Newcastle United 1 Leicester City 1 (Leicester win 4-2 on penalties)
- Tim Robinson
Newcastle United exited the Carabao Cup after a penalty shootout defeat to Leicester City at St. James’ Park.
The Magpies played out a 1-1 draw with their Premier League rivals over the course of 90 minutes, with James Maddison’s fortuitous first-half free kick cancelled out by Yoshinori Muto shortly after the interval.
Muto was among those to convert for Newcastle in the shootout but, after Kasper Schmeichel denied both Jonjo Shelvey and Isaac Hayden, Jamie Vardy smashed home the winning spot kick to seal the Foxes’ progress to the Third Round.
Former United forward Ayoze Pérez – returning to St. James’ Park for the first time since his summer switch – had a sight of goal within 20 seconds of the game kicking off. However, just as the Spaniard prepared to take aim, Fabian Schär got across the six-yard box to provide a vital block.
Young midfielder Matty Longstaff – making his senior bow for United – drew a free kick just outside the penalty area six minutes in. Shelvey stepped up to take it, but failed to keep a sweetly-struck effort on target. Longstaff was in the thick of the action again before the midpoint of the first half, with Leicester’s Çaglar Söyüncü going into the book for a wild challenge on the teenager.
Though Emil Krafth had the ball in the net for Newcastle – the Swede perhaps harshly seeing his strike chalked off for offside – there was little else to report prior to Maddison’s opener after 34 minutes. The England international’s effort looked on target but would likely have been kept out by Karl Darlow had Matt Ritchie not inadvertently diverted the ball the opposite way to where the ‘keeper was heading and into the net.
Krafth nearly provided a swift response, but the defender’s goalbound strike – direct from a Jetro Willems cross – was blocked six yards out.
The Magpies could count themselves a tad unfortunate to be trailing heading into the break, but – less than ten minutes into the second half – they restored parity at the Gallowgate End. Schär played a trademark diagonal pass from the halfway line into Willems’ path, and though the Dutchman ended up on the floor after colliding with Ricardo Pereira, the ball landed perfectly for Muto, who produced a simple finish from six yards out.
The tie now firmly in the balance, a rather tense period followed. Jonny Evans threatened to restore Leicester’s advantage after meeting Maddison’s corner, but the centre back wasn’t able to keep his header on target. Pérez nearly found himself in on goal after gathering Maddison’s mis-hit free kick, but again, the Magpies were able to snuff out the danger. At the other end, meanwhile, Schmeichel did well to get both hands to Shelvey’s piledriver before collecting the ball at the second attempt.
That was just about it in terms of further action following Muto’s equaliser, though, with the game looking destined for a shootout for much of the second half. The only other chance of note prior to the full-time whistle fell to Pérez, who curled over the top deep into injury time.
Only Harvey Barnes missed from 12 yards for Leicester, Darlow handing his side a reprieve after Shelvey’s effort was kept out by Schmeichel. However, the Dane denied Hayden to open the door for Vardy, who duly found the net to edge the Foxes over the line.