LEICESTER, ENGLAND – Leicester will face Manchester City in the League Cup quarterfinals after a 6-5 penalty shootout win over Southampton that was marred by controversy over a decision made by the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) on Tuesday.
In a match that was rescheduled following the tragic death of Leicester owner Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha in October, Claude Puel’s side was held to a 0-0 draw by struggling Southampton at King Power Stadium.
But in the shootout, Manolo Gabbiadini’s effort was saved by Danny Ward before Nampalys Mendy bagged the winner for Leicester.
It was Leicester’s first home victory since Vichai’s helicopter crashed outside the club’s stadium just days before the team was scheduled to face the Saints in the fourth round tie.
Leicester, which last won the League Cup in 2000, will host Manchester City on Dec. 18 for a place in the semifinals.
“At the end it’s a fantastic feeling, a lot of emotion,” Puel said.
“Ward made fantastic saves, kept us in the game. I’m happy for Papy who scored the winning penalty.”
Southampton is on a wretched run in the league, but Mark Hughes’ side came close to winning in normal time.
Nathan Redmond turned past Caglar Soyuncu and Danny Simpson on a mazy run into the penalty area and the Southampton winger’s shot struck the underside of the crossbar.
Southampton thought it had broken the deadlock when Redmond’s cross was finished off by Steven Davis, but the goal was ruled out by VAR after Redmond was adjudged to have handled in the build-up.
Hughes, fighting for his job, felt Southampton was the victim of a bad decision.
“The guys looking at the situation sometimes get the decision wrong. If you slow it down, it looks deliberate. But when you play it in normal time, there’s no way he can avoid that ball,” Hughes fumed.
“From our view, it’s a valid goal and we should have won that tie.”
Inevitably, Puel had no complaints with the call, adding: “I wish we had VAR in the last games for us. There have been some difficult decisions for us. I was happy about the decision today.”
IN FIVE EASY PIECES WITH TAKE 5