Belfast Telegraph

Vardy has the last laugh as Mahrez gets warm welcome

Leicester City 1 Sheffield United 0

By Robert Jones

Sheffield Wednesday fan Jamie Vardy put the Blades to the sword as Leicester knocked Sheffield United out of the FA Cup last night.

Sheffield-born Vardy, released by the club he supports at the age of 16, had been the target of "Owls reject" taunts by the visiting supporters, but he had the last laugh when he headed the only goal of the game after 66 minutes.

The fifth-round tie was the first game the striker had started in this season's competition, having previously played just 10 minutes of the replay against his former club Fleetwood.

Leicester boss Claude Puel also saw fit to play all his other big hitters, paying full respect to the Championship challengers as he named a full strength team.

That meant Riyad Mahrez made his return to the starting line-up for the first time since going AWOL after the collapse of his proposed transfer to Manchester City.

The Algerian received a warm reception from the Leicester City supporters, and a standing ovation when he was substituted late on.

Leicester boss Puel said: "The most important thing in the game was the fans supported Riyad and when I replaced him - it was a good feeling with the fans.

"It's important to stay united about this, it's a good thing and we can move on.

"The situation is behind us, it's important to look forward. We need to come back in the Premier League with conviction," he added.

Belfast Telegraph

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