Blackburn Rovers

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Premier League team of the weekend - by Jason Burt

Matchday 24 brought with it plenty of goals, and plenty of top quality ones, too. Arsenal showed there is life after Alexis Sanchez and Chelsea suggested there is no need for a target man. Here's our team of the week: Asmir Begovic It is fair to say that Begovic has, overall, been a disappointment since his big money move to Bournemouth from being back-up at Chelsea but he impressed in the draw away to West Ham United with a series of good saves, denying Marko Arnautovic in particular. Victor Moses   It was an all-action performance from Chelsea away to Brighton and Moses played his part, crossing for Eden Hazard’s opening goal and rounding off the scoring with a fine finish. Moses was back on the scoresheet for Chelsea Credit: Reuters Phil Jones The former Blackburn Rovers defender was given a warm reception from the Burnley fans at Turf Moor but his resilience summed up a vital away win for Manchester United. Nacho Monreal The Spaniard lasted just 34 minutes in his comeback from injury for Arsenal but made an incredible contribution in his team’s blistering start against Crystal Palace with a goal and two assists. Monreal scored Arsenal's first goal Credit: Action Images Ryan Bertrand Captaining Southampton Bertrand led his team’s threat against Tottenham Hotspur in an intriguing battle against Serge Aurier. Set up Southampton’s goal with a powerful run and cross. Xherdan Shaqiri The Swiss international was picked out by new Stoke City manager Paul Lambert as the key player if they are to avoid relegation. He showed that with some wonderful attacking play – including a delightful back-heel to set up a goal – in the win over Huddersfield Town. Fernandinho Fresh from signing a new contract extension with Manchester City the Brazilian again showed his worth by winning the ball back time and again in the win over Newcastle United. Fernandinho battles with Christian Atsu Credit: AFP Mesut Ozil With Alexis Sanchez on his way, Arsenal needed Ozil to step up and he did just that against Crystal Palace. He has been playing well for some time, in fact, and showed it with some sumptuous flicks and passes. Eden Hazard  Hazard has been – by his own brilliant standards – not at his best of late but he was simply world-class in the win over Brighton. He scared his opponents, scoring twice. Hazard was on fire for Chelsea Credit: Getty Images Sergio Aguero A perfect hat-trick – header, right-foot and left-foot – was the perfect riposte for Aguero and Manchester City with the disappointment over Alexis Sanchez deciding not to join them and Gabriel Jesus still not fit. Jamie Vardy  Once again Vardy – and Riyad Mahrez – made the difference for Leicester City in their win over Watford. Both scored with Vardy scoring his 11th of the season from the penalty spot and creating problems with his pace. Jason Burts Premier League team of the weekend Manager - Paul Lambert  The best way for any new manager to win round the doubters is to start with a victory and Stoke City’s Paul Lambert did just that. It also helped his cause that he had identified Xherdan Shaqiri as Stoke’s key player and the Swiss international responded with an excellent performance as he helped lift his team out of the bottom three. Huddersfield Town were the ideal opponents and Stoke took full advantage. Stiffer tests lie ahead but they are up and running under Lambert

Premier League team of the weekend - by Jason Burt

Matchday 24 brought with it plenty of goals, and plenty of top quality ones, too. Arsenal showed there is life after Alexis Sanchez and Chelsea suggested there is no need for a target man. Here's our team of the week: Asmir Begovic It is fair to say that Begovic has, overall, been a disappointment since his big money move to Bournemouth from being back-up at Chelsea but he impressed in the draw away to West Ham United with a series of good saves, denying Marko Arnautovic in particular. Victor Moses   It was an all-action performance from Chelsea away to Brighton and Moses played his part, crossing for Eden Hazard’s opening goal and rounding off the scoring with a fine finish. Moses was back on the scoresheet for Chelsea Credit: Reuters Phil Jones The former Blackburn Rovers defender was given a warm reception from the Burnley fans at Turf Moor but his resilience summed up a vital away win for Manchester United. Nacho Monreal The Spaniard lasted just 34 minutes in his comeback from injury for Arsenal but made an incredible contribution in his team’s blistering start against Crystal Palace with a goal and two assists. Monreal scored Arsenal's first goal Credit: Action Images Ryan Bertrand Captaining Southampton Bertrand led his team’s threat against Tottenham Hotspur in an intriguing battle against Serge Aurier. Set up Southampton’s goal with a powerful run and cross. Xherdan Shaqiri The Swiss international was picked out by new Stoke City manager Paul Lambert as the key player if they are to avoid relegation. He showed that with some wonderful attacking play – including a delightful back-heel to set up a goal – in the win over Huddersfield Town. Fernandinho Fresh from signing a new contract extension with Manchester City the Brazilian again showed his worth by winning the ball back time and again in the win over Newcastle United. Fernandinho battles with Christian Atsu Credit: AFP Mesut Ozil With Alexis Sanchez on his way, Arsenal needed Ozil to step up and he did just that against Crystal Palace. He has been playing well for some time, in fact, and showed it with some sumptuous flicks and passes. Eden Hazard  Hazard has been – by his own brilliant standards – not at his best of late but he was simply world-class in the win over Brighton. He scared his opponents, scoring twice. Hazard was on fire for Chelsea Credit: Getty Images Sergio Aguero A perfect hat-trick – header, right-foot and left-foot – was the perfect riposte for Aguero and Manchester City with the disappointment over Alexis Sanchez deciding not to join them and Gabriel Jesus still not fit. Jamie Vardy  Once again Vardy – and Riyad Mahrez – made the difference for Leicester City in their win over Watford. Both scored with Vardy scoring his 11th of the season from the penalty spot and creating problems with his pace. Jason Burts Premier League team of the weekend Manager - Paul Lambert  The best way for any new manager to win round the doubters is to start with a victory and Stoke City’s Paul Lambert did just that. It also helped his cause that he had identified Xherdan Shaqiri as Stoke’s key player and the Swiss international responded with an excellent performance as he helped lift his team out of the bottom three. Huddersfield Town were the ideal opponents and Stoke took full advantage. Stiffer tests lie ahead but they are up and running under Lambert

Premier League team of the weekend - by Jason Burt

Matchday 24 brought with it plenty of goals, and plenty of top quality ones, too. Arsenal showed there is life after Alexis Sanchez and Chelsea suggested there is no need for a target man. Here's our team of the week: Asmir Begovic It is fair to say that Begovic has, overall, been a disappointment since his big money move to Bournemouth from being back-up at Chelsea but he impressed in the draw away to West Ham United with a series of good saves, denying Marko Arnautovic in particular. Victor Moses   It was an all-action performance from Chelsea away to Brighton and Moses played his part, crossing for Eden Hazard’s opening goal and rounding off the scoring with a fine finish. Moses was back on the scoresheet for Chelsea Credit: Reuters Phil Jones The former Blackburn Rovers defender was given a warm reception from the Burnley fans at Turf Moor but his resilience summed up a vital away win for Manchester United. Nacho Monreal The Spaniard lasted just 34 minutes in his comeback from injury for Arsenal but made an incredible contribution in his team’s blistering start against Crystal Palace with a goal and two assists. Monreal scored Arsenal's first goal Credit: Action Images Ryan Bertrand Captaining Southampton Bertrand led his team’s threat against Tottenham Hotspur in an intriguing battle against Serge Aurier. Set up Southampton’s goal with a powerful run and cross. Xherdan Shaqiri The Swiss international was picked out by new Stoke City manager Paul Lambert as the key player if they are to avoid relegation. He showed that with some wonderful attacking play – including a delightful back-heel to set up a goal – in the win over Huddersfield Town. Fernandinho Fresh from signing a new contract extension with Manchester City the Brazilian again showed his worth by winning the ball back time and again in the win over Newcastle United. Fernandinho battles with Christian Atsu Credit: AFP Mesut Ozil With Alexis Sanchez on his way, Arsenal needed Ozil to step up and he did just that against Crystal Palace. He has been playing well for some time, in fact, and showed it with some sumptuous flicks and passes. Eden Hazard  Hazard has been – by his own brilliant standards – not at his best of late but he was simply world-class in the win over Brighton. He scared his opponents, scoring twice. Hazard was on fire for Chelsea Credit: Getty Images Sergio Aguero A perfect hat-trick – header, right-foot and left-foot – was the perfect riposte for Aguero and Manchester City with the disappointment over Alexis Sanchez deciding not to join them and Gabriel Jesus still not fit. Jamie Vardy  Once again Vardy – and Riyad Mahrez – made the difference for Leicester City in their win over Watford. Both scored with Vardy scoring his 11th of the season from the penalty spot and creating problems with his pace. Jason Burts Premier League team of the weekend Manager - Paul Lambert  The best way for any new manager to win round the doubters is to start with a victory and Stoke City’s Paul Lambert did just that. It also helped his cause that he had identified Xherdan Shaqiri as Stoke’s key player and the Swiss international responded with an excellent performance as he helped lift his team out of the bottom three. Huddersfield Town were the ideal opponents and Stoke took full advantage. Stiffer tests lie ahead but they are up and running under Lambert

Premier League team of the weekend - by Jason Burt

Matchday 24 brought with it plenty of goals, and plenty of top quality ones, too. Arsenal showed there is life after Alexis Sanchez and Chelsea suggested there is no need for a target man. Here's our team of the week: Asmir Begovic It is fair to say that Begovic has, overall, been a disappointment since his big money move to Bournemouth from being back-up at Chelsea but he impressed in the draw away to West Ham United with a series of good saves, denying Marko Arnautovic in particular. Victor Moses   It was an all-action performance from Chelsea away to Brighton and Moses played his part, crossing for Eden Hazard’s opening goal and rounding off the scoring with a fine finish. Moses was back on the scoresheet for Chelsea Credit: Reuters Phil Jones The former Blackburn Rovers defender was given a warm reception from the Burnley fans at Turf Moor but his resilience summed up a vital away win for Manchester United. Nacho Monreal The Spaniard lasted just 34 minutes in his comeback from injury for Arsenal but made an incredible contribution in his team’s blistering start against Crystal Palace with a goal and two assists. Monreal scored Arsenal's first goal Credit: Action Images Ryan Bertrand Captaining Southampton Bertrand led his team’s threat against Tottenham Hotspur in an intriguing battle against Serge Aurier. Set up Southampton’s goal with a powerful run and cross. Xherdan Shaqiri The Swiss international was picked out by new Stoke City manager Paul Lambert as the key player if they are to avoid relegation. He showed that with some wonderful attacking play – including a delightful back-heel to set up a goal – in the win over Huddersfield Town. Fernandinho Fresh from signing a new contract extension with Manchester City the Brazilian again showed his worth by winning the ball back time and again in the win over Newcastle United. Fernandinho battles with Christian Atsu Credit: AFP Mesut Ozil With Alexis Sanchez on his way, Arsenal needed Ozil to step up and he did just that against Crystal Palace. He has been playing well for some time, in fact, and showed it with some sumptuous flicks and passes. Eden Hazard  Hazard has been – by his own brilliant standards – not at his best of late but he was simply world-class in the win over Brighton. He scared his opponents, scoring twice. Hazard was on fire for Chelsea Credit: Getty Images Sergio Aguero A perfect hat-trick – header, right-foot and left-foot – was the perfect riposte for Aguero and Manchester City with the disappointment over Alexis Sanchez deciding not to join them and Gabriel Jesus still not fit. Jamie Vardy  Once again Vardy – and Riyad Mahrez – made the difference for Leicester City in their win over Watford. Both scored with Vardy scoring his 11th of the season from the penalty spot and creating problems with his pace. Jason Burts Premier League team of the weekend Manager - Paul Lambert  The best way for any new manager to win round the doubters is to start with a victory and Stoke City’s Paul Lambert did just that. It also helped his cause that he had identified Xherdan Shaqiri as Stoke’s key player and the Swiss international responded with an excellent performance as he helped lift his team out of the bottom three. Huddersfield Town were the ideal opponents and Stoke took full advantage. Stiffer tests lie ahead but they are up and running under Lambert

Alexis Sanchez's imminent Man Utd arrival fires up Anthony Martial and Romlu Lukaku

As Jose Mourinho sat in the press conference room at Turf Moor, satisfied by Manchester United’s seventh away victory in the Premier League this season, he insisted the imminent arrival of Alexis Sanchez was governed solely by a need to provide some competition among his forwards. He had plenty of defensive and midfield options. But up front, with Zlatan Ibrahimovic once more indisposed, he has only three players to choose from. ‘‘We need that extra internal competition,” he said. Whether those were the precise words used in the lengthy negotiations with the Chilean – ‘‘to be honest Alexis, we only want you to keep Anthony Martial, Romelu Lukaku and Marcus Rashford on their toes” – appears unlikely. And £400,000 a week seems a sizeable return for someone whose principal purpose is to make others better. But there was a sense in this bruising victory that both Martial and Lukaku are already benefiting from feeling the potential new arrival’s breath on their collar. They conjured up a superb goal here to win the match. Lukaku, widely criticised as having have a poor touch for a big man, created it with a lovely pass after battling his way through the Burnley backline. But it was the clinical aplomb of  Martial’s finish that stood out, as he deceived Nick Pope in goal before shooting with real conviction. ‘‘We know when we put him in the one-v-one situation with a full back it’s difficult for the full back because he has so many attributes,” said Mourinho of the Frenchman. ‘‘He can go inside, can go outside, he can shoot to the far post, he can shoot to the near post like he did today and he has lots of attributes. So it is one more reason to be happy with Romelu because he knew if we put Anthony in a one-on-one situation he is difficult.” Sean  Martial scored the only goal of the game Credit: PA Dyche, the Burnley manager, was no less admiring of the strike. ‘‘It’s a fantastic finish,” he said. ‘‘Sometimes you have to hold your hands up. I have seen it back and he looks for the gap and finds the gap in the top corner, and I think there is often a reason why those footballers move to Man United for 30 million quid.” Martial’s contribution, however, was a rare moment of quality in a game more attritional than aesthetic. Showing little evidence of a lack of confidence brought on by a poor run, Burnley were tough opponents: organised, spirited, determined. Based around Steven Defour and Jack Cork they have a midfield of pace and intelligence. How would Alexis Sanchez fit in at Manchester United? Indeed, what the match demonstrated was that whatever weaknesses in his squad Mourinho is hoping to address with the addition of Sanchez, they do not lie in his defence. This was the fourth clean sheet his team have delivered since the New Year. And this against a Burnley team who chucked everything at them, including the kitchen sink in the shape of Pope trundling forward for a couple of injury-time set pieces, in the desperate scramble for an equaliser. ‘‘That was the defining image,” said Mourinho of the goalkeeper’s intervention. And the smile he wore as he said it suggested that, unlike many of his peers, he is a manager who still prefers a battle to an exhibition. At the heart of United’s resistance was Phil Jones, who, under Mourinho’s stewardship, is finally looking like the centre back he has long threatened to be. His every touch booed by the home fans for his Blackburn past, Jones was magnificent. With his speed, strength and timing he provided a smothering blanket, ensuring for all Burnley’s drive, David De Gea was only infrequently pressed into service. ‘‘The character and determination we showed, the willingness to fight and close down was terrific,” Jones said. ‘‘And when you come to a place like this, that is what you have to do. I’m pleased for the lads.” Watching from afar Sanchez must have been pleased too. If and when he finally arrives in Manchester, he will find it something of a new experience playing in a team that gains as much pleasure from stopping the opposition as from scoring themselves.

Alexis Sanchez's imminent Man Utd arrival fires up Anthony Martial and Romlu Lukaku

As Jose Mourinho sat in the press conference room at Turf Moor, satisfied by Manchester United’s seventh away victory in the Premier League this season, he insisted the imminent arrival of Alexis Sanchez was governed solely by a need to provide some competition among his forwards. He had plenty of defensive and midfield options. But up front, with Zlatan Ibrahimovic once more indisposed, he has only three players to choose from. ‘‘We need that extra internal competition,” he said. Whether those were the precise words used in the lengthy negotiations with the Chilean – ‘‘to be honest Alexis, we only want you to keep Anthony Martial, Romelu Lukaku and Marcus Rashford on their toes” – appears unlikely. And £400,000 a week seems a sizeable return for someone whose principal purpose is to make others better. But there was a sense in this bruising victory that both Martial and Lukaku are already benefiting from feeling the potential new arrival’s breath on their collar. They conjured up a superb goal here to win the match. Lukaku, widely criticised as having have a poor touch for a big man, created it with a lovely pass after battling his way through the Burnley backline. But it was the clinical aplomb of  Martial’s finish that stood out, as he deceived Nick Pope in goal before shooting with real conviction. ‘‘We know when we put him in the one-v-one situation with a full back it’s difficult for the full back because he has so many attributes,” said Mourinho of the Frenchman. ‘‘He can go inside, can go outside, he can shoot to the far post, he can shoot to the near post like he did today and he has lots of attributes. So it is one more reason to be happy with Romelu because he knew if we put Anthony in a one-on-one situation he is difficult.” Sean  Martial scored the only goal of the game Credit: PA Dyche, the Burnley manager, was no less admiring of the strike. ‘‘It’s a fantastic finish,” he said. ‘‘Sometimes you have to hold your hands up. I have seen it back and he looks for the gap and finds the gap in the top corner, and I think there is often a reason why those footballers move to Man United for 30 million quid.” Martial’s contribution, however, was a rare moment of quality in a game more attritional than aesthetic. Showing little evidence of a lack of confidence brought on by a poor run, Burnley were tough opponents: organised, spirited, determined. Based around Steven Defour and Jack Cork they have a midfield of pace and intelligence. How would Alexis Sanchez fit in at Manchester United? Indeed, what the match demonstrated was that whatever weaknesses in his squad Mourinho is hoping to address with the addition of Sanchez, they do not lie in his defence. This was the fourth clean sheet his team have delivered since the New Year. And this against a Burnley team who chucked everything at them, including the kitchen sink in the shape of Pope trundling forward for a couple of injury-time set pieces, in the desperate scramble for an equaliser. ‘‘That was the defining image,” said Mourinho of the goalkeeper’s intervention. And the smile he wore as he said it suggested that, unlike many of his peers, he is a manager who still prefers a battle to an exhibition. At the heart of United’s resistance was Phil Jones, who, under Mourinho’s stewardship, is finally looking like the centre back he has long threatened to be. His every touch booed by the home fans for his Blackburn past, Jones was magnificent. With his speed, strength and timing he provided a smothering blanket, ensuring for all Burnley’s drive, David De Gea was only infrequently pressed into service. ‘‘The character and determination we showed, the willingness to fight and close down was terrific,” Jones said. ‘‘And when you come to a place like this, that is what you have to do. I’m pleased for the lads.” Watching from afar Sanchez must have been pleased too. If and when he finally arrives in Manchester, he will find it something of a new experience playing in a team that gains as much pleasure from stopping the opposition as from scoring themselves.

Leicester City 2 Fleetwood Town 0: VAR history made as offside decision overturned for Kelechi Iheanacho goal

Anyone who came here expecting a dramatic FA Cup night in the traditional sense will have gone home disappointed as Leicester eased through what turned out to be a rather tepid third-round replay. The match did, however, provide English football with its first goal awarded on the say-so of a Video Assistant Referee after Kelechi Iheanacho’s second of the match was given by virtue of an overruled offside decision. The moment came in the 77th minute after Riyad Mahrez’s pass to the former Manchester City striker gave assistant referee Lee Betts a marginal call to which he responded by raising his flag. But after a lengthy pause listening to the advice of VAR Mike Jones from a studio in London, match referee Jonathan Moss made the TV screen shape with his hands and signalled a goal, the remote judgement being that defender Nathan Pond’s trailing foot had just played Iheanacho onside. Inevitably, the delay robbed the moment of spontaneous joy, leaving the players unsure how much to celebrate, the crowd more than a little confused and the Fleetwood manager, Uwe Rosler, complaining that such decisions should be left with the officials on the field for the sake of the game. 76' - Iheanacho goal disallowed ❌ 78' - VAR correctly gives goal ⚽️ 1-0 VAR �� History made as Kelechi Iheanacho becomes the first player to be awarded a goal by VAR in British football! pic.twitter.com/KXsRbVdFou— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) January 16, 2018 “It was not the reason we lost the tie,” he said. “We lost because after they scored their first goal before half-time they had too much for us in the second half. “But can they really say it was onside for the second goal or are they guessing? Even sometimes VAR is not 100 per cent clear. “We will see in the future how it pans out but in general I say don’t complicate the game. The game is beautiful, let it be pure and also made by human errors of the referee. It makes the game.” Claude Puel, the Leicester manager, who had voiced similar reservations ahead of the match on learning that VAR would be used, allowed himself a smile. “I think it’s perfect now,” he joked, before admitting he still had mixed feelings. “But it meant that a good goal was correctly given,” he added. Hot chip: the VAR excitement took attention away from what was a great finish by Kelechi Iheanacho Credit: Getty Otherwise it had been a match too often lacking in passion in which Fleetwood, perhaps unlucky not to have sprung a shock when the sides drew 0-0 at their Highbury ground 10 days ago, gave a good account of themselves in the first half, when Kyle Dempsey drew a fine, fingertip save from Leicester goalkeeper Eldin Jakupovic in their best moment, but faded after going behind two minutes before the break. Iheanacho, one half of a second-string Leicester attack alongside Islam Slimani that nonetheless cost £54 million, converted a chance set up by Slimani to score only his second goal for the club following a £25m move from Manchester City last summer that has yet to deliver a significant return. That moment apart, though, a Leicester side showing eight changes from the weekend had been unimpressive, and it showed on Puel’s face in the technical area.  CLAUDE: “We tried to play in the first half, but it was too comfortable for them to defend. We needed to play forward and get behind them more, which we did much better in the second half.” #LeiFle— Leicester City (@LCFC) January 16, 2018 Mahrez, wearing the captain’s armband for the first time in what may be seen as a statement of Puel's intention to keep him at Leicester, had a quiet first half and wasted his best opportunity with a free kick just outside the ‘D’. Fleetwood offered little as an attacking threat in the second half, in which Jamie Vardy, injured for the original tie, was granted his wish with a 10-minute cameo against his old club. By the time he appeared, Iheanacho, who initially seemed to have no quarrel that his second 'goal' had not counted, had played his part in history. 9:44PM Vardy looking absolutely furious and disgusted although he is, in fact, answering some mild questions in perfectly agreeable fashion. Credit: BT Sport 2 Iheanacho says that communication from the officials to the players about the VAR was totally fine, that he did not know himself at the time whether he was onside or offside. No doubt all of these issues will be well covered in the match report from Jon Culley, which will be here very shortly. From me, Alan Tyers, goodnight. 9:40PM Full time: Leicester City 2 Fleetwood Town 0 VAR the winner! And Leicester. Well done to Fleetwood, they were on terms in the first half and it was hard lines that they conceded on 43 minutes. Result wasn't really in doubt after that. Vardy got a late run against his old club. But the match will be remembered for the second goal, which was given offside. Ref Jon Moss called for VAR, the decision was overturned. It took one minute and seven seconds to come up with the correct answer. Iheanacho was credited with the goal, rightly, his second of the match. Full-time: Leicester City 2️⃣-0️⃣ Fleetwood Town Kelechi Iheanacho's double tees up a fourth round trip to Peterborough United ��#LeiFlepic.twitter.com/EhX81gW2e3— Leicester City (@LCFC) January 16, 2018 9:37PM 90 mins Okazaki has tried to nutmeg Polger. Here is what Polger thought about that: a smack in the puss for you, my Premier League friend. Credit: BT Sport 2 9:35PM 88 mins That would have been the cherry on the top / the final cut for Fleetwood: Albrighton whips it in, there is Jamie Vardy, but Bolger clears. 9:33PM 87 mins This is indeed correct. I am very impressed with the Fleetwood social media account. A mine of information. 85' | Burns finds space on the right edge of the area, and shoots at goal but it's saved by Jakupovic. (2-0)— Fleetwood Town FC (@ftfc) January 16, 2018 9:31PM 85 mins Fleetwood have flagged and it's just a matter of whether Vardy can notch one now.  The VAR system worked, then. Linesman gave a very, very tight decision wrong. They overturned it after a brief look. Either you like it or you don't, the system, but it worked as well as you could expect it to there. 9:26PM 82 mins Jamie Vardy is coming on. Mahrez the man to make way. Shinji Okazaki replaces Kelechi Iheanacho, so there won't be a hat-trick for him. Congratulations to Jon Moss for becoming a pub quiz answer— Alan Smith (@alansmith90) January 16, 2018 9:26PM 81 mins All Leicester now, and indeed all Iheanacho, who has gone close to a hat-trick with a shot. Iborra gets up from the corner and heads not far wide. 9:24PM GOAL! VIA VAR! SCENES! Another VAR! Oh our cup runneth over. This time it is to check an offside flag after Leicester have the ball in the net. Really good run from Mahrez, who takes his time to slide the ball through for Iheanacho. He races onto the ball and applies the finish with a lovely little chip. But the linesman has flagged! They're going to take a look at this on VAR... Credit: BT Sport 2  ... he is just onside! It is overturned! That's it! A little moment of history: the decision is overturned and the goal is awarded. Leicester 2 Fleetwood 0 (Iheanacho 77) 9:19PM 72 mins Dempsey is booked. Bobby Grant replaces Markus Schwabl. 9:15PM 71 mins A VAR HAS HAPPENED!!!!! The ball is lofted into the Fleetwood box. Leicester want a penalty because they think Pond is fouling Iborra  "No penalty" is the initial verdict from Referee Moss. There is not enough evidence of a "clear and obvious" error so the decision of "no penalty" stands. 9:14PM Vaaaaaar, me hearties 61' | Leicester have the ball in the net - but it's ruled out. Ref checking with VAR - still no goal, good decision. (1-0)— Fleetwood Town FC (@ftfc) January 16, 2018 9:09PM 64 mins Albrighton delivers a corner, Iborra heading not far over. Double change for Fleetwood... �� | #ftfc subs. Burns and Cole on, McAleny and Hiwula off. (1-0)— Fleetwood Town FC (@ftfc) January 16, 2018 9:08PM Scarecrow tactics Little by little @RobbieSavage8 is morphing into Worzel Gummidge. pic.twitter.com/WFcv1wbagx— Gary Lineker (@GaryLineker) January 16, 2018 9:07PM 61 mins Leicester have the ball in the net, Iheanacho there just outside the six-yard box slotting it home from the pull-back, but it was just out. Credit: BT Sport 2 9:02PM 56 mins Ball is played into the Fleetwood box. Benalouane flails a leg, Pond has attempted a headed-clearance just a foot or so from the ground, and he gets an unpleasant whack in the head for his trouble. Tough customer, but he needs a moment. 9:00PM 54 mins Slimani is getting the hook and is acting with a sort of exaggerated befuddlement, the sort of hamming that one sees in an amateur dramatic production when the stage direction says "looks shocked". Marc Albrighton replaces him. 8:58PM Shane O'Leary writes: "'Sometimes you just need a bit more quality' muses a man who drifted through too many games like a curly-permed Hugh Grant" 8:55PM 50 mins Iheanacho and Slimani link up very nicely. The former takes his time and chips the ball through. Slimani lets the ball drift across his body and hits a right-footed effort. Doesn't catch it right. Decent chance for what would presumably be the killer second goal. 8:51PM 47 mins "Sometimes you just need a bit more quality," muses Steve McManaman as a decent Fleetwood move peters out thanks to poor passing. 8:50PM 46 mins The second half is underway and the player looking to take it by the scruff of the neck is Gray. Bright and busy, but he runs into trouble. 8:49PM Uwe enjoying a hot drink Credit: BT Sport 2 Jamie Vardy has just pinged a 50-yarder into the top corner as the teams were coming out. Respectful, muted celebration against his old club.— Nick Miller (@NickMiller79) January 16, 2018 8:47PM Over to the Fleetwood social media team �� | Half-time. @LCFC 1-0 #ftfc. @CMcAleny and @_kyledempsey have gone close for Town, who have been the better side. Iheanacho's late goal the difference so far. pic.twitter.com/WL80gHbgtp— Fleetwood Town FC (@ftfc) January 16, 2018 8:34PM Half time: Leicester City 1 Fleetwood Town 0 Leicester had more of the ball but it was in fact Fleetwood who enjoyed the superior chances in an admittedly rather drab half. One moment of real incision from the Premier League team was all it took for the lead. Shame. Can Fleetwood rally after half time? 8:33PM 44 mins Adrien Silva gets the ball and is soon having his foot stamped on by Glendon. Sore one on a cold night, and a booking for the Fleetwood player. 8:32PM GOAL! Leicester! It's Iheanacho! Bit of a nothing ball pumped forard, but Iheanacho manages to knock it to  Slimani, who plays an instant, accurate ball back. It's opened Fleetwood up, Iheanacho slots it calmly away and that's the lead. Finally Fleetwood are bested, after an entire match and 43 minutes. 8:30PM 40 mins Uwe Rosler having a word with Cole on the bench. Bit wet of Rosler not to play his actual best player. Came up with some rot about having to face Blackburn at the weekend and managing his resources. It's the FA Cup, sir! The FA Cup. 8:26PM 36 mins Best moment of the match, a really nice little move from Fleetwood as Hiwula-Mayifuila plays a cute little lay-off for the onrushing Dempsey who cracks a sweet shot at goal. Tipped over! Possibly a bit belt-and-braces from the Leicester keeper, I think that would have most likely gone over. But he could hardly take that risk. Corner. 38' | Corner played short to Jones, but his shot is blocked - before McAleny heads Glendon's cross wide. Come on, lads! (0-0)— Fleetwood Town FC (@ftfc) January 16, 2018 8:23PM 33 mins Hiwula-Mayifuila down the right. Benalouane with a nasty lunge. Ref plays advantage but it doesn't come to a lot. Then booked. 8:21PM 30 mins Mahrez is fouled a yard or two outside the box and the player himself will be the one to take the kick. This is CLOSE! Oof, that took a coat of paint off on the way past the upright. Credit: BT Sport 2 8:16PM 27 mins Shot! McAleny with a break, decent run this. He curls a shot at goal that is palmed away by Jakupovic, who maybe makes a bit of a meal of it.  8:14PM 25 mins McAleny has a shot from distance but that is easy for Jakupovic. Mahrez plays it in. Pond heads behind for a corner. perhaps overcautious, he had a bit of time there. 8:11PM 20 mins Claims, but wafer-thin ones. 20' | Cries for a penalty for #ftfc as Bell and Amartey collide in the penalty area. Not given. (0-0)— Fleetwood Town FC (@ftfc) January 16, 2018 8:06PM 19 mins Iheanacho is booked for a foul as he brushes past McAleny, who went down as quickly, cheaply and theatrically as he possibly could. Premier League quality tumble. 8:03PM 16 mins Pond is there to clear as a cross comes in from the left. 8:01PM 12 mins Amartey has done well to get clear down the right, but very poorly to cross the ball straight at the keeper. Neal barely has to move. 7:58PM 11 mins LCFC camped in the FTFC final third, playing header-tennis, but it's all hands to the pump for the lower league side and eventually they manage to clear. Old boy: Jamie Vardy, pictured here in his Fleetwood Town days, will start on the bench for Leicester City tonight Credit: Action 7:56PM 8 mins Still, they have a freekick. Big Bolger up from centre half. The ball sails over everyone. 7:55PM 7 mins Sorry, I rather drifted off there. It is a quiet start to proceedings. Fleetwood are playing quite nicely but a long way from goal. 7' | Dempsey looking sharp, a neat little pass to McAleny who is fouled. Free-kick to be played in... (0-0)— Fleetwood Town FC (@ftfc) January 16, 2018 7:51PM 4 mins Fever reducer. I’m not saying Cup replay fever hasn’t hit Leicester, but.... pic.twitter.com/3YQPOV67O5— Nick Miller (@NickMiller79) January 16, 2018 7:50PM 3 mins A lot of LCFC fans have given this one a swerve. 3' | Decent start from #ftfc, and a super start from the #codarmy. Singing their hearts out - the only noise in the ground. (0-0)— Fleetwood Town FC (@ftfc) January 16, 2018 7:49PM 2 mins But it is the hosts who are nearly in right away! Mahrez with a good ball to free Iheanacho. Fleetwood are lucky that he makes a horlicks of the pass, because the defence was very stretched there. 7:47PM 1 mins Fleetwood Town kick off. 7:46PM Oh, VAR is available I should say. Hope we get to use it. Leicester: Jakupovic, Amartey, Dragovic, Benalouane, Fuchs,  Mahrez, Adrien Silva, Iborra, Gray, Iheanacho, Slimani. Subs:  Vardy, Albrighton, Hamer, Maguire, Okazaki, Ndidi, Barnes. Fleetwood Town: Neal, Jones, Bolger, Pond, Bell, Glendon,  Schwabl, Dempsey, Hiwula, McAleny, Hunter. Subs: Coyle, Burns,  Grant, Cairns, Sowerby, Cargill, Cole. Referee: Jonathan Moss (County Durham)  7:46PM Some seats still available Credit: BT Sport 1 But here's  how we expect the teams to line up 7:43PM Shane is right on all counts Not least "come on Fleetwood." What a result this would be for them. 7:42PM The excellent Shane O'Leary writes Evening Alan, I understand that the Huth 'foot problem' is that it's usually up the jacksie of an opposing player. Come on Fleetwood! 7:29PM Nathan Pond  seems like an excellent fellow. He used to train  with Vardy "he is always very aggressive." Has he ever been tempted to leave Fleetwood? "Nobody's ever wanted me!"  I bet that is not true. Pond, the skipper, has played 460 times for Fleetwood. I hope he can help them to another clean sheet today. If you think otherwise, bet on Leicester to beat Fleetwood at 28/1 with Corals if you are a new customer. 7:24PM Robert Savage's lid Dat hat Credit: BT Sport Peterborough manager Grant McCann has popped along to see the team his lads will be facing in the fourth round. Owen Hargreaves and Robbie Savage chat to him. 7:20PM Uwe Rosler explains why Devante Cole is on the bench "I am happy what I have in the moment. I can hold what I have. I have to think about Blackburn Rovers at the weekend, we have had 7 games in 22 days." Uwe has left his top scorer out of the XI 6:55PM And here are Fleetwood �� | The teams are in! Here's how #ftfc line up for tonight's @EmiratesFACup fixture at @LCFC... pic.twitter.com/LcyGVTarPo— Fleetwood Town FC (@ftfc) January 16, 2018 6:53PM Rumours 40 years ago today, Fleetwood Mac's 'Rumours' spent a thirty-first and final week at #1 on the Billboard 200.— chart flashbacks (@chartflashback) January 14, 2018 6:50PM Leicester City team Tonight's starting XI: Jakupović, Amartey, Dragović, Benalouane, Fuchs, Iborra, Silva, Mahrez (c), Gray, Iheanacho, Slimani. Subs: Hamer, Maguire, Ndidi, Albrighton, Barnes, Okazaki, Vardy. #LeiFlepic.twitter.com/gBEpbyVBHv— Leicester City (@LCFC) January 16, 2018 6:48PM Shame, Vardy only on the bench Today’s Leicester v Fleetwood team sheet pic.twitter.com/KBltr8X5mf— Rosie Swarbrick (@rosieswarb) January 16, 2018 6:47PM Preview "There’s been a great reaction throughout the town." Journalist Rosie Swarbrick gives us her take on #LeiFle �� https://t.co/TTkWLre8Dupic.twitter.com/rOzZ1bIxA2— Leicester City (@LCFC) January 16, 2018 Rosie (not pictured)  6:20PM Good evening Tyers here, FA Cup third round replay action coming up. Will Jamie Vardy face his former team? Defender Robert Huth could make his first Leicester appearance of the season in the FA Cup third-round replay against Fleetwood on Tuesday. The German centre-back has been sidelined since the summer after ankle surgery and then the recurrence of a foot problem, but Ben Chilwell is banned. Jamie Vardy is fit after missing the first tie against his former club with a groin problem and Matty James is also available, despite hobbling off at Chelsea on Saturday. Danny Simpson and Wes Morgan (both hamstring) are still out. Provisional squad: Schmeichel, Hamer, Jakupovic, Maguire, Huth, Fuchs, Benalouane, Dragovic, James, King, Albrighton, Amartey, Gray, Silva, Ndidi, Mahrez, Iborra, Choudhury, Musa, Vardy, Slimani, Okazaki, Ulloa, Iheanacho. And here is a lovely story by Chris Bascombe about Fleetwood's Markus Schwabl When Fleetwood Town’s German midfielder Markus Schwabl was asked to join the 'Cod Army' he knew so little of the club he rushed to the internet to study its history. Should he and his team mates win at Leicester City in Tuesday’s FA Cup replay he will be enshrining his place in it. Midfielder Schwabl, once of 1860 Munich, was convinced to make the move by compatriot Uwe Rosler. Fleetwood manager Rosler was a colleague of Schwabl’s father, ex-West German international Manfred, at Nurnberg in the early 90s. �� | The lads have arrived at the King Power! pic.twitter.com/PCtxEOPG0w— Fleetwood Town FC (@ftfc) January 16, 2018

