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Carabao Cup

Rodgers delighted with Leicester's fighting spirit

The Foxes came from behind to secure a draw in their Carabao Cup Semi-Final first leg against Aston Villa

9 January 2020

Brendan Rodgers was pleased by the resolve shown by his Leicester City side as they fought back to claim a 1-1 draw against Aston Villa in their Carabao Cup Semi-Final first leg, and felt the Foxes deserved more from the game.

Villa took a first-half lead against the run of play through Frederic Guilbert's 28th-minute effort and, following a sustained period of pressure after the break, the hosts got their equaliser through substitute Kelechi Iheanacho with just over 15 minutes to spare.

It means the tie is finely poised ahead of the second leg at Villa Park on 28 January, but Rodgers feels his side could and perhaps should be taking a lead into the return meeting.

“I thought we played well,” he told the club's TV channel. “In the first half, we were too slow both in attack and when we pressed the game. We were too passive.

“They didn’t have too many opportunities. The one that they scored, we’re disappointed with. We should defend that much better.

“I thought, first half, even though we had a couple of chances, we weren’t aggressive enough both with the ball and without the ball.

“We bring Hamza [Choudhury] into the game and I thought he was sensational when he came in – pressing, playing it – and I thought he was very, very good.

“From that, in the second half, we were really dominant. The ‘keeper [Orjan Nyland] has made some great saves, they’ve got some great blocks in, Aston Villa, so you have to give them credit.

“Overall, we deserved to win the game, but didn’t and like I say, we showed great mentality to come back after going behind.”

The winners of the tie will face either Manchester City or Manchester United in March's Final at Wembley Stadium, with City currently holding a 3-1 lead after the other Semi-Final first leg.

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