Nugent cashes in as Norwich keep eyes on bigger prize

Norwich City 1 Leicester City 2: Leicester look for boost to Championship form after bringing down Premier League high fliers

Carrow Road

Leicester City, the big-spending under-achievers of the Championship, moved into the last eight of the FA Cup at the expense of the Premier League's homespun over-achievers. Not that Norwich will mind too much – the Canaries are having too much fun flying high in the Premier League to feel too distressed at a cup upset, if indeed an upset it was.

While 25 League placings separate the sides, it is the Leicester line-up, rather than the Norwich one, that contains more names familiar to the average football fan – notably the scorer of their winning goal, David Nugent, still only 26 but already a "former" England player, having gained his only cap in 2007.

Though there were a few changes, this was not a seriously under-strength Norwich side. "I picked a team I thought would win," Paul Lambert, their manager, said. But he made his feelings about the defeat clearer when he added: "No one would thank me to get to an FA Cup semi-final and get relegated. This club's worked really hard to get this far and we don't want to throw it away."

After threatening to "give some of the kids a chance", Lambert only gave the 19-year-old goalkeeper Jed Steer his second cup game as he attempted to secure Norwich their first quarter-final place for 20 years. But it took Leicester less than five minutes to take the lead, Sean St Ledger rising at the near post to head home a corner curled in from the left by the lively Ben Marshall.

Despite Lambert's insistence beforehand that "the emphasis is on us to make the running", it was the Championship side who looked more at home, with Norwich restricted mostly to counter-attack mode.

Leicester's goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel changed the mood midway through the first half when he felled Elliott Bennett with a forearm smash from behind; the goalkeeper did extremely well to save Wes Hoolahan's resultant well-placed penalty, diving to his left, but he was unable to prevent the taker from following up to score in the opposite corner.

The equaliser caused only a temporary interruption to Leicester's dominance, and another Marshall corner on the half-hour almost brought more joy for the Foxes; Steer lost it in the air and in the resulting mêlée a close-range back-heeled attempt by Wes Morgan was chestedoff the line by Elliott Ward. According to their manager, Nigel Pearson, Leicester's players thought it was over the line – but, as Pearson put it: "Until we embrace technology it's a guess whether it was or wasn't."

A breathless start to the second half suggested neither side fancied a replay, and it was Norwich's turn to be denied on the line when Lee Peltier cleared from Leon Barnett, who had little excuse for not burying the chance from three yards.

Leicester's strike pair of Nugent and Jermaine Beckford combined excellently outside the home box for Nugent to fire the Foxes back in front in the 71st minute. It was a lead the visitors' hard-working midfielders especially deserved, but it was almost wiped out within two minutes when Hoolahan produced the game's outstanding piece of skill to shoot inches beyond the far post.

In an end-to-end finale Beckford might have put the issue beyond doubt when Ward's slip left him free to run into the box, where he aimed for the top corner and struck woodwork.

"The players can be very pleased with their day's work," Pearson concluded. "This is a very important competition still; hopefully the players will feel good about themselves and we can take that forward. If we play like that consistently we'll have a better chance of winning Championship games."

Norwich (4-4-2): Steer; Martin, Barnett, Ward, Drury; Bennett, Hoolahan, Fox (Johnson, 77), Pilkington; Morison (Wilbraham, 61), Jackson (Vaughan, 61).

Leicester (4-4-2): Schmeichel; Peltier, Morgan, St Ledger, Kennedy (Konchesky, 65); Marshall (Delfouneso, 65), Danns, Wellens, Dyer; Nugent, Beckford.

Referee Mike Dean.

Man of the match Danns (Leicester).

Match rating 7/10.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
Google celebrates the 126th anniversary of the Eiffel Tower opening its doors to the public for the first time
techGoogle celebrates Paris's iconic landmark, which opened to the public 126 years ago today
News
Cleopatra the tortoise suffers from a painful disease that causes her shell to disintegrate; her new prosthetic one has been custom-made for her using 3D printing technology
newsCleopatra had been suffering from 'pyramiding'
News
people
Arts and Entertainment
Coachella and Lollapalooza festivals have both listed the selfie stick devices as “prohibited items”
music
Sport
Nigel Owens was targeted on Twitter because of his sexuality during the Six Nations finale between England and France earlier this month
rugbyReferee Nigel Owens on coming out, and homophobic Twitter abuse
Arts and Entertainment
Tracey Emin visits her 1990s work ‘My Bed’ at Tate Britain in London, where it is back on display from today
artsBut how does the iconic work stand up, 16 years on?
Life and Style
life + style
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
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

No postcode? No vote

Floating voters

How living on a houseboat meant I didn't officially 'exist'
Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin

By Reason of Insanity

Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin
Power dressing is back – but no shoulderpads!

Power dressing is back

But banish all thoughts of Eighties shoulderpads
Spanish stone-age cave paintings 'under threat' after being re-opened to the public

Spanish stone-age cave paintings in Altamira 'under threat'

Caves were re-opened to the public
'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'

Vince Cable interview

'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'
Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

Promises, promises

But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

The death of a Gaza fisherman

He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat
Saudi Arabia's airstrikes in Yemen are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Saudi airstrikes are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Arab intervention in Yemen risks entrenching Sunni-Shia divide and handing a victory to Isis, says Patrick Cockburn
Zayn Malik's departure from One Direction shows the perils of fame in the age of social media

The only direction Zayn could go

We wince at the anguish of One Direction's fans, but Malik's departure shows the perils of fame in the age of social media
Young Magician of the Year 2015: Meet the schoolgirl from Newcastle who has her heart set on being the competition's first female winner

Spells like teen spirit

A 16-year-old from Newcastle has set her heart on being the first female to win Young Magician of the Year. Jonathan Owen meets her
Jonathan Anderson: If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

British designer Jonathan Anderson is putting his stamp on venerable house Loewe
Number plates scheme could provide a licence to offend in the land of the free

Licence to offend in the land of the free

Cash-strapped states have hit on a way of making money out of drivers that may be in collision with the First Amendment, says Rupert Cornwell
From farm to fork: Meet the Cornish fishermen, vegetable-growers and butchers causing a stir in London's top restaurants

From farm to fork in Cornwall

One man is bringing together Cornwall's most accomplished growers, fishermen and butchers with London's best chefs to put the finest, freshest produce on the plates of some of the country’s best restaurants
Robert Parker interview: The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes

Robert Parker interview

The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes
Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

We exaggerate regional traits and turn them into jokes - and those on the receiving end are in on it too, says DJ Taylor