Leicester City 2 Fleetwood Town 0: VAR history made as offside decision overturned for Kelechi Iheanacho goal

Anyone who came here expecting a dramatic FA Cup night in the traditional sense will have gone home disappointed as Leicester eased through what turned out to be a rather tepid third-round replay. The match did, however, provide English football with its first goal awarded on the say-so of a Video Assistant Referee after Kelechi Iheanacho’s second of the match was given by virtue of an overruled offside decision. The moment came in the 77th minute after Riyad Mahrez’s pass to the former Manchester City striker gave assistant referee Lee Betts a marginal call to which he responded by raising his flag. But after a lengthy pause listening to the advice of VAR Mike Jones from a studio in London, match referee Jonathan Moss made the TV screen shape with his hands and signalled a goal, the remote judgement being that defender Nathan Pond’s trailing foot had just played Iheanacho onside. Inevitably, the delay robbed the moment of spontaneous joy, leaving the players unsure how much to celebrate, the crowd more than a little confused and the Fleetwood manager, Uwe Rosler, complaining that such decisions should be left with the officials on the field for the sake of the game. 76' - Iheanacho goal disallowed ❌ 78' - VAR correctly gives goal ⚽️ 1-0 VAR �� History made as Kelechi Iheanacho becomes the first player to be awarded a goal by VAR in British football! pic.twitter.com/KXsRbVdFou— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) January 16, 2018 “It was not the reason we lost the tie,” he said. “We lost because after they scored their first goal before half-time they had too much for us in the second half. “But can they really say it was onside for the second goal or are they guessing? Even sometimes VAR is not 100 per cent clear. “We will see in the future how it pans out but in general I say don’t complicate the game. The game is beautiful, let it be pure and also made by human errors of the referee. It makes the game.” Claude Puel, the Leicester manager, who had voiced similar reservations ahead of the match on learning that VAR would be used, allowed himself a smile. “I think it’s perfect now,” he joked, before admitting he still had mixed feelings. “But it meant that a good goal was correctly given,” he added. Hot chip: the VAR excitement took attention away from what was a great finish by Kelechi Iheanacho Credit: Getty Otherwise it had been a match too often lacking in passion in which Fleetwood, perhaps unlucky not to have sprung a shock when the sides drew 0-0 at their Highbury ground 10 days ago, gave a good account of themselves in the first half, when Kyle Dempsey drew a fine, fingertip save from Leicester goalkeeper Eldin Jakupovic in their best moment, but faded after going behind two minutes before the break. Iheanacho, one half of a second-string Leicester attack alongside Islam Slimani that nonetheless cost £54 million, converted a chance set up by Slimani to score only his second goal for the club following a £25m move from Manchester City last summer that has yet to deliver a significant return. That moment apart, though, a Leicester side showing eight changes from the weekend had been unimpressive, and it showed on Puel’s face in the technical area.  CLAUDE: “We tried to play in the first half, but it was too comfortable for them to defend. We needed to play forward and get behind them more, which we did much better in the second half.” #LeiFle— Leicester City (@LCFC) January 16, 2018 Mahrez, wearing the captain’s armband for the first time in what may be seen as a statement of Puel's intention to keep him at Leicester, had a quiet first half and wasted his best opportunity with a free kick just outside the ‘D’. Fleetwood offered little as an attacking threat in the second half, in which Jamie Vardy, injured for the original tie, was granted his wish with a 10-minute cameo against his old club. By the time he appeared, Iheanacho, who initially seemed to have no quarrel that his second 'goal' had not counted, had played his part in history. 9:44PM Vardy looking absolutely furious and disgusted although he is, in fact, answering some mild questions in perfectly agreeable fashion. Credit: BT Sport 2 Iheanacho says that communication from the officials to the players about the VAR was totally fine, that he did not know himself at the time whether he was onside or offside. No doubt all of these issues will be well covered in the match report from Jon Culley, which will be here very shortly. From me, Alan Tyers, goodnight. 9:40PM Full time: Leicester City 2 Fleetwood Town 0 VAR the winner! And Leicester. Well done to Fleetwood, they were on terms in the first half and it was hard lines that they conceded on 43 minutes. Result wasn't really in doubt after that. Vardy got a late run against his old club. But the match will be remembered for the second goal, which was given offside. Ref Jon Moss called for VAR, the decision was overturned. It took one minute and seven seconds to come up with the correct answer. Iheanacho was credited with the goal, rightly, his second of the match. Full-time: Leicester City 2️⃣-0️⃣ Fleetwood Town Kelechi Iheanacho's double tees up a fourth round trip to Peterborough United ��#LeiFlepic.twitter.com/EhX81gW2e3— Leicester City (@LCFC) January 16, 2018 9:37PM 90 mins Okazaki has tried to nutmeg Polger. Here is what Polger thought about that: a smack in the puss for you, my Premier League friend. Credit: BT Sport 2 9:35PM 88 mins That would have been the cherry on the top / the final cut for Fleetwood: Albrighton whips it in, there is Jamie Vardy, but Bolger clears. 9:33PM 87 mins This is indeed correct. I am very impressed with the Fleetwood social media account. A mine of information. 85' | Burns finds space on the right edge of the area, and shoots at goal but it's saved by Jakupovic. (2-0)— Fleetwood Town FC (@ftfc) January 16, 2018 9:31PM 85 mins Fleetwood have flagged and it's just a matter of whether Vardy can notch one now.  The VAR system worked, then. Linesman gave a very, very tight decision wrong. They overturned it after a brief look. Either you like it or you don't, the system, but it worked as well as you could expect it to there. 9:26PM 82 mins Jamie Vardy is coming on. Mahrez the man to make way. Shinji Okazaki replaces Kelechi Iheanacho, so there won't be a hat-trick for him. Congratulations to Jon Moss for becoming a pub quiz answer— Alan Smith (@alansmith90) January 16, 2018 9:26PM 81 mins All Leicester now, and indeed all Iheanacho, who has gone close to a hat-trick with a shot. Iborra gets up from the corner and heads not far wide. 9:24PM GOAL! VIA VAR! SCENES! Another VAR! Oh our cup runneth over. This time it is to check an offside flag after Leicester have the ball in the net. Really good run from Mahrez, who takes his time to slide the ball through for Iheanacho. He races onto the ball and applies the finish with a lovely little chip. But the linesman has flagged! They're going to take a look at this on VAR... Credit: BT Sport 2  ... he is just onside! It is overturned! That's it! A little moment of history: the decision is overturned and the goal is awarded. Leicester 2 Fleetwood 0 (Iheanacho 77) 9:19PM 72 mins Dempsey is booked. Bobby Grant replaces Markus Schwabl. 9:15PM 71 mins A VAR HAS HAPPENED!!!!! The ball is lofted into the Fleetwood box. Leicester want a penalty because they think Pond is fouling Iborra  "No penalty" is the initial verdict from Referee Moss. There is not enough evidence of a "clear and obvious" error so the decision of "no penalty" stands. 9:14PM Vaaaaaar, me hearties 61' | Leicester have the ball in the net - but it's ruled out. Ref checking with VAR - still no goal, good decision. (1-0)— Fleetwood Town FC (@ftfc) January 16, 2018 9:09PM 64 mins Albrighton delivers a corner, Iborra heading not far over. Double change for Fleetwood... �� | #ftfc subs. Burns and Cole on, McAleny and Hiwula off. (1-0)— Fleetwood Town FC (@ftfc) January 16, 2018 9:08PM Scarecrow tactics Little by little @RobbieSavage8 is morphing into Worzel Gummidge. pic.twitter.com/WFcv1wbagx— Gary Lineker (@GaryLineker) January 16, 2018 9:07PM 61 mins Leicester have the ball in the net, Iheanacho there just outside the six-yard box slotting it home from the pull-back, but it was just out. Credit: BT Sport 2 9:02PM 56 mins Ball is played into the Fleetwood box. Benalouane flails a leg, Pond has attempted a headed-clearance just a foot or so from the ground, and he gets an unpleasant whack in the head for his trouble. Tough customer, but he needs a moment. 9:00PM 54 mins Slimani is getting the hook and is acting with a sort of exaggerated befuddlement, the sort of hamming that one sees in an amateur dramatic production when the stage direction says "looks shocked". Marc Albrighton replaces him. 8:58PM Shane O'Leary writes: "'Sometimes you just need a bit more quality' muses a man who drifted through too many games like a curly-permed Hugh Grant" 8:55PM 50 mins Iheanacho and Slimani link up very nicely. The former takes his time and chips the ball through. Slimani lets the ball drift across his body and hits a right-footed effort. Doesn't catch it right. Decent chance for what would presumably be the killer second goal. 8:51PM 47 mins "Sometimes you just need a bit more quality," muses Steve McManaman as a decent Fleetwood move peters out thanks to poor passing. 8:50PM 46 mins The second half is underway and the player looking to take it by the scruff of the neck is Gray. Bright and busy, but he runs into trouble. 8:49PM Uwe enjoying a hot drink Credit: BT Sport 2 Jamie Vardy has just pinged a 50-yarder into the top corner as the teams were coming out. Respectful, muted celebration against his old club.— Nick Miller (@NickMiller79) January 16, 2018 8:47PM Over to the Fleetwood social media team �� | Half-time. @LCFC 1-0 #ftfc. @CMcAleny and @_kyledempsey have gone close for Town, who have been the better side. Iheanacho's late goal the difference so far. pic.twitter.com/WL80gHbgtp— Fleetwood Town FC (@ftfc) January 16, 2018 8:34PM Half time: Leicester City 1 Fleetwood Town 0 Leicester had more of the ball but it was in fact Fleetwood who enjoyed the superior chances in an admittedly rather drab half. One moment of real incision from the Premier League team was all it took for the lead. Shame. Can Fleetwood rally after half time? 8:33PM 44 mins Adrien Silva gets the ball and is soon having his foot stamped on by Glendon. Sore one on a cold night, and a booking for the Fleetwood player. 8:32PM GOAL! Leicester! It's Iheanacho! Bit of a nothing ball pumped forard, but Iheanacho manages to knock it to  Slimani, who plays an instant, accurate ball back. It's opened Fleetwood up, Iheanacho slots it calmly away and that's the lead. Finally Fleetwood are bested, after an entire match and 43 minutes. 8:30PM 40 mins Uwe Rosler having a word with Cole on the bench. Bit wet of Rosler not to play his actual best player. Came up with some rot about having to face Blackburn at the weekend and managing his resources. It's the FA Cup, sir! The FA Cup. 8:26PM 36 mins Best moment of the match, a really nice little move from Fleetwood as Hiwula-Mayifuila plays a cute little lay-off for the onrushing Dempsey who cracks a sweet shot at goal. Tipped over! Possibly a bit belt-and-braces from the Leicester keeper, I think that would have most likely gone over. But he could hardly take that risk. Corner. 38' | Corner played short to Jones, but his shot is blocked - before McAleny heads Glendon's cross wide. Come on, lads! (0-0)— Fleetwood Town FC (@ftfc) January 16, 2018 8:23PM 33 mins Hiwula-Mayifuila down the right. Benalouane with a nasty lunge. Ref plays advantage but it doesn't come to a lot. Then booked. 8:21PM 30 mins Mahrez is fouled a yard or two outside the box and the player himself will be the one to take the kick. This is CLOSE! Oof, that took a coat of paint off on the way past the upright. Credit: BT Sport 2 8:16PM 27 mins Shot! McAleny with a break, decent run this. He curls a shot at goal that is palmed away by Jakupovic, who maybe makes a bit of a meal of it.  8:14PM 25 mins McAleny has a shot from distance but that is easy for Jakupovic. Mahrez plays it in. Pond heads behind for a corner. perhaps overcautious, he had a bit of time there. 8:11PM 20 mins Claims, but wafer-thin ones. 20' | Cries for a penalty for #ftfc as Bell and Amartey collide in the penalty area. Not given. (0-0)— Fleetwood Town FC (@ftfc) January 16, 2018 8:06PM 19 mins Iheanacho is booked for a foul as he brushes past McAleny, who went down as quickly, cheaply and theatrically as he possibly could. Premier League quality tumble. 8:03PM 16 mins Pond is there to clear as a cross comes in from the left. 8:01PM 12 mins Amartey has done well to get clear down the right, but very poorly to cross the ball straight at the keeper. Neal barely has to move. 7:58PM 11 mins LCFC camped in the FTFC final third, playing header-tennis, but it's all hands to the pump for the lower league side and eventually they manage to clear. Old boy: Jamie Vardy, pictured here in his Fleetwood Town days, will start on the bench for Leicester City tonight Credit: Action 7:56PM 8 mins Still, they have a freekick. Big Bolger up from centre half. The ball sails over everyone. 7:55PM 7 mins Sorry, I rather drifted off there. It is a quiet start to proceedings. Fleetwood are playing quite nicely but a long way from goal. 7' | Dempsey looking sharp, a neat little pass to McAleny who is fouled. Free-kick to be played in... (0-0)— Fleetwood Town FC (@ftfc) January 16, 2018 7:51PM 4 mins Fever reducer. I’m not saying Cup replay fever hasn’t hit Leicester, but.... pic.twitter.com/3YQPOV67O5— Nick Miller (@NickMiller79) January 16, 2018 7:50PM 3 mins A lot of LCFC fans have given this one a swerve. 3' | Decent start from #ftfc, and a super start from the #codarmy. Singing their hearts out - the only noise in the ground. (0-0)— Fleetwood Town FC (@ftfc) January 16, 2018 7:49PM 2 mins But it is the hosts who are nearly in right away! Mahrez with a good ball to free Iheanacho. Fleetwood are lucky that he makes a horlicks of the pass, because the defence was very stretched there. 7:47PM 1 mins Fleetwood Town kick off. 7:46PM Oh, VAR is available I should say. Hope we get to use it. Leicester: Jakupovic, Amartey, Dragovic, Benalouane, Fuchs,  Mahrez, Adrien Silva, Iborra, Gray, Iheanacho, Slimani. Subs:  Vardy, Albrighton, Hamer, Maguire, Okazaki, Ndidi, Barnes. Fleetwood Town: Neal, Jones, Bolger, Pond, Bell, Glendon,  Schwabl, Dempsey, Hiwula, McAleny, Hunter. Subs: Coyle, Burns,  Grant, Cairns, Sowerby, Cargill, Cole. Referee: Jonathan Moss (County Durham)  7:46PM Some seats still available Credit: BT Sport 1 But here's  how we expect the teams to line up 7:43PM Shane is right on all counts Not least "come on Fleetwood." What a result this would be for them. 7:42PM The excellent Shane O'Leary writes Evening Alan, I understand that the Huth 'foot problem' is that it's usually up the jacksie of an opposing player. Come on Fleetwood! 7:29PM Nathan Pond  seems like an excellent fellow. He used to train  with Vardy "he is always very aggressive." Has he ever been tempted to leave Fleetwood? "Nobody's ever wanted me!"  I bet that is not true. Pond, the skipper, has played 460 times for Fleetwood. I hope he can help them to another clean sheet today. If you think otherwise, bet on Leicester to beat Fleetwood at 28/1 with Corals if you are a new customer. 7:24PM Robert Savage's lid Dat hat Credit: BT Sport Peterborough manager Grant McCann has popped along to see the team his lads will be facing in the fourth round. Owen Hargreaves and Robbie Savage chat to him. 7:20PM Uwe Rosler explains why Devante Cole is on the bench "I am happy what I have in the moment. I can hold what I have. I have to think about Blackburn Rovers at the weekend, we have had 7 games in 22 days." Uwe has left his top scorer out of the XI 6:55PM And here are Fleetwood �� | The teams are in! Here's how #ftfc line up for tonight's @EmiratesFACup fixture at @LCFC... pic.twitter.com/LcyGVTarPo— Fleetwood Town FC (@ftfc) January 16, 2018 6:53PM Rumours 40 years ago today, Fleetwood Mac's 'Rumours' spent a thirty-first and final week at #1 on the Billboard 200.— chart flashbacks (@chartflashback) January 14, 2018 6:50PM Leicester City team Tonight's starting XI: Jakupović, Amartey, Dragović, Benalouane, Fuchs, Iborra, Silva, Mahrez (c), Gray, Iheanacho, Slimani. Subs: Hamer, Maguire, Ndidi, Albrighton, Barnes, Okazaki, Vardy. #LeiFlepic.twitter.com/gBEpbyVBHv— Leicester City (@LCFC) January 16, 2018 6:48PM Shame, Vardy only on the bench Today’s Leicester v Fleetwood team sheet pic.twitter.com/KBltr8X5mf— Rosie Swarbrick (@rosieswarb) January 16, 2018 6:47PM Preview "There’s been a great reaction throughout the town." Journalist Rosie Swarbrick gives us her take on #LeiFle �� https://t.co/TTkWLre8Dupic.twitter.com/rOzZ1bIxA2— Leicester City (@LCFC) January 16, 2018 Rosie (not pictured)  6:20PM Good evening Tyers here, FA Cup third round replay action coming up. Will Jamie Vardy face his former team? Defender Robert Huth could make his first Leicester appearance of the season in the FA Cup third-round replay against Fleetwood on Tuesday. The German centre-back has been sidelined since the summer after ankle surgery and then the recurrence of a foot problem, but Ben Chilwell is banned. Jamie Vardy is fit after missing the first tie against his former club with a groin problem and Matty James is also available, despite hobbling off at Chelsea on Saturday. Danny Simpson and Wes Morgan (both hamstring) are still out. Provisional squad: Schmeichel, Hamer, Jakupovic, Maguire, Huth, Fuchs, Benalouane, Dragovic, James, King, Albrighton, Amartey, Gray, Silva, Ndidi, Mahrez, Iborra, Choudhury, Musa, Vardy, Slimani, Okazaki, Ulloa, Iheanacho. And here is a lovely story by Chris Bascombe about Fleetwood's Markus Schwabl When Fleetwood Town’s German midfielder Markus Schwabl was asked to join the 'Cod Army' he knew so little of the club he rushed to the internet to study its history. Should he and his team mates win at Leicester City in Tuesday’s FA Cup replay he will be enshrining his place in it. Midfielder Schwabl, once of 1860 Munich, was convinced to make the move by compatriot Uwe Rosler. Fleetwood manager Rosler was a colleague of Schwabl’s father, ex-West German international Manfred, at Nurnberg in the early 90s. �� | The lads have arrived at the King Power! pic.twitter.com/PCtxEOPG0w— Fleetwood Town FC (@ftfc) January 16, 2018

Leicester City 2 Fleetwood Town 0: VAR history made as offside decision overturned for Kelechi Iheanacho goal

Anyone who came here expecting a dramatic FA Cup night in the traditional sense will have gone home disappointed as Leicester eased through what turned out to be a rather tepid third-round replay. The match did, however, provide English football with its first goal awarded on the say-so of a Video Assistant Referee after Kelechi Iheanacho’s second of the match was given by virtue of an overruled offside decision. The moment came in the 77th minute after Riyad Mahrez’s pass to the former Manchester City striker gave assistant referee Lee Betts a marginal call to which he responded by raising his flag. But after a lengthy pause listening to the advice of VAR Mike Jones from a studio in London, match referee Jonathan Moss made the TV screen shape with his hands and signalled a goal, the remote judgement being that defender Nathan Pond’s trailing foot had just played Iheanacho onside. Inevitably, the delay robbed the moment of spontaneous joy, leaving the players unsure how much to celebrate, the crowd more than a little confused and the Fleetwood manager, Uwe Rosler, complaining that such decisions should be left with the officials on the field for the sake of the game. 76' - Iheanacho goal disallowed ❌ 78' - VAR correctly gives goal ⚽️ 1-0 VAR �� History made as Kelechi Iheanacho becomes the first player to be awarded a goal by VAR in British football! pic.twitter.com/KXsRbVdFou— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) January 16, 2018 “It was not the reason we lost the tie,” he said. “We lost because after they scored their first goal before half-time they had too much for us in the second half. “But can they really say it was onside for the second goal or are they guessing? Even sometimes VAR is not 100 per cent clear. “We will see in the future how it pans out but in general I say don’t complicate the game. The game is beautiful, let it be pure and also made by human errors of the referee. It makes the game.” Claude Puel, the Leicester manager, who had voiced similar reservations ahead of the match on learning that VAR would be used, allowed himself a smile. “I think it’s perfect now,” he joked, before admitting he still had mixed feelings. “But it meant that a good goal was correctly given,” he added. Hot chip: the VAR excitement took attention away from what was a great finish by Kelechi Iheanacho Credit: Getty Otherwise it had been a match too often lacking in passion in which Fleetwood, perhaps unlucky not to have sprung a shock when the sides drew 0-0 at their Highbury ground 10 days ago, gave a good account of themselves in the first half, when Kyle Dempsey drew a fine, fingertip save from Leicester goalkeeper Eldin Jakupovic in their best moment, but faded after going behind two minutes before the break. Iheanacho, one half of a second-string Leicester attack alongside Islam Slimani that nonetheless cost £54 million, converted a chance set up by Slimani to score only his second goal for the club following a £25m move from Manchester City last summer that has yet to deliver a significant return. That moment apart, though, a Leicester side showing eight changes from the weekend had been unimpressive, and it showed on Puel’s face in the technical area.  CLAUDE: “We tried to play in the first half, but it was too comfortable for them to defend. We needed to play forward and get behind them more, which we did much better in the second half.” #LeiFle— Leicester City (@LCFC) January 16, 2018 Mahrez, wearing the captain’s armband for the first time in what may be seen as a statement of Puel's intention to keep him at Leicester, had a quiet first half and wasted his best opportunity with a free kick just outside the ‘D’. Fleetwood offered little as an attacking threat in the second half, in which Jamie Vardy, injured for the original tie, was granted his wish with a 10-minute cameo against his old club. By the time he appeared, Iheanacho, who initially seemed to have no quarrel that his second 'goal' had not counted, had played his part in history. 9:44PM Vardy looking absolutely furious and disgusted although he is, in fact, answering some mild questions in perfectly agreeable fashion. Credit: BT Sport 2 Iheanacho says that communication from the officials to the players about the VAR was totally fine, that he did not know himself at the time whether he was onside or offside. No doubt all of these issues will be well covered in the match report from Jon Culley, which will be here very shortly. From me, Alan Tyers, goodnight. 9:40PM Full time: Leicester City 2 Fleetwood Town 0 VAR the winner! And Leicester. Well done to Fleetwood, they were on terms in the first half and it was hard lines that they conceded on 43 minutes. Result wasn't really in doubt after that. Vardy got a late run against his old club. But the match will be remembered for the second goal, which was given offside. Ref Jon Moss called for VAR, the decision was overturned. It took one minute and seven seconds to come up with the correct answer. Iheanacho was credited with the goal, rightly, his second of the match. Full-time: Leicester City 2️⃣-0️⃣ Fleetwood Town Kelechi Iheanacho's double tees up a fourth round trip to Peterborough United ��#LeiFlepic.twitter.com/EhX81gW2e3— Leicester City (@LCFC) January 16, 2018 9:37PM 90 mins Okazaki has tried to nutmeg Polger. Here is what Polger thought about that: a smack in the puss for you, my Premier League friend. Credit: BT Sport 2 9:35PM 88 mins That would have been the cherry on the top / the final cut for Fleetwood: Albrighton whips it in, there is Jamie Vardy, but Bolger clears. 9:33PM 87 mins This is indeed correct. I am very impressed with the Fleetwood social media account. A mine of information. 85' | Burns finds space on the right edge of the area, and shoots at goal but it's saved by Jakupovic. (2-0)— Fleetwood Town FC (@ftfc) January 16, 2018 9:31PM 85 mins Fleetwood have flagged and it's just a matter of whether Vardy can notch one now.  The VAR system worked, then. Linesman gave a very, very tight decision wrong. They overturned it after a brief look. Either you like it or you don't, the system, but it worked as well as you could expect it to there. 9:26PM 82 mins Jamie Vardy is coming on. Mahrez the man to make way. Shinji Okazaki replaces Kelechi Iheanacho, so there won't be a hat-trick for him. Congratulations to Jon Moss for becoming a pub quiz answer— Alan Smith (@alansmith90) January 16, 2018 9:26PM 81 mins All Leicester now, and indeed all Iheanacho, who has gone close to a hat-trick with a shot. Iborra gets up from the corner and heads not far wide. 9:24PM GOAL! VIA VAR! SCENES! Another VAR! Oh our cup runneth over. This time it is to check an offside flag after Leicester have the ball in the net. Really good run from Mahrez, who takes his time to slide the ball through for Iheanacho. He races onto the ball and applies the finish with a lovely little chip. But the linesman has flagged! They're going to take a look at this on VAR... Credit: BT Sport 2  ... he is just onside! It is overturned! That's it! A little moment of history: the decision is overturned and the goal is awarded. Leicester 2 Fleetwood 0 (Iheanacho 77) 9:19PM 72 mins Dempsey is booked. Bobby Grant replaces Markus Schwabl. 9:15PM 71 mins A VAR HAS HAPPENED!!!!! The ball is lofted into the Fleetwood box. Leicester want a penalty because they think Pond is fouling Iborra  "No penalty" is the initial verdict from Referee Moss. There is not enough evidence of a "clear and obvious" error so the decision of "no penalty" stands. 9:14PM Vaaaaaar, me hearties 61' | Leicester have the ball in the net - but it's ruled out. Ref checking with VAR - still no goal, good decision. (1-0)— Fleetwood Town FC (@ftfc) January 16, 2018 9:09PM 64 mins Albrighton delivers a corner, Iborra heading not far over. Double change for Fleetwood... �� | #ftfc subs. Burns and Cole on, McAleny and Hiwula off. (1-0)— Fleetwood Town FC (@ftfc) January 16, 2018 9:08PM Scarecrow tactics Little by little @RobbieSavage8 is morphing into Worzel Gummidge. pic.twitter.com/WFcv1wbagx— Gary Lineker (@GaryLineker) January 16, 2018 9:07PM 61 mins Leicester have the ball in the net, Iheanacho there just outside the six-yard box slotting it home from the pull-back, but it was just out. Credit: BT Sport 2 9:02PM 56 mins Ball is played into the Fleetwood box. Benalouane flails a leg, Pond has attempted a headed-clearance just a foot or so from the ground, and he gets an unpleasant whack in the head for his trouble. Tough customer, but he needs a moment. 9:00PM 54 mins Slimani is getting the hook and is acting with a sort of exaggerated befuddlement, the sort of hamming that one sees in an amateur dramatic production when the stage direction says "looks shocked". Marc Albrighton replaces him. 8:58PM Shane O'Leary writes: "'Sometimes you just need a bit more quality' muses a man who drifted through too many games like a curly-permed Hugh Grant" 8:55PM 50 mins Iheanacho and Slimani link up very nicely. The former takes his time and chips the ball through. Slimani lets the ball drift across his body and hits a right-footed effort. Doesn't catch it right. Decent chance for what would presumably be the killer second goal. 8:51PM 47 mins "Sometimes you just need a bit more quality," muses Steve McManaman as a decent Fleetwood move peters out thanks to poor passing. 8:50PM 46 mins The second half is underway and the player looking to take it by the scruff of the neck is Gray. Bright and busy, but he runs into trouble. 8:49PM Uwe enjoying a hot drink Credit: BT Sport 2 Jamie Vardy has just pinged a 50-yarder into the top corner as the teams were coming out. Respectful, muted celebration against his old club.— Nick Miller (@NickMiller79) January 16, 2018 8:47PM Over to the Fleetwood social media team �� | Half-time. @LCFC 1-0 #ftfc. @CMcAleny and @_kyledempsey have gone close for Town, who have been the better side. Iheanacho's late goal the difference so far. pic.twitter.com/WL80gHbgtp— Fleetwood Town FC (@ftfc) January 16, 2018 8:34PM Half time: Leicester City 1 Fleetwood Town 0 Leicester had more of the ball but it was in fact Fleetwood who enjoyed the superior chances in an admittedly rather drab half. One moment of real incision from the Premier League team was all it took for the lead. Shame. Can Fleetwood rally after half time? 8:33PM 44 mins Adrien Silva gets the ball and is soon having his foot stamped on by Glendon. Sore one on a cold night, and a booking for the Fleetwood player. 8:32PM GOAL! Leicester! It's Iheanacho! Bit of a nothing ball pumped forard, but Iheanacho manages to knock it to  Slimani, who plays an instant, accurate ball back. It's opened Fleetwood up, Iheanacho slots it calmly away and that's the lead. Finally Fleetwood are bested, after an entire match and 43 minutes. 8:30PM 40 mins Uwe Rosler having a word with Cole on the bench. Bit wet of Rosler not to play his actual best player. Came up with some rot about having to face Blackburn at the weekend and managing his resources. It's the FA Cup, sir! The FA Cup. 8:26PM 36 mins Best moment of the match, a really nice little move from Fleetwood as Hiwula-Mayifuila plays a cute little lay-off for the onrushing Dempsey who cracks a sweet shot at goal. Tipped over! Possibly a bit belt-and-braces from the Leicester keeper, I think that would have most likely gone over. But he could hardly take that risk. Corner. 38' | Corner played short to Jones, but his shot is blocked - before McAleny heads Glendon's cross wide. Come on, lads! (0-0)— Fleetwood Town FC (@ftfc) January 16, 2018 8:23PM 33 mins Hiwula-Mayifuila down the right. Benalouane with a nasty lunge. Ref plays advantage but it doesn't come to a lot. Then booked. 8:21PM 30 mins Mahrez is fouled a yard or two outside the box and the player himself will be the one to take the kick. This is CLOSE! Oof, that took a coat of paint off on the way past the upright. Credit: BT Sport 2 8:16PM 27 mins Shot! McAleny with a break, decent run this. He curls a shot at goal that is palmed away by Jakupovic, who maybe makes a bit of a meal of it.  8:14PM 25 mins McAleny has a shot from distance but that is easy for Jakupovic. Mahrez plays it in. Pond heads behind for a corner. perhaps overcautious, he had a bit of time there. 8:11PM 20 mins Claims, but wafer-thin ones. 20' | Cries for a penalty for #ftfc as Bell and Amartey collide in the penalty area. Not given. (0-0)— Fleetwood Town FC (@ftfc) January 16, 2018 8:06PM 19 mins Iheanacho is booked for a foul as he brushes past McAleny, who went down as quickly, cheaply and theatrically as he possibly could. Premier League quality tumble. 8:03PM 16 mins Pond is there to clear as a cross comes in from the left. 8:01PM 12 mins Amartey has done well to get clear down the right, but very poorly to cross the ball straight at the keeper. Neal barely has to move. 7:58PM 11 mins LCFC camped in the FTFC final third, playing header-tennis, but it's all hands to the pump for the lower league side and eventually they manage to clear. Old boy: Jamie Vardy, pictured here in his Fleetwood Town days, will start on the bench for Leicester City tonight Credit: Action 7:56PM 8 mins Still, they have a freekick. Big Bolger up from centre half. The ball sails over everyone. 7:55PM 7 mins Sorry, I rather drifted off there. It is a quiet start to proceedings. Fleetwood are playing quite nicely but a long way from goal. 7' | Dempsey looking sharp, a neat little pass to McAleny who is fouled. Free-kick to be played in... (0-0)— Fleetwood Town FC (@ftfc) January 16, 2018 7:51PM 4 mins Fever reducer. I’m not saying Cup replay fever hasn’t hit Leicester, but.... pic.twitter.com/3YQPOV67O5— Nick Miller (@NickMiller79) January 16, 2018 7:50PM 3 mins A lot of LCFC fans have given this one a swerve. 3' | Decent start from #ftfc, and a super start from the #codarmy. Singing their hearts out - the only noise in the ground. (0-0)— Fleetwood Town FC (@ftfc) January 16, 2018 7:49PM 2 mins But it is the hosts who are nearly in right away! Mahrez with a good ball to free Iheanacho. Fleetwood are lucky that he makes a horlicks of the pass, because the defence was very stretched there. 7:47PM 1 mins Fleetwood Town kick off. 7:46PM Oh, VAR is available I should say. Hope we get to use it. Leicester: Jakupovic, Amartey, Dragovic, Benalouane, Fuchs,  Mahrez, Adrien Silva, Iborra, Gray, Iheanacho, Slimani. Subs:  Vardy, Albrighton, Hamer, Maguire, Okazaki, Ndidi, Barnes. Fleetwood Town: Neal, Jones, Bolger, Pond, Bell, Glendon,  Schwabl, Dempsey, Hiwula, McAleny, Hunter. Subs: Coyle, Burns,  Grant, Cairns, Sowerby, Cargill, Cole. Referee: Jonathan Moss (County Durham)  7:46PM Some seats still available Credit: BT Sport 1 But here's  how we expect the teams to line up 7:43PM Shane is right on all counts Not least "come on Fleetwood." What a result this would be for them. 7:42PM The excellent Shane O'Leary writes Evening Alan, I understand that the Huth 'foot problem' is that it's usually up the jacksie of an opposing player. Come on Fleetwood! 7:29PM Nathan Pond  seems like an excellent fellow. He used to train  with Vardy "he is always very aggressive." Has he ever been tempted to leave Fleetwood? "Nobody's ever wanted me!"  I bet that is not true. Pond, the skipper, has played 460 times for Fleetwood. I hope he can help them to another clean sheet today. If you think otherwise, bet on Leicester to beat Fleetwood at 28/1 with Corals if you are a new customer. 7:24PM Robert Savage's lid Dat hat Credit: BT Sport Peterborough manager Grant McCann has popped along to see the team his lads will be facing in the fourth round. Owen Hargreaves and Robbie Savage chat to him. 7:20PM Uwe Rosler explains why Devante Cole is on the bench "I am happy what I have in the moment. I can hold what I have. I have to think about Blackburn Rovers at the weekend, we have had 7 games in 22 days." Uwe has left his top scorer out of the XI 6:55PM And here are Fleetwood �� | The teams are in! Here's how #ftfc line up for tonight's @EmiratesFACup fixture at @LCFC... pic.twitter.com/LcyGVTarPo— Fleetwood Town FC (@ftfc) January 16, 2018 6:53PM Rumours 40 years ago today, Fleetwood Mac's 'Rumours' spent a thirty-first and final week at #1 on the Billboard 200.— chart flashbacks (@chartflashback) January 14, 2018 6:50PM Leicester City team Tonight's starting XI: Jakupović, Amartey, Dragović, Benalouane, Fuchs, Iborra, Silva, Mahrez (c), Gray, Iheanacho, Slimani. Subs: Hamer, Maguire, Ndidi, Albrighton, Barnes, Okazaki, Vardy. #LeiFlepic.twitter.com/gBEpbyVBHv— Leicester City (@LCFC) January 16, 2018 6:48PM Shame, Vardy only on the bench Today’s Leicester v Fleetwood team sheet pic.twitter.com/KBltr8X5mf— Rosie Swarbrick (@rosieswarb) January 16, 2018 6:47PM Preview "There’s been a great reaction throughout the town." Journalist Rosie Swarbrick gives us her take on #LeiFle �� https://t.co/TTkWLre8Dupic.twitter.com/rOzZ1bIxA2— Leicester City (@LCFC) January 16, 2018 Rosie (not pictured)  6:20PM Good evening Tyers here, FA Cup third round replay action coming up. Will Jamie Vardy face his former team? Defender Robert Huth could make his first Leicester appearance of the season in the FA Cup third-round replay against Fleetwood on Tuesday. The German centre-back has been sidelined since the summer after ankle surgery and then the recurrence of a foot problem, but Ben Chilwell is banned. Jamie Vardy is fit after missing the first tie against his former club with a groin problem and Matty James is also available, despite hobbling off at Chelsea on Saturday. Danny Simpson and Wes Morgan (both hamstring) are still out. Provisional squad: Schmeichel, Hamer, Jakupovic, Maguire, Huth, Fuchs, Benalouane, Dragovic, James, King, Albrighton, Amartey, Gray, Silva, Ndidi, Mahrez, Iborra, Choudhury, Musa, Vardy, Slimani, Okazaki, Ulloa, Iheanacho. And here is a lovely story by Chris Bascombe about Fleetwood's Markus Schwabl When Fleetwood Town’s German midfielder Markus Schwabl was asked to join the 'Cod Army' he knew so little of the club he rushed to the internet to study its history. Should he and his team mates win at Leicester City in Tuesday’s FA Cup replay he will be enshrining his place in it. Midfielder Schwabl, once of 1860 Munich, was convinced to make the move by compatriot Uwe Rosler. Fleetwood manager Rosler was a colleague of Schwabl’s father, ex-West German international Manfred, at Nurnberg in the early 90s. �� | The lads have arrived at the King Power! pic.twitter.com/PCtxEOPG0w— Fleetwood Town FC (@ftfc) January 16, 2018

