KELECHI IHEANACHO deservedly fired Leicester to their first FA Cup final since 1969 = on the day fans returned to football.
The two-goal quarter-final hero this time pounced on a rebound from his own shot on 55 minutes to sink subdued Southampton and set up a May 15 clash with Chelsea.
Kelechi Iheanacho hails his winner – in front of 4,000 fans at WembleyCredit: Getty
Kelechi Iheanacho slots home the rebound from his own effort to put Leicester in front against Southampton on 55 minutesCredit: Getty
Fans returned as the Foxes took on the Saints in the FA Cup semi-finalCredit: Guardian News & Media / Free to use by all titles in perpetuity under NMC agreement
Leicester edged a cautious and scrappy start, largely thanks to Youri Tielemans looking lively with his simple passing in midfield.
Jamie Vardy and Ayoze Perez then conjured the finest move of the opening half on 28 minutes, with Perez’s resulting cross just too high for Kelechi Iheanacho.
But there was no effort on target before the break, and indeed Southampton failed to produce any sort of shot.
And on 54 minutes Iheanacho made the breakthrough the Foxes merited.
Having largely been quiet before this moment, he netted at the second attempt following a brilliant burst-and-cross from Vardy down the left.
Iheanacho’s strike made him Leicester’s 15-goal top scorer this season.
And it finally sparked the Saints into attacking action.
James Maddison came on for Perez midway through the second half following his beach of coronavirus restrictions.
Vardy and Maddison went close in the final quarter of an hour as the Foxes’ frustrated Southampton with strong defending plus nippy counter-attacks to hold on comfortably.
FULL REPORT TO FOLLOW
Leicester boss Brendan Rodgers watches on anxiously as his side won throughCredit: Andy Hooper-The Daily Mail
Jamie Vardy rises to threaten during a rare moment of first-half dangerCredit: News Group Newspapers Ltd
Frontman Kelechi Iheanacho kept his cool for the opening goalCredit: Getty
Jamie Vardy goes close for Leicester in the weekend’s second FA Cup semi-finalCredit: News Group Newspapers Ltd
Leicester striker Jamie Vardy receives treatment at Wembley but was fine to continue playingCredit: News Group Newspapers Ltd
The 4,000-strong crowd were allowed in as a trial event for the fuller return of sporting fans on May 17Credit: Reuters
Leicester’s Turkey midfielder Caglar Soyuncu is booked but it was largely a subdued contestCredit: Guardian News & Media / Free to use by all titles in perpetuity under NMC agreement
⚽ Read our Football live blog for the very latest news from around the grounds