Aston Villa have it all to play for in the second leg at Villa Park, grabbing a draw against Leicester in the first leg of the Carabao Cup Semi-Final.
Words: Regan Foy | @findfoy
Aston Villa travelled to the King Power Stadium this evening to face high-flying Leicester City in the first leg of the Carabao Cup Semi-Final.
The first real chance of the game came in the 12th minute, as Ayoze Perez fired with the outside of his boot towards the bottom left, but the ball took a slight deflection on its way towards the goal and curled wide for a corner.
Marvelous Nakamba got himself into a bit of trouble in the 18th as he mistimed his header which allowed Jamie Vardy to get a shot on goal – which was pushed wide by Orjan Nyland.
Jamie Vardy had another chance to put the Foxes ahead just four minutes later, but Orjan Nyland was able to squash the chance again.
It was, however, Aston Villa who opened the scoring via a strong counter-attack that resulted in El Ghazi, wide on the left, playing a teasing ball into the far post where Frederic Guilbert beat his man to the ball and poked into the roof of the net.
Anwar El Ghazi was booked, the first of the game, for a swinging legged tackle on Youri Tielemans in the 36th minute. Vardy must have felt left out, as he picked up a yellow card for a challenge on Ezri Konsa just two minutes later.
Ezri Konsa hit the bar at the end of an inswinging Jack Grealish free-kick in the 42nd minute as he rushed away from Leicester’s defenders but seemed to turn himself away from goal – perhaps worried of a clattering from Kasper Schmeichel.
Tyrone Mings made a vital block in the added minute at the end of the first half as he headed a goalbound shot from James Maddison over the bar.
Leicester opened the second half with an early change, as Denis Praet was replaced by Hamza Choudhury.
It took ten or so minutes of the second half for anything of note to happen for Aston Villa as Douglas Luiz fired a shot directly at a Leicester defender.
Nyland was forced into another save in the 62nd minute to deny James Maddison as the midfielder wormed his way into a shooting position.
Aston Villa made their first change of the game in the 66th, with Conor Hourihane replacing Trezeguet. Three minutes later, Ayoze Perez was replaced by Kelechi Iheanacho for Leicester.
Indiana Vassilev, the eighteen-year-old American made his second appearance in a week as he replaced Anwar El Ghazi.
Douglas Luiz was lackadaisical on the ball in the 74th minute, caught by Choudhury who played the ball to Vardy, who played in Iheanacho – with the Nigerian forward working the ball well before firing over Orjan Nyland.
Former Villan Marc Albrighton replaced Youri Tielemans in the 78th minute for Leicester City. Seven minutes later, Henri Lansbury replaced Marvelous Nakamba.
Not much happened following this – but it’s all to play for in the second leg.