Thursday 26 April 2018

Diabate makes early impact for Puel

Peterborough 1 Leicester City 5

Leicester City's Wilfred Ndidi celebrates scoring his side's fifth goal with team mates. Photo: Darren Staples/Reuters
Leicester City's Wilfred Ndidi celebrates scoring his side's fifth goal with team mates. Photo: Darren Staples/Reuters

Independent.ie Sportsdesk

Leicester manager Claude Puel admitted it was a risk to field so many changes for his side's FA Cup fourth-round clash against Peterborough.

The Frenchman made 10 changes from the team that beat Watford in the Premier League last weekend, with Riyad Mahrez and Jamie Vardy both left on the bench.

But Puel's brave gamble paid off as the Foxes completed an impressive demolition job of the League One side, with Kelechi Iheanacho and debutant Fousseni Diabate both scoring twice.

Asked if he feared the overhaul of his starting XI could backfire, Puel replied: "Yes, I am responsible. It is important to have a good ambition for the cup because it is an objective for us, but we have to improve and develop the squad.

Peterborough’s Jack Marriott tussels with Leicester City's Harry Maguire. Photo: John Sibley/Reuters
Peterborough’s Jack Marriott tussels with Leicester City's Harry Maguire. Photo: John Sibley/Reuters

"Of course, sometimes there is some risk, but it is important to build the team's strength for the future. The cup journey is a good reward for all the team. If we can continue our journey in this competition we have to have some quality and to keep a lot of players fresh."

Leicester, seventh in the Premier League, were a class above Peterborough and all but booked their place in the fifth round with less than 30 minutes gone at London Road.

Diabate, the 22-year-old forward who arrived at the Foxes from Ligue 2 club Gazelec Ajaccio earlier this month, gave the visitors the lead after nine minutes before Iheanacho added a second moments later.

The former Manchester City forward then doubled his tally with 29 minutes on the clock before Diabate and substitute Wilfred Ndidi completed the rout in the closing stages after Andrew Hughes had pulled one back for the hosts.

Diabate was making his first appearance for Leicester, and Puel praised the debutant following his impressive display.

"No one knew of him," Puel added. "He played in the French second division but I followed him a lot and I thought he can become a good opportunity for Leicester."

Peterborough United's Marcus Maddison (right) and Leicester City's Christian Fuchs battle for the ball. Photo: Joe Giddens/PA
Peterborough United's Marcus Maddison (right) and Leicester City's Christian Fuchs battle for the ball. Photo: Joe Giddens/PA

Peterborough may have sensed a cup upset following Puel's decision to rest a number of key players ahead of their Premier League clash at Everton on Wednesday night.

But any hope of Grant McCann celebrating his 100th game in charge by securing Posh's first FA Cup victory against top-flight opposition in more than half a century, was over when the hosts gifted Leicester their opening two goals.

Sunday Indo Sport

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