Hart's blunder offers Eriksson another bite at under-par City

Leicester City 2 Manchester City 2

Walkers Stadium

After a pulsating tie, in which a costly aberration by Joe Hart brought an equaliser, the Swedish sorcerer and his Italian apprentice must reconvene to establish whether Sven-Göran Eriksson's Leicester or Roberto Mancini's Manchester City will enjoy the dubious privilege of a fourth-round trip to Notts County.

Hart had been beaten inside 45 seconds by Sol Bamba's first touch in English football – following the Ivory Coast defender's New Year arrival in the Championship from Hibernian for £250,000. Mancini's side hit back with goals by James Milner and Carlos Tevez, only for atypical sloppiness by the England keeper to gift an equaliser to Leicester captain Andy King.

A just outcome means a return to Eastlands for Eriksson, who was manager there in 2007-08. The replay, a week on Wednesday, also delivers another opportunity for him to pit his wits against Mancini – a close friend and former assistant at Lazio – with a trip to his previous English club at Meadow Lane the prize.

Describing the draw as "incredible", the former England manager went on to quip: "I don't know how they fixed it!" Thinking better of the word "fixed", he plumped instead for "destiny".

Eriksson was understandably delighted with Leicester's display and the quality of the entertainment. "We could've lost and we could've won, but I'm very proud of the players," he said. "We stood up to one of the best teams in the country and I couldn't see much difference."

The 6ft 3in Bamba's eventful introduction to the Walkers Stadium faithful drew rich praise from Eriksson, who became aware of his ability when he coached the Ivorians during last year's World Cup. "He could have scored a hat-trick, and he was outstanding defensively too."

Quizzed about the error by Hart, his first-choice keeper in Manchester, Eriksson erred on the side of generosity. "I know Joe very well. He's an extremely good keeper but even the best make mistakes." A smile creased his face as he continued: "It was good for us."

Mancini – whose new £27m attacker from the Bundesliga, Edin Dzeko, watched from the stand – summed up a card-free contest that contrived to be competitive as well as convivial, suggesting it was "a good result for both teams". He added: "Leicester played very well and didn't deserve to lose. For us, it's an important lesson. We understand now that if we want to win the FA Cup, we have to play 100 per cent in every game.

"Bamba caused us a lot of problems at set-pieces. He's very tall and good in the air, so we must pay attention to him in the replay."

The Mancunian contingent – sporting red and black scarves in honour of Maine Road legend Neil Young, who scored their winner against Leicester in the 1969 final and now has terminal cancer – magnanimously gave the lead to Leicester supporters by singing Eriksson's name prior to kick-off.

An instant home goal quickly put a stop to that. A short-corner routine led to Paul Gallagher crossing from the left and Bruno Berner flicking the ball on before, in a crowded six-yard box, Bamba stabbed the ball home.

"I'm On Fire", by Leicester's Kasabian blared out over the loudspeakers in celebration and when it came to Bamba it was an apposite choice. City struggled to contain his aerial power, which produced two headers in rapid succession shortly after the half-hour; the first was clutched beneath the bar by Hart and the second was cleared off the line by Shaun Wright-Phillips.

Midway through the opening half, when Tevez found Milner in the inside-right channel, Bamba charged across the edge of the penalty area to cut him off. The England man dropped a shoulder, his opponent bought the dummy and Milner cracked a low shot beyond Chris Weale from 16 yards.

The Premier League's big spenders spurned a gilt-edged opportunity when Adam Johnson stretched to nudge Patrick Vieira's cross wide five minutes before the break. But in the final minute of the first half, another short corner resulted in Milner driving a cross towards the near post, where Tevez stole ahead of his marker to score with an audacious flick.

The visitors' surprising vulnerability against high balls continued to give Leicester hope. Jack Hobbs wasted a free header from a corner after half-time, but when Gallagher again crossed and Hart inexplicably failed to claim the ball cleanly, King demonstrated regal composure by bringing it under control and walking it into the net.

Astonishingly, Bamba was permitted yet another tilt at glory from a corner, delivered once more by Gallagher with 12 minutes remaining. Milner, guarding the far post, headed out from under the bar. When Tevez fired wastefully at Weale as the action immediately lurched to the opposite end, it ensured an amicable outcome to an unusually friendly tie.

Leicester City (4-1-4-1): Weale; Naughton, Bamba, Hobbs, Berner (Neilson, 90); Abe; Gallagher, King, Wellens, Dyer (Waghorn, 79); Vassell (Howard, 83).

Substitutes not used Logan (gk), Teixeira, Oakley, Moussa.

Manchester City (4-4-2): Hart; Boateng, K Touré, Lescott, Kolarov; Wright-Phillips (De Jong, h-t), Milner, Vieira, Johnson; Tevez, Jo (Zabaleta, 74).

Substitutes not used Given (gk), Boyata, Santa, Cruz, Ibrahim, Tchuimeni-Nimely.

Referee M Dean (Wirral).

Possession Leicester 52%, Manchester City 48%

Attempts on target Leicester 10, Manchester City 7

Man of the match Samba.

Attendance 31,200.

Match rating 8/10.

Arts and Entertainment
Friends is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year
tvSeries celebrates 20th anniversary
Sport
Yaya Touré (left) and Bayern Munich’s Spanish defender Juan Bernat
footballToure's lack of defensive work is big problem for City
Voices
voicesApple continually kill off smaller app developers, and that's no good for anyone
Arts and Entertainment
Liam Neeson said he wouldn't
tv

Liam Neeson's Downton dreams

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Sport
Wembley Stadium
footballNews follows deal with Germany
Arts and Entertainment
A spell in the sun: Emma Stone and Colin Firth star in ‘Magic in the Moonlight’
filmReview: Magic In The Moonlight
Sport
A 'Sir Alex Feguson' tattoo
football

Arts and Entertainment
Ben Whishaw is replacing Colin Firth as the voice of Paddington Bear
tv

Thriller is set in the secret world of British espionage

Life and Style
life

News
ScienceGallery: Otherwise known as 'the best damn photos of space you'll see till 2015'
Life and Style
fashion

Bomber jacket worn by Mary Berry sells out within an hour

Sport
Andros Townsend is challenged by Vladimir Volkov
football
Arts and Entertainment
Rapper Jay Z performs on the Pyramid Stage at Glastonbury in 2008
musicSinger sued over use of the single-syllable sample in 'Run This Town'
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

The Imitation Game, film review
England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week