Leicester City 2 Fleetwood Town 0: VAR history made as offside decision overturned for Kelechi Iheanacho goal

Anyone who came here expecting a dramatic FA Cup night in the traditional sense will have gone home disappointed as Leicester eased through what turned out to be a rather tepid third-round replay. The match did, however, provide English football with its first goal awarded on the say-so of a Video Assistant Referee after Kelechi Iheanacho’s second of the match was given by virtue of an overruled offside decision. The moment came in the 77th minute after Riyad Mahrez’s pass to the former Manchester City striker gave assistant referee Lee Betts a marginal call to which he responded by raising his flag. But after a lengthy pause listening to the advice of VAR Mike Jones from a studio in London, match referee Jonathan Moss made the TV screen shape with his hands and signalled a goal, the remote judgement being that defender Nathan Pond’s trailing foot had just played Iheanacho onside. Inevitably, the delay robbed the moment of spontaneous joy, leaving the players unsure how much to celebrate, the crowd more than a little confused and the Fleetwood manager, Uwe Rosler, complaining that such decisions should be left with the officials on the field for the sake of the game. 76' - Iheanacho goal disallowed ❌ 78' - VAR correctly gives goal ⚽️ 1-0 VAR �� History made as Kelechi Iheanacho becomes the first player to be awarded a goal by VAR in British football! pic.twitter.com/KXsRbVdFou— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) January 16, 2018 “It was not the reason we lost the tie,” he said. “We lost because after they scored their first goal before half-time they had too much for us in the second half. “But can they really say it was onside for the second goal or are they guessing? Even sometimes VAR is not 100 per cent clear. “We will see in the future how it pans out but in general I say don’t complicate the game. The game is beautiful, let it be pure and also made by human errors of the referee. It makes the game.” Claude Puel, the Leicester manager, who had voiced similar reservations ahead of the match on learning that VAR would be used, allowed himself a smile. “I think it’s perfect now,” he joked, before admitting he still had mixed feelings. “But it meant that a good goal was correctly given,” he added. Hot chip: the VAR excitement took attention away from what was a great finish by Kelechi Iheanacho Credit: Getty Otherwise it had been a match too often lacking in passion in which Fleetwood, perhaps unlucky not to have sprung a shock when the sides drew 0-0 at their Highbury ground 10 days ago, gave a good account of themselves in the first half, when Kyle Dempsey drew a fine, fingertip save from Leicester goalkeeper Eldin Jakupovic in their best moment, but faded after going behind two minutes before the break. Iheanacho, one half of a second-string Leicester attack alongside Islam Slimani that nonetheless cost £54 million, converted a chance set up by Slimani to score only his second goal for the club following a £25m move from Manchester City last summer that has yet to deliver a significant return. That moment apart, though, a Leicester side showing eight changes from the weekend had been unimpressive, and it showed on Puel’s face in the technical area.  CLAUDE: “We tried to play in the first half, but it was too comfortable for them to defend. We needed to play forward and get behind them more, which we did much better in the second half.” #LeiFle— Leicester City (@LCFC) January 16, 2018 Mahrez, wearing the captain’s armband for the first time in what may be seen as a statement of Puel's intention to keep him at Leicester, had a quiet first half and wasted his best opportunity with a free kick just outside the ‘D’. Fleetwood offered little as an attacking threat in the second half, in which Jamie Vardy, injured for the original tie, was granted his wish with a 10-minute cameo against his old club. By the time he appeared, Iheanacho, who initially seemed to have no quarrel that his second 'goal' had not counted, had played his part in history. 9:44PM Vardy looking absolutely furious and disgusted although he is, in fact, answering some mild questions in perfectly agreeable fashion. Credit: BT Sport 2 Iheanacho says that communication from the officials to the players about the VAR was totally fine, that he did not know himself at the time whether he was onside or offside. No doubt all of these issues will be well covered in the match report from Jon Culley, which will be here very shortly. From me, Alan Tyers, goodnight. 9:40PM Full time: Leicester City 2 Fleetwood Town 0 VAR the winner! And Leicester. Well done to Fleetwood, they were on terms in the first half and it was hard lines that they conceded on 43 minutes. Result wasn't really in doubt after that. Vardy got a late run against his old club. But the match will be remembered for the second goal, which was given offside. Ref Jon Moss called for VAR, the decision was overturned. It took one minute and seven seconds to come up with the correct answer. Iheanacho was credited with the goal, rightly, his second of the match. Full-time: Leicester City 2️⃣-0️⃣ Fleetwood Town Kelechi Iheanacho's double tees up a fourth round trip to Peterborough United ��#LeiFlepic.twitter.com/EhX81gW2e3— Leicester City (@LCFC) January 16, 2018 9:37PM 90 mins Okazaki has tried to nutmeg Polger. Here is what Polger thought about that: a smack in the puss for you, my Premier League friend. Credit: BT Sport 2 9:35PM 88 mins That would have been the cherry on the top / the final cut for Fleetwood: Albrighton whips it in, there is Jamie Vardy, but Bolger clears. 9:33PM 87 mins This is indeed correct. I am very impressed with the Fleetwood social media account. A mine of information. 85' | Burns finds space on the right edge of the area, and shoots at goal but it's saved by Jakupovic. (2-0)— Fleetwood Town FC (@ftfc) January 16, 2018 9:31PM 85 mins Fleetwood have flagged and it's just a matter of whether Vardy can notch one now.  The VAR system worked, then. Linesman gave a very, very tight decision wrong. They overturned it after a brief look. Either you like it or you don't, the system, but it worked as well as you could expect it to there. 9:26PM 82 mins Jamie Vardy is coming on. Mahrez the man to make way. Shinji Okazaki replaces Kelechi Iheanacho, so there won't be a hat-trick for him. Congratulations to Jon Moss for becoming a pub quiz answer— Alan Smith (@alansmith90) January 16, 2018 9:26PM 81 mins All Leicester now, and indeed all Iheanacho, who has gone close to a hat-trick with a shot. Iborra gets up from the corner and heads not far wide. 9:24PM GOAL! VIA VAR! SCENES! Another VAR! Oh our cup runneth over. This time it is to check an offside flag after Leicester have the ball in the net. Really good run from Mahrez, who takes his time to slide the ball through for Iheanacho. He races onto the ball and applies the finish with a lovely little chip. But the linesman has flagged! They're going to take a look at this on VAR... Credit: BT Sport 2  ... he is just onside! It is overturned! That's it! A little moment of history: the decision is overturned and the goal is awarded. Leicester 2 Fleetwood 0 (Iheanacho 77) 9:19PM 72 mins Dempsey is booked. Bobby Grant replaces Markus Schwabl. 9:15PM 71 mins A VAR HAS HAPPENED!!!!! The ball is lofted into the Fleetwood box. Leicester want a penalty because they think Pond is fouling Iborra  "No penalty" is the initial verdict from Referee Moss. There is not enough evidence of a "clear and obvious" error so the decision of "no penalty" stands. 9:14PM Vaaaaaar, me hearties 61' | Leicester have the ball in the net - but it's ruled out. Ref checking with VAR - still no goal, good decision. (1-0)— Fleetwood Town FC (@ftfc) January 16, 2018 9:09PM 64 mins Albrighton delivers a corner, Iborra heading not far over. Double change for Fleetwood... �� | #ftfc subs. Burns and Cole on, McAleny and Hiwula off. (1-0)— Fleetwood Town FC (@ftfc) January 16, 2018 9:08PM Scarecrow tactics Little by little @RobbieSavage8 is morphing into Worzel Gummidge. pic.twitter.com/WFcv1wbagx— Gary Lineker (@GaryLineker) January 16, 2018 9:07PM 61 mins Leicester have the ball in the net, Iheanacho there just outside the six-yard box slotting it home from the pull-back, but it was just out. Credit: BT Sport 2 9:02PM 56 mins Ball is played into the Fleetwood box. Benalouane flails a leg, Pond has attempted a headed-clearance just a foot or so from the ground, and he gets an unpleasant whack in the head for his trouble. Tough customer, but he needs a moment. 9:00PM 54 mins Slimani is getting the hook and is acting with a sort of exaggerated befuddlement, the sort of hamming that one sees in an amateur dramatic production when the stage direction says "looks shocked". Marc Albrighton replaces him. 8:58PM Shane O'Leary writes: "'Sometimes you just need a bit more quality' muses a man who drifted through too many games like a curly-permed Hugh Grant" 8:55PM 50 mins Iheanacho and Slimani link up very nicely. The former takes his time and chips the ball through. Slimani lets the ball drift across his body and hits a right-footed effort. Doesn't catch it right. Decent chance for what would presumably be the killer second goal. 8:51PM 47 mins "Sometimes you just need a bit more quality," muses Steve McManaman as a decent Fleetwood move peters out thanks to poor passing. 8:50PM 46 mins The second half is underway and the player looking to take it by the scruff of the neck is Gray. Bright and busy, but he runs into trouble. 8:49PM Uwe enjoying a hot drink Credit: BT Sport 2 Jamie Vardy has just pinged a 50-yarder into the top corner as the teams were coming out. Respectful, muted celebration against his old club.— Nick Miller (@NickMiller79) January 16, 2018 8:47PM Over to the Fleetwood social media team �� | Half-time. @LCFC 1-0 #ftfc. @CMcAleny and @_kyledempsey have gone close for Town, who have been the better side. Iheanacho's late goal the difference so far. pic.twitter.com/WL80gHbgtp— Fleetwood Town FC (@ftfc) January 16, 2018 8:34PM Half time: Leicester City 1 Fleetwood Town 0 Leicester had more of the ball but it was in fact Fleetwood who enjoyed the superior chances in an admittedly rather drab half. One moment of real incision from the Premier League team was all it took for the lead. Shame. Can Fleetwood rally after half time? 8:33PM 44 mins Adrien Silva gets the ball and is soon having his foot stamped on by Glendon. Sore one on a cold night, and a booking for the Fleetwood player. 8:32PM GOAL! Leicester! It's Iheanacho! Bit of a nothing ball pumped forard, but Iheanacho manages to knock it to  Slimani, who plays an instant, accurate ball back. It's opened Fleetwood up, Iheanacho slots it calmly away and that's the lead. Finally Fleetwood are bested, after an entire match and 43 minutes. 8:30PM 40 mins Uwe Rosler having a word with Cole on the bench. Bit wet of Rosler not to play his actual best player. Came up with some rot about having to face Blackburn at the weekend and managing his resources. It's the FA Cup, sir! The FA Cup. 8:26PM 36 mins Best moment of the match, a really nice little move from Fleetwood as Hiwula-Mayifuila plays a cute little lay-off for the onrushing Dempsey who cracks a sweet shot at goal. Tipped over! Possibly a bit belt-and-braces from the Leicester keeper, I think that would have most likely gone over. But he could hardly take that risk. Corner. 38' | Corner played short to Jones, but his shot is blocked - before McAleny heads Glendon's cross wide. Come on, lads! (0-0)— Fleetwood Town FC (@ftfc) January 16, 2018 8:23PM 33 mins Hiwula-Mayifuila down the right. Benalouane with a nasty lunge. Ref plays advantage but it doesn't come to a lot. Then booked. 8:21PM 30 mins Mahrez is fouled a yard or two outside the box and the player himself will be the one to take the kick. This is CLOSE! Oof, that took a coat of paint off on the way past the upright. Credit: BT Sport 2 8:16PM 27 mins Shot! McAleny with a break, decent run this. He curls a shot at goal that is palmed away by Jakupovic, who maybe makes a bit of a meal of it.  8:14PM 25 mins McAleny has a shot from distance but that is easy for Jakupovic. Mahrez plays it in. Pond heads behind for a corner. perhaps overcautious, he had a bit of time there. 8:11PM 20 mins Claims, but wafer-thin ones. 20' | Cries for a penalty for #ftfc as Bell and Amartey collide in the penalty area. Not given. (0-0)— Fleetwood Town FC (@ftfc) January 16, 2018 8:06PM 19 mins Iheanacho is booked for a foul as he brushes past McAleny, who went down as quickly, cheaply and theatrically as he possibly could. Premier League quality tumble. 8:03PM 16 mins Pond is there to clear as a cross comes in from the left. 8:01PM 12 mins Amartey has done well to get clear down the right, but very poorly to cross the ball straight at the keeper. Neal barely has to move. 7:58PM 11 mins LCFC camped in the FTFC final third, playing header-tennis, but it's all hands to the pump for the lower league side and eventually they manage to clear. Old boy: Jamie Vardy, pictured here in his Fleetwood Town days, will start on the bench for Leicester City tonight Credit: Action 7:56PM 8 mins Still, they have a freekick. Big Bolger up from centre half. The ball sails over everyone. 7:55PM 7 mins Sorry, I rather drifted off there. It is a quiet start to proceedings. Fleetwood are playing quite nicely but a long way from goal. 7' | Dempsey looking sharp, a neat little pass to McAleny who is fouled. Free-kick to be played in... (0-0)— Fleetwood Town FC (@ftfc) January 16, 2018 7:51PM 4 mins Fever reducer. I’m not saying Cup replay fever hasn’t hit Leicester, but.... pic.twitter.com/3YQPOV67O5— Nick Miller (@NickMiller79) January 16, 2018 7:50PM 3 mins A lot of LCFC fans have given this one a swerve. 3' | Decent start from #ftfc, and a super start from the #codarmy. Singing their hearts out - the only noise in the ground. (0-0)— Fleetwood Town FC (@ftfc) January 16, 2018 7:49PM 2 mins But it is the hosts who are nearly in right away! Mahrez with a good ball to free Iheanacho. Fleetwood are lucky that he makes a horlicks of the pass, because the defence was very stretched there. 7:47PM 1 mins Fleetwood Town kick off. 7:46PM Oh, VAR is available I should say. Hope we get to use it. Leicester: Jakupovic, Amartey, Dragovic, Benalouane, Fuchs,  Mahrez, Adrien Silva, Iborra, Gray, Iheanacho, Slimani. Subs:  Vardy, Albrighton, Hamer, Maguire, Okazaki, Ndidi, Barnes. Fleetwood Town: Neal, Jones, Bolger, Pond, Bell, Glendon,  Schwabl, Dempsey, Hiwula, McAleny, Hunter. Subs: Coyle, Burns,  Grant, Cairns, Sowerby, Cargill, Cole. Referee: Jonathan Moss (County Durham)  7:46PM Some seats still available Credit: BT Sport 1 But here's  how we expect the teams to line up 7:43PM Shane is right on all counts Not least "come on Fleetwood." What a result this would be for them. 7:42PM The excellent Shane O'Leary writes Evening Alan, I understand that the Huth 'foot problem' is that it's usually up the jacksie of an opposing player. Come on Fleetwood! 7:29PM Nathan Pond  seems like an excellent fellow. He used to train  with Vardy "he is always very aggressive." Has he ever been tempted to leave Fleetwood? "Nobody's ever wanted me!"  I bet that is not true. Pond, the skipper, has played 460 times for Fleetwood. I hope he can help them to another clean sheet today. If you think otherwise, bet on Leicester to beat Fleetwood at 28/1 with Corals if you are a new customer. 7:24PM Robert Savage's lid Dat hat Credit: BT Sport Peterborough manager Grant McCann has popped along to see the team his lads will be facing in the fourth round. Owen Hargreaves and Robbie Savage chat to him. 7:20PM Uwe Rosler explains why Devante Cole is on the bench "I am happy what I have in the moment. I can hold what I have. I have to think about Blackburn Rovers at the weekend, we have had 7 games in 22 days." Uwe has left his top scorer out of the XI 6:55PM And here are Fleetwood �� | The teams are in! Here's how #ftfc line up for tonight's @EmiratesFACup fixture at @LCFC... pic.twitter.com/LcyGVTarPo— Fleetwood Town FC (@ftfc) January 16, 2018 6:53PM Rumours 40 years ago today, Fleetwood Mac's 'Rumours' spent a thirty-first and final week at #1 on the Billboard 200.— chart flashbacks (@chartflashback) January 14, 2018 6:50PM Leicester City team Tonight's starting XI: Jakupović, Amartey, Dragović, Benalouane, Fuchs, Iborra, Silva, Mahrez (c), Gray, Iheanacho, Slimani. Subs: Hamer, Maguire, Ndidi, Albrighton, Barnes, Okazaki, Vardy. #LeiFlepic.twitter.com/gBEpbyVBHv— Leicester City (@LCFC) January 16, 2018 6:48PM Shame, Vardy only on the bench Today’s Leicester v Fleetwood team sheet pic.twitter.com/KBltr8X5mf— Rosie Swarbrick (@rosieswarb) January 16, 2018 6:47PM Preview "There’s been a great reaction throughout the town." Journalist Rosie Swarbrick gives us her take on #LeiFle �� https://t.co/TTkWLre8Dupic.twitter.com/rOzZ1bIxA2— Leicester City (@LCFC) January 16, 2018 Rosie (not pictured)  6:20PM Good evening Tyers here, FA Cup third round replay action coming up. Will Jamie Vardy face his former team? Defender Robert Huth could make his first Leicester appearance of the season in the FA Cup third-round replay against Fleetwood on Tuesday. The German centre-back has been sidelined since the summer after ankle surgery and then the recurrence of a foot problem, but Ben Chilwell is banned. Jamie Vardy is fit after missing the first tie against his former club with a groin problem and Matty James is also available, despite hobbling off at Chelsea on Saturday. Danny Simpson and Wes Morgan (both hamstring) are still out. Provisional squad: Schmeichel, Hamer, Jakupovic, Maguire, Huth, Fuchs, Benalouane, Dragovic, James, King, Albrighton, Amartey, Gray, Silva, Ndidi, Mahrez, Iborra, Choudhury, Musa, Vardy, Slimani, Okazaki, Ulloa, Iheanacho. And here is a lovely story by Chris Bascombe about Fleetwood's Markus Schwabl When Fleetwood Town’s German midfielder Markus Schwabl was asked to join the 'Cod Army' he knew so little of the club he rushed to the internet to study its history. Should he and his team mates win at Leicester City in Tuesday’s FA Cup replay he will be enshrining his place in it. Midfielder Schwabl, once of 1860 Munich, was convinced to make the move by compatriot Uwe Rosler. Fleetwood manager Rosler was a colleague of Schwabl’s father, ex-West German international Manfred, at Nurnberg in the early 90s. �� | The lads have arrived at the King Power! pic.twitter.com/PCtxEOPG0w— Fleetwood Town FC (@ftfc) January 16, 2018

Leicester City 2 Fleetwood Town 0: VAR history made as offside decision overturned for Kelechi Iheanacho goal

Anyone who came here expecting a dramatic FA Cup night in the traditional sense will have gone home disappointed as Leicester eased through what turned out to be a rather tepid third-round replay. The match did, however, provide English football with its first goal awarded on the say-so of a Video Assistant Referee after Kelechi Iheanacho’s second of the match was given by virtue of an overruled offside decision. The moment came in the 77th minute after Riyad Mahrez’s pass to the former Manchester City striker gave assistant referee Lee Betts a marginal call to which he responded by raising his flag. But after a lengthy pause listening to the advice of VAR Mike Jones from a studio in London, match referee Jonathan Moss made the TV screen shape with his hands and signalled a goal, the remote judgement being that defender Nathan Pond’s trailing foot had just played Iheanacho onside. Inevitably, the delay robbed the moment of spontaneous joy, leaving the players unsure how much to celebrate, the crowd more than a little confused and the Fleetwood manager, Uwe Rosler, complaining that such decisions should be left with the officials on the field for the sake of the game. 76' - Iheanacho goal disallowed ❌ 78' - VAR correctly gives goal ⚽️ 1-0 VAR �� History made as Kelechi Iheanacho becomes the first player to be awarded a goal by VAR in British football! pic.twitter.com/KXsRbVdFou— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) January 16, 2018 “It was not the reason we lost the tie,” he said. “We lost because after they scored their first goal before half-time they had too much for us in the second half. “But can they really say it was onside for the second goal or are they guessing? Even sometimes VAR is not 100 per cent clear. “We will see in the future how it pans out but in general I say don’t complicate the game. The game is beautiful, let it be pure and also made by human errors of the referee. It makes the game.” Claude Puel, the Leicester manager, who had voiced similar reservations ahead of the match on learning that VAR would be used, allowed himself a smile. “I think it’s perfect now,” he joked, before admitting he still had mixed feelings. “But it meant that a good goal was correctly given,” he added. Hot chip: the VAR excitement took attention away from what was a great finish by Kelechi Iheanacho Credit: Getty Otherwise it had been a match too often lacking in passion in which Fleetwood, perhaps unlucky not to have sprung a shock when the sides drew 0-0 at their Highbury ground 10 days ago, gave a good account of themselves in the first half, when Kyle Dempsey drew a fine, fingertip save from Leicester goalkeeper Eldin Jakupovic in their best moment, but faded after going behind two minutes before the break. Iheanacho, one half of a second-string Leicester attack alongside Islam Slimani that nonetheless cost £54 million, converted a chance set up by Slimani to score only his second goal for the club following a £25m move from Manchester City last summer that has yet to deliver a significant return. That moment apart, though, a Leicester side showing eight changes from the weekend had been unimpressive, and it showed on Puel’s face in the technical area.  CLAUDE: “We tried to play in the first half, but it was too comfortable for them to defend. We needed to play forward and get behind them more, which we did much better in the second half.” #LeiFle— Leicester City (@LCFC) January 16, 2018 Mahrez, wearing the captain’s armband for the first time in what may be seen as a statement of Puel's intention to keep him at Leicester, had a quiet first half and wasted his best opportunity with a free kick just outside the ‘D’. Fleetwood offered little as an attacking threat in the second half, in which Jamie Vardy, injured for the original tie, was granted his wish with a 10-minute cameo against his old club. By the time he appeared, Iheanacho, who initially seemed to have no quarrel that his second 'goal' had not counted, had played his part in history. 9:44PM Vardy looking absolutely furious and disgusted although he is, in fact, answering some mild questions in perfectly agreeable fashion. Credit: BT Sport 2 Iheanacho says that communication from the officials to the players about the VAR was totally fine, that he did not know himself at the time whether he was onside or offside. No doubt all of these issues will be well covered in the match report from Jon Culley, which will be here very shortly. From me, Alan Tyers, goodnight. 9:40PM Full time: Leicester City 2 Fleetwood Town 0 VAR the winner! And Leicester. Well done to Fleetwood, they were on terms in the first half and it was hard lines that they conceded on 43 minutes. Result wasn't really in doubt after that. Vardy got a late run against his old club. But the match will be remembered for the second goal, which was given offside. Ref Jon Moss called for VAR, the decision was overturned. It took one minute and seven seconds to come up with the correct answer. Iheanacho was credited with the goal, rightly, his second of the match. Full-time: Leicester City 2️⃣-0️⃣ Fleetwood Town Kelechi Iheanacho's double tees up a fourth round trip to Peterborough United ��#LeiFlepic.twitter.com/EhX81gW2e3— Leicester City (@LCFC) January 16, 2018 9:37PM 90 mins Okazaki has tried to nutmeg Polger. Here is what Polger thought about that: a smack in the puss for you, my Premier League friend. Credit: BT Sport 2 9:35PM 88 mins That would have been the cherry on the top / the final cut for Fleetwood: Albrighton whips it in, there is Jamie Vardy, but Bolger clears. 9:33PM 87 mins This is indeed correct. I am very impressed with the Fleetwood social media account. A mine of information. 85' | Burns finds space on the right edge of the area, and shoots at goal but it's saved by Jakupovic. (2-0)— Fleetwood Town FC (@ftfc) January 16, 2018 9:31PM 85 mins Fleetwood have flagged and it's just a matter of whether Vardy can notch one now.  The VAR system worked, then. Linesman gave a very, very tight decision wrong. They overturned it after a brief look. Either you like it or you don't, the system, but it worked as well as you could expect it to there. 9:26PM 82 mins Jamie Vardy is coming on. Mahrez the man to make way. Shinji Okazaki replaces Kelechi Iheanacho, so there won't be a hat-trick for him. Congratulations to Jon Moss for becoming a pub quiz answer— Alan Smith (@alansmith90) January 16, 2018 9:26PM 81 mins All Leicester now, and indeed all Iheanacho, who has gone close to a hat-trick with a shot. Iborra gets up from the corner and heads not far wide. 9:24PM GOAL! VIA VAR! SCENES! Another VAR! Oh our cup runneth over. This time it is to check an offside flag after Leicester have the ball in the net. Really good run from Mahrez, who takes his time to slide the ball through for Iheanacho. He races onto the ball and applies the finish with a lovely little chip. But the linesman has flagged! They're going to take a look at this on VAR... Credit: BT Sport 2  ... he is just onside! It is overturned! That's it! A little moment of history: the decision is overturned and the goal is awarded. Leicester 2 Fleetwood 0 (Iheanacho 77) 9:19PM 72 mins Dempsey is booked. Bobby Grant replaces Markus Schwabl. 9:15PM 71 mins A VAR HAS HAPPENED!!!!! The ball is lofted into the Fleetwood box. Leicester want a penalty because they think Pond is fouling Iborra  "No penalty" is the initial verdict from Referee Moss. There is not enough evidence of a "clear and obvious" error so the decision of "no penalty" stands. 9:14PM Vaaaaaar, me hearties 61' | Leicester have the ball in the net - but it's ruled out. Ref checking with VAR - still no goal, good decision. (1-0)— Fleetwood Town FC (@ftfc) January 16, 2018 9:09PM 64 mins Albrighton delivers a corner, Iborra heading not far over. Double change for Fleetwood... �� | #ftfc subs. Burns and Cole on, McAleny and Hiwula off. (1-0)— Fleetwood Town FC (@ftfc) January 16, 2018 9:08PM Scarecrow tactics Little by little @RobbieSavage8 is morphing into Worzel Gummidge. pic.twitter.com/WFcv1wbagx— Gary Lineker (@GaryLineker) January 16, 2018 9:07PM 61 mins Leicester have the ball in the net, Iheanacho there just outside the six-yard box slotting it home from the pull-back, but it was just out. Credit: BT Sport 2 9:02PM 56 mins Ball is played into the Fleetwood box. Benalouane flails a leg, Pond has attempted a headed-clearance just a foot or so from the ground, and he gets an unpleasant whack in the head for his trouble. Tough customer, but he needs a moment. 9:00PM 54 mins Slimani is getting the hook and is acting with a sort of exaggerated befuddlement, the sort of hamming that one sees in an amateur dramatic production when the stage direction says "looks shocked". Marc Albrighton replaces him. 8:58PM Shane O'Leary writes: "'Sometimes you just need a bit more quality' muses a man who drifted through too many games like a curly-permed Hugh Grant" 8:55PM 50 mins Iheanacho and Slimani link up very nicely. The former takes his time and chips the ball through. Slimani lets the ball drift across his body and hits a right-footed effort. Doesn't catch it right. Decent chance for what would presumably be the killer second goal. 8:51PM 47 mins "Sometimes you just need a bit more quality," muses Steve McManaman as a decent Fleetwood move peters out thanks to poor passing. 8:50PM 46 mins The second half is underway and the player looking to take it by the scruff of the neck is Gray. Bright and busy, but he runs into trouble. 8:49PM Uwe enjoying a hot drink Credit: BT Sport 2 Jamie Vardy has just pinged a 50-yarder into the top corner as the teams were coming out. Respectful, muted celebration against his old club.— Nick Miller (@NickMiller79) January 16, 2018 8:47PM Over to the Fleetwood social media team �� | Half-time. @LCFC 1-0 #ftfc. @CMcAleny and @_kyledempsey have gone close for Town, who have been the better side. Iheanacho's late goal the difference so far. pic.twitter.com/WL80gHbgtp— Fleetwood Town FC (@ftfc) January 16, 2018 8:34PM Half time: Leicester City 1 Fleetwood Town 0 Leicester had more of the ball but it was in fact Fleetwood who enjoyed the superior chances in an admittedly rather drab half. One moment of real incision from the Premier League team was all it took for the lead. Shame. Can Fleetwood rally after half time? 8:33PM 44 mins Adrien Silva gets the ball and is soon having his foot stamped on by Glendon. Sore one on a cold night, and a booking for the Fleetwood player. 8:32PM GOAL! Leicester! It's Iheanacho! Bit of a nothing ball pumped forard, but Iheanacho manages to knock it to  Slimani, who plays an instant, accurate ball back. It's opened Fleetwood up, Iheanacho slots it calmly away and that's the lead. Finally Fleetwood are bested, after an entire match and 43 minutes. 8:30PM 40 mins Uwe Rosler having a word with Cole on the bench. Bit wet of Rosler not to play his actual best player. Came up with some rot about having to face Blackburn at the weekend and managing his resources. It's the FA Cup, sir! The FA Cup. 8:26PM 36 mins Best moment of the match, a really nice little move from Fleetwood as Hiwula-Mayifuila plays a cute little lay-off for the onrushing Dempsey who cracks a sweet shot at goal. Tipped over! Possibly a bit belt-and-braces from the Leicester keeper, I think that would have most likely gone over. But he could hardly take that risk. Corner. 38' | Corner played short to Jones, but his shot is blocked - before McAleny heads Glendon's cross wide. Come on, lads! (0-0)— Fleetwood Town FC (@ftfc) January 16, 2018 8:23PM 33 mins Hiwula-Mayifuila down the right. Benalouane with a nasty lunge. Ref plays advantage but it doesn't come to a lot. Then booked. 8:21PM 30 mins Mahrez is fouled a yard or two outside the box and the player himself will be the one to take the kick. This is CLOSE! Oof, that took a coat of paint off on the way past the upright. Credit: BT Sport 2 8:16PM 27 mins Shot! McAleny with a break, decent run this. He curls a shot at goal that is palmed away by Jakupovic, who maybe makes a bit of a meal of it.  8:14PM 25 mins McAleny has a shot from distance but that is easy for Jakupovic. Mahrez plays it in. Pond heads behind for a corner. perhaps overcautious, he had a bit of time there. 8:11PM 20 mins Claims, but wafer-thin ones. 20' | Cries for a penalty for #ftfc as Bell and Amartey collide in the penalty area. Not given. (0-0)— Fleetwood Town FC (@ftfc) January 16, 2018 8:06PM 19 mins Iheanacho is booked for a foul as he brushes past McAleny, who went down as quickly, cheaply and theatrically as he possibly could. Premier League quality tumble. 8:03PM 16 mins Pond is there to clear as a cross comes in from the left. 8:01PM 12 mins Amartey has done well to get clear down the right, but very poorly to cross the ball straight at the keeper. Neal barely has to move. 7:58PM 11 mins LCFC camped in the FTFC final third, playing header-tennis, but it's all hands to the pump for the lower league side and eventually they manage to clear. Old boy: Jamie Vardy, pictured here in his Fleetwood Town days, will start on the bench for Leicester City tonight Credit: Action 7:56PM 8 mins Still, they have a freekick. Big Bolger up from centre half. The ball sails over everyone. 7:55PM 7 mins Sorry, I rather drifted off there. It is a quiet start to proceedings. Fleetwood are playing quite nicely but a long way from goal. 7' | Dempsey looking sharp, a neat little pass to McAleny who is fouled. Free-kick to be played in... (0-0)— Fleetwood Town FC (@ftfc) January 16, 2018 7:51PM 4 mins Fever reducer. I’m not saying Cup replay fever hasn’t hit Leicester, but.... pic.twitter.com/3YQPOV67O5— Nick Miller (@NickMiller79) January 16, 2018 7:50PM 3 mins A lot of LCFC fans have given this one a swerve. 3' | Decent start from #ftfc, and a super start from the #codarmy. Singing their hearts out - the only noise in the ground. (0-0)— Fleetwood Town FC (@ftfc) January 16, 2018 7:49PM 2 mins But it is the hosts who are nearly in right away! Mahrez with a good ball to free Iheanacho. Fleetwood are lucky that he makes a horlicks of the pass, because the defence was very stretched there. 7:47PM 1 mins Fleetwood Town kick off. 7:46PM Oh, VAR is available I should say. Hope we get to use it. Leicester: Jakupovic, Amartey, Dragovic, Benalouane, Fuchs,  Mahrez, Adrien Silva, Iborra, Gray, Iheanacho, Slimani. Subs:  Vardy, Albrighton, Hamer, Maguire, Okazaki, Ndidi, Barnes. Fleetwood Town: Neal, Jones, Bolger, Pond, Bell, Glendon,  Schwabl, Dempsey, Hiwula, McAleny, Hunter. Subs: Coyle, Burns,  Grant, Cairns, Sowerby, Cargill, Cole. Referee: Jonathan Moss (County Durham)  7:46PM Some seats still available Credit: BT Sport 1 But here's  how we expect the teams to line up 7:43PM Shane is right on all counts Not least "come on Fleetwood." What a result this would be for them. 7:42PM The excellent Shane O'Leary writes Evening Alan, I understand that the Huth 'foot problem' is that it's usually up the jacksie of an opposing player. Come on Fleetwood! 7:29PM Nathan Pond  seems like an excellent fellow. He used to train  with Vardy "he is always very aggressive." Has he ever been tempted to leave Fleetwood? "Nobody's ever wanted me!"  I bet that is not true. Pond, the skipper, has played 460 times for Fleetwood. I hope he can help them to another clean sheet today. If you think otherwise, bet on Leicester to beat Fleetwood at 28/1 with Corals if you are a new customer. 7:24PM Robert Savage's lid Dat hat Credit: BT Sport Peterborough manager Grant McCann has popped along to see the team his lads will be facing in the fourth round. Owen Hargreaves and Robbie Savage chat to him. 7:20PM Uwe Rosler explains why Devante Cole is on the bench "I am happy what I have in the moment. I can hold what I have. I have to think about Blackburn Rovers at the weekend, we have had 7 games in 22 days." Uwe has left his top scorer out of the XI 6:55PM And here are Fleetwood �� | The teams are in! Here's how #ftfc line up for tonight's @EmiratesFACup fixture at @LCFC... pic.twitter.com/LcyGVTarPo— Fleetwood Town FC (@ftfc) January 16, 2018 6:53PM Rumours 40 years ago today, Fleetwood Mac's 'Rumours' spent a thirty-first and final week at #1 on the Billboard 200.— chart flashbacks (@chartflashback) January 14, 2018 6:50PM Leicester City team Tonight's starting XI: Jakupović, Amartey, Dragović, Benalouane, Fuchs, Iborra, Silva, Mahrez (c), Gray, Iheanacho, Slimani. Subs: Hamer, Maguire, Ndidi, Albrighton, Barnes, Okazaki, Vardy. #LeiFlepic.twitter.com/gBEpbyVBHv— Leicester City (@LCFC) January 16, 2018 6:48PM Shame, Vardy only on the bench Today’s Leicester v Fleetwood team sheet pic.twitter.com/KBltr8X5mf— Rosie Swarbrick (@rosieswarb) January 16, 2018 6:47PM Preview "There’s been a great reaction throughout the town." Journalist Rosie Swarbrick gives us her take on #LeiFle �� https://t.co/TTkWLre8Dupic.twitter.com/rOzZ1bIxA2— Leicester City (@LCFC) January 16, 2018 Rosie (not pictured)  6:20PM Good evening Tyers here, FA Cup third round replay action coming up. Will Jamie Vardy face his former team? Defender Robert Huth could make his first Leicester appearance of the season in the FA Cup third-round replay against Fleetwood on Tuesday. The German centre-back has been sidelined since the summer after ankle surgery and then the recurrence of a foot problem, but Ben Chilwell is banned. Jamie Vardy is fit after missing the first tie against his former club with a groin problem and Matty James is also available, despite hobbling off at Chelsea on Saturday. Danny Simpson and Wes Morgan (both hamstring) are still out. Provisional squad: Schmeichel, Hamer, Jakupovic, Maguire, Huth, Fuchs, Benalouane, Dragovic, James, King, Albrighton, Amartey, Gray, Silva, Ndidi, Mahrez, Iborra, Choudhury, Musa, Vardy, Slimani, Okazaki, Ulloa, Iheanacho. And here is a lovely story by Chris Bascombe about Fleetwood's Markus Schwabl When Fleetwood Town’s German midfielder Markus Schwabl was asked to join the 'Cod Army' he knew so little of the club he rushed to the internet to study its history. Should he and his team mates win at Leicester City in Tuesday’s FA Cup replay he will be enshrining his place in it. Midfielder Schwabl, once of 1860 Munich, was convinced to make the move by compatriot Uwe Rosler. Fleetwood manager Rosler was a colleague of Schwabl’s father, ex-West German international Manfred, at Nurnberg in the early 90s. �� | The lads have arrived at the King Power! pic.twitter.com/PCtxEOPG0w— Fleetwood Town FC (@ftfc) January 16, 2018

