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Joy for Justin after his best strike fires Foxes past Potters

Stoke City 0 Leicester City 4

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Job done: James Justin is all smiles with Leicester City boss Brendan Rodgers on Saturday

Job done: James Justin is all smiles with Leicester City boss Brendan Rodgers on Saturday

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Job done: James Justin is all smiles with Leicester City boss Brendan Rodgers on Saturday

James Justin expressed his delight after scoring what he regards as the best goal of his career to date in Leicester City's 4-0 FA Cup win at Stoke City.

The 22-year-old full-back netted the opener in the 34th minute when he cut in from the left, going past Tommy Smith and Joe Allen in the process and sent a superb shot into the top corner from just outside the box.

Asked where it ranked in the list of his goals, Justin said: "It's number one. I haven't hit one better than that."

The England under-21 international added: "I just looked at him and then cut in on my stronger side, saw another man coming, pushed it out, and I thought why not?

"If you don't shoot, you don't score, it ended up in the back of the net, and I'm delighted with the goal."

The Premier League side doubled their lead in the third-round tie through a cool Marc Albrighton finish just before the hour mark.

Ayoze Perez subsequently struck number three for Brendan Rodgers' men in the 79th minute, and Harvey Barnes then added a fourth two minutes later as he lashed the ball past Joe Bursik.

It was a ninth goal of the season and third in four games for Barnes.

The England winger said: "When I've been in good form you get a bit of confidence in front of goal I feel really confident that I'm going to get the ball and have chances in the game.

"At the minute, they're going in and I'm really happy with that.

"There were times in the game where we played really well, and we scored some great goals."

Jamie Vardy and James Maddison, both of whom had been nursing injuries, were missing from the Leicester line-up.

Their replacements, Perez and Dennis Praet, were the only changes made by Rodgers from the win at Newcastle United a week earlier, with the Foxes not in action again until next Saturday, against Southampton.

"I think all round it was a very, very good team performance," said the Leicester manager. "They had a really experienced team, some really good players.

"We had to stay strong in that first 10-15 minutes of the game. I thought we defended well, showed our quality and then once we got the first goal, some of our play was very, very good. It was an excellent performance."

When asked about the strength of the Foxes team, Stoke boss Michael O'Neill - who made five alterations to his XI - said: "I didn't expect Brendan to come and play anything other than that. Even without Maddison and Vardy, they still had quality.

"For some of our players, it gave them an indication, particularly some of the younger ones, of the level that's required to play at the top end of the Premier League. Once we went behind it was going to be very difficult against that level of quality."

Stoke are currently eighth in the Championship, and O'Neill added: "I don't think that will affect their confidence really in terms of the Championship. We recognise the quality we played against.

"The most important thing is we now know we have 23 league games left and we can make a real fight to finish in the top six."

Belfast Telegraph


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