Leicester salvages FA Cup draw to avoid humbling at Derby
DERBY, England (AP) — Leicester relied on Wes Morgan’s late goal to avoid an FA Cup humbling at second-tier side Derby on Friday, with the Premier League champions salvaging a 2-2 draw in the fourth round of the FA Cup.
Morgan’s 86th minute-header ensured Leicester will have a replay next month, adding to the fixture burden for Claudio Ranieri’s struggling side. Leicester is five points above the Premier League relegation zone but is preparing to resume its Champions League campaign against Sevilla.
As fourth-round weekend opened in the FA Cup, Leicester was gifted the perfect start at Pride Park when Darren Bent scored an own goal after eight minutes.
Bent sliced his attempted goal-line clearance into the net after Robert Huth’s header struck Chris Baird and bounced toward the net.
“I don’t know what happened,” Bent said. “I lost concentration and tried to hit the ball as hard as I could and it flew into the net.”
Bent redeemed himself in the 21st minute by glancing home a header from Will Hughes’ clipped cross and Derby took the lead five minutes before halftime.
Craig Bryson won the ball 30 yards (meters) from goal before breaking into the penalty area past Morgan and sending a left-footed shot beyond goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel and into the far corner of the net.
Leicester manager Claudio Ranieri made an attacking change at halftime with Demarai Gray coming on for Christian Fuchs and the winger set up Morgan’s equalizer.
“It was a tough match,” Ranieri told the BBC. “We started well and scored but slowly we lost our calm. They played well and scored twice. In the second half we again started well and created two of three chances. It was tough to score but thankfully Morgan got one for us.
“We have to concentrate. Too many times we concede. We can only work and be more focused.”