Leicester City 2 Fleetwood Town 0: VAR history made as offside decision overturned for Kelechi Iheanacho goal

Anyone who came here expecting a dramatic FA Cup night in the traditional sense will have gone home disappointed as Leicester eased through what turned out to be a rather tepid third-round replay. The match did, however, provide English football with its first goal awarded on the say-so of a Video Assistant Referee after Kelechi Iheanacho’s second of the match was given by virtue of an overruled offside decision. The moment came in the 77th minute after Riyad Mahrez’s pass to the former Manchester City striker gave assistant referee Lee Betts a marginal call to which he responded by raising his flag. But after a lengthy pause listening to the advice of VAR Mike Jones from a studio in London, match referee Jonathan Moss made the TV screen shape with his hands and signalled a goal, the remote judgement being that defender Nathan Pond’s trailing foot had just played Iheanacho onside. Inevitably, the delay robbed the moment of spontaneous joy, leaving the players unsure how much to celebrate, the crowd more than a little confused and the Fleetwood manager, Uwe Rosler, complaining that such decisions should be left with the officials on the field for the sake of the game. 76' - Iheanacho goal disallowed ❌ 78' - VAR correctly gives goal ⚽️ 1-0 VAR �� History made as Kelechi Iheanacho becomes the first player to be awarded a goal by VAR in British football! pic.twitter.com/KXsRbVdFou— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) January 16, 2018 “It was not the reason we lost the tie,” he said. “We lost because after they scored their first goal before half-time they had too much for us in the second half. “But can they really say it was onside for the second goal or are they guessing? Even sometimes VAR is not 100 per cent clear. “We will see in the future how it pans out but in general I say don’t complicate the game. The game is beautiful, let it be pure and also made by human errors of the referee. It makes the game.” Claude Puel, the Leicester manager, who had voiced similar reservations ahead of the match on learning that VAR would be used, allowed himself a smile. “I think it’s perfect now,” he joked, before admitting he still had mixed feelings. “But it meant that a good goal was correctly given,” he added. Hot chip: the VAR excitement took attention away from what was a great finish by Kelechi Iheanacho Credit: Getty Otherwise it had been a match too often lacking in passion in which Fleetwood, perhaps unlucky not to have sprung a shock when the sides drew 0-0 at their Highbury ground 10 days ago, gave a good account of themselves in the first half, when Kyle Dempsey drew a fine, fingertip save from Leicester goalkeeper Eldin Jakupovic in their best moment, but faded after going behind two minutes before the break. Iheanacho, one half of a second-string Leicester attack alongside Islam Slimani that nonetheless cost £54 million, converted a chance set up by Slimani to score only his second goal for the club following a £25m move from Manchester City last summer that has yet to deliver a significant return. That moment apart, though, a Leicester side showing eight changes from the weekend had been unimpressive, and it showed on Puel’s face in the technical area.  CLAUDE: “We tried to play in the first half, but it was too comfortable for them to defend. We needed to play forward and get behind them more, which we did much better in the second half.” #LeiFle— Leicester City (@LCFC) January 16, 2018 Mahrez, wearing the captain’s armband for the first time in what may be seen as a statement of Puel's intention to keep him at Leicester, had a quiet first half and wasted his best opportunity with a free kick just outside the ‘D’. Fleetwood offered little as an attacking threat in the second half, in which Jamie Vardy, injured for the original tie, was granted his wish with a 10-minute cameo against his old club. By the time he appeared, Iheanacho, who initially seemed to have no quarrel that his second 'goal' had not counted, had played his part in history. 9:44PM Vardy looking absolutely furious and disgusted although he is, in fact, answering some mild questions in perfectly agreeable fashion. Credit: BT Sport 2 Iheanacho says that communication from the officials to the players about the VAR was totally fine, that he did not know himself at the time whether he was onside or offside. No doubt all of these issues will be well covered in the match report from Jon Culley, which will be here very shortly. From me, Alan Tyers, goodnight. 9:40PM Full time: Leicester City 2 Fleetwood Town 0 VAR the winner! And Leicester. Well done to Fleetwood, they were on terms in the first half and it was hard lines that they conceded on 43 minutes. Result wasn't really in doubt after that. Vardy got a late run against his old club. But the match will be remembered for the second goal, which was given offside. Ref Jon Moss called for VAR, the decision was overturned. It took one minute and seven seconds to come up with the correct answer. Iheanacho was credited with the goal, rightly, his second of the match. Full-time: Leicester City 2️⃣-0️⃣ Fleetwood Town Kelechi Iheanacho's double tees up a fourth round trip to Peterborough United ��#LeiFlepic.twitter.com/EhX81gW2e3— Leicester City (@LCFC) January 16, 2018 9:37PM 90 mins Okazaki has tried to nutmeg Polger. Here is what Polger thought about that: a smack in the puss for you, my Premier League friend. Credit: BT Sport 2 9:35PM 88 mins That would have been the cherry on the top / the final cut for Fleetwood: Albrighton whips it in, there is Jamie Vardy, but Bolger clears. 9:33PM 87 mins This is indeed correct. I am very impressed with the Fleetwood social media account. A mine of information. 85' | Burns finds space on the right edge of the area, and shoots at goal but it's saved by Jakupovic. (2-0)— Fleetwood Town FC (@ftfc) January 16, 2018 9:31PM 85 mins Fleetwood have flagged and it's just a matter of whether Vardy can notch one now.  The VAR system worked, then. Linesman gave a very, very tight decision wrong. They overturned it after a brief look. Either you like it or you don't, the system, but it worked as well as you could expect it to there. 9:26PM 82 mins Jamie Vardy is coming on. Mahrez the man to make way. Shinji Okazaki replaces Kelechi Iheanacho, so there won't be a hat-trick for him. Congratulations to Jon Moss for becoming a pub quiz answer— Alan Smith (@alansmith90) January 16, 2018 9:26PM 81 mins All Leicester now, and indeed all Iheanacho, who has gone close to a hat-trick with a shot. Iborra gets up from the corner and heads not far wide. 9:24PM GOAL! VIA VAR! SCENES! Another VAR! Oh our cup runneth over. This time it is to check an offside flag after Leicester have the ball in the net. Really good run from Mahrez, who takes his time to slide the ball through for Iheanacho. He races onto the ball and applies the finish with a lovely little chip. But the linesman has flagged! They're going to take a look at this on VAR... Credit: BT Sport 2  ... he is just onside! It is overturned! That's it! A little moment of history: the decision is overturned and the goal is awarded. Leicester 2 Fleetwood 0 (Iheanacho 77) 9:19PM 72 mins Dempsey is booked. Bobby Grant replaces Markus Schwabl. 9:15PM 71 mins A VAR HAS HAPPENED!!!!! The ball is lofted into the Fleetwood box. Leicester want a penalty because they think Pond is fouling Iborra  "No penalty" is the initial verdict from Referee Moss. There is not enough evidence of a "clear and obvious" error so the decision of "no penalty" stands. 9:14PM Vaaaaaar, me hearties 61' | Leicester have the ball in the net - but it's ruled out. Ref checking with VAR - still no goal, good decision. (1-0)— Fleetwood Town FC (@ftfc) January 16, 2018 9:09PM 64 mins Albrighton delivers a corner, Iborra heading not far over. Double change for Fleetwood... �� | #ftfc subs. Burns and Cole on, McAleny and Hiwula off. (1-0)— Fleetwood Town FC (@ftfc) January 16, 2018 9:08PM Scarecrow tactics Little by little @RobbieSavage8 is morphing into Worzel Gummidge. pic.twitter.com/WFcv1wbagx— Gary Lineker (@GaryLineker) January 16, 2018 9:07PM 61 mins Leicester have the ball in the net, Iheanacho there just outside the six-yard box slotting it home from the pull-back, but it was just out. Credit: BT Sport 2 9:02PM 56 mins Ball is played into the Fleetwood box. Benalouane flails a leg, Pond has attempted a headed-clearance just a foot or so from the ground, and he gets an unpleasant whack in the head for his trouble. Tough customer, but he needs a moment. 9:00PM 54 mins Slimani is getting the hook and is acting with a sort of exaggerated befuddlement, the sort of hamming that one sees in an amateur dramatic production when the stage direction says "looks shocked". Marc Albrighton replaces him. 8:58PM Shane O'Leary writes: "'Sometimes you just need a bit more quality' muses a man who drifted through too many games like a curly-permed Hugh Grant" 8:55PM 50 mins Iheanacho and Slimani link up very nicely. The former takes his time and chips the ball through. Slimani lets the ball drift across his body and hits a right-footed effort. Doesn't catch it right. Decent chance for what would presumably be the killer second goal. 8:51PM 47 mins "Sometimes you just need a bit more quality," muses Steve McManaman as a decent Fleetwood move peters out thanks to poor passing. 8:50PM 46 mins The second half is underway and the player looking to take it by the scruff of the neck is Gray. Bright and busy, but he runs into trouble. 8:49PM Uwe enjoying a hot drink Credit: BT Sport 2 Jamie Vardy has just pinged a 50-yarder into the top corner as the teams were coming out. Respectful, muted celebration against his old club.— Nick Miller (@NickMiller79) January 16, 2018 8:47PM Over to the Fleetwood social media team �� | Half-time. @LCFC 1-0 #ftfc. @CMcAleny and @_kyledempsey have gone close for Town, who have been the better side. Iheanacho's late goal the difference so far. pic.twitter.com/WL80gHbgtp— Fleetwood Town FC (@ftfc) January 16, 2018 8:34PM Half time: Leicester City 1 Fleetwood Town 0 Leicester had more of the ball but it was in fact Fleetwood who enjoyed the superior chances in an admittedly rather drab half. One moment of real incision from the Premier League team was all it took for the lead. Shame. Can Fleetwood rally after half time? 8:33PM 44 mins Adrien Silva gets the ball and is soon having his foot stamped on by Glendon. Sore one on a cold night, and a booking for the Fleetwood player. 8:32PM GOAL! Leicester! It's Iheanacho! Bit of a nothing ball pumped forard, but Iheanacho manages to knock it to  Slimani, who plays an instant, accurate ball back. It's opened Fleetwood up, Iheanacho slots it calmly away and that's the lead. Finally Fleetwood are bested, after an entire match and 43 minutes. 8:30PM 40 mins Uwe Rosler having a word with Cole on the bench. Bit wet of Rosler not to play his actual best player. Came up with some rot about having to face Blackburn at the weekend and managing his resources. It's the FA Cup, sir! The FA Cup. 8:26PM 36 mins Best moment of the match, a really nice little move from Fleetwood as Hiwula-Mayifuila plays a cute little lay-off for the onrushing Dempsey who cracks a sweet shot at goal. Tipped over! Possibly a bit belt-and-braces from the Leicester keeper, I think that would have most likely gone over. But he could hardly take that risk. Corner. 38' | Corner played short to Jones, but his shot is blocked - before McAleny heads Glendon's cross wide. Come on, lads! (0-0)— Fleetwood Town FC (@ftfc) January 16, 2018 8:23PM 33 mins Hiwula-Mayifuila down the right. Benalouane with a nasty lunge. Ref plays advantage but it doesn't come to a lot. Then booked. 8:21PM 30 mins Mahrez is fouled a yard or two outside the box and the player himself will be the one to take the kick. This is CLOSE! Oof, that took a coat of paint off on the way past the upright. Credit: BT Sport 2 8:16PM 27 mins Shot! McAleny with a break, decent run this. He curls a shot at goal that is palmed away by Jakupovic, who maybe makes a bit of a meal of it.  8:14PM 25 mins McAleny has a shot from distance but that is easy for Jakupovic. Mahrez plays it in. Pond heads behind for a corner. perhaps overcautious, he had a bit of time there. 8:11PM 20 mins Claims, but wafer-thin ones. 20' | Cries for a penalty for #ftfc as Bell and Amartey collide in the penalty area. Not given. (0-0)— Fleetwood Town FC (@ftfc) January 16, 2018 8:06PM 19 mins Iheanacho is booked for a foul as he brushes past McAleny, who went down as quickly, cheaply and theatrically as he possibly could. Premier League quality tumble. 8:03PM 16 mins Pond is there to clear as a cross comes in from the left. 8:01PM 12 mins Amartey has done well to get clear down the right, but very poorly to cross the ball straight at the keeper. Neal barely has to move. 7:58PM 11 mins LCFC camped in the FTFC final third, playing header-tennis, but it's all hands to the pump for the lower league side and eventually they manage to clear. Old boy: Jamie Vardy, pictured here in his Fleetwood Town days, will start on the bench for Leicester City tonight Credit: Action 7:56PM 8 mins Still, they have a freekick. Big Bolger up from centre half. The ball sails over everyone. 7:55PM 7 mins Sorry, I rather drifted off there. It is a quiet start to proceedings. Fleetwood are playing quite nicely but a long way from goal. 7' | Dempsey looking sharp, a neat little pass to McAleny who is fouled. Free-kick to be played in... (0-0)— Fleetwood Town FC (@ftfc) January 16, 2018 7:51PM 4 mins Fever reducer. I’m not saying Cup replay fever hasn’t hit Leicester, but.... pic.twitter.com/3YQPOV67O5— Nick Miller (@NickMiller79) January 16, 2018 7:50PM 3 mins A lot of LCFC fans have given this one a swerve. 3' | Decent start from #ftfc, and a super start from the #codarmy. Singing their hearts out - the only noise in the ground. (0-0)— Fleetwood Town FC (@ftfc) January 16, 2018 7:49PM 2 mins But it is the hosts who are nearly in right away! Mahrez with a good ball to free Iheanacho. Fleetwood are lucky that he makes a horlicks of the pass, because the defence was very stretched there. 7:47PM 1 mins Fleetwood Town kick off. 7:46PM Oh, VAR is available I should say. Hope we get to use it. Leicester: Jakupovic, Amartey, Dragovic, Benalouane, Fuchs,  Mahrez, Adrien Silva, Iborra, Gray, Iheanacho, Slimani. Subs:  Vardy, Albrighton, Hamer, Maguire, Okazaki, Ndidi, Barnes. Fleetwood Town: Neal, Jones, Bolger, Pond, Bell, Glendon,  Schwabl, Dempsey, Hiwula, McAleny, Hunter. Subs: Coyle, Burns,  Grant, Cairns, Sowerby, Cargill, Cole. Referee: Jonathan Moss (County Durham)  7:46PM Some seats still available Credit: BT Sport 1 But here's  how we expect the teams to line up 7:43PM Shane is right on all counts Not least "come on Fleetwood." What a result this would be for them. 7:42PM The excellent Shane O'Leary writes Evening Alan, I understand that the Huth 'foot problem' is that it's usually up the jacksie of an opposing player. Come on Fleetwood! 7:29PM Nathan Pond  seems like an excellent fellow. He used to train  with Vardy "he is always very aggressive." Has he ever been tempted to leave Fleetwood? "Nobody's ever wanted me!"  I bet that is not true. Pond, the skipper, has played 460 times for Fleetwood. I hope he can help them to another clean sheet today. If you think otherwise, bet on Leicester to beat Fleetwood at 28/1 with Corals if you are a new customer. 7:24PM Robert Savage's lid Dat hat Credit: BT Sport Peterborough manager Grant McCann has popped along to see the team his lads will be facing in the fourth round. Owen Hargreaves and Robbie Savage chat to him. 7:20PM Uwe Rosler explains why Devante Cole is on the bench "I am happy what I have in the moment. I can hold what I have. I have to think about Blackburn Rovers at the weekend, we have had 7 games in 22 days." Uwe has left his top scorer out of the XI 6:55PM And here are Fleetwood �� | The teams are in! Here's how #ftfc line up for tonight's @EmiratesFACup fixture at @LCFC... pic.twitter.com/LcyGVTarPo— Fleetwood Town FC (@ftfc) January 16, 2018 6:53PM Rumours 40 years ago today, Fleetwood Mac's 'Rumours' spent a thirty-first and final week at #1 on the Billboard 200.— chart flashbacks (@chartflashback) January 14, 2018 6:50PM Leicester City team Tonight's starting XI: Jakupović, Amartey, Dragović, Benalouane, Fuchs, Iborra, Silva, Mahrez (c), Gray, Iheanacho, Slimani. Subs: Hamer, Maguire, Ndidi, Albrighton, Barnes, Okazaki, Vardy. #LeiFlepic.twitter.com/gBEpbyVBHv— Leicester City (@LCFC) January 16, 2018 6:48PM Shame, Vardy only on the bench Today’s Leicester v Fleetwood team sheet pic.twitter.com/KBltr8X5mf— Rosie Swarbrick (@rosieswarb) January 16, 2018 6:47PM Preview "There’s been a great reaction throughout the town." Journalist Rosie Swarbrick gives us her take on #LeiFle �� https://t.co/TTkWLre8Dupic.twitter.com/rOzZ1bIxA2— Leicester City (@LCFC) January 16, 2018 Rosie (not pictured)  6:20PM Good evening Tyers here, FA Cup third round replay action coming up. Will Jamie Vardy face his former team? Defender Robert Huth could make his first Leicester appearance of the season in the FA Cup third-round replay against Fleetwood on Tuesday. The German centre-back has been sidelined since the summer after ankle surgery and then the recurrence of a foot problem, but Ben Chilwell is banned. Jamie Vardy is fit after missing the first tie against his former club with a groin problem and Matty James is also available, despite hobbling off at Chelsea on Saturday. Danny Simpson and Wes Morgan (both hamstring) are still out. Provisional squad: Schmeichel, Hamer, Jakupovic, Maguire, Huth, Fuchs, Benalouane, Dragovic, James, King, Albrighton, Amartey, Gray, Silva, Ndidi, Mahrez, Iborra, Choudhury, Musa, Vardy, Slimani, Okazaki, Ulloa, Iheanacho. And here is a lovely story by Chris Bascombe about Fleetwood's Markus Schwabl When Fleetwood Town’s German midfielder Markus Schwabl was asked to join the 'Cod Army' he knew so little of the club he rushed to the internet to study its history. Should he and his team mates win at Leicester City in Tuesday’s FA Cup replay he will be enshrining his place in it. Midfielder Schwabl, once of 1860 Munich, was convinced to make the move by compatriot Uwe Rosler. Fleetwood manager Rosler was a colleague of Schwabl’s father, ex-West German international Manfred, at Nurnberg in the early 90s. �� | The lads have arrived at the King Power! pic.twitter.com/PCtxEOPG0w— Fleetwood Town FC (@ftfc) January 16, 2018

Leicester City 2 Fleetwood Town 0: VAR history made as offside decision overturned for Kelechi Iheanacho goal

Anyone who came here expecting a dramatic FA Cup night in the traditional sense will have gone home disappointed as Leicester eased through what turned out to be a rather tepid third-round replay. The match did, however, provide English football with its first goal awarded on the say-so of a Video Assistant Referee after Kelechi Iheanacho’s second of the match was given by virtue of an overruled offside decision. The moment came in the 77th minute after Riyad Mahrez’s pass to the former Manchester City striker gave assistant referee Lee Betts a marginal call to which he responded by raising his flag. But after a lengthy pause listening to the advice of VAR Mike Jones from a studio in London, match referee Jonathan Moss made the TV screen shape with his hands and signalled a goal, the remote judgement being that defender Nathan Pond’s trailing foot had just played Iheanacho onside. Inevitably, the delay robbed the moment of spontaneous joy, leaving the players unsure how much to celebrate, the crowd more than a little confused and the Fleetwood manager, Uwe Rosler, complaining that such decisions should be left with the officials on the field for the sake of the game. 76' - Iheanacho goal disallowed ❌ 78' - VAR correctly gives goal ⚽️ 1-0 VAR �� History made as Kelechi Iheanacho becomes the first player to be awarded a goal by VAR in British football! pic.twitter.com/KXsRbVdFou— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) January 16, 2018 “It was not the reason we lost the tie,” he said. “We lost because after they scored their first goal before half-time they had too much for us in the second half. “But can they really say it was onside for the second goal or are they guessing? Even sometimes VAR is not 100 per cent clear. “We will see in the future how it pans out but in general I say don’t complicate the game. The game is beautiful, let it be pure and also made by human errors of the referee. It makes the game.” Claude Puel, the Leicester manager, who had voiced similar reservations ahead of the match on learning that VAR would be used, allowed himself a smile. “I think it’s perfect now,” he joked, before admitting he still had mixed feelings. “But it meant that a good goal was correctly given,” he added. Hot chip: the VAR excitement took attention away from what was a great finish by Kelechi Iheanacho Credit: Getty Otherwise it had been a match too often lacking in passion in which Fleetwood, perhaps unlucky not to have sprung a shock when the sides drew 0-0 at their Highbury ground 10 days ago, gave a good account of themselves in the first half, when Kyle Dempsey drew a fine, fingertip save from Leicester goalkeeper Eldin Jakupovic in their best moment, but faded after going behind two minutes before the break. Iheanacho, one half of a second-string Leicester attack alongside Islam Slimani that nonetheless cost £54 million, converted a chance set up by Slimani to score only his second goal for the club following a £25m move from Manchester City last summer that has yet to deliver a significant return. That moment apart, though, a Leicester side showing eight changes from the weekend had been unimpressive, and it showed on Puel’s face in the technical area.  CLAUDE: “We tried to play in the first half, but it was too comfortable for them to defend. We needed to play forward and get behind them more, which we did much better in the second half.” #LeiFle— Leicester City (@LCFC) January 16, 2018 Mahrez, wearing the captain’s armband for the first time in what may be seen as a statement of Puel's intention to keep him at Leicester, had a quiet first half and wasted his best opportunity with a free kick just outside the ‘D’. Fleetwood offered little as an attacking threat in the second half, in which Jamie Vardy, injured for the original tie, was granted his wish with a 10-minute cameo against his old club. By the time he appeared, Iheanacho, who initially seemed to have no quarrel that his second 'goal' had not counted, had played his part in history. 9:44PM Vardy looking absolutely furious and disgusted although he is, in fact, answering some mild questions in perfectly agreeable fashion. Credit: BT Sport 2 Iheanacho says that communication from the officials to the players about the VAR was totally fine, that he did not know himself at the time whether he was onside or offside. No doubt all of these issues will be well covered in the match report from Jon Culley, which will be here very shortly. From me, Alan Tyers, goodnight. 9:40PM Full time: Leicester City 2 Fleetwood Town 0 VAR the winner! And Leicester. Well done to Fleetwood, they were on terms in the first half and it was hard lines that they conceded on 43 minutes. Result wasn't really in doubt after that. Vardy got a late run against his old club. But the match will be remembered for the second goal, which was given offside. Ref Jon Moss called for VAR, the decision was overturned. It took one minute and seven seconds to come up with the correct answer. Iheanacho was credited with the goal, rightly, his second of the match. Full-time: Leicester City 2️⃣-0️⃣ Fleetwood Town Kelechi Iheanacho's double tees up a fourth round trip to Peterborough United ��#LeiFlepic.twitter.com/EhX81gW2e3— Leicester City (@LCFC) January 16, 2018 9:37PM 90 mins Okazaki has tried to nutmeg Polger. Here is what Polger thought about that: a smack in the puss for you, my Premier League friend. Credit: BT Sport 2 9:35PM 88 mins That would have been the cherry on the top / the final cut for Fleetwood: Albrighton whips it in, there is Jamie Vardy, but Bolger clears. 9:33PM 87 mins This is indeed correct. I am very impressed with the Fleetwood social media account. A mine of information. 85' | Burns finds space on the right edge of the area, and shoots at goal but it's saved by Jakupovic. (2-0)— Fleetwood Town FC (@ftfc) January 16, 2018 9:31PM 85 mins Fleetwood have flagged and it's just a matter of whether Vardy can notch one now.  The VAR system worked, then. Linesman gave a very, very tight decision wrong. They overturned it after a brief look. Either you like it or you don't, the system, but it worked as well as you could expect it to there. 9:26PM 82 mins Jamie Vardy is coming on. Mahrez the man to make way. Shinji Okazaki replaces Kelechi Iheanacho, so there won't be a hat-trick for him. Congratulations to Jon Moss for becoming a pub quiz answer— Alan Smith (@alansmith90) January 16, 2018 9:26PM 81 mins All Leicester now, and indeed all Iheanacho, who has gone close to a hat-trick with a shot. Iborra gets up from the corner and heads not far wide. 9:24PM GOAL! VIA VAR! SCENES! Another VAR! Oh our cup runneth over. This time it is to check an offside flag after Leicester have the ball in the net. Really good run from Mahrez, who takes his time to slide the ball through for Iheanacho. He races onto the ball and applies the finish with a lovely little chip. But the linesman has flagged! They're going to take a look at this on VAR... Credit: BT Sport 2  ... he is just onside! It is overturned! That's it! A little moment of history: the decision is overturned and the goal is awarded. Leicester 2 Fleetwood 0 (Iheanacho 77) 9:19PM 72 mins Dempsey is booked. Bobby Grant replaces Markus Schwabl. 9:15PM 71 mins A VAR HAS HAPPENED!!!!! The ball is lofted into the Fleetwood box. Leicester want a penalty because they think Pond is fouling Iborra  "No penalty" is the initial verdict from Referee Moss. There is not enough evidence of a "clear and obvious" error so the decision of "no penalty" stands. 9:14PM Vaaaaaar, me hearties 61' | Leicester have the ball in the net - but it's ruled out. Ref checking with VAR - still no goal, good decision. (1-0)— Fleetwood Town FC (@ftfc) January 16, 2018 9:09PM 64 mins Albrighton delivers a corner, Iborra heading not far over. Double change for Fleetwood... �� | #ftfc subs. Burns and Cole on, McAleny and Hiwula off. (1-0)— Fleetwood Town FC (@ftfc) January 16, 2018 9:08PM Scarecrow tactics Little by little @RobbieSavage8 is morphing into Worzel Gummidge. pic.twitter.com/WFcv1wbagx— Gary Lineker (@GaryLineker) January 16, 2018 9:07PM 61 mins Leicester have the ball in the net, Iheanacho there just outside the six-yard box slotting it home from the pull-back, but it was just out. Credit: BT Sport 2 9:02PM 56 mins Ball is played into the Fleetwood box. Benalouane flails a leg, Pond has attempted a headed-clearance just a foot or so from the ground, and he gets an unpleasant whack in the head for his trouble. Tough customer, but he needs a moment. 9:00PM 54 mins Slimani is getting the hook and is acting with a sort of exaggerated befuddlement, the sort of hamming that one sees in an amateur dramatic production when the stage direction says "looks shocked". Marc Albrighton replaces him. 8:58PM Shane O'Leary writes: "'Sometimes you just need a bit more quality' muses a man who drifted through too many games like a curly-permed Hugh Grant" 8:55PM 50 mins Iheanacho and Slimani link up very nicely. The former takes his time and chips the ball through. Slimani lets the ball drift across his body and hits a right-footed effort. Doesn't catch it right. Decent chance for what would presumably be the killer second goal. 8:51PM 47 mins "Sometimes you just need a bit more quality," muses Steve McManaman as a decent Fleetwood move peters out thanks to poor passing. 8:50PM 46 mins The second half is underway and the player looking to take it by the scruff of the neck is Gray. Bright and busy, but he runs into trouble. 8:49PM Uwe enjoying a hot drink Credit: BT Sport 2 Jamie Vardy has just pinged a 50-yarder into the top corner as the teams were coming out. Respectful, muted celebration against his old club.— Nick Miller (@NickMiller79) January 16, 2018 8:47PM Over to the Fleetwood social media team �� | Half-time. @LCFC 1-0 #ftfc. @CMcAleny and @_kyledempsey have gone close for Town, who have been the better side. Iheanacho's late goal the difference so far. pic.twitter.com/WL80gHbgtp— Fleetwood Town FC (@ftfc) January 16, 2018 8:34PM Half time: Leicester City 1 Fleetwood Town 0 Leicester had more of the ball but it was in fact Fleetwood who enjoyed the superior chances in an admittedly rather drab half. One moment of real incision from the Premier League team was all it took for the lead. Shame. Can Fleetwood rally after half time? 8:33PM 44 mins Adrien Silva gets the ball and is soon having his foot stamped on by Glendon. Sore one on a cold night, and a booking for the Fleetwood player. 8:32PM GOAL! Leicester! It's Iheanacho! Bit of a nothing ball pumped forard, but Iheanacho manages to knock it to  Slimani, who plays an instant, accurate ball back. It's opened Fleetwood up, Iheanacho slots it calmly away and that's the lead. Finally Fleetwood are bested, after an entire match and 43 minutes. 8:30PM 40 mins Uwe Rosler having a word with Cole on the bench. Bit wet of Rosler not to play his actual best player. Came up with some rot about having to face Blackburn at the weekend and managing his resources. It's the FA Cup, sir! The FA Cup. 8:26PM 36 mins Best moment of the match, a really nice little move from Fleetwood as Hiwula-Mayifuila plays a cute little lay-off for the onrushing Dempsey who cracks a sweet shot at goal. Tipped over! Possibly a bit belt-and-braces from the Leicester keeper, I think that would have most likely gone over. But he could hardly take that risk. Corner. 38' | Corner played short to Jones, but his shot is blocked - before McAleny heads Glendon's cross wide. Come on, lads! (0-0)— Fleetwood Town FC (@ftfc) January 16, 2018 8:23PM 33 mins Hiwula-Mayifuila down the right. Benalouane with a nasty lunge. Ref plays advantage but it doesn't come to a lot. Then booked. 8:21PM 30 mins Mahrez is fouled a yard or two outside the box and the player himself will be the one to take the kick. This is CLOSE! Oof, that took a coat of paint off on the way past the upright. Credit: BT Sport 2 8:16PM 27 mins Shot! McAleny with a break, decent run this. He curls a shot at goal that is palmed away by Jakupovic, who maybe makes a bit of a meal of it.  8:14PM 25 mins McAleny has a shot from distance but that is easy for Jakupovic. Mahrez plays it in. Pond heads behind for a corner. perhaps overcautious, he had a bit of time there. 8:11PM 20 mins Claims, but wafer-thin ones. 20' | Cries for a penalty for #ftfc as Bell and Amartey collide in the penalty area. Not given. (0-0)— Fleetwood Town FC (@ftfc) January 16, 2018 8:06PM 19 mins Iheanacho is booked for a foul as he brushes past McAleny, who went down as quickly, cheaply and theatrically as he possibly could. Premier League quality tumble. 8:03PM 16 mins Pond is there to clear as a cross comes in from the left. 8:01PM 12 mins Amartey has done well to get clear down the right, but very poorly to cross the ball straight at the keeper. Neal barely has to move. 7:58PM 11 mins LCFC camped in the FTFC final third, playing header-tennis, but it's all hands to the pump for the lower league side and eventually they manage to clear. Old boy: Jamie Vardy, pictured here in his Fleetwood Town days, will start on the bench for Leicester City tonight Credit: Action 7:56PM 8 mins Still, they have a freekick. Big Bolger up from centre half. The ball sails over everyone. 7:55PM 7 mins Sorry, I rather drifted off there. It is a quiet start to proceedings. Fleetwood are playing quite nicely but a long way from goal. 7' | Dempsey looking sharp, a neat little pass to McAleny who is fouled. Free-kick to be played in... (0-0)— Fleetwood Town FC (@ftfc) January 16, 2018 7:51PM 4 mins Fever reducer. I’m not saying Cup replay fever hasn’t hit Leicester, but.... pic.twitter.com/3YQPOV67O5— Nick Miller (@NickMiller79) January 16, 2018 7:50PM 3 mins A lot of LCFC fans have given this one a swerve. 3' | Decent start from #ftfc, and a super start from the #codarmy. Singing their hearts out - the only noise in the ground. (0-0)— Fleetwood Town FC (@ftfc) January 16, 2018 7:49PM 2 mins But it is the hosts who are nearly in right away! Mahrez with a good ball to free Iheanacho. Fleetwood are lucky that he makes a horlicks of the pass, because the defence was very stretched there. 7:47PM 1 mins Fleetwood Town kick off. 7:46PM Oh, VAR is available I should say. Hope we get to use it. Leicester: Jakupovic, Amartey, Dragovic, Benalouane, Fuchs,  Mahrez, Adrien Silva, Iborra, Gray, Iheanacho, Slimani. Subs:  Vardy, Albrighton, Hamer, Maguire, Okazaki, Ndidi, Barnes. Fleetwood Town: Neal, Jones, Bolger, Pond, Bell, Glendon,  Schwabl, Dempsey, Hiwula, McAleny, Hunter. Subs: Coyle, Burns,  Grant, Cairns, Sowerby, Cargill, Cole. Referee: Jonathan Moss (County Durham)  7:46PM Some seats still available Credit: BT Sport 1 But here's  how we expect the teams to line up 7:43PM Shane is right on all counts Not least "come on Fleetwood." What a result this would be for them. 7:42PM The excellent Shane O'Leary writes Evening Alan, I understand that the Huth 'foot problem' is that it's usually up the jacksie of an opposing player. Come on Fleetwood! 7:29PM Nathan Pond  seems like an excellent fellow. He used to train  with Vardy "he is always very aggressive." Has he ever been tempted to leave Fleetwood? "Nobody's ever wanted me!"  I bet that is not true. Pond, the skipper, has played 460 times for Fleetwood. I hope he can help them to another clean sheet today. If you think otherwise, bet on Leicester to beat Fleetwood at 28/1 with Corals if you are a new customer. 7:24PM Robert Savage's lid Dat hat Credit: BT Sport Peterborough manager Grant McCann has popped along to see the team his lads will be facing in the fourth round. Owen Hargreaves and Robbie Savage chat to him. 7:20PM Uwe Rosler explains why Devante Cole is on the bench "I am happy what I have in the moment. I can hold what I have. I have to think about Blackburn Rovers at the weekend, we have had 7 games in 22 days." Uwe has left his top scorer out of the XI 6:55PM And here are Fleetwood �� | The teams are in! Here's how #ftfc line up for tonight's @EmiratesFACup fixture at @LCFC... pic.twitter.com/LcyGVTarPo— Fleetwood Town FC (@ftfc) January 16, 2018 6:53PM Rumours 40 years ago today, Fleetwood Mac's 'Rumours' spent a thirty-first and final week at #1 on the Billboard 200.— chart flashbacks (@chartflashback) January 14, 2018 6:50PM Leicester City team Tonight's starting XI: Jakupović, Amartey, Dragović, Benalouane, Fuchs, Iborra, Silva, Mahrez (c), Gray, Iheanacho, Slimani. Subs: Hamer, Maguire, Ndidi, Albrighton, Barnes, Okazaki, Vardy. #LeiFlepic.twitter.com/gBEpbyVBHv— Leicester City (@LCFC) January 16, 2018 6:48PM Shame, Vardy only on the bench Today’s Leicester v Fleetwood team sheet pic.twitter.com/KBltr8X5mf— Rosie Swarbrick (@rosieswarb) January 16, 2018 6:47PM Preview "There’s been a great reaction throughout the town." Journalist Rosie Swarbrick gives us her take on #LeiFle �� https://t.co/TTkWLre8Dupic.twitter.com/rOzZ1bIxA2— Leicester City (@LCFC) January 16, 2018 Rosie (not pictured)  6:20PM Good evening Tyers here, FA Cup third round replay action coming up. Will Jamie Vardy face his former team? Defender Robert Huth could make his first Leicester appearance of the season in the FA Cup third-round replay against Fleetwood on Tuesday. The German centre-back has been sidelined since the summer after ankle surgery and then the recurrence of a foot problem, but Ben Chilwell is banned. Jamie Vardy is fit after missing the first tie against his former club with a groin problem and Matty James is also available, despite hobbling off at Chelsea on Saturday. Danny Simpson and Wes Morgan (both hamstring) are still out. Provisional squad: Schmeichel, Hamer, Jakupovic, Maguire, Huth, Fuchs, Benalouane, Dragovic, James, King, Albrighton, Amartey, Gray, Silva, Ndidi, Mahrez, Iborra, Choudhury, Musa, Vardy, Slimani, Okazaki, Ulloa, Iheanacho. And here is a lovely story by Chris Bascombe about Fleetwood's Markus Schwabl When Fleetwood Town’s German midfielder Markus Schwabl was asked to join the 'Cod Army' he knew so little of the club he rushed to the internet to study its history. Should he and his team mates win at Leicester City in Tuesday’s FA Cup replay he will be enshrining his place in it. Midfielder Schwabl, once of 1860 Munich, was convinced to make the move by compatriot Uwe Rosler. Fleetwood manager Rosler was a colleague of Schwabl’s father, ex-West German international Manfred, at Nurnberg in the early 90s. �� | The lads have arrived at the King Power! pic.twitter.com/PCtxEOPG0w— Fleetwood Town FC (@ftfc) January 16, 2018

