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Aston Villa vs Leicester City. Carabao Cup Semi-Final.

Villa ParkAttendance39,300.

Aston Villa 2

  • M Targett (12th minute)
  • Trezeguet (93rd minute)

Leicester City 1

  • K Iheanacho (72nd minute)


Aston Villa 2-1 Leicester (3-2 agg): Wembley for Villa after Trezeguet goal in stoppage-time

Kelechi Iheanacho had levelled tie but Aston Villa win Carabao Cup semi-final second leg with late goal

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Highlights of Aston Villa's Carabao Cup semi-final second leg win over Leicester

Trezeguet’s dramatic stoppage-time winner sent Aston Villa into the Carabao Cup final with a 2-1 win over Leicester at Villa Park.

Kelechi's Iheanacho's second-half goal had cancelled out Matt Targett's first-half strike to level things up on aggregate but the substitute's late goal secured a 3-2 aggregate win and means it's Villa going to Wembley.

After an epic encounter, Villa's supporters celebrated on the pitch at the full-time whistle as they put their relegation concerns to one side amid the drama of the night.

Leicester had dominated the ball for much of the contest but Villa defended stoutly and always maintained a threat and it's Dean Smith who will lead out his boyhood club in the final against either Manchester City or Manchester United.

Player ratings

Aston Villa: Nyland (9), Konsa (6), Hause (6), Mings (7), Guilbert (7), Nakamba (7), Luiz (6), Targett (7), El Ghazi (6), Samatta (5), Grealish (9).

Subs: Davis (7), Trezeguet (8), Elmohamady (7)

Leicester: Schmeichel (5), Pereira (7), Evans (6), Soyuncu (5), Chilwell (6), Ndidi (6), Tielemans (7), Maddison (7), Perez (6), Barnes (7), Iheanacho (8).

Subs: Vardy (6), Gray (6).

Man of the Match: Orjan Nyland

How Villa won it

Kasper Schmeichel had turned the teams around at the kick-off to ensure that Villa were not attacking the Holte End in the second half but it only made for a hectic start.

It was Leicester with the early opportunities as Iheanacho, deputising for Jamie Vardy who was only fit enough for the bench, forced a save inside two minutes.

That was just the start from Orjan Nyland as he twice denied James Maddison with fingertip stops low down to his left - and those saves looked even better when Villa took the lead.

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Team news

It was a tale of two strikers with the team selections as Dean Smith put new signing Mbwana Samatta straight into the Aston Villa starting line-up.

Jamie Vardy, who came off injured during the first half of the win over West Ham and sat out the FA Cup tie with Brentford, was fit enough to take his place among the Leicester substitutes.

Jack Grealish raced clear down the left channel before checking and dinking a beautiful ball into the path of the onrushing Matt Targett who fired cleanly beyond Schmeichel.

Targett celebrates after putting Villa ahead
Image: Matt Targett celebrates after putting Villa ahead

With the Villa Park atmosphere electric, they had the ball in the net again midway through the half after another sublime pass by Grealish but that one was correctly adjudged offside.

Nyland's third superb save of the half came soon after as he pushed Youri Tielemans' fierce shot onto the woodwork but there was controversy in the aftermath of that incident.

Maddison's subsequent shot from the edge of the penalty box was blocked by the hand of Marvelous Nakamba but no spot-kick was awarded following a lengthy VAR review.

Leicester struggled to find the same momentum early in the second half with Grealish going close to doubling the lead before Brendan Rodgers turned to Vardy.

But the chances kept falling to Villa with Grealish curling a cross into the path of new signing Mbwana Samatta that the striker somehow contrived to miss completely from close range.

Kelechi Iheanacho levelled for Leicester with 20 minutes remaining
Image: Kelechi Iheanacho levelled for Leicester with 20 minutes remaining

That proved costly because the equaliser came on 72 minutes when Harvey Barnes drilled a cross-shot in from the left and Iheanacho was there to score his eighth goal of the season.

Suddenly it was anyone's game as both teams pushed for a winner and tensions rose. Maddison curled over the bar at one end. Trezeguet shot tamely when through at the other.

Evans headed wide from Maddison's corner in the 89th minute and that looked to be the final chance before Villa went up the other end in stoppage time and Trezeguet converted a cross from fellow substitute Ahmed Elmohamady to win it for the home side.

After a nervy few seconds, Mike Dean blew the whistle for full-time and the crowd were on the pitch amid scenes of joy for the relegation-threatened side.

It's Wembley again for Villa.

What the managers said

Dean Smith: "I have composed myself now. I certainly let myself go when we scored that goal. We made it an entertaining game. We know how good Leicester are so I am proud of the players.

"We are indebted to Orlan Nyland, who made three saves early on. I thought in the second half we were a bit unfortunate to concede a goal but we showed character and had a goal made in Egypt at the end.

"We have a proud history in this competition so if we can go on to raise this trophy for a sixth time as a club I would be a very proud man."

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Dean Smith will be proud to lead Aston Villa out at Wembley

Brendan Rodgers: "I am absolutely gutted for the players. I thought over the two legs we were the better side.

"Firstly, congratulations to Aston Villa but we are bitterly disappointed. We created enough chances. We just switched off late on from a cross and so late in the game it is difficult to come back from that.

"I said to the players, this is what they need, getting close to finals. This will increase their determination. My only criticism is that we could have been more clinical but we can use this as a great motivator."

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Brendan Rodgers felt Leicester were unlucky not to progress to the final

Opta stats

  • Aston Villa have reached the final of the League Cup for a ninth time (level with Manchester United) - only Liverpool (12) have made it to the final of the competition on more occasions.
  • Leicester City attempted 43 shots compared to Aston Villa's total of 12 over the two legs of this semi-final tie but could only score twice. The average quality of their chances (0.09) was half that of Aston Villa's (0.18) in terms of expected goals.
  • Aston Villa have ended Brendan Rodgers' 32 game unbeaten run in domestic cup competition (League Cup, FA Cup, Scottish League Cup and Scottish Cup - W28 D4) across spells with Liverpool, Celtic and Leicester - they are the first team to beat a side managed by Rodgers since Villa beat Liverpool in the 2014-15 FA Cup semi-final.
  • Jack Grealish has been directly involved in 16 goals across all competitions for Aston Villa this season (nine goals, seven assists), more than any other English Premier League midfielder.

What's next?

Aston Villa need to switch their focus quickly back to their Premier League relegation battle as they travel to fellow strugglers Bournemouth on Saturday.

Before that, in the early kick-off that day, Leicester host Chelsea in a clash between third and fourth at the King Power Stadium.

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