Leicester City’s visit to Brentford in the Emirates FA Cup fourth-round on Sunday night will incidentally be the Foxes’ second encounter in the same competition and same round, against the home side in exactly one year – with their previous meeting on January 25, 2020 ending in a 1-0 victory for the guests, thanks to Kelechi Iheanacho’s fourth minute goal.
Both managers rested several first team members as vital clashes against Nottingham Forest in the EFL Championship and Aston Villa in the League Cup semifinal overshadowed the match day’s ambitions for Brentford and Leicester respectively.
This time around, Leicester City will visit to the newly opened Brentford Community Stadium in West London for the first time.
We take a look at last year’s memorable encounter between the two at the historic Griffin Park, which was decommissioned mid-2020.
Early blow for Brentford
Leicester City showed their intent within the first 20 seconds after Ayoze Perez almost put the Foxes ahead after rounding Brentford goalkeeper Luke Daniels, but fell short as the ball was cleared in due time by Luka Racic. Three minutes later, Dennis Praet’s inch perfect through ball from midfield found James Justin on the right wing, who sent it a simple cross to find Iheanacho’s leg waiting to tap in a comfortable goal.
He came close to securing a brace later in the half but saw his shot saved by the perseverant Daniels between the posts. Although the first half belonged to Leicester, Brentford fought back for possession and tried to assert themselves with their three midfielders - Dru Yearwood, Kamohelo Mokotjo and Jan Žambůrek. But the Foxes remained visibly unharmed and strung around passes without any pressing problems, linking up play extremely well.
Brentford midfielder Žambůrek, along with forwards Halil Dervişoğlu and Emiliano Marcondes came close to equalizing but saw their efforts either saved or go wide, as was the case for Leicester when James Maddison posted his shot wide of the post and Ayoze Perez’s shot from close range was saved fantastically by Daniels.
A lively second half
The second half saw Brentford press strongly for an equalizer, backed by the ever-faithful home crowd. Substitute Josh Dasilva was forced to come on after Mokotjo was forced to limp off. He immediately brought upon an added flair, nearly providing a free-kick assist for Racic who could not connect his header well enough.
As the match approached the hour mark, Marcondes’ cross from the left met Dervişoğlu’s flick, only to see the ball hit the inside of the post. This is the closest the home team had come all match. Later, the ever-present Racic forced Leicester goalkeeper Danny Ward into making a champion save over the bar as he struck a sweet pinpoint volley from a corner.
The home fans went ecstatic as substitute Bryan Mbeumo struck in the final minutes of the match, only to calm down moments later as it was chalked out for offside.
It was a spirited attempt from the Bees to make a comeback until the final minute of the match. Nonetheless, it was Leicester City’s day as they progressed into the last sixteen. The Foxes have now won all of their previous four FA Cup clashes against Brentford – in January 1936, February 1947, February 1949 and January 2020 – and will look to do so again this weekend.