Leicester City 2 Fleetwood Town 0: VAR history made as offside decision overturned for Kelechi Iheanacho goal

Anyone who came here expecting a dramatic FA Cup night in the traditional sense will have gone home disappointed as Leicester eased through what turned out to be a rather tepid third-round replay. The match did, however, provide English football with its first goal awarded on the say-so of a Video Assistant Referee after Kelechi Iheanacho’s second of the match was given by virtue of an overruled offside decision. The moment came in the 77th minute after Riyad Mahrez’s pass to the former Manchester City striker gave assistant referee Lee Betts a marginal call to which he responded by raising his flag. But after a lengthy pause listening to the advice of VAR Mike Jones from a studio in London, match referee Jonathan Moss made the TV screen shape with his hands and signalled a goal, the remote judgement being that defender Nathan Pond’s trailing foot had just played Iheanacho onside. Inevitably, the delay robbed the moment of spontaneous joy, leaving the players unsure how much to celebrate, the crowd more than a little confused and the Fleetwood manager, Uwe Rosler, complaining that such decisions should be left with the officials on the field for the sake of the game. 76' - Iheanacho goal disallowed ❌ 78' - VAR correctly gives goal ⚽️ 1-0 VAR �� History made as Kelechi Iheanacho becomes the first player to be awarded a goal by VAR in British football! pic.twitter.com/KXsRbVdFou— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) January 16, 2018 “It was not the reason we lost the tie,” he said. “We lost because after they scored their first goal before half-time they had too much for us in the second half. “But can they really say it was onside for the second goal or are they guessing? Even sometimes VAR is not 100 per cent clear. “We will see in the future how it pans out but in general I say don’t complicate the game. The game is beautiful, let it be pure and also made by human errors of the referee. It makes the game.” Claude Puel, the Leicester manager, who had voiced similar reservations ahead of the match on learning that VAR would be used, allowed himself a smile. “I think it’s perfect now,” he joked, before admitting he still had mixed feelings. “But it meant that a good goal was correctly given,” he added. Hot chip: the VAR excitement took attention away from what was a great finish by Kelechi Iheanacho Credit: Getty Otherwise it had been a match too often lacking in passion in which Fleetwood, perhaps unlucky not to have sprung a shock when the sides drew 0-0 at their Highbury ground 10 days ago, gave a good account of themselves in the first half, when Kyle Dempsey drew a fine, fingertip save from Leicester goalkeeper Eldin Jakupovic in their best moment, but faded after going behind two minutes before the break. Iheanacho, one half of a second-string Leicester attack alongside Islam Slimani that nonetheless cost £54 million, converted a chance set up by Slimani to score only his second goal for the club following a £25m move from Manchester City last summer that has yet to deliver a significant return. That moment apart, though, a Leicester side showing eight changes from the weekend had been unimpressive, and it showed on Puel’s face in the technical area.  CLAUDE: “We tried to play in the first half, but it was too comfortable for them to defend. We needed to play forward and get behind them more, which we did much better in the second half.” #LeiFle— Leicester City (@LCFC) January 16, 2018 Mahrez, wearing the captain’s armband for the first time in what may be seen as a statement of Puel's intention to keep him at Leicester, had a quiet first half and wasted his best opportunity with a free kick just outside the ‘D’. Fleetwood offered little as an attacking threat in the second half, in which Jamie Vardy, injured for the original tie, was granted his wish with a 10-minute cameo against his old club. By the time he appeared, Iheanacho, who initially seemed to have no quarrel that his second 'goal' had not counted, had played his part in history. 9:44PM Vardy looking absolutely furious and disgusted although he is, in fact, answering some mild questions in perfectly agreeable fashion. Credit: BT Sport 2 Iheanacho says that communication from the officials to the players about the VAR was totally fine, that he did not know himself at the time whether he was onside or offside. No doubt all of these issues will be well covered in the match report from Jon Culley, which will be here very shortly. From me, Alan Tyers, goodnight. 9:40PM Full time: Leicester City 2 Fleetwood Town 0 VAR the winner! And Leicester. Well done to Fleetwood, they were on terms in the first half and it was hard lines that they conceded on 43 minutes. Result wasn't really in doubt after that. Vardy got a late run against his old club. But the match will be remembered for the second goal, which was given offside. Ref Jon Moss called for VAR, the decision was overturned. It took one minute and seven seconds to come up with the correct answer. Iheanacho was credited with the goal, rightly, his second of the match. Full-time: Leicester City 2️⃣-0️⃣ Fleetwood Town Kelechi Iheanacho's double tees up a fourth round trip to Peterborough United ��#LeiFlepic.twitter.com/EhX81gW2e3— Leicester City (@LCFC) January 16, 2018 9:37PM 90 mins Okazaki has tried to nutmeg Polger. Here is what Polger thought about that: a smack in the puss for you, my Premier League friend. Credit: BT Sport 2 9:35PM 88 mins That would have been the cherry on the top / the final cut for Fleetwood: Albrighton whips it in, there is Jamie Vardy, but Bolger clears. 9:33PM 87 mins This is indeed correct. I am very impressed with the Fleetwood social media account. A mine of information. 85' | Burns finds space on the right edge of the area, and shoots at goal but it's saved by Jakupovic. (2-0)— Fleetwood Town FC (@ftfc) January 16, 2018 9:31PM 85 mins Fleetwood have flagged and it's just a matter of whether Vardy can notch one now.  The VAR system worked, then. Linesman gave a very, very tight decision wrong. They overturned it after a brief look. Either you like it or you don't, the system, but it worked as well as you could expect it to there. 9:26PM 82 mins Jamie Vardy is coming on. Mahrez the man to make way. Shinji Okazaki replaces Kelechi Iheanacho, so there won't be a hat-trick for him. Congratulations to Jon Moss for becoming a pub quiz answer— Alan Smith (@alansmith90) January 16, 2018 9:26PM 81 mins All Leicester now, and indeed all Iheanacho, who has gone close to a hat-trick with a shot. Iborra gets up from the corner and heads not far wide. 9:24PM GOAL! VIA VAR! SCENES! Another VAR! Oh our cup runneth over. This time it is to check an offside flag after Leicester have the ball in the net. Really good run from Mahrez, who takes his time to slide the ball through for Iheanacho. He races onto the ball and applies the finish with a lovely little chip. But the linesman has flagged! They're going to take a look at this on VAR... Credit: BT Sport 2  ... he is just onside! It is overturned! That's it! A little moment of history: the decision is overturned and the goal is awarded. Leicester 2 Fleetwood 0 (Iheanacho 77) 9:19PM 72 mins Dempsey is booked. Bobby Grant replaces Markus Schwabl. 9:15PM 71 mins A VAR HAS HAPPENED!!!!! The ball is lofted into the Fleetwood box. Leicester want a penalty because they think Pond is fouling Iborra  "No penalty" is the initial verdict from Referee Moss. There is not enough evidence of a "clear and obvious" error so the decision of "no penalty" stands. 9:14PM Vaaaaaar, me hearties 61' | Leicester have the ball in the net - but it's ruled out. Ref checking with VAR - still no goal, good decision. (1-0)— Fleetwood Town FC (@ftfc) January 16, 2018 9:09PM 64 mins Albrighton delivers a corner, Iborra heading not far over. Double change for Fleetwood... �� | #ftfc subs. Burns and Cole on, McAleny and Hiwula off. (1-0)— Fleetwood Town FC (@ftfc) January 16, 2018 9:08PM Scarecrow tactics Little by little @RobbieSavage8 is morphing into Worzel Gummidge. pic.twitter.com/WFcv1wbagx— Gary Lineker (@GaryLineker) January 16, 2018 9:07PM 61 mins Leicester have the ball in the net, Iheanacho there just outside the six-yard box slotting it home from the pull-back, but it was just out. Credit: BT Sport 2 9:02PM 56 mins Ball is played into the Fleetwood box. Benalouane flails a leg, Pond has attempted a headed-clearance just a foot or so from the ground, and he gets an unpleasant whack in the head for his trouble. Tough customer, but he needs a moment. 9:00PM 54 mins Slimani is getting the hook and is acting with a sort of exaggerated befuddlement, the sort of hamming that one sees in an amateur dramatic production when the stage direction says "looks shocked". Marc Albrighton replaces him. 8:58PM Shane O'Leary writes: "'Sometimes you just need a bit more quality' muses a man who drifted through too many games like a curly-permed Hugh Grant" 8:55PM 50 mins Iheanacho and Slimani link up very nicely. The former takes his time and chips the ball through. Slimani lets the ball drift across his body and hits a right-footed effort. Doesn't catch it right. Decent chance for what would presumably be the killer second goal. 8:51PM 47 mins "Sometimes you just need a bit more quality," muses Steve McManaman as a decent Fleetwood move peters out thanks to poor passing. 8:50PM 46 mins The second half is underway and the player looking to take it by the scruff of the neck is Gray. Bright and busy, but he runs into trouble. 8:49PM Uwe enjoying a hot drink Credit: BT Sport 2 Jamie Vardy has just pinged a 50-yarder into the top corner as the teams were coming out. Respectful, muted celebration against his old club.— Nick Miller (@NickMiller79) January 16, 2018 8:47PM Over to the Fleetwood social media team �� | Half-time. @LCFC 1-0 #ftfc. @CMcAleny and @_kyledempsey have gone close for Town, who have been the better side. Iheanacho's late goal the difference so far. pic.twitter.com/WL80gHbgtp— Fleetwood Town FC (@ftfc) January 16, 2018 8:34PM Half time: Leicester City 1 Fleetwood Town 0 Leicester had more of the ball but it was in fact Fleetwood who enjoyed the superior chances in an admittedly rather drab half. One moment of real incision from the Premier League team was all it took for the lead. Shame. Can Fleetwood rally after half time? 8:33PM 44 mins Adrien Silva gets the ball and is soon having his foot stamped on by Glendon. Sore one on a cold night, and a booking for the Fleetwood player. 8:32PM GOAL! Leicester! It's Iheanacho! Bit of a nothing ball pumped forard, but Iheanacho manages to knock it to  Slimani, who plays an instant, accurate ball back. It's opened Fleetwood up, Iheanacho slots it calmly away and that's the lead. Finally Fleetwood are bested, after an entire match and 43 minutes. 8:30PM 40 mins Uwe Rosler having a word with Cole on the bench. Bit wet of Rosler not to play his actual best player. Came up with some rot about having to face Blackburn at the weekend and managing his resources. It's the FA Cup, sir! The FA Cup. 8:26PM 36 mins Best moment of the match, a really nice little move from Fleetwood as Hiwula-Mayifuila plays a cute little lay-off for the onrushing Dempsey who cracks a sweet shot at goal. Tipped over! Possibly a bit belt-and-braces from the Leicester keeper, I think that would have most likely gone over. But he could hardly take that risk. Corner. 38' | Corner played short to Jones, but his shot is blocked - before McAleny heads Glendon's cross wide. Come on, lads! (0-0)— Fleetwood Town FC (@ftfc) January 16, 2018 8:23PM 33 mins Hiwula-Mayifuila down the right. Benalouane with a nasty lunge. Ref plays advantage but it doesn't come to a lot. Then booked. 8:21PM 30 mins Mahrez is fouled a yard or two outside the box and the player himself will be the one to take the kick. This is CLOSE! Oof, that took a coat of paint off on the way past the upright. Credit: BT Sport 2 8:16PM 27 mins Shot! McAleny with a break, decent run this. He curls a shot at goal that is palmed away by Jakupovic, who maybe makes a bit of a meal of it.  8:14PM 25 mins McAleny has a shot from distance but that is easy for Jakupovic. Mahrez plays it in. Pond heads behind for a corner. perhaps overcautious, he had a bit of time there. 8:11PM 20 mins Claims, but wafer-thin ones. 20' | Cries for a penalty for #ftfc as Bell and Amartey collide in the penalty area. Not given. (0-0)— Fleetwood Town FC (@ftfc) January 16, 2018 8:06PM 19 mins Iheanacho is booked for a foul as he brushes past McAleny, who went down as quickly, cheaply and theatrically as he possibly could. Premier League quality tumble. 8:03PM 16 mins Pond is there to clear as a cross comes in from the left. 8:01PM 12 mins Amartey has done well to get clear down the right, but very poorly to cross the ball straight at the keeper. Neal barely has to move. 7:58PM 11 mins LCFC camped in the FTFC final third, playing header-tennis, but it's all hands to the pump for the lower league side and eventually they manage to clear. Old boy: Jamie Vardy, pictured here in his Fleetwood Town days, will start on the bench for Leicester City tonight Credit: Action 7:56PM 8 mins Still, they have a freekick. Big Bolger up from centre half. The ball sails over everyone. 7:55PM 7 mins Sorry, I rather drifted off there. It is a quiet start to proceedings. Fleetwood are playing quite nicely but a long way from goal. 7' | Dempsey looking sharp, a neat little pass to McAleny who is fouled. Free-kick to be played in... (0-0)— Fleetwood Town FC (@ftfc) January 16, 2018 7:51PM 4 mins Fever reducer. I’m not saying Cup replay fever hasn’t hit Leicester, but.... pic.twitter.com/3YQPOV67O5— Nick Miller (@NickMiller79) January 16, 2018 7:50PM 3 mins A lot of LCFC fans have given this one a swerve. 3' | Decent start from #ftfc, and a super start from the #codarmy. Singing their hearts out - the only noise in the ground. (0-0)— Fleetwood Town FC (@ftfc) January 16, 2018 7:49PM 2 mins But it is the hosts who are nearly in right away! Mahrez with a good ball to free Iheanacho. Fleetwood are lucky that he makes a horlicks of the pass, because the defence was very stretched there. 7:47PM 1 mins Fleetwood Town kick off. 7:46PM Oh, VAR is available I should say. Hope we get to use it. Leicester: Jakupovic, Amartey, Dragovic, Benalouane, Fuchs,  Mahrez, Adrien Silva, Iborra, Gray, Iheanacho, Slimani. Subs:  Vardy, Albrighton, Hamer, Maguire, Okazaki, Ndidi, Barnes. Fleetwood Town: Neal, Jones, Bolger, Pond, Bell, Glendon,  Schwabl, Dempsey, Hiwula, McAleny, Hunter. Subs: Coyle, Burns,  Grant, Cairns, Sowerby, Cargill, Cole. Referee: Jonathan Moss (County Durham)  7:46PM Some seats still available Credit: BT Sport 1 But here's  how we expect the teams to line up 7:43PM Shane is right on all counts Not least "come on Fleetwood." What a result this would be for them. 7:42PM The excellent Shane O'Leary writes Evening Alan, I understand that the Huth 'foot problem' is that it's usually up the jacksie of an opposing player. Come on Fleetwood! 7:29PM Nathan Pond  seems like an excellent fellow. He used to train  with Vardy "he is always very aggressive." Has he ever been tempted to leave Fleetwood? "Nobody's ever wanted me!"  I bet that is not true. Pond, the skipper, has played 460 times for Fleetwood. I hope he can help them to another clean sheet today. If you think otherwise, bet on Leicester to beat Fleetwood at 28/1 with Corals if you are a new customer. 7:24PM Robert Savage's lid Dat hat Credit: BT Sport Peterborough manager Grant McCann has popped along to see the team his lads will be facing in the fourth round. Owen Hargreaves and Robbie Savage chat to him. 7:20PM Uwe Rosler explains why Devante Cole is on the bench "I am happy what I have in the moment. I can hold what I have. I have to think about Blackburn Rovers at the weekend, we have had 7 games in 22 days." Uwe has left his top scorer out of the XI 6:55PM And here are Fleetwood �� | The teams are in! Here's how #ftfc line up for tonight's @EmiratesFACup fixture at @LCFC... pic.twitter.com/LcyGVTarPo— Fleetwood Town FC (@ftfc) January 16, 2018 6:53PM Rumours 40 years ago today, Fleetwood Mac's 'Rumours' spent a thirty-first and final week at #1 on the Billboard 200.— chart flashbacks (@chartflashback) January 14, 2018 6:50PM Leicester City team Tonight's starting XI: Jakupović, Amartey, Dragović, Benalouane, Fuchs, Iborra, Silva, Mahrez (c), Gray, Iheanacho, Slimani. Subs: Hamer, Maguire, Ndidi, Albrighton, Barnes, Okazaki, Vardy. #LeiFlepic.twitter.com/gBEpbyVBHv— Leicester City (@LCFC) January 16, 2018 6:48PM Shame, Vardy only on the bench Today’s Leicester v Fleetwood team sheet pic.twitter.com/KBltr8X5mf— Rosie Swarbrick (@rosieswarb) January 16, 2018 6:47PM Preview "There’s been a great reaction throughout the town." Journalist Rosie Swarbrick gives us her take on #LeiFle �� https://t.co/TTkWLre8Dupic.twitter.com/rOzZ1bIxA2— Leicester City (@LCFC) January 16, 2018 Rosie (not pictured)  6:20PM Good evening Tyers here, FA Cup third round replay action coming up. Will Jamie Vardy face his former team? Defender Robert Huth could make his first Leicester appearance of the season in the FA Cup third-round replay against Fleetwood on Tuesday. The German centre-back has been sidelined since the summer after ankle surgery and then the recurrence of a foot problem, but Ben Chilwell is banned. Jamie Vardy is fit after missing the first tie against his former club with a groin problem and Matty James is also available, despite hobbling off at Chelsea on Saturday. Danny Simpson and Wes Morgan (both hamstring) are still out. Provisional squad: Schmeichel, Hamer, Jakupovic, Maguire, Huth, Fuchs, Benalouane, Dragovic, James, King, Albrighton, Amartey, Gray, Silva, Ndidi, Mahrez, Iborra, Choudhury, Musa, Vardy, Slimani, Okazaki, Ulloa, Iheanacho. And here is a lovely story by Chris Bascombe about Fleetwood's Markus Schwabl When Fleetwood Town’s German midfielder Markus Schwabl was asked to join the 'Cod Army' he knew so little of the club he rushed to the internet to study its history. Should he and his team mates win at Leicester City in Tuesday’s FA Cup replay he will be enshrining his place in it. Midfielder Schwabl, once of 1860 Munich, was convinced to make the move by compatriot Uwe Rosler. Fleetwood manager Rosler was a colleague of Schwabl’s father, ex-West German international Manfred, at Nurnberg in the early 90s. �� | The lads have arrived at the King Power! pic.twitter.com/PCtxEOPG0w— Fleetwood Town FC (@ftfc) January 16, 2018

Leicester City 2 Fleetwood Town 0: VAR history made as offside decision overturned for Kelechi Iheanacho goal

Anyone who came here expecting a dramatic FA Cup night in the traditional sense will have gone home disappointed as Leicester eased through what turned out to be a rather tepid third-round replay. The match did, however, provide English football with its first goal awarded on the say-so of a Video Assistant Referee after Kelechi Iheanacho’s second of the match was given by virtue of an overruled offside decision. The moment came in the 77th minute after Riyad Mahrez’s pass to the former Manchester City striker gave assistant referee Lee Betts a marginal call to which he responded by raising his flag. But after a lengthy pause listening to the advice of VAR Mike Jones from a studio in London, match referee Jonathan Moss made the TV screen shape with his hands and signalled a goal, the remote judgement being that defender Nathan Pond’s trailing foot had just played Iheanacho onside. Inevitably, the delay robbed the moment of spontaneous joy, leaving the players unsure how much to celebrate, the crowd more than a little confused and the Fleetwood manager, Uwe Rosler, complaining that such decisions should be left with the officials on the field for the sake of the game. 76' - Iheanacho goal disallowed ❌ 78' - VAR correctly gives goal ⚽️ 1-0 VAR �� History made as Kelechi Iheanacho becomes the first player to be awarded a goal by VAR in British football! pic.twitter.com/KXsRbVdFou— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) January 16, 2018 “It was not the reason we lost the tie,” he said. “We lost because after they scored their first goal before half-time they had too much for us in the second half. “But can they really say it was onside for the second goal or are they guessing? Even sometimes VAR is not 100 per cent clear. “We will see in the future how it pans out but in general I say don’t complicate the game. The game is beautiful, let it be pure and also made by human errors of the referee. It makes the game.” Claude Puel, the Leicester manager, who had voiced similar reservations ahead of the match on learning that VAR would be used, allowed himself a smile. “I think it’s perfect now,” he joked, before admitting he still had mixed feelings. “But it meant that a good goal was correctly given,” he added. Hot chip: the VAR excitement took attention away from what was a great finish by Kelechi Iheanacho Credit: Getty Otherwise it had been a match too often lacking in passion in which Fleetwood, perhaps unlucky not to have sprung a shock when the sides drew 0-0 at their Highbury ground 10 days ago, gave a good account of themselves in the first half, when Kyle Dempsey drew a fine, fingertip save from Leicester goalkeeper Eldin Jakupovic in their best moment, but faded after going behind two minutes before the break. Iheanacho, one half of a second-string Leicester attack alongside Islam Slimani that nonetheless cost £54 million, converted a chance set up by Slimani to score only his second goal for the club following a £25m move from Manchester City last summer that has yet to deliver a significant return. That moment apart, though, a Leicester side showing eight changes from the weekend had been unimpressive, and it showed on Puel’s face in the technical area.  CLAUDE: “We tried to play in the first half, but it was too comfortable for them to defend. We needed to play forward and get behind them more, which we did much better in the second half.” #LeiFle— Leicester City (@LCFC) January 16, 2018 Mahrez, wearing the captain’s armband for the first time in what may be seen as a statement of Puel's intention to keep him at Leicester, had a quiet first half and wasted his best opportunity with a free kick just outside the ‘D’. Fleetwood offered little as an attacking threat in the second half, in which Jamie Vardy, injured for the original tie, was granted his wish with a 10-minute cameo against his old club. By the time he appeared, Iheanacho, who initially seemed to have no quarrel that his second 'goal' had not counted, had played his part in history. 9:44PM Vardy looking absolutely furious and disgusted although he is, in fact, answering some mild questions in perfectly agreeable fashion. Credit: BT Sport 2 Iheanacho says that communication from the officials to the players about the VAR was totally fine, that he did not know himself at the time whether he was onside or offside. No doubt all of these issues will be well covered in the match report from Jon Culley, which will be here very shortly. From me, Alan Tyers, goodnight. 9:40PM Full time: Leicester City 2 Fleetwood Town 0 VAR the winner! And Leicester. Well done to Fleetwood, they were on terms in the first half and it was hard lines that they conceded on 43 minutes. Result wasn't really in doubt after that. Vardy got a late run against his old club. But the match will be remembered for the second goal, which was given offside. Ref Jon Moss called for VAR, the decision was overturned. It took one minute and seven seconds to come up with the correct answer. Iheanacho was credited with the goal, rightly, his second of the match. Full-time: Leicester City 2️⃣-0️⃣ Fleetwood Town Kelechi Iheanacho's double tees up a fourth round trip to Peterborough United ��#LeiFlepic.twitter.com/EhX81gW2e3— Leicester City (@LCFC) January 16, 2018 9:37PM 90 mins Okazaki has tried to nutmeg Polger. Here is what Polger thought about that: a smack in the puss for you, my Premier League friend. Credit: BT Sport 2 9:35PM 88 mins That would have been the cherry on the top / the final cut for Fleetwood: Albrighton whips it in, there is Jamie Vardy, but Bolger clears. 9:33PM 87 mins This is indeed correct. I am very impressed with the Fleetwood social media account. A mine of information. 85' | Burns finds space on the right edge of the area, and shoots at goal but it's saved by Jakupovic. (2-0)— Fleetwood Town FC (@ftfc) January 16, 2018 9:31PM 85 mins Fleetwood have flagged and it's just a matter of whether Vardy can notch one now.  The VAR system worked, then. Linesman gave a very, very tight decision wrong. They overturned it after a brief look. Either you like it or you don't, the system, but it worked as well as you could expect it to there. 9:26PM 82 mins Jamie Vardy is coming on. Mahrez the man to make way. Shinji Okazaki replaces Kelechi Iheanacho, so there won't be a hat-trick for him. Congratulations to Jon Moss for becoming a pub quiz answer— Alan Smith (@alansmith90) January 16, 2018 9:26PM 81 mins All Leicester now, and indeed all Iheanacho, who has gone close to a hat-trick with a shot. Iborra gets up from the corner and heads not far wide. 9:24PM GOAL! VIA VAR! SCENES! Another VAR! Oh our cup runneth over. This time it is to check an offside flag after Leicester have the ball in the net. Really good run from Mahrez, who takes his time to slide the ball through for Iheanacho. He races onto the ball and applies the finish with a lovely little chip. But the linesman has flagged! They're going to take a look at this on VAR... Credit: BT Sport 2  ... he is just onside! It is overturned! That's it! A little moment of history: the decision is overturned and the goal is awarded. Leicester 2 Fleetwood 0 (Iheanacho 77) 9:19PM 72 mins Dempsey is booked. Bobby Grant replaces Markus Schwabl. 9:15PM 71 mins A VAR HAS HAPPENED!!!!! The ball is lofted into the Fleetwood box. Leicester want a penalty because they think Pond is fouling Iborra  "No penalty" is the initial verdict from Referee Moss. There is not enough evidence of a "clear and obvious" error so the decision of "no penalty" stands. 9:14PM Vaaaaaar, me hearties 61' | Leicester have the ball in the net - but it's ruled out. Ref checking with VAR - still no goal, good decision. (1-0)— Fleetwood Town FC (@ftfc) January 16, 2018 9:09PM 64 mins Albrighton delivers a corner, Iborra heading not far over. Double change for Fleetwood... �� | #ftfc subs. Burns and Cole on, McAleny and Hiwula off. (1-0)— Fleetwood Town FC (@ftfc) January 16, 2018 9:08PM Scarecrow tactics Little by little @RobbieSavage8 is morphing into Worzel Gummidge. pic.twitter.com/WFcv1wbagx— Gary Lineker (@GaryLineker) January 16, 2018 9:07PM 61 mins Leicester have the ball in the net, Iheanacho there just outside the six-yard box slotting it home from the pull-back, but it was just out. Credit: BT Sport 2 9:02PM 56 mins Ball is played into the Fleetwood box. Benalouane flails a leg, Pond has attempted a headed-clearance just a foot or so from the ground, and he gets an unpleasant whack in the head for his trouble. Tough customer, but he needs a moment. 9:00PM 54 mins Slimani is getting the hook and is acting with a sort of exaggerated befuddlement, the sort of hamming that one sees in an amateur dramatic production when the stage direction says "looks shocked". Marc Albrighton replaces him. 8:58PM Shane O'Leary writes: "'Sometimes you just need a bit more quality' muses a man who drifted through too many games like a curly-permed Hugh Grant" 8:55PM 50 mins Iheanacho and Slimani link up very nicely. The former takes his time and chips the ball through. Slimani lets the ball drift across his body and hits a right-footed effort. Doesn't catch it right. Decent chance for what would presumably be the killer second goal. 8:51PM 47 mins "Sometimes you just need a bit more quality," muses Steve McManaman as a decent Fleetwood move peters out thanks to poor passing. 8:50PM 46 mins The second half is underway and the player looking to take it by the scruff of the neck is Gray. Bright and busy, but he runs into trouble. 8:49PM Uwe enjoying a hot drink Credit: BT Sport 2 Jamie Vardy has just pinged a 50-yarder into the top corner as the teams were coming out. Respectful, muted celebration against his old club.— Nick Miller (@NickMiller79) January 16, 2018 8:47PM Over to the Fleetwood social media team �� | Half-time. @LCFC 1-0 #ftfc. @CMcAleny and @_kyledempsey have gone close for Town, who have been the better side. Iheanacho's late goal the difference so far. pic.twitter.com/WL80gHbgtp— Fleetwood Town FC (@ftfc) January 16, 2018 8:34PM Half time: Leicester City 1 Fleetwood Town 0 Leicester had more of the ball but it was in fact Fleetwood who enjoyed the superior chances in an admittedly rather drab half. One moment of real incision from the Premier League team was all it took for the lead. Shame. Can Fleetwood rally after half time? 8:33PM 44 mins Adrien Silva gets the ball and is soon having his foot stamped on by Glendon. Sore one on a cold night, and a booking for the Fleetwood player. 8:32PM GOAL! Leicester! It's Iheanacho! Bit of a nothing ball pumped forard, but Iheanacho manages to knock it to  Slimani, who plays an instant, accurate ball back. It's opened Fleetwood up, Iheanacho slots it calmly away and that's the lead. Finally Fleetwood are bested, after an entire match and 43 minutes. 8:30PM 40 mins Uwe Rosler having a word with Cole on the bench. Bit wet of Rosler not to play his actual best player. Came up with some rot about having to face Blackburn at the weekend and managing his resources. It's the FA Cup, sir! The FA Cup. 8:26PM 36 mins Best moment of the match, a really nice little move from Fleetwood as Hiwula-Mayifuila plays a cute little lay-off for the onrushing Dempsey who cracks a sweet shot at goal. Tipped over! Possibly a bit belt-and-braces from the Leicester keeper, I think that would have most likely gone over. But he could hardly take that risk. Corner. 38' | Corner played short to Jones, but his shot is blocked - before McAleny heads Glendon's cross wide. Come on, lads! (0-0)— Fleetwood Town FC (@ftfc) January 16, 2018 8:23PM 33 mins Hiwula-Mayifuila down the right. Benalouane with a nasty lunge. Ref plays advantage but it doesn't come to a lot. Then booked. 8:21PM 30 mins Mahrez is fouled a yard or two outside the box and the player himself will be the one to take the kick. This is CLOSE! Oof, that took a coat of paint off on the way past the upright. Credit: BT Sport 2 8:16PM 27 mins Shot! McAleny with a break, decent run this. He curls a shot at goal that is palmed away by Jakupovic, who maybe makes a bit of a meal of it.  8:14PM 25 mins McAleny has a shot from distance but that is easy for Jakupovic. Mahrez plays it in. Pond heads behind for a corner. perhaps overcautious, he had a bit of time there. 8:11PM 20 mins Claims, but wafer-thin ones. 20' | Cries for a penalty for #ftfc as Bell and Amartey collide in the penalty area. Not given. (0-0)— Fleetwood Town FC (@ftfc) January 16, 2018 8:06PM 19 mins Iheanacho is booked for a foul as he brushes past McAleny, who went down as quickly, cheaply and theatrically as he possibly could. Premier League quality tumble. 8:03PM 16 mins Pond is there to clear as a cross comes in from the left. 8:01PM 12 mins Amartey has done well to get clear down the right, but very poorly to cross the ball straight at the keeper. Neal barely has to move. 7:58PM 11 mins LCFC camped in the FTFC final third, playing header-tennis, but it's all hands to the pump for the lower league side and eventually they manage to clear. Old boy: Jamie Vardy, pictured here in his Fleetwood Town days, will start on the bench for Leicester City tonight Credit: Action 7:56PM 8 mins Still, they have a freekick. Big Bolger up from centre half. The ball sails over everyone. 7:55PM 7 mins Sorry, I rather drifted off there. It is a quiet start to proceedings. Fleetwood are playing quite nicely but a long way from goal. 7' | Dempsey looking sharp, a neat little pass to McAleny who is fouled. Free-kick to be played in... (0-0)— Fleetwood Town FC (@ftfc) January 16, 2018 7:51PM 4 mins Fever reducer. I’m not saying Cup replay fever hasn’t hit Leicester, but.... pic.twitter.com/3YQPOV67O5— Nick Miller (@NickMiller79) January 16, 2018 7:50PM 3 mins A lot of LCFC fans have given this one a swerve. 3' | Decent start from #ftfc, and a super start from the #codarmy. Singing their hearts out - the only noise in the ground. (0-0)— Fleetwood Town FC (@ftfc) January 16, 2018 7:49PM 2 mins But it is the hosts who are nearly in right away! Mahrez with a good ball to free Iheanacho. Fleetwood are lucky that he makes a horlicks of the pass, because the defence was very stretched there. 7:47PM 1 mins Fleetwood Town kick off. 7:46PM Oh, VAR is available I should say. Hope we get to use it. Leicester: Jakupovic, Amartey, Dragovic, Benalouane, Fuchs,  Mahrez, Adrien Silva, Iborra, Gray, Iheanacho, Slimani. Subs:  Vardy, Albrighton, Hamer, Maguire, Okazaki, Ndidi, Barnes. Fleetwood Town: Neal, Jones, Bolger, Pond, Bell, Glendon,  Schwabl, Dempsey, Hiwula, McAleny, Hunter. Subs: Coyle, Burns,  Grant, Cairns, Sowerby, Cargill, Cole. Referee: Jonathan Moss (County Durham)  7:46PM Some seats still available Credit: BT Sport 1 But here's  how we expect the teams to line up 7:43PM Shane is right on all counts Not least "come on Fleetwood." What a result this would be for them. 7:42PM The excellent Shane O'Leary writes Evening Alan, I understand that the Huth 'foot problem' is that it's usually up the jacksie of an opposing player. Come on Fleetwood! 7:29PM Nathan Pond  seems like an excellent fellow. He used to train  with Vardy "he is always very aggressive." Has he ever been tempted to leave Fleetwood? "Nobody's ever wanted me!"  I bet that is not true. Pond, the skipper, has played 460 times for Fleetwood. I hope he can help them to another clean sheet today. If you think otherwise, bet on Leicester to beat Fleetwood at 28/1 with Corals if you are a new customer. 7:24PM Robert Savage's lid Dat hat Credit: BT Sport Peterborough manager Grant McCann has popped along to see the team his lads will be facing in the fourth round. Owen Hargreaves and Robbie Savage chat to him. 7:20PM Uwe Rosler explains why Devante Cole is on the bench "I am happy what I have in the moment. I can hold what I have. I have to think about Blackburn Rovers at the weekend, we have had 7 games in 22 days." Uwe has left his top scorer out of the XI 6:55PM And here are Fleetwood �� | The teams are in! Here's how #ftfc line up for tonight's @EmiratesFACup fixture at @LCFC... pic.twitter.com/LcyGVTarPo— Fleetwood Town FC (@ftfc) January 16, 2018 6:53PM Rumours 40 years ago today, Fleetwood Mac's 'Rumours' spent a thirty-first and final week at #1 on the Billboard 200.— chart flashbacks (@chartflashback) January 14, 2018 6:50PM Leicester City team Tonight's starting XI: Jakupović, Amartey, Dragović, Benalouane, Fuchs, Iborra, Silva, Mahrez (c), Gray, Iheanacho, Slimani. Subs: Hamer, Maguire, Ndidi, Albrighton, Barnes, Okazaki, Vardy. #LeiFlepic.twitter.com/gBEpbyVBHv— Leicester City (@LCFC) January 16, 2018 6:48PM Shame, Vardy only on the bench Today’s Leicester v Fleetwood team sheet pic.twitter.com/KBltr8X5mf— Rosie Swarbrick (@rosieswarb) January 16, 2018 6:47PM Preview "There’s been a great reaction throughout the town." Journalist Rosie Swarbrick gives us her take on #LeiFle �� https://t.co/TTkWLre8Dupic.twitter.com/rOzZ1bIxA2— Leicester City (@LCFC) January 16, 2018 Rosie (not pictured)  6:20PM Good evening Tyers here, FA Cup third round replay action coming up. Will Jamie Vardy face his former team? Defender Robert Huth could make his first Leicester appearance of the season in the FA Cup third-round replay against Fleetwood on Tuesday. The German centre-back has been sidelined since the summer after ankle surgery and then the recurrence of a foot problem, but Ben Chilwell is banned. Jamie Vardy is fit after missing the first tie against his former club with a groin problem and Matty James is also available, despite hobbling off at Chelsea on Saturday. Danny Simpson and Wes Morgan (both hamstring) are still out. Provisional squad: Schmeichel, Hamer, Jakupovic, Maguire, Huth, Fuchs, Benalouane, Dragovic, James, King, Albrighton, Amartey, Gray, Silva, Ndidi, Mahrez, Iborra, Choudhury, Musa, Vardy, Slimani, Okazaki, Ulloa, Iheanacho. And here is a lovely story by Chris Bascombe about Fleetwood's Markus Schwabl When Fleetwood Town’s German midfielder Markus Schwabl was asked to join the 'Cod Army' he knew so little of the club he rushed to the internet to study its history. Should he and his team mates win at Leicester City in Tuesday’s FA Cup replay he will be enshrining his place in it. Midfielder Schwabl, once of 1860 Munich, was convinced to make the move by compatriot Uwe Rosler. Fleetwood manager Rosler was a colleague of Schwabl’s father, ex-West German international Manfred, at Nurnberg in the early 90s. �� | The lads have arrived at the King Power! pic.twitter.com/PCtxEOPG0w— Fleetwood Town FC (@ftfc) January 16, 2018

