Walsall hosted Leicester in the 4th round of the FA Cup on Saturday 28th January and the home side narrowly missed out on their chance to stun the 2021 FA Cup winners.
Image: Emirates FA Cup YouTube
Leicester inched past the league 2 side with a tight 0-1 scoreline which came from a deflected shot from substitute Kelechi Iheanacho.
The Foxes had many chances to secure the game. Patson Daka had several shots at goal but could not find the back of the net, and Youri Tieleman’s was centimetres away from scoring a penalty in the second half, with the post denying him the goal and keeping the underdogs Walsall in the game.
But the typical underdog story was not to be for Michael Flynn’s side.
The Saddler’s had their chances throughout the game and came close to scoring on several occasions, but Flynn’s men did not quite get to test Leicester goalkeeper Daniel Iversen.
Michael Flynn. Image Credit Walsall FC
Despite the chances not going there way, Walsall put up a good fight, winning most of the physical battles and committing to challenges which might have caught Leicester by surprise.
The home side showed a lot of fight and aggression in the first half, not allowing Leicester the chance to create many opportunities. It was only two minutes into the second half when they gifted Leicester a perfect chance, when Isaac Hutchinson brought down Daka on the edge of the penalty box to award Leicester a penalty.
To their delight, Tieleman’s penalty hit the post and Walsall reacted quickly. Andy Williams had the chance to cause an upset but his volley was way over the bar.
Walsall Goalkeeper Owen Evans was kept on his toes for the rest of the duration of the game, denying chances from Harvey Barnes, Tieleman’s and Daka.
Eventually Leicester found what they were looking for with around 20 minutes left of the game, and started dominating in all aspects.
A slow and patient build up play from Leicester eventually found substitute Iheanacho, and the striker was given the space to turn onto his left foot.
The strikers shot caught an unfortunate deflection which tipped the ball just over the top of Evans.
Leicester played out the rest of the game, with the scoreline remaining one nil to the visitors at full time.
The loss for the home side is only the third time they have lost at home since September and Michael Flynn can not be disappointed with how his team performed.
Flynn said: “I’m proud of my players, as usual, 90 percent of the time they give me everything I’m asking for.”
Albeit proud of his team, Flynn expresses how he wishes his team had seized on at least one of the chances his team had created.
He said: “I do wish we took one of the chances we created, we know we’re not going to get many against a Premier League team so when you do its important you take it.
“I’d rather the penalty go in than a deflected effort. It was going wide. It’s a strange day but one I’m proud of.”
Nevertheless, the Welsh man was proud of his team and how his group will move on and improve from this.
Flynn said: “I have a fantastic group who are going to stick together.”