Leicester City is just two victories away from winning the FA Cup for the first time after beating Manchester United 3-1 to set up a Wembley semi-final against Southampton.
Despite missing James Maddison, James Justin, Harvey Barnes, and Ricardo Pereira through injury, Leicester remained a force to be reckoned with and took the lead in the quarter-final tie at the King Power Stadium through Kelechi Iheanacho when the striker took advantage of a horrendous pass from Fred.
United scored against the run of play through Mason Greenwood, but the Foxes remained the brighter team and regained the lead through a fine Youri Tielemans strike.
Man of the match: Wilfred Ndidi
For United, it is the Europa League or bust if they are going to win the first piece of silverware under Solskjaer whose gamble in shuffling his team, making five changes, claiming the tie away to AC Milan last Thursday had taken a lot out of his players, spectacularly failed to pay off.
For that, there should be a reckoning with United also badly at fault for all the goals they conceded and expensive fringe players such as Donny van de Beek — despite being involved in their goal — failing to take their chance. It means that United’s run of 29 domestic away games without defeats, stretching back 14 months, has abruptly come to an end.
Not that their problems should overshadow Leicester’s excellent performance, marshaled by manager Brendan Rodgers. They were without James Maddison, Harvey Barnes, and James Justin but had the best goalkeeper, the best defenders, the best midfielders, and the best strikers.
It was as comprehensive a victory as that sounds and it was only when Solskjaer made a little bit of history on 64 minutes with a quadruple substitution — with five changes allowed in this competition — that it became more of a contest.
But even after that, it was Leicester who scored again through the outstanding Kelechi Iheanacho who whooped for joy in his post-match interview and now has five goals in his last two games.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer had decided to rest a handful of his United regulars but sent on Bruno Fernandes, Luke Shaw, Edinson Cavani, and Scott McTominay with 25 minutes left.
However, it failed to spark the visitors as Iheanacho wrapped up the game with a back-post header with 10 minutes remaining, netting his seventh goal in his last four appearances.
Leicester’s win sets up a first FA Cup semi-final since 1982 for the club, while United’s only hope of silverware this season now comes in the form of the Europa League.
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