Leicester City 2 Fleetwood Town 0: VAR history made as offside decision overturned for Kelechi Iheanacho goal

Anyone who came here expecting a dramatic FA Cup night in the traditional sense will have gone home disappointed as Leicester eased through what turned out to be a rather tepid third-round replay. The match did, however, provide English football with its first goal awarded on the say-so of a Video Assistant Referee after Kelechi Iheanacho’s second of the match was given by virtue of an overruled offside decision. The moment came in the 77th minute after Riyad Mahrez’s pass to the former Manchester City striker gave assistant referee Lee Betts a marginal call to which he responded by raising his flag. But after a lengthy pause listening to the advice of VAR Mike Jones from a studio in London, match referee Jonathan Moss made the TV screen shape with his hands and signalled a goal, the remote judgement being that defender Nathan Pond’s trailing foot had just played Iheanacho onside. Inevitably, the delay robbed the moment of spontaneous joy, leaving the players unsure how much to celebrate, the crowd more than a little confused and the Fleetwood manager, Uwe Rosler, complaining that such decisions should be left with the officials on the field for the sake of the game. 76' - Iheanacho goal disallowed ❌ 78' - VAR correctly gives goal ⚽️ 1-0 VAR �� History made as Kelechi Iheanacho becomes the first player to be awarded a goal by VAR in British football! pic.twitter.com/KXsRbVdFou— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) January 16, 2018 “It was not the reason we lost the tie,” he said. “We lost because after they scored their first goal before half-time they had too much for us in the second half. “But can they really say it was onside for the second goal or are they guessing? Even sometimes VAR is not 100 per cent clear. “We will see in the future how it pans out but in general I say don’t complicate the game. The game is beautiful, let it be pure and also made by human errors of the referee. It makes the game.” Claude Puel, the Leicester manager, who had voiced similar reservations ahead of the match on learning that VAR would be used, allowed himself a smile. “I think it’s perfect now,” he joked, before admitting he still had mixed feelings. “But it meant that a good goal was correctly given,” he added. Hot chip: the VAR excitement took attention away from what was a great finish by Kelechi Iheanacho Credit: Getty Otherwise it had been a match too often lacking in passion in which Fleetwood, perhaps unlucky not to have sprung a shock when the sides drew 0-0 at their Highbury ground 10 days ago, gave a good account of themselves in the first half, when Kyle Dempsey drew a fine, fingertip save from Leicester goalkeeper Eldin Jakupovic in their best moment, but faded after going behind two minutes before the break. Iheanacho, one half of a second-string Leicester attack alongside Islam Slimani that nonetheless cost £54 million, converted a chance set up by Slimani to score only his second goal for the club following a £25m move from Manchester City last summer that has yet to deliver a significant return. That moment apart, though, a Leicester side showing eight changes from the weekend had been unimpressive, and it showed on Puel’s face in the technical area.  CLAUDE: “We tried to play in the first half, but it was too comfortable for them to defend. We needed to play forward and get behind them more, which we did much better in the second half.” #LeiFle— Leicester City (@LCFC) January 16, 2018 Mahrez, wearing the captain’s armband for the first time in what may be seen as a statement of Puel's intention to keep him at Leicester, had a quiet first half and wasted his best opportunity with a free kick just outside the ‘D’. Fleetwood offered little as an attacking threat in the second half, in which Jamie Vardy, injured for the original tie, was granted his wish with a 10-minute cameo against his old club. By the time he appeared, Iheanacho, who initially seemed to have no quarrel that his second 'goal' had not counted, had played his part in history. 9:44PM Vardy looking absolutely furious and disgusted although he is, in fact, answering some mild questions in perfectly agreeable fashion. Credit: BT Sport 2 Iheanacho says that communication from the officials to the players about the VAR was totally fine, that he did not know himself at the time whether he was onside or offside. No doubt all of these issues will be well covered in the match report from Jon Culley, which will be here very shortly. From me, Alan Tyers, goodnight. 9:40PM Full time: Leicester City 2 Fleetwood Town 0 VAR the winner! And Leicester. Well done to Fleetwood, they were on terms in the first half and it was hard lines that they conceded on 43 minutes. Result wasn't really in doubt after that. Vardy got a late run against his old club. But the match will be remembered for the second goal, which was given offside. Ref Jon Moss called for VAR, the decision was overturned. It took one minute and seven seconds to come up with the correct answer. Iheanacho was credited with the goal, rightly, his second of the match. Full-time: Leicester City 2️⃣-0️⃣ Fleetwood Town Kelechi Iheanacho's double tees up a fourth round trip to Peterborough United ��#LeiFlepic.twitter.com/EhX81gW2e3— Leicester City (@LCFC) January 16, 2018 9:37PM 90 mins Okazaki has tried to nutmeg Polger. Here is what Polger thought about that: a smack in the puss for you, my Premier League friend. Credit: BT Sport 2 9:35PM 88 mins That would have been the cherry on the top / the final cut for Fleetwood: Albrighton whips it in, there is Jamie Vardy, but Bolger clears. 9:33PM 87 mins This is indeed correct. I am very impressed with the Fleetwood social media account. A mine of information. 85' | Burns finds space on the right edge of the area, and shoots at goal but it's saved by Jakupovic. (2-0)— Fleetwood Town FC (@ftfc) January 16, 2018 9:31PM 85 mins Fleetwood have flagged and it's just a matter of whether Vardy can notch one now.  The VAR system worked, then. Linesman gave a very, very tight decision wrong. They overturned it after a brief look. Either you like it or you don't, the system, but it worked as well as you could expect it to there. 9:26PM 82 mins Jamie Vardy is coming on. Mahrez the man to make way. Shinji Okazaki replaces Kelechi Iheanacho, so there won't be a hat-trick for him. Congratulations to Jon Moss for becoming a pub quiz answer— Alan Smith (@alansmith90) January 16, 2018 9:26PM 81 mins All Leicester now, and indeed all Iheanacho, who has gone close to a hat-trick with a shot. Iborra gets up from the corner and heads not far wide. 9:24PM GOAL! VIA VAR! SCENES! Another VAR! Oh our cup runneth over. This time it is to check an offside flag after Leicester have the ball in the net. Really good run from Mahrez, who takes his time to slide the ball through for Iheanacho. He races onto the ball and applies the finish with a lovely little chip. But the linesman has flagged! They're going to take a look at this on VAR... Credit: BT Sport 2  ... he is just onside! It is overturned! That's it! A little moment of history: the decision is overturned and the goal is awarded. Leicester 2 Fleetwood 0 (Iheanacho 77) 9:19PM 72 mins Dempsey is booked. Bobby Grant replaces Markus Schwabl. 9:15PM 71 mins A VAR HAS HAPPENED!!!!! The ball is lofted into the Fleetwood box. Leicester want a penalty because they think Pond is fouling Iborra  "No penalty" is the initial verdict from Referee Moss. There is not enough evidence of a "clear and obvious" error so the decision of "no penalty" stands. 9:14PM Vaaaaaar, me hearties 61' | Leicester have the ball in the net - but it's ruled out. Ref checking with VAR - still no goal, good decision. (1-0)— Fleetwood Town FC (@ftfc) January 16, 2018 9:09PM 64 mins Albrighton delivers a corner, Iborra heading not far over. Double change for Fleetwood... �� | #ftfc subs. Burns and Cole on, McAleny and Hiwula off. (1-0)— Fleetwood Town FC (@ftfc) January 16, 2018 9:08PM Scarecrow tactics Little by little @RobbieSavage8 is morphing into Worzel Gummidge. pic.twitter.com/WFcv1wbagx— Gary Lineker (@GaryLineker) January 16, 2018 9:07PM 61 mins Leicester have the ball in the net, Iheanacho there just outside the six-yard box slotting it home from the pull-back, but it was just out. Credit: BT Sport 2 9:02PM 56 mins Ball is played into the Fleetwood box. Benalouane flails a leg, Pond has attempted a headed-clearance just a foot or so from the ground, and he gets an unpleasant whack in the head for his trouble. Tough customer, but he needs a moment. 9:00PM 54 mins Slimani is getting the hook and is acting with a sort of exaggerated befuddlement, the sort of hamming that one sees in an amateur dramatic production when the stage direction says "looks shocked". Marc Albrighton replaces him. 8:58PM Shane O'Leary writes: "'Sometimes you just need a bit more quality' muses a man who drifted through too many games like a curly-permed Hugh Grant" 8:55PM 50 mins Iheanacho and Slimani link up very nicely. The former takes his time and chips the ball through. Slimani lets the ball drift across his body and hits a right-footed effort. Doesn't catch it right. Decent chance for what would presumably be the killer second goal. 8:51PM 47 mins "Sometimes you just need a bit more quality," muses Steve McManaman as a decent Fleetwood move peters out thanks to poor passing. 8:50PM 46 mins The second half is underway and the player looking to take it by the scruff of the neck is Gray. Bright and busy, but he runs into trouble. 8:49PM Uwe enjoying a hot drink Credit: BT Sport 2 Jamie Vardy has just pinged a 50-yarder into the top corner as the teams were coming out. Respectful, muted celebration against his old club.— Nick Miller (@NickMiller79) January 16, 2018 8:47PM Over to the Fleetwood social media team �� | Half-time. @LCFC 1-0 #ftfc. @CMcAleny and @_kyledempsey have gone close for Town, who have been the better side. Iheanacho's late goal the difference so far. pic.twitter.com/WL80gHbgtp— Fleetwood Town FC (@ftfc) January 16, 2018 8:34PM Half time: Leicester City 1 Fleetwood Town 0 Leicester had more of the ball but it was in fact Fleetwood who enjoyed the superior chances in an admittedly rather drab half. One moment of real incision from the Premier League team was all it took for the lead. Shame. Can Fleetwood rally after half time? 8:33PM 44 mins Adrien Silva gets the ball and is soon having his foot stamped on by Glendon. Sore one on a cold night, and a booking for the Fleetwood player. 8:32PM GOAL! Leicester! It's Iheanacho! Bit of a nothing ball pumped forard, but Iheanacho manages to knock it to  Slimani, who plays an instant, accurate ball back. It's opened Fleetwood up, Iheanacho slots it calmly away and that's the lead. Finally Fleetwood are bested, after an entire match and 43 minutes. 8:30PM 40 mins Uwe Rosler having a word with Cole on the bench. Bit wet of Rosler not to play his actual best player. Came up with some rot about having to face Blackburn at the weekend and managing his resources. It's the FA Cup, sir! The FA Cup. 8:26PM 36 mins Best moment of the match, a really nice little move from Fleetwood as Hiwula-Mayifuila plays a cute little lay-off for the onrushing Dempsey who cracks a sweet shot at goal. Tipped over! Possibly a bit belt-and-braces from the Leicester keeper, I think that would have most likely gone over. But he could hardly take that risk. Corner. 38' | Corner played short to Jones, but his shot is blocked - before McAleny heads Glendon's cross wide. Come on, lads! (0-0)— Fleetwood Town FC (@ftfc) January 16, 2018 8:23PM 33 mins Hiwula-Mayifuila down the right. Benalouane with a nasty lunge. Ref plays advantage but it doesn't come to a lot. Then booked. 8:21PM 30 mins Mahrez is fouled a yard or two outside the box and the player himself will be the one to take the kick. This is CLOSE! Oof, that took a coat of paint off on the way past the upright. Credit: BT Sport 2 8:16PM 27 mins Shot! McAleny with a break, decent run this. He curls a shot at goal that is palmed away by Jakupovic, who maybe makes a bit of a meal of it.  8:14PM 25 mins McAleny has a shot from distance but that is easy for Jakupovic. Mahrez plays it in. Pond heads behind for a corner. perhaps overcautious, he had a bit of time there. 8:11PM 20 mins Claims, but wafer-thin ones. 20' | Cries for a penalty for #ftfc as Bell and Amartey collide in the penalty area. Not given. (0-0)— Fleetwood Town FC (@ftfc) January 16, 2018 8:06PM 19 mins Iheanacho is booked for a foul as he brushes past McAleny, who went down as quickly, cheaply and theatrically as he possibly could. Premier League quality tumble. 8:03PM 16 mins Pond is there to clear as a cross comes in from the left. 8:01PM 12 mins Amartey has done well to get clear down the right, but very poorly to cross the ball straight at the keeper. Neal barely has to move. 7:58PM 11 mins LCFC camped in the FTFC final third, playing header-tennis, but it's all hands to the pump for the lower league side and eventually they manage to clear. Old boy: Jamie Vardy, pictured here in his Fleetwood Town days, will start on the bench for Leicester City tonight Credit: Action 7:56PM 8 mins Still, they have a freekick. Big Bolger up from centre half. The ball sails over everyone. 7:55PM 7 mins Sorry, I rather drifted off there. It is a quiet start to proceedings. Fleetwood are playing quite nicely but a long way from goal. 7' | Dempsey looking sharp, a neat little pass to McAleny who is fouled. Free-kick to be played in... (0-0)— Fleetwood Town FC (@ftfc) January 16, 2018 7:51PM 4 mins Fever reducer. I’m not saying Cup replay fever hasn’t hit Leicester, but.... pic.twitter.com/3YQPOV67O5— Nick Miller (@NickMiller79) January 16, 2018 7:50PM 3 mins A lot of LCFC fans have given this one a swerve. 3' | Decent start from #ftfc, and a super start from the #codarmy. Singing their hearts out - the only noise in the ground. (0-0)— Fleetwood Town FC (@ftfc) January 16, 2018 7:49PM 2 mins But it is the hosts who are nearly in right away! Mahrez with a good ball to free Iheanacho. Fleetwood are lucky that he makes a horlicks of the pass, because the defence was very stretched there. 7:47PM 1 mins Fleetwood Town kick off. 7:46PM Oh, VAR is available I should say. Hope we get to use it. Leicester: Jakupovic, Amartey, Dragovic, Benalouane, Fuchs,  Mahrez, Adrien Silva, Iborra, Gray, Iheanacho, Slimani. Subs:  Vardy, Albrighton, Hamer, Maguire, Okazaki, Ndidi, Barnes. Fleetwood Town: Neal, Jones, Bolger, Pond, Bell, Glendon,  Schwabl, Dempsey, Hiwula, McAleny, Hunter. Subs: Coyle, Burns,  Grant, Cairns, Sowerby, Cargill, Cole. Referee: Jonathan Moss (County Durham)  7:46PM Some seats still available Credit: BT Sport 1 But here's  how we expect the teams to line up 7:43PM Shane is right on all counts Not least "come on Fleetwood." What a result this would be for them. 7:42PM The excellent Shane O'Leary writes Evening Alan, I understand that the Huth 'foot problem' is that it's usually up the jacksie of an opposing player. Come on Fleetwood! 7:29PM Nathan Pond  seems like an excellent fellow. He used to train  with Vardy "he is always very aggressive." Has he ever been tempted to leave Fleetwood? "Nobody's ever wanted me!"  I bet that is not true. Pond, the skipper, has played 460 times for Fleetwood. I hope he can help them to another clean sheet today. If you think otherwise, bet on Leicester to beat Fleetwood at 28/1 with Corals if you are a new customer. 7:24PM Robert Savage's lid Dat hat Credit: BT Sport Peterborough manager Grant McCann has popped along to see the team his lads will be facing in the fourth round. Owen Hargreaves and Robbie Savage chat to him. 7:20PM Uwe Rosler explains why Devante Cole is on the bench "I am happy what I have in the moment. I can hold what I have. I have to think about Blackburn Rovers at the weekend, we have had 7 games in 22 days." Uwe has left his top scorer out of the XI 6:55PM And here are Fleetwood �� | The teams are in! Here's how #ftfc line up for tonight's @EmiratesFACup fixture at @LCFC... pic.twitter.com/LcyGVTarPo— Fleetwood Town FC (@ftfc) January 16, 2018 6:53PM Rumours 40 years ago today, Fleetwood Mac's 'Rumours' spent a thirty-first and final week at #1 on the Billboard 200.— chart flashbacks (@chartflashback) January 14, 2018 6:50PM Leicester City team Tonight's starting XI: Jakupović, Amartey, Dragović, Benalouane, Fuchs, Iborra, Silva, Mahrez (c), Gray, Iheanacho, Slimani. Subs: Hamer, Maguire, Ndidi, Albrighton, Barnes, Okazaki, Vardy. #LeiFlepic.twitter.com/gBEpbyVBHv— Leicester City (@LCFC) January 16, 2018 6:48PM Shame, Vardy only on the bench Today’s Leicester v Fleetwood team sheet pic.twitter.com/KBltr8X5mf— Rosie Swarbrick (@rosieswarb) January 16, 2018 6:47PM Preview "There’s been a great reaction throughout the town." Journalist Rosie Swarbrick gives us her take on #LeiFle �� https://t.co/TTkWLre8Dupic.twitter.com/rOzZ1bIxA2— Leicester City (@LCFC) January 16, 2018 Rosie (not pictured)  6:20PM Good evening Tyers here, FA Cup third round replay action coming up. Will Jamie Vardy face his former team? Defender Robert Huth could make his first Leicester appearance of the season in the FA Cup third-round replay against Fleetwood on Tuesday. The German centre-back has been sidelined since the summer after ankle surgery and then the recurrence of a foot problem, but Ben Chilwell is banned. Jamie Vardy is fit after missing the first tie against his former club with a groin problem and Matty James is also available, despite hobbling off at Chelsea on Saturday. Danny Simpson and Wes Morgan (both hamstring) are still out. Provisional squad: Schmeichel, Hamer, Jakupovic, Maguire, Huth, Fuchs, Benalouane, Dragovic, James, King, Albrighton, Amartey, Gray, Silva, Ndidi, Mahrez, Iborra, Choudhury, Musa, Vardy, Slimani, Okazaki, Ulloa, Iheanacho. And here is a lovely story by Chris Bascombe about Fleetwood's Markus Schwabl When Fleetwood Town’s German midfielder Markus Schwabl was asked to join the 'Cod Army' he knew so little of the club he rushed to the internet to study its history. Should he and his team mates win at Leicester City in Tuesday’s FA Cup replay he will be enshrining his place in it. Midfielder Schwabl, once of 1860 Munich, was convinced to make the move by compatriot Uwe Rosler. Fleetwood manager Rosler was a colleague of Schwabl’s father, ex-West German international Manfred, at Nurnberg in the early 90s. �� | The lads have arrived at the King Power! pic.twitter.com/PCtxEOPG0w— Fleetwood Town FC (@ftfc) January 16, 2018

Leicester City 2 Fleetwood Town 0: VAR history made as offside decision overturned for Kelechi Iheanacho goal

