A battling second-half display couldn’t save Peterborough United from an FA Cup hammering at the hands of Premier League Leicester City today (January 27).
The Foxes, who pretty much fielded a second string, were 2-0 up in 12 minutes, 3-0 up at the break and claimed two goals in the final few minutes to register a 5-1 scoreline which was a fair reflection of the balance of play.
Posh had rallied after the break with Andrew Hughes pulling a goal back following a corner, but Leicester were always in control as they booked their place in the fifth round.
All the talk beforehand was of Posh playing on the front foot, knocking balls in behind and causing problems to an understrength defence. Leicester played their part by making 10 changes to their Premier League team, but they were still far too sharp, too quick and too ruthless for their hosts.
And Posh were caught out early on by their preference to play backwards before going forwards as Liam Shephard’s throw-in to Anthony Grant was intercepted by Harvey Barnes and a couple of passes, and direct runs, later visiting debutant Fousseni Diabete was delivering a delicious finish.
That was 1-0 after seven minutes and five minutes later it was 2-0 after Chris Forrester’s misplaced pass led to Kelechi Iheanacho scoring superbly from the edge of the penalty area.
Posh were chasing shadows. They battled away, won a few free kicks - one of which Marcus Maddison blasted just over from 30 yards - but they lacked the technique or speed of thought to concern a defence containing current England international Harry Maguire.
Leicester left star men Jamie Vardy and Riyad Mahrez on the bench in case of emergency, but they probably took their boots off when Iheanacho volleyed home a third goal on 29 minutes following a brilliant left wing cross from Christian Fuchs.
But Posh came out a completely different side at the start of the second half. Forrester starting pinging quality long passes, Maddison saw more of the ball and Marriott’s movement started to at least make Maguire concentrate.
Maddison missed a glorious chance to give Marriott a tap-in, but a corner from the assist king did lead to a Posh goal on 57 minutes.
Steven Taylor won the initial header with Hughes firing home through a crowd of bodies from 10 yards.
For a few minutes Leicester wobbled, but they assumed control again once the ineffective Leo Da Silva Lopes was replaced by Junior Morias.
Jonathan Bond made a cracking save to thwart Diabate on 65 minutes before Marriott dithered for too long after robbing Adrien Silva and wasted the chance to put Maddison through on goal.
But Posh fizzled out in the later stages as Leicester controlled matters with confidence. Subs Wilfred Ndidi, Marc Albrighton and Ben Chilwell all tested Bond who stood firm and handled the ball well.
Leicester claimed a fourth goal, albeit with the help of an incompetent assistant referee, through Diabate three minutes from time and Ndidi fired a fifth with the last kick of the game as Posh ran out of steam.
That 53 year-wait for a second FA Cup win over top-flight opposition in the FA Cup will now extend further as will a 32-year wait to reach the fifth round.
Posh: Jonathan Bond, Liam Shephard, Andrew Hughes, Steven Taylor, Ryan Tafazolli, Anthony Grant, Chris Forrester, Leo Da Silva Lopes (sub Junior Morias, 61 mins), Marcus Maddison (sub Andrea Borg, 87 mins), Danny Lloyd (sub Idris Kanu, 80 mins), Jack Marriott.
Unused substitutes: Conor O’Malley, Alex Penny, Jack Baldwin, Michael Doughty.
Leicester: Ben Hamer, Danny Simpson, Harry Maguire, Yohan Benalouane, Christian Fuchs, Adrien Silva, Vicente Iborra (sub Marc Albrighton, 64 mins), Fousseni Diabaté, Demarai Gray, Harvey Barnes (sub Wilfred Ndidi, 64 mins), Kelechi Iheanacho (sub Ben Chilwell, 80 mins).
Unused substitutes: Eldin Jakupović, Ben Chilwell, Robert Huth,Riyad Mahrez, Jamie Vardy.
Goals: Posh - Hughes (57 mins).
Leicester - Diabate (7 mins & 87 mins), Iheanacho (12 mins & 29 mins).
Cautions: Leicester - Iborra (foul).
Referee: Michael Oliver 8
Attendance: 13,193 (3,999 Leicester).