Kelechi Iheanacho came off the bench to keep Leicester in contention for a place in the League Cup final as the Nigerian striker’s late goal earned a 1-1 draw against Aston Villa on Wednesday.
Brendan Rodgers’ side fell behind to Frederic Guilbert’s first-half goal in the semi-final first leg at the King Power Stadium.But Iheanacho equalised after the break with his sixth goal in eight appearances this season.
Leicester will feel they should have won after dominating for long periods, but the team in second place in the Premier League will have to finish the job at Villa Park in the second leg on January 28.
Rodgers has a remarkable record of advancing from his last 30 domestic cup ties with Liverpool, Celtic and Leicester.
But the last team to beat Rodgers in a domestic knockout competition were Villa in the FA Cup semi-final in 2014-15 when he was Liverpool manager.
And Villa, whose last major trophy was the 1996 League Cup, will feel they are in pole position to reach the final after surviving a stern examination.
The second leg winner will play Manchester City or Manchester United in the final at Wembley, with City leading 3-1 after their first leg at Old Trafford on Tuesday.
Leicester last won the competition in 2000, beating Villa in the semi-finals that year, and they were well on top at the start.
A scuffed clearance from Douglas Luiz was collected by Ayoze Perez, who saw his deflected effort flash just wide.
Jamie Vardy was back after missing three games due to the birth of his daughter and a calf injury and took the fight to Villa.
He seized Marvelous Nakamba’s wayward header before testing Orjan Nyland, then saw his low drive blocked by Villa’s keeper moments later.
But, having soaked up Leicester’s early blitz on a rain-drenched evening in the east midlands, it was Villa who snatched the lead against the run of play in the 28th minute.DON'T MISS: Download Edujandon.com News app and get latest news updates directly to your phone!