Anyone who came here expecting a dramatic FA Cup night in the traditional sense will have gone home disappointed as Leicester eased through what turned out to be a rather tepid third-round replay. The match did, however, provide English football with its first goal awarded on the say-so of a Video Assistant Referee after Kelechi Iheanacho’s second of the match was given by virtue of an overruled offside decision. The moment came in the 77th minute after Riyad Mahrez’s pass to the former Manchester City striker gave assistant referee Lee Betts a marginal call to which he responded by raising his flag. But after a lengthy pause listening to the advice of VAR Mike Jones from a studio in London, match referee Jonathan Moss made the TV screen shape with his hands and signalled a goal, the remote judgement being that defender Nathan Pond’s trailing foot had just played Iheanacho onside. Inevitably, the delay robbed the moment of spontaneous joy, leaving the players unsure how much to celebrate, the crowd more than a little confused and the Fleetwood manager, Uwe Rosler, complaining that such decisions should be left with the officials on the field for the sake of the game. 76' - Iheanacho goal disallowed ❌ 78' - VAR correctly gives goal ⚽️ 1-0 VAR �� History made as Kelechi Iheanacho becomes the first player to be awarded a goal by VAR in British football! pic.twitter.com/KXsRbVdFou— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) January 16, 2018 “It was not the reason we lost the tie,” he said. “We lost because after they scored their first goal before half-time they had too much for us in the second half. “But can they really say it was onside for the second goal or are they guessing? Even sometimes VAR is not 100 per cent clear. “We will see in the future how it pans out but in general I say don’t complicate the game. The game is beautiful, let it be pure and also made by human errors of the referee. It makes the game.” Claude Puel, the Leicester manager, who had voiced similar reservations ahead of the match on learning that VAR would be used, allowed himself a smile. “I think it’s perfect now,” he joked, before admitting he still had mixed feelings. “But it meant that a good goal was correctly given,” he added. Hot chip: the VAR excitement took attention away from what was a great finish by Kelechi Iheanacho Credit: Getty Otherwise it had been a match too often lacking in passion in which Fleetwood, perhaps unlucky not to have sprung a shock when the sides drew 0-0 at their Highbury ground 10 days ago, gave a good account of themselves in the first half, when Kyle Dempsey drew a fine, fingertip save from Leicester goalkeeper Eldin Jakupovic in their best moment, but faded after going behind two minutes before the break. Iheanacho, one half of a second-string Leicester attack alongside Islam Slimani that nonetheless cost £54 million, converted a chance set up by Slimani to score only his second goal for the club following a £25m move from Manchester City last summer that has yet to deliver a significant return. That moment apart, though, a Leicester side showing eight changes from the weekend had been unimpressive, and it showed on Puel’s face in the technical area.  CLAUDE: “We tried to play in the first half, but it was too comfortable for them to defend. We needed to play forward and get behind them more, which we did much better in the second half.” #LeiFle— Leicester City (@LCFC) January 16, 2018 Mahrez, wearing the captain’s armband for the first time in what may be seen as a statement of Puel's intention to keep him at Leicester, had a quiet first half and wasted his best opportunity with a free kick just outside the ‘D’. Fleetwood offered little as an attacking threat in the second half, in which Jamie Vardy, injured for the original tie, was granted his wish with a 10-minute cameo against his old club. By the time he appeared, Iheanacho, who initially seemed to have no quarrel that his second 'goal' had not counted, had played his part in history. 9:44PM Vardy looking absolutely furious and disgusted although he is, in fact, answering some mild questions in perfectly agreeable fashion. Credit: BT Sport 2 Iheanacho says that communication from the officials to the players about the VAR was totally fine, that he did not know himself at the time whether he was onside or offside. No doubt all of these issues will be well covered in the match report from Jon Culley, which will be here very shortly. From me, Alan Tyers, goodnight. 9:40PM Full time: Leicester City 2 Fleetwood Town 0 VAR the winner! And Leicester. Well done to Fleetwood, they were on terms in the first half and it was hard lines that they conceded on 43 minutes. Result wasn't really in doubt after that. Vardy got a late run against his old club. But the match will be remembered for the second goal, which was given offside. Ref Jon Moss called for VAR, the decision was overturned. It took one minute and seven seconds to come up with the correct answer. Iheanacho was credited with the goal, rightly, his second of the match. Full-time: Leicester City 2️⃣-0️⃣ Fleetwood Town Kelechi Iheanacho's double tees up a fourth round trip to Peterborough United ��#LeiFlepic.twitter.com/EhX81gW2e3— Leicester City (@LCFC) January 16, 2018 9:37PM 90 mins Okazaki has tried to nutmeg Polger. Here is what Polger thought about that: a smack in the puss for you, my Premier League friend. Credit: BT Sport 2 9:35PM 88 mins That would have been the cherry on the top / the final cut for Fleetwood: Albrighton whips it in, there is Jamie Vardy, but Bolger clears. 9:33PM 87 mins This is indeed correct. I am very impressed with the Fleetwood social media account. A mine of information. 85' | Burns finds space on the right edge of the area, and shoots at goal but it's saved by Jakupovic. (2-0)— Fleetwood Town FC (@ftfc) January 16, 2018 9:31PM 85 mins Fleetwood have flagged and it's just a matter of whether Vardy can notch one now.  The VAR system worked, then. Linesman gave a very, very tight decision wrong. They overturned it after a brief look. Either you like it or you don't, the system, but it worked as well as you could expect it to there. 9:26PM 82 mins Jamie Vardy is coming on. Mahrez the man to make way. Shinji Okazaki replaces Kelechi Iheanacho, so there won't be a hat-trick for him. Congratulations to Jon Moss for becoming a pub quiz answer— Alan Smith (@alansmith90) January 16, 2018 9:26PM 81 mins All Leicester now, and indeed all Iheanacho, who has gone close to a hat-trick with a shot. Iborra gets up from the corner and heads not far wide. 9:24PM GOAL! VIA VAR! SCENES! Another VAR! Oh our cup runneth over. This time it is to check an offside flag after Leicester have the ball in the net. Really good run from Mahrez, who takes his time to slide the ball through for Iheanacho. He races onto the ball and applies the finish with a lovely little chip. But the linesman has flagged! They're going to take a look at this on VAR... Credit: BT Sport 2  ... he is just onside! It is overturned! That's it! A little moment of history: the decision is overturned and the goal is awarded. Leicester 2 Fleetwood 0 (Iheanacho 77) 9:19PM 72 mins Dempsey is booked. Bobby Grant replaces Markus Schwabl. 9:15PM 71 mins A VAR HAS HAPPENED!!!!! The ball is lofted into the Fleetwood box. Leicester want a penalty because they think Pond is fouling Iborra  "No penalty" is the initial verdict from Referee Moss. There is not enough evidence of a "clear and obvious" error so the decision of "no penalty" stands. 9:14PM Vaaaaaar, me hearties 61' | Leicester have the ball in the net - but it's ruled out. Ref checking with VAR - still no goal, good decision. (1-0)— Fleetwood Town FC (@ftfc) January 16, 2018 9:09PM 64 mins Albrighton delivers a corner, Iborra heading not far over. Double change for Fleetwood... �� | #ftfc subs. Burns and Cole on, McAleny and Hiwula off. (1-0)— Fleetwood Town FC (@ftfc) January 16, 2018 9:08PM Scarecrow tactics Little by little @RobbieSavage8 is morphing into Worzel Gummidge. pic.twitter.com/WFcv1wbagx— Gary Lineker (@GaryLineker) January 16, 2018 9:07PM 61 mins Leicester have the ball in the net, Iheanacho there just outside the six-yard box slotting it home from the pull-back, but it was just out. Credit: BT Sport 2 9:02PM 56 mins Ball is played into the Fleetwood box. Benalouane flails a leg, Pond has attempted a headed-clearance just a foot or so from the ground, and he gets an unpleasant whack in the head for his trouble. Tough customer, but he needs a moment. 9:00PM 54 mins Slimani is getting the hook and is acting with a sort of exaggerated befuddlement, the sort of hamming that one sees in an amateur dramatic production when the stage direction says "looks shocked". Marc Albrighton replaces him. 8:58PM Shane O'Leary writes: "'Sometimes you just need a bit more quality' muses a man who drifted through too many games like a curly-permed Hugh Grant" 8:55PM 50 mins Iheanacho and Slimani link up very nicely. The former takes his time and chips the ball through. Slimani lets the ball drift across his body and hits a right-footed effort. Doesn't catch it right. Decent chance for what would presumably be the killer second goal. 8:51PM 47 mins "Sometimes you just need a bit more quality," muses Steve McManaman as a decent Fleetwood move peters out thanks to poor passing. 8:50PM 46 mins The second half is underway and the player looking to take it by the scruff of the neck is Gray. Bright and busy, but he runs into trouble. 8:49PM Uwe enjoying a hot drink Credit: BT Sport 2 Jamie Vardy has just pinged a 50-yarder into the top corner as the teams were coming out. Respectful, muted celebration against his old club.— Nick Miller (@NickMiller79) January 16, 2018 8:47PM Over to the Fleetwood social media team �� | Half-time. @LCFC 1-0 #ftfc. @CMcAleny and @_kyledempsey have gone close for Town, who have been the better side. Iheanacho's late goal the difference so far. pic.twitter.com/WL80gHbgtp— Fleetwood Town FC (@ftfc) January 16, 2018 8:34PM Half time: Leicester City 1 Fleetwood Town 0 Leicester had more of the ball but it was in fact Fleetwood who enjoyed the superior chances in an admittedly rather drab half. One moment of real incision from the Premier League team was all it took for the lead. Shame. Can Fleetwood rally after half time? 8:33PM 44 mins Adrien Silva gets the ball and is soon having his foot stamped on by Glendon. Sore one on a cold night, and a booking for the Fleetwood player. 8:32PM GOAL! Leicester! It's Iheanacho! Bit of a nothing ball pumped forard, but Iheanacho manages to knock it to  Slimani, who plays an instant, accurate ball back. It's opened Fleetwood up, Iheanacho slots it calmly away and that's the lead. Finally Fleetwood are bested, after an entire match and 43 minutes. 8:30PM 40 mins Uwe Rosler having a word with Cole on the bench. Bit wet of Rosler not to play his actual best player. Came up with some rot about having to face Blackburn at the weekend and managing his resources. It's the FA Cup, sir! The FA Cup. 8:26PM 36 mins Best moment of the match, a really nice little move from Fleetwood as Hiwula-Mayifuila plays a cute little lay-off for the onrushing Dempsey who cracks a sweet shot at goal. Tipped over! Possibly a bit belt-and-braces from the Leicester keeper, I think that would have most likely gone over. But he could hardly take that risk. Corner. 38' | Corner played short to Jones, but his shot is blocked - before McAleny heads Glendon's cross wide. Come on, lads! (0-0)— Fleetwood Town FC (@ftfc) January 16, 2018 8:23PM 33 mins Hiwula-Mayifuila down the right. Benalouane with a nasty lunge. Ref plays advantage but it doesn't come to a lot. Then booked. 8:21PM 30 mins Mahrez is fouled a yard or two outside the box and the player himself will be the one to take the kick. This is CLOSE! Oof, that took a coat of paint off on the way past the upright. Credit: BT Sport 2 8:16PM 27 mins Shot! McAleny with a break, decent run this. He curls a shot at goal that is palmed away by Jakupovic, who maybe makes a bit of a meal of it.  8:14PM 25 mins McAleny has a shot from distance but that is easy for Jakupovic. Mahrez plays it in. Pond heads behind for a corner. perhaps overcautious, he had a bit of time there. 8:11PM 20 mins Claims, but wafer-thin ones. 20' | Cries for a penalty for #ftfc as Bell and Amartey collide in the penalty area. Not given. (0-0)— Fleetwood Town FC (@ftfc) January 16, 2018 8:06PM 19 mins Iheanacho is booked for a foul as he brushes past McAleny, who went down as quickly, cheaply and theatrically as he possibly could. Premier League quality tumble. 8:03PM 16 mins Pond is there to clear as a cross comes in from the left. 8:01PM 12 mins Amartey has done well to get clear down the right, but very poorly to cross the ball straight at the keeper. Neal barely has to move. 7:58PM 11 mins LCFC camped in the FTFC final third, playing header-tennis, but it's all hands to the pump for the lower league side and eventually they manage to clear. Old boy: Jamie Vardy, pictured here in his Fleetwood Town days, will start on the bench for Leicester City tonight Credit: Action 7:56PM 8 mins Still, they have a freekick. Big Bolger up from centre half. The ball sails over everyone. 7:55PM 7 mins Sorry, I rather drifted off there. It is a quiet start to proceedings. Fleetwood are playing quite nicely but a long way from goal. 7' | Dempsey looking sharp, a neat little pass to McAleny who is fouled. Free-kick to be played in... (0-0)— Fleetwood Town FC (@ftfc) January 16, 2018 7:51PM 4 mins Fever reducer. I’m not saying Cup replay fever hasn’t hit Leicester, but.... pic.twitter.com/3YQPOV67O5— Nick Miller (@NickMiller79) January 16, 2018 7:50PM 3 mins A lot of LCFC fans have given this one a swerve. 3' | Decent start from #ftfc, and a super start from the #codarmy. Singing their hearts out - the only noise in the ground. (0-0)— Fleetwood Town FC (@ftfc) January 16, 2018 7:49PM 2 mins But it is the hosts who are nearly in right away! Mahrez with a good ball to free Iheanacho. Fleetwood are lucky that he makes a horlicks of the pass, because the defence was very stretched there. 7:47PM 1 mins Fleetwood Town kick off. 7:46PM Oh, VAR is available I should say. Hope we get to use it. Leicester: Jakupovic, Amartey, Dragovic, Benalouane, Fuchs,  Mahrez, Adrien Silva, Iborra, Gray, Iheanacho, Slimani. Subs:  Vardy, Albrighton, Hamer, Maguire, Okazaki, Ndidi, Barnes. Fleetwood Town: Neal, Jones, Bolger, Pond, Bell, Glendon,  Schwabl, Dempsey, Hiwula, McAleny, Hunter. Subs: Coyle, Burns,  Grant, Cairns, Sowerby, Cargill, Cole. Referee: Jonathan Moss (County Durham)  7:46PM Some seats still available Credit: BT Sport 1 But here's  how we expect the teams to line up 7:43PM Shane is right on all counts Not least "come on Fleetwood." What a result this would be for them. 7:42PM The excellent Shane O'Leary writes Evening Alan, I understand that the Huth 'foot problem' is that it's usually up the jacksie of an opposing player. Come on Fleetwood! 7:29PM Nathan Pond  seems like an excellent fellow. He used to train  with Vardy "he is always very aggressive." Has he ever been tempted to leave Fleetwood? "Nobody's ever wanted me!"  I bet that is not true. Pond, the skipper, has played 460 times for Fleetwood. I hope he can help them to another clean sheet today. If you think otherwise, bet on Leicester to beat Fleetwood at 28/1 with Corals if you are a new customer. 7:24PM Robert Savage's lid Dat hat Credit: BT Sport Peterborough manager Grant McCann has popped along to see the team his lads will be facing in the fourth round. Owen Hargreaves and Robbie Savage chat to him. 7:20PM Uwe Rosler explains why Devante Cole is on the bench "I am happy what I have in the moment. I can hold what I have. I have to think about Blackburn Rovers at the weekend, we have had 7 games in 22 days." Uwe has left his top scorer out of the XI 6:55PM And here are Fleetwood �� | The teams are in! Here's how #ftfc line up for tonight's @EmiratesFACup fixture at @LCFC... pic.twitter.com/LcyGVTarPo— Fleetwood Town FC (@ftfc) January 16, 2018 6:53PM Rumours 40 years ago today, Fleetwood Mac's 'Rumours' spent a thirty-first and final week at #1 on the Billboard 200.— chart flashbacks (@chartflashback) January 14, 2018 6:50PM Leicester City team Tonight's starting XI: Jakupović, Amartey, Dragović, Benalouane, Fuchs, Iborra, Silva, Mahrez (c), Gray, Iheanacho, Slimani. Subs: Hamer, Maguire, Ndidi, Albrighton, Barnes, Okazaki, Vardy. #LeiFlepic.twitter.com/gBEpbyVBHv— Leicester City (@LCFC) January 16, 2018 6:48PM Shame, Vardy only on the bench Today’s Leicester v Fleetwood team sheet pic.twitter.com/KBltr8X5mf— Rosie Swarbrick (@rosieswarb) January 16, 2018 6:47PM Preview "There’s been a great reaction throughout the town." Journalist Rosie Swarbrick gives us her take on #LeiFle �� https://t.co/TTkWLre8Dupic.twitter.com/rOzZ1bIxA2— Leicester City (@LCFC) January 16, 2018 Rosie (not pictured)  6:20PM Good evening Tyers here, FA Cup third round replay action coming up. Will Jamie Vardy face his former team? Defender Robert Huth could make his first Leicester appearance of the season in the FA Cup third-round replay against Fleetwood on Tuesday. The German centre-back has been sidelined since the summer after ankle surgery and then the recurrence of a foot problem, but Ben Chilwell is banned. Jamie Vardy is fit after missing the first tie against his former club with a groin problem and Matty James is also available, despite hobbling off at Chelsea on Saturday. Danny Simpson and Wes Morgan (both hamstring) are still out. Provisional squad: Schmeichel, Hamer, Jakupovic, Maguire, Huth, Fuchs, Benalouane, Dragovic, James, King, Albrighton, Amartey, Gray, Silva, Ndidi, Mahrez, Iborra, Choudhury, Musa, Vardy, Slimani, Okazaki, Ulloa, Iheanacho. And here is a lovely story by Chris Bascombe about Fleetwood's Markus Schwabl When Fleetwood Town’s German midfielder Markus Schwabl was asked to join the 'Cod Army' he knew so little of the club he rushed to the internet to study its history. Should he and his team mates win at Leicester City in Tuesday’s FA Cup replay he will be enshrining his place in it. Midfielder Schwabl, once of 1860 Munich, was convinced to make the move by compatriot Uwe Rosler. Fleetwood manager Rosler was a colleague of Schwabl’s father, ex-West German international Manfred, at Nurnberg in the early 90s. �� | The lads have arrived at the King Power! pic.twitter.com/PCtxEOPG0w— Fleetwood Town FC (@ftfc) January 16, 2018

Leicester City 2 Fleetwood Town 0: VAR history made as offside decision overturned for Kelechi Iheanacho goal

Anyone who came here expecting a dramatic FA Cup night in the traditional sense will have gone home disappointed as Leicester eased through what turned out to be a rather tepid third-round replay. The match did, however, provide English football with its first goal awarded on the say-so of a Video Assistant Referee after Kelechi Iheanacho’s second of the match was given by virtue of an overruled offside decision. The moment came in the 77th minute after Riyad Mahrez’s pass to the former Manchester City striker gave assistant referee Lee Betts a marginal call to which he responded by raising his flag. But after a lengthy pause listening to the advice of VAR Mike Jones from a studio in London, match referee Jonathan Moss made the TV screen shape with his hands and signalled a goal, the remote judgement being that defender Nathan Pond’s trailing foot had just played Iheanacho onside. Inevitably, the delay robbed the moment of spontaneous joy, leaving the players unsure how much to celebrate, the crowd more than a little confused and the Fleetwood manager, Uwe Rosler, complaining that such decisions should be left with the officials on the field for the sake of the game. 76' - Iheanacho goal disallowed ❌ 78' - VAR correctly gives goal ⚽️ 1-0 VAR �� History made as Kelechi Iheanacho becomes the first player to be awarded a goal by VAR in British football! pic.twitter.com/KXsRbVdFou— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) January 16, 2018 “It was not the reason we lost the tie,” he said. “We lost because after they scored their first goal before half-time they had too much for us in the second half. “But can they really say it was onside for the second goal or are they guessing? Even sometimes VAR is not 100 per cent clear. “We will see in the future how it pans out but in general I say don’t complicate the game. The game is beautiful, let it be pure and also made by human errors of the referee. It makes the game.” Claude Puel, the Leicester manager, who had voiced similar reservations ahead of the match on learning that VAR would be used, allowed himself a smile. “I think it’s perfect now,” he joked, before admitting he still had mixed feelings. “But it meant that a good goal was correctly given,” he added. Hot chip: the VAR excitement took attention away from what was a great finish by Kelechi Iheanacho Credit: Getty Otherwise it had been a match too often lacking in passion in which Fleetwood, perhaps unlucky not to have sprung a shock when the sides drew 0-0 at their Highbury ground 10 days ago, gave a good account of themselves in the first half, when Kyle Dempsey drew a fine, fingertip save from Leicester goalkeeper Eldin Jakupovic in their best moment, but faded after going behind two minutes before the break. Iheanacho, one half of a second-string Leicester attack alongside Islam Slimani that nonetheless cost £54 million, converted a chance set up by Slimani to score only his second goal for the club following a £25m move from Manchester City last summer that has yet to deliver a significant return. That moment apart, though, a Leicester side showing eight changes from the weekend had been unimpressive, and it showed on Puel’s face in the technical area.  CLAUDE: “We tried to play in the first half, but it was too comfortable for them to defend. We needed to play forward and get behind them more, which we did much better in the second half.” #LeiFle— Leicester City (@LCFC) January 16, 2018 Mahrez, wearing the captain’s armband for the first time in what may be seen as a statement of Puel's intention to keep him at Leicester, had a quiet first half and wasted his best opportunity with a free kick just outside the ‘D’. Fleetwood offered little as an attacking threat in the second half, in which Jamie Vardy, injured for the original tie, was granted his wish with a 10-minute cameo against his old club. By the time he appeared, Iheanacho, who initially seemed to have no quarrel that his second 'goal' had not counted, had played his part in history. 9:44PM Vardy looking absolutely furious and disgusted although he is, in fact, answering some mild questions in perfectly agreeable fashion. Credit: BT Sport 2 Iheanacho says that communication from the officials to the players about the VAR was totally fine, that he did not know himself at the time whether he was onside or offside. No doubt all of these issues will be well covered in the match report from Jon Culley, which will be here very shortly. From me, Alan Tyers, goodnight. 9:40PM Full time: Leicester City 2 Fleetwood Town 0 VAR the winner! And Leicester. Well done to Fleetwood, they were on terms in the first half and it was hard lines that they conceded on 43 minutes. Result wasn't really in doubt after that. Vardy got a late run against his old club. But the match will be remembered for the second goal, which was given offside. Ref Jon Moss called for VAR, the decision was overturned. It took one minute and seven seconds to come up with the correct answer. Iheanacho was credited with the goal, rightly, his second of the match. Full-time: Leicester City 2️⃣-0️⃣ Fleetwood Town Kelechi Iheanacho's double tees up a fourth round trip to Peterborough United ��#LeiFlepic.twitter.com/EhX81gW2e3— Leicester City (@LCFC) January 16, 2018 9:37PM 90 mins Okazaki has tried to nutmeg Polger. Here is what Polger thought about that: a smack in the puss for you, my Premier League friend. Credit: BT Sport 2 9:35PM 88 mins That would have been the cherry on the top / the final cut for Fleetwood: Albrighton whips it in, there is Jamie Vardy, but Bolger clears. 9:33PM 87 mins This is indeed correct. I am very impressed with the Fleetwood social media account. A mine of information. 85' | Burns finds space on the right edge of the area, and shoots at goal but it's saved by Jakupovic. (2-0)— Fleetwood Town FC (@ftfc) January 16, 2018 9:31PM 85 mins Fleetwood have flagged and it's just a matter of whether Vardy can notch one now.  The VAR system worked, then. Linesman gave a very, very tight decision wrong. They overturned it after a brief look. Either you like it or you don't, the system, but it worked as well as you could expect it to there. 9:26PM 82 mins Jamie Vardy is coming on. Mahrez the man to make way. Shinji Okazaki replaces Kelechi Iheanacho, so there won't be a hat-trick for him. Congratulations to Jon Moss for becoming a pub quiz answer— Alan Smith (@alansmith90) January 16, 2018 9:26PM 81 mins All Leicester now, and indeed all Iheanacho, who has gone close to a hat-trick with a shot. Iborra gets up from the corner and heads not far wide. 9:24PM GOAL! VIA VAR! SCENES! Another VAR! Oh our cup runneth over. This time it is to check an offside flag after Leicester have the ball in the net. Really good run from Mahrez, who takes his time to slide the ball through for Iheanacho. He races onto the ball and applies the finish with a lovely little chip. But the linesman has flagged! They're going to take a look at this on VAR... Credit: BT Sport 2  ... he is just onside! It is overturned! That's it! A little moment of history: the decision is overturned and the goal is awarded. Leicester 2 Fleetwood 0 (Iheanacho 77) 9:19PM 72 mins Dempsey is booked. Bobby Grant replaces Markus Schwabl. 9:15PM 71 mins A VAR HAS HAPPENED!!!!! The ball is lofted into the Fleetwood box. Leicester want a penalty because they think Pond is fouling Iborra  "No penalty" is the initial verdict from Referee Moss. There is not enough evidence of a "clear and obvious" error so the decision of "no penalty" stands. 9:14PM Vaaaaaar, me hearties 61' | Leicester have the ball in the net - but it's ruled out. Ref checking with VAR - still no goal, good decision. (1-0)— Fleetwood Town FC (@ftfc) January 16, 2018 9:09PM 64 mins Albrighton delivers a corner, Iborra heading not far over. Double change for Fleetwood... �� | #ftfc subs. Burns and Cole on, McAleny and Hiwula off. (1-0)— Fleetwood Town FC (@ftfc) January 16, 2018 9:08PM Scarecrow tactics Little by little @RobbieSavage8 is morphing into Worzel Gummidge. pic.twitter.com/WFcv1wbagx— Gary Lineker (@GaryLineker) January 16, 2018 9:07PM 61 mins Leicester have the ball in the net, Iheanacho there just outside the six-yard box slotting it home from the pull-back, but it was just out. Credit: BT Sport 2 9:02PM 56 mins Ball is played into the Fleetwood box. Benalouane flails a leg, Pond has attempted a headed-clearance just a foot or so from the ground, and he gets an unpleasant whack in the head for his trouble. Tough customer, but he needs a moment. 9:00PM 54 mins Slimani is getting the hook and is acting with a sort of exaggerated befuddlement, the sort of hamming that one sees in an amateur dramatic production when the stage direction says "looks shocked". Marc Albrighton replaces him. 8:58PM Shane O'Leary writes: "'Sometimes you just need a bit more quality' muses a man who drifted through too many games like a curly-permed Hugh Grant" 8:55PM 50 mins Iheanacho and Slimani link up very nicely. The former takes his time and chips the ball through. Slimani lets the ball drift across his body and hits a right-footed effort. Doesn't catch it right. Decent chance for what would presumably be the killer second goal. 8:51PM 47 mins "Sometimes you just need a bit more quality," muses Steve McManaman as a decent Fleetwood move peters out thanks to poor passing. 8:50PM 46 mins The second half is underway and the player looking to take it by the scruff of the neck is Gray. Bright and busy, but he runs into trouble. 8:49PM Uwe enjoying a hot drink Credit: BT Sport 2 Jamie Vardy has just pinged a 50-yarder into the top corner as the teams were coming out. Respectful, muted celebration against his old club.— Nick Miller (@NickMiller79) January 16, 2018 8:47PM Over to the Fleetwood social media team �� | Half-time. @LCFC 1-0 #ftfc. @CMcAleny and @_kyledempsey have gone close for Town, who have been the better side. Iheanacho's late goal the difference so far. pic.twitter.com/WL80gHbgtp— Fleetwood Town FC (@ftfc) January 16, 2018 8:34PM Half time: Leicester City 1 Fleetwood Town 0 Leicester had more of the ball but it was in fact Fleetwood who enjoyed the superior chances in an admittedly rather drab half. One moment of real incision from the Premier League team was all it took for the lead. Shame. Can Fleetwood rally after half time? 8:33PM 44 mins Adrien Silva gets the ball and is soon having his foot stamped on by Glendon. Sore one on a cold night, and a booking for the Fleetwood player. 8:32PM GOAL! Leicester! It's Iheanacho! Bit of a nothing ball pumped forard, but Iheanacho manages to knock it to  Slimani, who plays an instant, accurate ball back. It's opened Fleetwood up, Iheanacho slots it calmly away and that's the lead. Finally Fleetwood are bested, after an entire match and 43 minutes. 8:30PM 40 mins Uwe Rosler having a word with Cole on the bench. Bit wet of Rosler not to play his actual best player. Came up with some rot about having to face Blackburn at the weekend and managing his resources. It's the FA Cup, sir! The FA Cup. 8:26PM 36 mins Best moment of the match, a really nice little move from Fleetwood as Hiwula-Mayifuila plays a cute little lay-off for the onrushing Dempsey who cracks a sweet shot at goal. Tipped over! Possibly a bit belt-and-braces from the Leicester keeper, I think that would have most likely gone over. But he could hardly take that risk. Corner. 38' | Corner played short to Jones, but his shot is blocked - before McAleny heads Glendon's cross wide. Come on, lads! (0-0)— Fleetwood Town FC (@ftfc) January 16, 2018 8:23PM 33 mins Hiwula-Mayifuila down the right. Benalouane with a nasty lunge. Ref plays advantage but it doesn't come to a lot. Then booked. 8:21PM 30 mins Mahrez is fouled a yard or two outside the box and the player himself will be the one to take the kick. This is CLOSE! Oof, that took a coat of paint off on the way past the upright. Credit: BT Sport 2 8:16PM 27 mins Shot! McAleny with a break, decent run this. He curls a shot at goal that is palmed away by Jakupovic, who maybe makes a bit of a meal of it.  8:14PM 25 mins McAleny has a shot from distance but that is easy for Jakupovic. Mahrez plays it in. Pond heads behind for a corner. perhaps overcautious, he had a bit of time there. 8:11PM 20 mins Claims, but wafer-thin ones. 20' | Cries for a penalty for #ftfc as Bell and Amartey collide in the penalty area. Not given. (0-0)— Fleetwood Town FC (@ftfc) January 16, 2018 8:06PM 19 mins Iheanacho is booked for a foul as he brushes past McAleny, who went down as quickly, cheaply and theatrically as he possibly could. Premier League quality tumble. 8:03PM 16 mins Pond is there to clear as a cross comes in from the left. 8:01PM 12 mins Amartey has done well to get clear down the right, but very poorly to cross the ball straight at the keeper. Neal barely has to move. 7:58PM 11 mins LCFC camped in the FTFC final third, playing header-tennis, but it's all hands to the pump for the lower league side and eventually they manage to clear. Old boy: Jamie Vardy, pictured here in his Fleetwood Town days, will start on the bench for Leicester City tonight Credit: Action 7:56PM 8 mins Still, they have a freekick. Big Bolger up from centre half. The ball sails over everyone. 7:55PM 7 mins Sorry, I rather drifted off there. It is a quiet start to proceedings. Fleetwood are playing quite nicely but a long way from goal. 7' | Dempsey looking sharp, a neat little pass to McAleny who is fouled. Free-kick to be played in... (0-0)— Fleetwood Town FC (@ftfc) January 16, 2018 7:51PM 4 mins Fever reducer. I’m not saying Cup replay fever hasn’t hit Leicester, but.... pic.twitter.com/3YQPOV67O5— Nick Miller (@NickMiller79) January 16, 2018 7:50PM 3 mins A lot of LCFC fans have given this one a swerve. 3' | Decent start from #ftfc, and a super start from the #codarmy. Singing their hearts out - the only noise in the ground. (0-0)— Fleetwood Town FC (@ftfc) January 16, 2018 7:49PM 2 mins But it is the hosts who are nearly in right away! Mahrez with a good ball to free Iheanacho. Fleetwood are lucky that he makes a horlicks of the pass, because the defence was very stretched there. 7:47PM 1 mins Fleetwood Town kick off. 7:46PM Oh, VAR is available I should say. Hope we get to use it. Leicester: Jakupovic, Amartey, Dragovic, Benalouane, Fuchs,  Mahrez, Adrien Silva, Iborra, Gray, Iheanacho, Slimani. Subs:  Vardy, Albrighton, Hamer, Maguire, Okazaki, Ndidi, Barnes. Fleetwood Town: Neal, Jones, Bolger, Pond, Bell, Glendon,  Schwabl, Dempsey, Hiwula, McAleny, Hunter. Subs: Coyle, Burns,  Grant, Cairns, Sowerby, Cargill, Cole. Referee: Jonathan Moss (County Durham)  7:46PM Some seats still available Credit: BT Sport 1 But here's  how we expect the teams to line up 7:43PM Shane is right on all counts Not least "come on Fleetwood." What a result this would be for them. 7:42PM The excellent Shane O'Leary writes Evening Alan, I understand that the Huth 'foot problem' is that it's usually up the jacksie of an opposing player. Come on Fleetwood! 7:29PM Nathan Pond  seems like an excellent fellow. He used to train  with Vardy "he is always very aggressive." Has he ever been tempted to leave Fleetwood? "Nobody's ever wanted me!"  I bet that is not true. Pond, the skipper, has played 460 times for Fleetwood. I hope he can help them to another clean sheet today. If you think otherwise, bet on Leicester to beat Fleetwood at 28/1 with Corals if you are a new customer. 7:24PM Robert Savage's lid Dat hat Credit: BT Sport Peterborough manager Grant McCann has popped along to see the team his lads will be facing in the fourth round. Owen Hargreaves and Robbie Savage chat to him. 7:20PM Uwe Rosler explains why Devante Cole is on the bench "I am happy what I have in the moment. I can hold what I have. I have to think about Blackburn Rovers at the weekend, we have had 7 games in 22 days." Uwe has left his top scorer out of the XI 6:55PM And here are Fleetwood �� | The teams are in! Here's how #ftfc line up for tonight's @EmiratesFACup fixture at @LCFC... pic.twitter.com/LcyGVTarPo— Fleetwood Town FC (@ftfc) January 16, 2018 6:53PM Rumours 40 years ago today, Fleetwood Mac's 'Rumours' spent a thirty-first and final week at #1 on the Billboard 200.— chart flashbacks (@chartflashback) January 14, 2018 6:50PM Leicester City team Tonight's starting XI: Jakupović, Amartey, Dragović, Benalouane, Fuchs, Iborra, Silva, Mahrez (c), Gray, Iheanacho, Slimani. Subs: Hamer, Maguire, Ndidi, Albrighton, Barnes, Okazaki, Vardy. #LeiFlepic.twitter.com/gBEpbyVBHv— Leicester City (@LCFC) January 16, 2018 6:48PM Shame, Vardy only on the bench Today’s Leicester v Fleetwood team sheet pic.twitter.com/KBltr8X5mf— Rosie Swarbrick (@rosieswarb) January 16, 2018 6:47PM Preview "There’s been a great reaction throughout the town." Journalist Rosie Swarbrick gives us her take on #LeiFle �� https://t.co/TTkWLre8Dupic.twitter.com/rOzZ1bIxA2— Leicester City (@LCFC) January 16, 2018 Rosie (not pictured)  6:20PM Good evening Tyers here, FA Cup third round replay action coming up. Will Jamie Vardy face his former team? Defender Robert Huth could make his first Leicester appearance of the season in the FA Cup third-round replay against Fleetwood on Tuesday. The German centre-back has been sidelined since the summer after ankle surgery and then the recurrence of a foot problem, but Ben Chilwell is banned. Jamie Vardy is fit after missing the first tie against his former club with a groin problem and Matty James is also available, despite hobbling off at Chelsea on Saturday. Danny Simpson and Wes Morgan (both hamstring) are still out. Provisional squad: Schmeichel, Hamer, Jakupovic, Maguire, Huth, Fuchs, Benalouane, Dragovic, James, King, Albrighton, Amartey, Gray, Silva, Ndidi, Mahrez, Iborra, Choudhury, Musa, Vardy, Slimani, Okazaki, Ulloa, Iheanacho. And here is a lovely story by Chris Bascombe about Fleetwood's Markus Schwabl When Fleetwood Town’s German midfielder Markus Schwabl was asked to join the 'Cod Army' he knew so little of the club he rushed to the internet to study its history. Should he and his team mates win at Leicester City in Tuesday’s FA Cup replay he will be enshrining his place in it. Midfielder Schwabl, once of 1860 Munich, was convinced to make the move by compatriot Uwe Rosler. Fleetwood manager Rosler was a colleague of Schwabl’s father, ex-West German international Manfred, at Nurnberg in the early 90s. �� | The lads have arrived at the King Power! pic.twitter.com/PCtxEOPG0w— Fleetwood Town FC (@ftfc) January 16, 2018

Paul Lambert insists he can keep Stoke City up - even if he was '50th choice' for the job

Paul Lambert has launched a fierce defence of his managerial achievements and insisted he can maintain his record of never being relegated from the Premier League. Lambert was in combative mood after being unveiled as Stoke City’s new manager, claiming he did not care if he was “50th choice” following his surprise appointment. Stoke conducted a lengthy process to find a replacement for Mark Hughes, experiencing frustration in their pursuits of Gary Rowett, Quique Sanchez Flores and Martin O’Neill, with Lambert’s arrival receiving a lukewarm response. He has not managed in the top-flight since February 2015, while his last two jobs in English football were brief tenures at Blackburn Rovers and Wolverhampton Wanderers. But the 48-year-old believes his record deserves greater respect, particularly at Villa where he was never relegated, and Norwich where he achieved back-to-back promotions. “I think it’s people’s perceptions that maybe I didn’t do a good job at Aston Villa. But I think Villa were only ever once in the bottom three and that was towards the end,” he said. “The achievements at Villa were right up there with Norwich, because of the size of the club and the fact it was up for sale. They would probably ask for that now, to be in that Premier League. “I see this as a great opportunity and whether I was 50th or first choice, it never really mattered to me. I’m 100 per cent sure that we have enough to stay up. “I have never been spoon-fed through my whole career, I have always done it the hard way as a player and a manager. “I went to Borussia Dortmund with a bag and some clothes on trial. A year later I was winning the European Cup, so it’s not bad.” Lambert has admitted he feared his days of managing in the Premier League were over, however, after his last two spells in the Championship. He was interviewed by Hull City and Sheffield Wednesday last month and was considering managing abroad before taking an unexpected call from Stoke’s board over the weekend. He has agreed a two-and-a-half year contract and will earn a £1m bonus if he succeeds in his survival mission. Paul Lambert will earn a £1 million bonus if he keeps Stoke up Credit: GETTY IMAGES “I still didn’t think I’d get back at this level. I just thought that to get into the Premier League you’ve got to either get a team up or, the way the game’s going now, there’s a lot of different nationality coaches coming in,” he said. “I thought I might not get another chance so to be given it at a great club like this is fantastic. I can’t wait. I’m not new to this – it’s not something that fazes me.” Lambert has held detailed talks with Stoke’s chief executive Tony Scholes over squad reinforcements, with a left-back and an energetic midfielder understood to be priorities in the January window. The futures of players out on loan, including record signing Giannelli Imbula and Bojan, were also discussed and will be further reviewed this week. January 2018 transfer window But Lambert’s first priority is guiding Stoke out of the relegation zone and improving a defensive record that has resulted in the club conceding 50 goals in the league. “We’re seven points off ninth place and a couple of wins and it looks so much rosier,” he said. “That’s the beauty of it and that’s what we have to aim for, winning as many games as we can to get us out of this trouble. We can’t keep conceding the amount of goals we’re conceding, that puts too much pressure on everybody. We have to be more resolute in what we’re doing, stronger and more aggressive with it, and if we do that I think we’ll be fine. We’ve got 15 cup finals left and the squad is a lot better than it’s showing.” Lambert takes charge of his first game on Saturday, at home to Huddersfield Town.

Paul Lambert insists he can keep Stoke City up - even if he was '50th choice' for the job

Paul Lambert has launched a fierce defence of his managerial achievements and insisted he can maintain his record of never being relegated from the Premier League. Lambert was in combative mood after being unveiled as Stoke City’s new manager, claiming he did not care if he was “50th choice” following his surprise appointment. Stoke conducted a lengthy process to find a replacement for Mark Hughes, experiencing frustration in their pursuits of Gary Rowett, Quique Sanchez Flores and Martin O’Neill, with Lambert’s arrival receiving a lukewarm response. He has not managed in the top-flight since February 2015, while his last two jobs in English football were brief tenures at Blackburn Rovers and Wolverhampton Wanderers. But the 48-year-old believes his record deserves greater respect, particularly at Villa where he was never relegated, and Norwich where he achieved back-to-back promotions. “I think it’s people’s perceptions that maybe I didn’t do a good job at Aston Villa. But I think Villa were only ever once in the bottom three and that was towards the end,” he said. “The achievements at Villa were right up there with Norwich, because of the size of the club and the fact it was up for sale. They would probably ask for that now, to be in that Premier League. “I see this as a great opportunity and whether I was 50th or first choice, it never really mattered to me. I’m 100 per cent sure that we have enough to stay up. “I have never been spoon-fed through my whole career, I have always done it the hard way as a player and a manager. “I went to Borussia Dortmund with a bag and some clothes on trial. A year later I was winning the European Cup, so it’s not bad.” Lambert has admitted he feared his days of managing in the Premier League were over, however, after his last two spells in the Championship. He was interviewed by Hull City and Sheffield Wednesday last month and was considering managing abroad before taking an unexpected call from Stoke’s board over the weekend. He has agreed a two-and-a-half year contract and will earn a £1m bonus if he succeeds in his survival mission. Paul Lambert will earn a £1 million bonus if he keeps Stoke up Credit: GETTY IMAGES “I still didn’t think I’d get back at this level. I just thought that to get into the Premier League you’ve got to either get a team up or, the way the game’s going now, there’s a lot of different nationality coaches coming in,” he said. “I thought I might not get another chance so to be given it at a great club like this is fantastic. I can’t wait. I’m not new to this – it’s not something that fazes me.” Lambert has held detailed talks with Stoke’s chief executive Tony Scholes over squad reinforcements, with a left-back and an energetic midfielder understood to be priorities in the January window. The futures of players out on loan, including record signing Giannelli Imbula and Bojan, were also discussed and will be further reviewed this week. January 2018 transfer window But Lambert’s first priority is guiding Stoke out of the relegation zone and improving a defensive record that has resulted in the club conceding 50 goals in the league. “We’re seven points off ninth place and a couple of wins and it looks so much rosier,” he said. “That’s the beauty of it and that’s what we have to aim for, winning as many games as we can to get us out of this trouble. We can’t keep conceding the amount of goals we’re conceding, that puts too much pressure on everybody. We have to be more resolute in what we’re doing, stronger and more aggressive with it, and if we do that I think we’ll be fine. We’ve got 15 cup finals left and the squad is a lot better than it’s showing.” Lambert takes charge of his first game on Saturday, at home to Huddersfield Town.

