Belfast Telegraph

Ranieri hails hungry Foxes after Cup escape

Derby County 2 Leicester City 2

Wes Morgan was praised by boss Claudio Ranieri after giving Leicester an FA Cup lifeline, his late equaliser denying Derby in a 2-2 draw at Pride Park.

The former Nottingham Forest defender headed home with four minutes remaining when it looked like Craig Bryson's lovely individual goal just before half-time would send the Premier League champions crashing out.

Earlier in the first half Darren Bent scored at both ends, presenting the Foxes with the lead with an own goal before making amends with a glancing header.

Ranieri must have been wondering how his side were not level after Derby survived a series of scares at the start of the second half.

Shinji Okazaki went close with a header before Demarai Gray shot straight at Scott Carson, who was out of position on the ground.

Leicester attacked again and Gray saw a shot from the left side of the box come back off the far post and this time Okazaki sent the rebound straight at the grounded Carson.

Leicester were much improved in the second half and deservedly equalised when Morgan headed home.

Robert Huth survived a penalty appeal when Tom Ince's effort struck his hand but referee Mark Clattenburg gave nothing and the two sides will do it all over again in a replay at the King Power Stadium next month.

Ranieri said: "It was a tough match. We started well and scored but slowly we lost our calm. They played well and scored twice. In the second half we again started well and created two or three chances. It was tough to score but thankfully Morgan got one for us.

"We have to concentrate. Too many times we concede. We can only work and be more focused.

"I didn't see well (the penalty shout at the end).

"It was so close when Camara made a cross or shot, there was Chilwell in front and Huth behind. Huth was close. It was involuntary."

Derby manager Steve McClaren praised the effort of his team.

"We did everything we could, we came across a team who were at it tonight. Our character was fantastic, we dug in in the second half and Scott Carson made some saves when we needed him to.

"The penalty incident? It's hit his hand and it's on target, I've seen them given but we didn't get the luck. Neither of us wanted a draw but what a cup tie. I am proud of the players."

Belfast Telegraph


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