Jamie Vardy opens scoring as Leicester cruise past Birmingham in FA Cup

By Sports Desk January 27, 2024

Jamie Vardy’s eighth goal of the season helped much-changed Leicester into the FA Cup fifth round with a 3-0 win against Birmingham.

Vardy broke the deadlock with a header from Marc Albrighton’s superb cross after 47 minutes before Yunus Akgun’s thunderbolt on 72 minutes sealed Leicester’s place in the fifth round.

Foxes midfielder Dennis Praet added a third goal with a cool finish after 88 minutes, with Birmingham made to rue a number of missed chances in the first half as Blues lost for the first time under new boss Tony Mowbray.

Birmingham almost took the lead after just two minutes as Foxes goalkeeper Jakub Stolarczyk made a smart save with his foot to deny Keshi Anderson from the left-hand side of the penalty area.

Blues midfielder Koji Miyoshi was next to try his luck with a fine curling effort from just inside the penalty box which went inches over the crossbar with Stolarczyk rooted to the spot.

The visitors spurned another chance to take the lead when Jordan James and Jay Stansfield played a clever one-two which sent the former through on goal only for Stolarczyk to make a crucial save.

Mowbray’s side continued to dominate the chances as Siriki Dembele saw a low shot saved before Stolarczyk denied Stansfield soon after, with the striker sending his follow-up effort over the crossbar.

Birmingham went even closer to the opening goal five minutes before the break as Stansfield poked a shot against the post from 10 yards out after good work from Dembele.

Leicester made their opponents pay for those missed chances just two minutes into the second half as Vardy headed home Albrighton’s inch-perfect cross from the right into the bottom-left corner from eight yards out.

Blues had a chance to draw level soon after only for Anderson to blaze his shot into the stand after he was picked out by Stansfield following Hamza Choudhury’s giveaway.

The home side doubled their lead after 72 minutes when Akgun collected a loose ball on the edge of the penalty area before smashing a shot into the top-left corner to score his first goal for the club.

Enzo Maresca’s side could have extended their advantage eight minutes from time only for Ben Nelson to volley straight at John Ruddy from close range after Blues failed to clear their lines at a corner.

The Foxes added some gloss to the scoreline with two minutes left to play when Praet, making his first start since August, found the bottom-right corner from substitute Tom Cannon’s cut back.

Leicester are now unbeaten in their last eight matches against Birmingham in all competitions, while Blues have failed to reach the fifth round of the FA Cup in each of the last four seasons.

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