Leicester City 0-1 Chelsea: Ross Barkley's strike seals the visitors' passage into the FA Cup semi-finals
Dennis Praet and Christian Pulisic battle for possession during the sides' clash in Leicester.| Photo: Getty / Tim Keeton/Pool

Leicester City were knocked out of the FA Cup at the quarter-final stage once again after they suffered a narrow 1-0 defeat against Chelsea at King Power Stadium

A second-half finish from substitute Ross Barkley was enough to send the visitors into the next round of the competition and ensure Leicester would be punished for not taking their chances in a fairly even encounter on Filbert Way.

Story of the match 

Fast start by Leicester 

The Foxes began the brighter of the two sides, pressing the Chelsea back-line from the get-go and managed to create some clear-cut chances in the process. 

Harvey Barnes played a one-two with Jamie Vardy and drove into the penalty box, but the winger was unable to get a shot away, before Wilfred Ndidi connected with Ben Chilwell’s free-kick, however, the Nigerian directed his header straight at Willy Caballero

The visitors’ goalkeeper was called into action once again in the 20th minute as he palmed Youri Tielemans’ low drive past his left-hand post.

Despite Leicester’s fast start, Christian Pulisic had the best chance of the first-half after he was played through inside the left channel before hitting a powerful strike which was superbly saved by Kasper Schmeichel

Barkley’s strike the difference

After a slow first-half display from the visitors, manager Frank Lampard made three half-time substitutions which changed the tempo of the match and ensured that Chelsea were better with and without possession.

Tammy Abraham had a goal ruled out for offside moments before Barkley notched the crucial opening goal. Willian, who scored Chelsea’s winner in their victory over Manchester City, whipped in a delightful cross for Barkley to steer home from inside the 18-yard box for his sixth goal of the campaign. A smart finish from the 26-year-old midfielder, who gave Schmeichel little chance with his strike. 

Leicester's response to going behind 

Brendan Rodgers’ side responded well to going a goal behind and pressed in order to find a way back into the match, but found it hard all afternoon to break through a compact Chelsea defence. Barnes found Vardy inside the box but the forward's shot was blocked, before Chilwell saw a powerful long-range drive saved by Caballero.

Arguably the Foxes' best opportunity of the game fell to Caglar Soyuncu on 85 minutes after substitute Marc Albrighton’s cross fell to the Turkish defender at the back post, but his header deflected off Cesar Azpilicueta and behind for a corner.

Despite Leicester’s late pressure, Chelsea almost doubled their lead on the counter attack – which was led by goalscorer Barkley who played a one-two with Ruben Loftus-Cheek, before striking a powerful attempt that was kept out by Schmeichel, who made sure the score wasn’t worse for the hosts.

Ndidi had an effort from the edge of the box in injury-time which flew wide of target, but City failed to grab that elusive equaliser and therefore were knocked out of the Cup once again by Chelsea at this stage of the competition.

Takeaways 

Foxes lacklustre in the final third

For a large proportions in the game, Leicester had good spells of the ball, but didn't look like scoring and breaking through a compact back four. Having only found the net once in their first three games since the restart, which came from Chilwell's rocket at Watford, the lack of goals is definitely a concern for Rodgers' time who need to create more in the final third if they are to pick up more positive results in the run-in.

Chelsea clinical once again

After the Blues’ fine win against Manchester City on Thursday where they took their chances, it was a similar story in Leicester as they waited to pounce when an opportunity came, and didn’t look like conceding at the other end too. It’s a third victory on the bounce for Lampard’s men since the restart and their know-how to grind results out is an impressive trait to have.

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