Peterborough 1-5 Leicester: New signing Fousseni Diabate hits double on debut
By Oliver Yew
Last Updated: 27/01/18 7:36pm
New signing Fousseni Diabate scored twice as Leicester cruised into the fifth round of the FA Cup after beating Peterborough 5-1 at London Road on Saturday.
Eighth in League One, Peterborough came into the tie hoping to produce another shock result after beating Championship Aston Villa in the last round, but first-half goals from Diabate (9) and Kelechi Iheanacho (12, 29) killed the tie.
Peterborough showed some fight after the break with Andrew Hughes pulling a goal back but it proved to be only a consolation as Diabate (87) capped a perfect debut with his second of the match before Wilfred Ndidi rounded off the scoring, as Claude Puel's side booked their place in Monday's last-16 draw.
Leicester made the perfect start, quietening the home fans with two goals inside the first 12 minutes.
Peterborough: Bond (7), Shephard (6), Hughes (7), Tafazolli (6), Forrester (6), Lloyd (6), Maddison (6), Marriott (6), Da Silva Lopes (6), Taylor (6), Grant (6).
Subs: Morias (6), Kane (6), Borg (n/a)
Leicester: Hamer (7), Simpson (6), Maguire (7), Benalouane (6), Fuchs (7), Silva (8), Iborra (7), Diabate (9), Gray (7), Barnes (7), Iheanacho (8).
Subs: Chilwell (6), Albrighton (6), Ndidi (7).
Man of the match: Fousseni Diabate
New boy Diabate, signed from French side Gazelec Ajaccio this month, grabbed the first, latching onto Adrien Silva's pass before firing home across the face of goal and into the bottom corner before Iheanacho scored his first of the game, curling home around two Peterborough defenders and past Jonathan Bond.
Claude Puel's side were in cruise control and Iheanacho strengthened their grip on the tie in the 28th minute, meeting Christian Fuchs' inviting cross to hammer the ball home from close range to score his ninth goal in nine FA Cup appearances.
Only Harry Maguire maintained his starting spot from the side that beat Watford 2-0 last weekend, with Riyad Mahrez and Jamie Vardy starting on the bench. Fousseni Diabate made his Leicester debut while youngsters Harvey Barnes and Demarai Gray also started today along with the returning Danny Simpson.Peterborough made just one change from the side that beat Oldham 3-0 last weekend, with Junior Morais dropping to the bench and Leo Da Silva Lopes brought into the XI.
With nothing to lose, Peterborough came out with renewed vigour for the second half and they were handed a lifeline when Hughes bundled home Steven Taylor's header in the 58th minute.
But they could not make any further inroads into Leicester's lead, which was extended in the 87th minute through Diabate, who looked to be in an offside position when Demarai Gray's shot was palmed into his path, but the flag stayed down, allowing the forward to power the ball into the roof of the net.
There was still time for the Premier League side to add a fifth and the impressive Diabate was involved again, cutting the ball back towards the top of the box for Ndidi, who put the finishing touch on Leicester's afternoon.
Leicester have progressed from seven of their last eight FA Cup fourth round ties against lower-league opposition, with their only defeat coming at the hands of West Brom in 2001/02 (0-1).
Peterborough have failed to keep a clean sheet in any of their 32 FA Cup matches against top-flight opposition.
Hughes' strike was the first competitive goal that Leicester have conceded in 508 minutes of action in 2018.
Iheanacho has been directly involved in 10 goals in nine FA Cup appearances (nine goals, one assist).
Since his FA Cup debut in January 2016, Iheanacho has scored more goals in the competition than any other player in this period (9).Diabate Leicester
Man of the Match - Fousseni Diabate
A £2m signing earlier this month, Diabate produced a dream debut, scoring twice and grabbing an assist as Leicester romped to victory.
He scored nine minutes into the game, becoming the first Leicester debutant to score since Nathan Dyer in September 2015.
Following another tidy finish, the 22-year-old then picked out Ndidi on the edge of the area to round off a promising display.
Manager reaction: Claude Puel
Asked if he feared the overhaul of his starting XI could backfire, Puel replied: "Yes, I am responsible. It is important to have a good ambition for the cup because it is an objective for us, but we have to improve and develop the squad.
"Of course, sometimes there is some risk, but it is important to build the team's strength for the future.
"The cup journey is a good reward for all the team. If we can continue our journey in this competition we have to have some quality and to keep a lot of players fresh."
Leicester are back in action on Wednesday when they travel to Goodison Park to face Everton in the Premier League.
Next up for Peterborough is return to League One action when they host Southend at London Road next Saturday.