway.
The two teams make their way onto the pitch ahead of this cup tie.
Brendan Rodgers also goes with three alterations from the 2-2 draw with Brighton and Hove Albion, as Iversen replaces Danny Ward in goal while Daka starts up top for Jamie Vardy. Maddison makes his first start since November while Praet drops to the bench.
Michael Flynn makes three changes from his team's last outing, a 1-1 draw away at Tranmere Rovers, as Low, Willmott and Williams come in for Manny Monthe, Liam Kinsella and Danny Johnson.
SUBS: Alex Smithies, Caglar Soyuncu, Jannik Vestergaard, Victor Kristiansen, Sammy Braybrooke, Marc Albrighton, Lewis Brunt, Dennis Praet, Kelechi Iheanacho.
LEICESTER CITY (4-3-3): Daniel Iversen; Timothy Castagne, Wout Faes, Daniel Amartey, Luke Thomas; Youri Tielemans, Nampalys Mendy, Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall; James Maddison, Patson Daka, Harvey Barnes.
SUBS: Taylor Allen, Douglas James-Taylor, Ronan Maher, Oisin McEntee, Joe Riley, Jackson Smith, Yann Songo'o, Conor Wilkinson.
WALSALL (3-4-1-2): Owen Evans; Hayden White, Donervon Daniels, Joe Low; Robbie Willmott, Brandon Comley, Jacob Maddox, Liam Gordon; Isaac Hutchinson; Andy Williams, Tom Knowles.
In stark contrast, the visitors are in a precarious position in the Premier League, just a point above the relegation zone having not won a league game since November. The Foxes lifted the FA Cup for the first and only time in the 2020-21 season, and will be hoping for positive results in this campaign's edition to spur on their fight for survival.
The hosts are looking to reach the fifth round of this competition for the first time since the 2002-03 campaign, when they were a second-tier side. Now in League Two, the Saddlers head into this game in great form as they look to pull off the upset, having lost just one of their last 10 league matches to sit just four points off the play-offs.
Hello and welcome to live coverage of the FA Cup fourth-round tie between Walsall and Leicester City at the Bescot Stadium.