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In-form Iheanacho fires Foxes into FA Cup final

Leicester City 1 Southampton 0

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Leicester City's Jamie Vardy (left) and manager Brendan Rodgers celebrate victory after the final whistle during the FA Cup semi final match at Wembley. The Foxes will hope to win their first ever FA Cup in May against Chelsea

Leicester City's Jamie Vardy (left) and manager Brendan Rodgers celebrate victory after the final whistle during the FA Cup semi final match at Wembley. The Foxes will hope to win their first ever FA Cup in May against Chelsea

Leicester City's Jamie Vardy (left) and manager Brendan Rodgers celebrate victory after the final whistle during the FA Cup semi final match at Wembley. The Foxes will hope to win their first ever FA Cup in May against Chelsea

Leicester are through to their first FA Cup final since 1969 after Kelechi Iheanacho edged Brendan Rodgers’ side past Southampton on a night when thousands of spectators returned to Wembley.

After Chelsea overcame Manchester City in front of empty stands on Saturday, the following evening saw 4,000 local residents, including key workers, make up England’s biggest crowd for 13 months.

A number of Leicester and Southampton fans were among those at yesterday’s semi-final, with in-form Iheanacho settling the tie by slotting home early in the second half to seal a 1-0 victory under the arch.

There is expected to be 21,000 in attendance – including far more supporters – when the Foxes return to Wembley on May 15 to take on Chelsea looking to win their first FA Cup.

Hopefully the showpiece will be more exciting than the drab semi-final.

At least this tie was memorable for the return of spectators, with Leicester edging a cagey first half and then landing a 55th-minute gut punch just as Saints looked to be waking up.

Jamie Vardy, who wasted the best chance of the opening period, got free down the left and crossed for in-form Iheanacho, whose poor first effort kindly deflected back to him and he slotted home.

Saints launched a meek response for a leveller as they quickly ran out of ideas and energy, with their dreams of replicating their 1976 triumph ending as Leicester’s bid to make history continues.

There were cheers and applause at the end of a match that doubled up as one of the UK government’s pilot events, with all those in attendance having to prove they had tested negative for coronavirus before the game.

“It’s amazing. The club have been waiting a long time to get to the final,” Foxes boss Rodgers beamed afterwards.

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“I thought we deserved it. We defended strongly and didn’t concede any efforts on goal.

“As the game wore on we looked really bright in our attacking play and maybe should have had more than one goal. (I’m) just really pleased for everyone, the players first and foremost. It’s a massive achievement.”


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