Leicester City 2 Fleetwood Town 0: VAR history made as offside decision overturned for Iheanacho goal

  Anyone who came here expecting a dramatic night in the traditional sense will have gone home disappointed as Leicester eased through what turned out to be a rather tepid third-round replay. It did, however, provide English football with its first goal awarded by the Video Assistant Referee after the second of Kelechi Iheanacho’s two goals on the night was given after an offside decision was overruled. It came after 77 minutes when Riyad Mahrez’s pass gave assistant referee Lee Betts a marginal call to which he responded by raising his flag. But after a lengthy pause listening to the advice of VAR Michael Jones from a studio in London, referee Jonathan Moss made the TV screen shape with his hands and signalled a goal. The delay meant the moment was diluted in terms of spontaneous celebration, but it was the right decision. Fleetwood Town manager Uwe Rosler adopted a conservative approach based on a well-organised defence with the knowledge that the likes of Jordy Hiwula and Conor McAleny had the pace to stretch Leicester on the counter-attack. Indeed, the contest was more than 20 minutes old before either side attempted anything that could be described as a shot and. when one did come. it was from a Fleetwood player, McAleny stretching Eldin Jakupovic. With the “Cod Army” contingent comfortably outsinging the home supporters in a thin crowd, the visitors now became more ambitious and they were close to taking the lead after 36 minutes, when Hunter and Hiwula worked a shooting chance for Kyle Dempsey, whose clean strike from the edge of the box would have gone in but for Jakupovic extending an arm to tip it over the bar. Yet it was Leicester who reached half-time in front. Islam Slimani and Kelechi Iheanacho may not represent a first-choice front two, yet they did cost £54 million between them and they combined to break the deadlock in the 43rd minute when Slimani seized on a poor header by defender Cian Bolger to release Iheanacho with an instant ball over the top. Former Manchester City striker Iheanacho has looked something of a misfit since his move to Leicester last summer, with only two Premier League starts so far. Yet the way he took his chance here was a reminder of the qualities that stood out for a while at the Etihad, reacting to the pass with a well-timed run and simply guiding the ball past goalkeeper Chris Neal. It was only his second goal as a Leicester player, the first having come in an EFL Cup tie last October. That moment apart, though, a Leicester side showing eight changes from the weekend had been unimpressive, and it showed on the face of manager Claude Puel in the technical area. CLAUDE: “We tried to play in the first half, but it was too comfortable for them to defend. We needed to play forward and get behind them more, which we did much better in the second half.” #LeiFle— Leicester City (@LCFC) January 16, 2018 Riyad Mahrez, wearing the captain’s armband for the first time as one of the three retained from the draw at Chelsea, had a quiet first half and wasted his best opportunity with a free kick just outside the box. Puel had plenty in reserve, however, with Jamie Vardy among those on the bench and, having missed the first match through injury, eager for a run-out against the team that launched his rise to stardom. Had it not been for Iheanacho, the Frenchman might have spent half-time wondering how quickly he should make changes. In the event, his team started the second half on the front foot and should have doubled their lead, but Slimani mishit a volley from a good pass by Iheanacho in what would be his last act of note before Puel did make a change, although it was Marc Albrighton rather than Vardy who replaced him 10 minutes after the restart. Fleetwood offered little as an attacking threat in the second half. Vardy was granted his wish with a 10-minute cameo, by which time Iheanacho, who initially seemed to have no quarrel that his second “goal” had not counted, had played his part in history. 9:44PM Vardy looking absolutely furious and disgusted although he is, in fact, answering some mild questions in perfectly agreeable fashion. Credit: BT Sport 2 Iheanacho says that communication from the officials to the players about the VAR was totally fine, that he did not know himself at the time whether he was onside or offside. No doubt all of these issues will be well covered in the match report from Jon Culley, which will be here very shortly. From me, Alan Tyers, goodnight. 9:40PM Full time: Leicester City 2 Fleetwood Town 0 VAR the winner! And Leicester. Well done to Fleetwood, they were on terms in the first half and it was hard lines that they conceded on 43 minutes. Result wasn't really in doubt after that. Vardy got a late run against his old club. But the match will be remembered for the second goal, which was given offside. Ref Jon Moss called for VAR, the decision was overturned. It took one minute and seven seconds to come up with the correct answer. Iheanacho was credited with the goal, rightly, his second of the match. Full-time: Leicester City 2️⃣-0️⃣ Fleetwood Town Kelechi Iheanacho's double tees up a fourth round trip to Peterborough United ��#LeiFlepic.twitter.com/EhX81gW2e3— Leicester City (@LCFC) January 16, 2018 9:37PM 90 mins Okazaki has tried to nutmeg Polger. Here is what Polger thought about that: a smack in the puss for you, my Premier League friend. Credit: BT Sport 2 9:35PM 88 mins That would have been the cherry on the top / the final cut for Fleetwood: Albrighton whips it in, there is Jamie Vardy, but Bolger clears. 9:33PM 87 mins This is indeed correct. I am very impressed with the Fleetwood social media account. A mine of information. 85' | Burns finds space on the right edge of the area, and shoots at goal but it's saved by Jakupovic. (2-0)— Fleetwood Town FC (@ftfc) January 16, 2018 9:31PM 85 mins Fleetwood have flagged and it's just a matter of whether Vardy can notch one now.  The VAR system worked, then. Linesman gave a very, very tight decision wrong. They overturned it after a brief look. Either you like it or you don't, the system, but it worked as well as you could expect it to there. 9:26PM 82 mins Jamie Vardy is coming on. Mahrez the man to make way. Shinji Okazaki replaces Kelechi Iheanacho, so there won't be a hat-trick for him. Congratulations to Jon Moss for becoming a pub quiz answer— Alan Smith (@alansmith90) January 16, 2018 9:26PM 81 mins All Leicester now, and indeed all Iheanacho, who has gone close to a hat-trick with a shot. Iborra gets up from the corner and heads not far wide. 9:24PM GOAL! VIA VAR! SCENES! Another VAR! Oh our cup runneth over. This time it is to check an offside flag after Leicester have the ball in the net. Really good run from Mahrez, who takes his time to slide the ball through for Iheanacho. He races onto the ball and applies the finish with a lovely little chip. But the linesman has flagged! They're going to take a look at this on VAR... Credit: BT Sport 2  ... he is just onside! It is overturned! That's it! A little moment of history: the decision is overturned and the goal is awarded. Leicester 2 Fleetwood 0 (Iheanacho 77) 9:19PM 72 mins Dempsey is booked. Bobby Grant replaces Markus Schwabl. 9:15PM 71 mins A VAR HAS HAPPENED!!!!! The ball is lofted into the Fleetwood box. Leicester want a penalty because they think Pond is fouling Iborra  "No penalty" is the initial verdict from Referee Moss. There is not enough evidence of a "clear and obvious" error so the decision of "no penalty" stands. 9:14PM Vaaaaaar, me hearties 61' | Leicester have the ball in the net - but it's ruled out. Ref checking with VAR - still no goal, good decision. (1-0)— Fleetwood Town FC (@ftfc) January 16, 2018 9:09PM 64 mins Albrighton delivers a corner, Iborra heading not far over. Double change for Fleetwood... �� | #ftfc subs. Burns and Cole on, McAleny and Hiwula off. (1-0)— Fleetwood Town FC (@ftfc) January 16, 2018 9:08PM Scarecrow tactics Little by little @RobbieSavage8 is morphing into Worzel Gummidge. pic.twitter.com/WFcv1wbagx— Gary Lineker (@GaryLineker) January 16, 2018 9:07PM 61 mins Leicester have the ball in the net, Iheanacho there just outside the six-yard box slotting it home from the pull-back, but it was just out. Credit: BT Sport 2 9:02PM 56 mins Ball is played into the Fleetwood box. Benalouane flails a leg, Pond has attempted a headed-clearance just a foot or so from the ground, and he gets an unpleasant whack in the head for his trouble. Tough customer, but he needs a moment. 9:00PM 54 mins Slimani is getting the hook and is acting with a sort of exaggerated befuddlement, the sort of hamming that one sees in an amateur dramatic production when the stage direction says "looks shocked". Marc Albrighton replaces him. 8:58PM Shane O'Leary writes: "'Sometimes you just need a bit more quality' muses a man who drifted through too many games like a curly-permed Hugh Grant" 8:55PM 50 mins Iheanacho and Slimani link up very nicely. The former takes his time and chips the ball through. Slimani lets the ball drift across his body and hits a right-footed effort. Doesn't catch it right. Decent chance for what would presumably be the killer second goal. 8:51PM 47 mins "Sometimes you just need a bit more quality," muses Steve McManaman as a decent Fleetwood move peters out thanks to poor passing. 8:50PM 46 mins The second half is underway and the player looking to take it by the scruff of the neck is Gray. Bright and busy, but he runs into trouble. 8:49PM Uwe enjoying a hot drink Credit: BT Sport 2 Jamie Vardy has just pinged a 50-yarder into the top corner as the teams were coming out. Respectful, muted celebration against his old club.— Nick Miller (@NickMiller79) January 16, 2018 8:47PM Over to the Fleetwood social media team �� | Half-time. @LCFC 1-0 #ftfc. @CMcAleny and @_kyledempsey have gone close for Town, who have been the better side. Iheanacho's late goal the difference so far. pic.twitter.com/WL80gHbgtp— Fleetwood Town FC (@ftfc) January 16, 2018 8:34PM Half time: Leicester City 1 Fleetwood Town 0 Leicester had more of the ball but it was in fact Fleetwood who enjoyed the superior chances in an admittedly rather drab half. One moment of real incision from the Premier League team was all it took for the lead. Shame. Can Fleetwood rally after half time? 8:33PM 44 mins Adrien Silva gets the ball and is soon having his foot stamped on by Glendon. Sore one on a cold night, and a booking for the Fleetwood player. 8:32PM GOAL! Leicester! It's Iheanacho! Bit of a nothing ball pumped forard, but Iheanacho manages to knock it to  Slimani, who plays an instant, accurate ball back. It's opened Fleetwood up, Iheanacho slots it calmly away and that's the lead. Finally Fleetwood are bested, after an entire match and 43 minutes. 8:30PM 40 mins Uwe Rosler having a word with Cole on the bench. Bit wet of Rosler not to play his actual best player. Came up with some rot about having to face Blackburn at the weekend and managing his resources. It's the FA Cup, sir! The FA Cup. 8:26PM 36 mins Best moment of the match, a really nice little move from Fleetwood as Hiwula-Mayifuila plays a cute little lay-off for the onrushing Dempsey who cracks a sweet shot at goal. Tipped over! Possibly a bit belt-and-braces from the Leicester keeper, I think that would have most likely gone over. But he could hardly take that risk. Corner. 38' | Corner played short to Jones, but his shot is blocked - before McAleny heads Glendon's cross wide. Come on, lads! (0-0)— Fleetwood Town FC (@ftfc) January 16, 2018 8:23PM 33 mins Hiwula-Mayifuila down the right. Benalouane with a nasty lunge. Ref plays advantage but it doesn't come to a lot. Then booked. 8:21PM 30 mins Mahrez is fouled a yard or two outside the box and the player himself will be the one to take the kick. This is CLOSE! Oof, that took a coat of paint off on the way past the upright. Credit: BT Sport 2 8:16PM 27 mins Shot! McAleny with a break, decent run this. He curls a shot at goal that is palmed away by Jakupovic, who maybe makes a bit of a meal of it.  8:14PM 25 mins McAleny has a shot from distance but that is easy for Jakupovic. Mahrez plays it in. Pond heads behind for a corner. perhaps overcautious, he had a bit of time there. 8:11PM 20 mins Claims, but wafer-thin ones. 20' | Cries for a penalty for #ftfc as Bell and Amartey collide in the penalty area. Not given. (0-0)— Fleetwood Town FC (@ftfc) January 16, 2018 8:06PM 19 mins Iheanacho is booked for a foul as he brushes past McAleny, who went down as quickly, cheaply and theatrically as he possibly could. Premier League quality tumble. 8:03PM 16 mins Pond is there to clear as a cross comes in from the left. 8:01PM 12 mins Amartey has done well to get clear down the right, but very poorly to cross the ball straight at the keeper. Neal barely has to move. 7:58PM 11 mins LCFC camped in the FTFC final third, playing header-tennis, but it's all hands to the pump for the lower league side and eventually they manage to clear. Old boy: Jamie Vardy, pictured here in his Fleetwood Town days, will start on the bench for Leicester City tonight Credit: Action 7:56PM 8 mins Still, they have a freekick. Big Bolger up from centre half. The ball sails over everyone. 7:55PM 7 mins Sorry, I rather drifted off there. It is a quiet start to proceedings. Fleetwood are playing quite nicely but a long way from goal. 7' | Dempsey looking sharp, a neat little pass to McAleny who is fouled. Free-kick to be played in... (0-0)— Fleetwood Town FC (@ftfc) January 16, 2018 7:51PM 4 mins Fever reducer. I’m not saying Cup replay fever hasn’t hit Leicester, but.... pic.twitter.com/3YQPOV67O5— Nick Miller (@NickMiller79) January 16, 2018 7:50PM 3 mins A lot of LCFC fans have given this one a swerve. 3' | Decent start from #ftfc, and a super start from the #codarmy. Singing their hearts out - the only noise in the ground. (0-0)— Fleetwood Town FC (@ftfc) January 16, 2018 7:49PM 2 mins But it is the hosts who are nearly in right away! Mahrez with a good ball to free Iheanacho. Fleetwood are lucky that he makes a horlicks of the pass, because the defence was very stretched there. 7:47PM 1 mins Fleetwood Town kick off. 7:46PM Oh, VAR is available I should say. Hope we get to use it. Leicester: Jakupovic, Amartey, Dragovic, Benalouane, Fuchs,  Mahrez, Adrien Silva, Iborra, Gray, Iheanacho, Slimani. Subs:  Vardy, Albrighton, Hamer, Maguire, Okazaki, Ndidi, Barnes. Fleetwood Town: Neal, Jones, Bolger, Pond, Bell, Glendon,  Schwabl, Dempsey, Hiwula, McAleny, Hunter. Subs: Coyle, Burns,  Grant, Cairns, Sowerby, Cargill, Cole. Referee: Jonathan Moss (County Durham)  7:46PM Some seats still available Credit: BT Sport 1 But here's  how we expect the teams to line up 7:43PM Shane is right on all counts Not least "come on Fleetwood." What a result this would be for them. 7:42PM The excellent Shane O'Leary writes Evening Alan, I understand that the Huth 'foot problem' is that it's usually up the jacksie of an opposing player. Come on Fleetwood! 7:29PM Nathan Pond  seems like an excellent fellow. He used to train  with Vardy "he is always very aggressive." Has he ever been tempted to leave Fleetwood? "Nobody's ever wanted me!"  I bet that is not true. Pond, the skipper, has played 460 times for Fleetwood. I hope he can help them to another clean sheet today. If you think otherwise, bet on Leicester to beat Fleetwood at 28/1 with Corals if you are a new customer. 7:24PM Robert Savage's lid Dat hat Credit: BT Sport Peterborough manager Grant McCann has popped along to see the team his lads will be facing in the fourth round. Owen Hargreaves and Robbie Savage chat to him. 7:20PM Uwe Rosler explains why Devante Cole is on the bench "I am happy what I have in the moment. I can hold what I have. I have to think about Blackburn Rovers at the weekend, we have had 7 games in 22 days." Uwe has left his top scorer out of the XI 6:55PM And here are Fleetwood �� | The teams are in! Here's how #ftfc line up for tonight's @EmiratesFACup fixture at @LCFC... pic.twitter.com/LcyGVTarPo— Fleetwood Town FC (@ftfc) January 16, 2018 6:53PM Rumours 40 years ago today, Fleetwood Mac's 'Rumours' spent a thirty-first and final week at #1 on the Billboard 200.— chart flashbacks (@chartflashback) January 14, 2018 6:50PM Leicester City team Tonight's starting XI: Jakupović, Amartey, Dragović, Benalouane, Fuchs, Iborra, Silva, Mahrez (c), Gray, Iheanacho, Slimani. Subs: Hamer, Maguire, Ndidi, Albrighton, Barnes, Okazaki, Vardy. #LeiFlepic.twitter.com/gBEpbyVBHv— Leicester City (@LCFC) January 16, 2018 6:48PM Shame, Vardy only on the bench Today’s Leicester v Fleetwood team sheet pic.twitter.com/KBltr8X5mf— Rosie Swarbrick (@rosieswarb) January 16, 2018 6:47PM Preview "There’s been a great reaction throughout the town." Journalist Rosie Swarbrick gives us her take on #LeiFle �� https://t.co/TTkWLre8Dupic.twitter.com/rOzZ1bIxA2— Leicester City (@LCFC) January 16, 2018 Rosie (not pictured)  6:20PM Good evening Tyers here, FA Cup third round replay action coming up. Will Jamie Vardy face his former team? Defender Robert Huth could make his first Leicester appearance of the season in the FA Cup third-round replay against Fleetwood on Tuesday. The German centre-back has been sidelined since the summer after ankle surgery and then the recurrence of a foot problem, but Ben Chilwell is banned. Jamie Vardy is fit after missing the first tie against his former club with a groin problem and Matty James is also available, despite hobbling off at Chelsea on Saturday. Danny Simpson and Wes Morgan (both hamstring) are still out. Provisional squad: Schmeichel, Hamer, Jakupovic, Maguire, Huth, Fuchs, Benalouane, Dragovic, James, King, Albrighton, Amartey, Gray, Silva, Ndidi, Mahrez, Iborra, Choudhury, Musa, Vardy, Slimani, Okazaki, Ulloa, Iheanacho. And here is a lovely story by Chris Bascombe about Fleetwood's Markus Schwabl When Fleetwood Town’s German midfielder Markus Schwabl was asked to join the 'Cod Army' he knew so little of the club he rushed to the internet to study its history. Should he and his team mates win at Leicester City in Tuesday’s FA Cup replay he will be enshrining his place in it. Midfielder Schwabl, once of 1860 Munich, was convinced to make the move by compatriot Uwe Rosler. Fleetwood manager Rosler was a colleague of Schwabl’s father, ex-West German international Manfred, at Nurnberg in the early 90s. �� | The lads have arrived at the King Power! pic.twitter.com/PCtxEOPG0w— Fleetwood Town FC (@ftfc) January 16, 2018

Leicester City 2 Fleetwood Town 0: VAR history made as offside decision overturned for Iheanacho goal

  Anyone who came here expecting a dramatic night in the traditional sense will have gone home disappointed as Leicester eased through what turned out to be a rather tepid third-round replay. It did, however, provide English football with its first goal awarded by the Video Assistant Referee after the second of Kelechi Iheanacho’s two goals on the night was given after an offside decision was overruled. It came after 77 minutes when Riyad Mahrez’s pass gave assistant referee Lee Betts a marginal call to which he responded by raising his flag. But after a lengthy pause listening to the advice of VAR Michael Jones from a studio in London, referee Jonathan Moss made the TV screen shape with his hands and signalled a goal. The delay meant the moment was diluted in terms of spontaneous celebration, but it was the right decision. 76' - Iheanacho goal disallowed ❌ 78' - VAR correctly gives goal ⚽️ 1-0 VAR �� History made as Kelechi Iheanacho becomes the first player to be awarded a goal by VAR in British football! pic.twitter.com/KXsRbVdFou— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) January 16, 2018 Fleetwood Town manager Uwe Rosler adopted a conservative approach based on a well-organised defence with the knowledge that the likes of Jordy Hiwula and Conor McAleny had the pace to stretch Leicester on the counter-attack. Indeed, the contest was more than 20 minutes old before either side attempted anything that could be described as a shot and. when one did come. it was from a Fleetwood player, McAleny stretching Eldin Jakupovic. Hot chip: the VAR excitement took attention away from what was a great finish by Kelechi Iheanacho Credit: Getty With the “Cod Army” contingent comfortably outsinging the home supporters in a thin crowd, the visitors now became more ambitious and they were close to taking the lead after 36 minutes, when Hunter and Hiwula worked a shooting chance for Kyle Dempsey, whose clean strike from the edge of the box would have gone in but for Jakupovic extending an arm to tip it over the bar. Yet it was Leicester who reached half-time in front. Islam Slimani and Kelechi Iheanacho may not represent a first-choice front two, yet they did cost £54 million between them and they combined to break the deadlock in the 43rd minute when Slimani seized on a poor header by defender Cian Bolger to release Iheanacho with an instant ball over the top. Kelechi Iheanacho of Leicester City and Markus Schwabl of Fleetwood Town Credit: AMA Getty Former Manchester City striker Iheanacho has looked something of a misfit since his move to Leicester last summer, with only two Premier League starts so far. Yet the way he took his chance here was a reminder of the qualities that stood out for a while at the Etihad, reacting to the pass with a well-timed run and simply guiding the ball past goalkeeper Chris Neal. It was only his second goal as a Leicester player, the first having come in an EFL Cup tie last October. That moment apart, though, a Leicester side showing eight changes from the weekend had been unimpressive, and it showed on the face of manager Claude Puel in the technical area. CLAUDE: “We tried to play in the first half, but it was too comfortable for them to defend. We needed to play forward and get behind them more, which we did much better in the second half.” #LeiFle— Leicester City (@LCFC) January 16, 2018 Riyad Mahrez, wearing the captain’s armband for the first time as one of the three retained from the draw at Chelsea, had a quiet first half and wasted his best opportunity with a free kick just outside the box. Puel had plenty in reserve, however, with Jamie Vardy among those on the bench and, having missed the first match through injury, eager for a run-out against the team that launched his rise to stardom. Had it not been for Iheanacho, the Frenchman might have spent half-time wondering how quickly he should make changes. Former comrades: Jamie Vardy of Leicester City shakes hands with Nathan Pond of Fleetwood Town Credit: Getty In the event, his team started the second half on the front foot and should have doubled their lead, but Slimani mishit a volley from a good pass by Iheanacho in what would be his last act of note before Puel did make a change, although it was Marc Albrighton rather than Vardy who replaced him 10 minutes after the restart. Fleetwood offered little as an attacking threat in the second half. Vardy was granted his wish with a 10-minute cameo, by which time Iheanacho, who initially seemed to have no quarrel that his second “goal” had not counted, had played his part in history. 9:44PM Vardy looking absolutely furious and disgusted although he is, in fact, answering some mild questions in perfectly agreeable fashion. Credit: BT Sport 2 Iheanacho says that communication from the officials to the players about the VAR was totally fine, that he did not know himself at the time whether he was onside or offside. No doubt all of these issues will be well covered in the match report from Jon Culley, which will be here very shortly. From me, Alan Tyers, goodnight. 9:40PM Full time: Leicester City 2 Fleetwood Town 0 VAR the winner! And Leicester. Well done to Fleetwood, they were on terms in the first half and it was hard lines that they conceded on 43 minutes. Result wasn't really in doubt after that. Vardy got a late run against his old club. But the match will be remembered for the second goal, which was given offside. Ref Jon Moss called for VAR, the decision was overturned. It took one minute and seven seconds to come up with the correct answer. Iheanacho was credited with the goal, rightly, his second of the match. Full-time: Leicester City 2️⃣-0️⃣ Fleetwood Town Kelechi Iheanacho's double tees up a fourth round trip to Peterborough United ��#LeiFlepic.twitter.com/EhX81gW2e3— Leicester City (@LCFC) January 16, 2018 9:37PM 90 mins Okazaki has tried to nutmeg Polger. Here is what Polger thought about that: a smack in the puss for you, my Premier League friend. Credit: BT Sport 2 9:35PM 88 mins That would have been the cherry on the top / the final cut for Fleetwood: Albrighton whips it in, there is Jamie Vardy, but Bolger clears. 9:33PM 87 mins This is indeed correct. I am very impressed with the Fleetwood social media account. A mine of information. 85' | Burns finds space on the right edge of the area, and shoots at goal but it's saved by Jakupovic. (2-0)— Fleetwood Town FC (@ftfc) January 16, 2018 9:31PM 85 mins Fleetwood have flagged and it's just a matter of whether Vardy can notch one now.  The VAR system worked, then. Linesman gave a very, very tight decision wrong. They overturned it after a brief look. Either you like it or you don't, the system, but it worked as well as you could expect it to there. 9:26PM 82 mins Jamie Vardy is coming on. Mahrez the man to make way. Shinji Okazaki replaces Kelechi Iheanacho, so there won't be a hat-trick for him. Congratulations to Jon Moss for becoming a pub quiz answer— Alan Smith (@alansmith90) January 16, 2018 9:26PM 81 mins All Leicester now, and indeed all Iheanacho, who has gone close to a hat-trick with a shot. Iborra gets up from the corner and heads not far wide. 9:24PM GOAL! VIA VAR! SCENES! Another VAR! Oh our cup runneth over. This time it is to check an offside flag after Leicester have the ball in the net. Really good run from Mahrez, who takes his time to slide the ball through for Iheanacho. He races onto the ball and applies the finish with a lovely little chip. But the linesman has flagged! They're going to take a look at this on VAR... Credit: BT Sport 2  ... he is just onside! It is overturned! That's it! A little moment of history: the decision is overturned and the goal is awarded. Leicester 2 Fleetwood 0 (Iheanacho 77) 9:19PM 72 mins Dempsey is booked. Bobby Grant replaces Markus Schwabl. 9:15PM 71 mins A VAR HAS HAPPENED!!!!! The ball is lofted into the Fleetwood box. Leicester want a penalty because they think Pond is fouling Iborra  "No penalty" is the initial verdict from Referee Moss. There is not enough evidence of a "clear and obvious" error so the decision of "no penalty" stands. 9:14PM Vaaaaaar, me hearties 61' | Leicester have the ball in the net - but it's ruled out. Ref checking with VAR - still no goal, good decision. (1-0)— Fleetwood Town FC (@ftfc) January 16, 2018 9:09PM 64 mins Albrighton delivers a corner, Iborra heading not far over. Double change for Fleetwood... �� | #ftfc subs. Burns and Cole on, McAleny and Hiwula off. (1-0)— Fleetwood Town FC (@ftfc) January 16, 2018 9:08PM Scarecrow tactics Little by little @RobbieSavage8 is morphing into Worzel Gummidge. pic.twitter.com/WFcv1wbagx— Gary Lineker (@GaryLineker) January 16, 2018 9:07PM 61 mins Leicester have the ball in the net, Iheanacho there just outside the six-yard box slotting it home from the pull-back, but it was just out. Credit: BT Sport 2 9:02PM 56 mins Ball is played into the Fleetwood box. Benalouane flails a leg, Pond has attempted a headed-clearance just a foot or so from the ground, and he gets an unpleasant whack in the head for his trouble. Tough customer, but he needs a moment. 9:00PM 54 mins Slimani is getting the hook and is acting with a sort of exaggerated befuddlement, the sort of hamming that one sees in an amateur dramatic production when the stage direction says "looks shocked". Marc Albrighton replaces him. 8:58PM Shane O'Leary writes: "'Sometimes you just need a bit more quality' muses a man who drifted through too many games like a curly-permed Hugh Grant" 8:55PM 50 mins Iheanacho and Slimani link up very nicely. The former takes his time and chips the ball through. Slimani lets the ball drift across his body and hits a right-footed effort. Doesn't catch it right. Decent chance for what would presumably be the killer second goal. 8:51PM 47 mins "Sometimes you just need a bit more quality," muses Steve McManaman as a decent Fleetwood move peters out thanks to poor passing. 8:50PM 46 mins The second half is underway and the player looking to take it by the scruff of the neck is Gray. Bright and busy, but he runs into trouble. 8:49PM Uwe enjoying a hot drink Credit: BT Sport 2 Jamie Vardy has just pinged a 50-yarder into the top corner as the teams were coming out. Respectful, muted celebration against his old club.— Nick Miller (@NickMiller79) January 16, 2018 8:47PM Over to the Fleetwood social media team �� | Half-time. @LCFC 1-0 #ftfc. @CMcAleny and @_kyledempsey have gone close for Town, who have been the better side. Iheanacho's late goal the difference so far. pic.twitter.com/WL80gHbgtp— Fleetwood Town FC (@ftfc) January 16, 2018 8:34PM Half time: Leicester City 1 Fleetwood Town 0 Leicester had more of the ball but it was in fact Fleetwood who enjoyed the superior chances in an admittedly rather drab half. One moment of real incision from the Premier League team was all it took for the lead. Shame. Can Fleetwood rally after half time? 8:33PM 44 mins Adrien Silva gets the ball and is soon having his foot stamped on by Glendon. Sore one on a cold night, and a booking for the Fleetwood player. 8:32PM GOAL! Leicester! It's Iheanacho! Bit of a nothing ball pumped forard, but Iheanacho manages to knock it to  Slimani, who plays an instant, accurate ball back. It's opened Fleetwood up, Iheanacho slots it calmly away and that's the lead. Finally Fleetwood are bested, after an entire match and 43 minutes. 8:30PM 40 mins Uwe Rosler having a word with Cole on the bench. Bit wet of Rosler not to play his actual best player. Came up with some rot about having to face Blackburn at the weekend and managing his resources. It's the FA Cup, sir! The FA Cup. 8:26PM 36 mins Best moment of the match, a really nice little move from Fleetwood as Hiwula-Mayifuila plays a cute little lay-off for the onrushing Dempsey who cracks a sweet shot at goal. Tipped over! Possibly a bit belt-and-braces from the Leicester keeper, I think that would have most likely gone over. But he could hardly take that risk. Corner. 38' | Corner played short to Jones, but his shot is blocked - before McAleny heads Glendon's cross wide. Come on, lads! (0-0)— Fleetwood Town FC (@ftfc) January 16, 2018 8:23PM 33 mins Hiwula-Mayifuila down the right. Benalouane with a nasty lunge. Ref plays advantage but it doesn't come to a lot. Then booked. 8:21PM 30 mins Mahrez is fouled a yard or two outside the box and the player himself will be the one to take the kick. This is CLOSE! Oof, that took a coat of paint off on the way past the upright. Credit: BT Sport 2 8:16PM 27 mins Shot! McAleny with a break, decent run this. He curls a shot at goal that is palmed away by Jakupovic, who maybe makes a bit of a meal of it.  8:14PM 25 mins McAleny has a shot from distance but that is easy for Jakupovic. Mahrez plays it in. Pond heads behind for a corner. perhaps overcautious, he had a bit of time there. 8:11PM 20 mins Claims, but wafer-thin ones. 20' | Cries for a penalty for #ftfc as Bell and Amartey collide in the penalty area. Not given. (0-0)— Fleetwood Town FC (@ftfc) January 16, 2018 8:06PM 19 mins Iheanacho is booked for a foul as he brushes past McAleny, who went down as quickly, cheaply and theatrically as he possibly could. Premier League quality tumble. 8:03PM 16 mins Pond is there to clear as a cross comes in from the left. 8:01PM 12 mins Amartey has done well to get clear down the right, but very poorly to cross the ball straight at the keeper. Neal barely has to move. 7:58PM 11 mins LCFC camped in the FTFC final third, playing header-tennis, but it's all hands to the pump for the lower league side and eventually they manage to clear. Old boy: Jamie Vardy, pictured here in his Fleetwood Town days, will start on the bench for Leicester City tonight Credit: Action 7:56PM 8 mins Still, they have a freekick. Big Bolger up from centre half. The ball sails over everyone. 7:55PM 7 mins Sorry, I rather drifted off there. It is a quiet start to proceedings. Fleetwood are playing quite nicely but a long way from goal. 7' | Dempsey looking sharp, a neat little pass to McAleny who is fouled. Free-kick to be played in... (0-0)— Fleetwood Town FC (@ftfc) January 16, 2018 7:51PM 4 mins Fever reducer. I’m not saying Cup replay fever hasn’t hit Leicester, but.... pic.twitter.com/3YQPOV67O5— Nick Miller (@NickMiller79) January 16, 2018 7:50PM 3 mins A lot of LCFC fans have given this one a swerve. 3' | Decent start from #ftfc, and a super start from the #codarmy. Singing their hearts out - the only noise in the ground. (0-0)— Fleetwood Town FC (@ftfc) January 16, 2018 7:49PM 2 mins But it is the hosts who are nearly in right away! Mahrez with a good ball to free Iheanacho. Fleetwood are lucky that he makes a horlicks of the pass, because the defence was very stretched there. 7:47PM 1 mins Fleetwood Town kick off. 7:46PM Oh, VAR is available I should say. Hope we get to use it. Leicester: Jakupovic, Amartey, Dragovic, Benalouane, Fuchs,  Mahrez, Adrien Silva, Iborra, Gray, Iheanacho, Slimani. Subs:  Vardy, Albrighton, Hamer, Maguire, Okazaki, Ndidi, Barnes. Fleetwood Town: Neal, Jones, Bolger, Pond, Bell, Glendon,  Schwabl, Dempsey, Hiwula, McAleny, Hunter. Subs: Coyle, Burns,  Grant, Cairns, Sowerby, Cargill, Cole. Referee: Jonathan Moss (County Durham)  7:46PM Some seats still available Credit: BT Sport 1 But here's  how we expect the teams to line up 7:43PM Shane is right on all counts Not least "come on Fleetwood." What a result this would be for them. 7:42PM The excellent Shane O'Leary writes Evening Alan, I understand that the Huth 'foot problem' is that it's usually up the jacksie of an opposing player. Come on Fleetwood! 7:29PM Nathan Pond  seems like an excellent fellow. He used to train  with Vardy "he is always very aggressive." Has he ever been tempted to leave Fleetwood? "Nobody's ever wanted me!"  I bet that is not true. Pond, the skipper, has played 460 times for Fleetwood. I hope he can help them to another clean sheet today. If you think otherwise, bet on Leicester to beat Fleetwood at 28/1 with Corals if you are a new customer. 7:24PM Robert Savage's lid Dat hat Credit: BT Sport Peterborough manager Grant McCann has popped along to see the team his lads will be facing in the fourth round. Owen Hargreaves and Robbie Savage chat to him. 7:20PM Uwe Rosler explains why Devante Cole is on the bench "I am happy what I have in the moment. I can hold what I have. I have to think about Blackburn Rovers at the weekend, we have had 7 games in 22 days." Uwe has left his top scorer out of the XI 6:55PM And here are Fleetwood �� | The teams are in! Here's how #ftfc line up for tonight's @EmiratesFACup fixture at @LCFC... pic.twitter.com/LcyGVTarPo— Fleetwood Town FC (@ftfc) January 16, 2018 6:53PM Rumours 40 years ago today, Fleetwood Mac's 'Rumours' spent a thirty-first and final week at #1 on the Billboard 200.— chart flashbacks (@chartflashback) January 14, 2018 6:50PM Leicester City team Tonight's starting XI: Jakupović, Amartey, Dragović, Benalouane, Fuchs, Iborra, Silva, Mahrez (c), Gray, Iheanacho, Slimani. Subs: Hamer, Maguire, Ndidi, Albrighton, Barnes, Okazaki, Vardy. #LeiFlepic.twitter.com/gBEpbyVBHv— Leicester City (@LCFC) January 16, 2018 6:48PM Shame, Vardy only on the bench Today’s Leicester v Fleetwood team sheet pic.twitter.com/KBltr8X5mf— Rosie Swarbrick (@rosieswarb) January 16, 2018 6:47PM Preview "There’s been a great reaction throughout the town." Journalist Rosie Swarbrick gives us her take on #LeiFle �� https://t.co/TTkWLre8Dupic.twitter.com/rOzZ1bIxA2— Leicester City (@LCFC) January 16, 2018 Rosie (not pictured)  6:20PM Good evening Tyers here, FA Cup third round replay action coming up. Will Jamie Vardy face his former team? Defender Robert Huth could make his first Leicester appearance of the season in the FA Cup third-round replay against Fleetwood on Tuesday. The German centre-back has been sidelined since the summer after ankle surgery and then the recurrence of a foot problem, but Ben Chilwell is banned. Jamie Vardy is fit after missing the first tie against his former club with a groin problem and Matty James is also available, despite hobbling off at Chelsea on Saturday. Danny Simpson and Wes Morgan (both hamstring) are still out. Provisional squad: Schmeichel, Hamer, Jakupovic, