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Leicester City vs Newport County AFC. Carabao Cup Round 3.

The King Power StadiumAttendance15,081.

Leicester City 3

  • J Justin (44th minute)
  • J Vardy (70th minute, 82nd minute)

Newport County AFC 0

    Leicester 3-0 Newport: James Justin scores but carried off injured in Carabao Cup win

    Free highlights and match report as James Justin's outside chance of earning place in England's World Cup squad all-but ended by injury; Jamie Vardy scores twice after Justin's fine opener to overcome spirited League Two Newport

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    Highlights from the Carabao Cup third round as Leicester take on Newport County.

    James Justin's first goal for almost two years helped Leicester down Newport but his slim World Cup hopes appear over.

    The right-back was carried off in the second half of the 3-0 Carabao Cup win over the Exiles, as Jamie Vardy bagged a double to send the Foxes into the fourth round.

    The right-back's first goal since February 2021 at least gave Gareth Southgate a late reminder of his talents ahead of his squad announcement on Thursday, even if England suffered another defensive injury.

    Justin, understood to be on the provisional 55-man list, became a viable option for Southgate after injuries to Reece James and Kyle Walker left them as doubts.

    Despite his injury, it was a routine win for the Foxes as they avoided another shock against the Exiles.

    James Justin went off injured in the second half
    Image: James Justin went off injured in the second half

    Newport's 2-1 FA Cup win against the Foxes in 2019 helped call time on Claude Puel's reign and usher in Brendan Rodgers, who has faced the toughest time of his near four-year tenure this season.

    But four wins from their last seven games have lifted Leicester off the bottom of the Premier League and eased any fears the manager had run out of road.

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    Despite the upturn in the league, Rodgers refused to allow Leicester to relax having squeezed past Stockport on penalties in the last round.

    james justin
    Image: James Justin curled Leicester in front in the first half

    The cup did, at least, give him the opportunity to rest James Maddison - the focal point of their recent rise which has only seen the chorus of calls for his World Cup inclusion get louder.

    The manager promised he would not allow another close call in the cup and the Foxes should have found an opener after eight minutes.

    Vardy's selflessness - and poor pass - allowed Adam Lewis to deny Ayoze Perez a tap-in when the pair broke clear.

    Leicester, as expected, dominated with Perez and Dennis Praet firing wide and it was the perfect game to ease Jonny Evans and Wilfred Ndidi back in after their injury lay-offs with the Exiles offering little threat.

    james justin
    Image: Justin was carried off the field on a stretcher after picking up an injury in the second half

    Yet the visitors were organised, their massed ranks filling the gaps the Foxes hoped to exploit, and while the pressure could never be called relentless Newport kept their focus.

    When Leicester did find space goalkeeper Nick Townsend was quick to deny Harvey Barnes.

    With nearly 90 per cent possession a goal seemed inevitable and it finally came a minute before the break.

    Newport had enjoyed a brief spell with the ball but they switched off to allow Justin the opener and, while the build-up was simple, the finish was emphatic.

    He collected a pass from Praet on the right, cut inside unchallenged and curled an excellent strike into the corner from 20 yards.

    jamie vardy
    Image: Jamie Vardy struck twice as Leicester powered clear of Newport in the second half

    It was worth the wait for Justin, who scored his first goal since February last year - the same month he suffered a serious knee injury which sidelined him for almost a year.

    But the 24-year-old was carried off just after the hour following an innocuous challenge.

    Townsend thwarted Vardy soon after but he could not stop the striker making it 2-0 with 20 minutes left when he glanced in Marc Albrighton's cross. Vardy then added a third after 82 minutes, running onto Barnes' pass, rounding Townsend and firing in.

    Justin to have scan on Wednesday

    Leicester assistant boss Chris Davies: "He felt something, he will have a scan to see what it was. I'm not sure where it is, he has felt something so we will have to see how it goes.

    "I thought JJ was excellent, he flicked over to the right having played on the left. His job was to be a little higher up to attack the back line more. He scored a wonderful goal, attacked the space and got a brilliant goal into the far corner.

    "We'll see what the diagnosis is once he's been looked at and had the relevant scan. I thought his performance was outstanding.

    "The mindset for this game was no different to a Premier League game, the complacency can be the biggest threat. We see surprises and shocks all the time in the cup competitions."

    Coughlan salutes Newport spirit

    Newport boss Graham Coughlan: "I didn't think it was a free hit at all. We were here to compete; we are competitors and winners with a mentality that's been building in that changing room.

    "We were well within our rights to come here and get something from the game. That's the thought process we have instilled in the last few weeks."

    What's next for Leicester & Newport?

    Leicester's final game before the World Cup is a trip to West Ham on Saturday in the Premier League; kick-off 3pm.

    Newport are also in action as they welcome Stockport to Rodney Parade in a League Two fixture; kick-off 3pm.

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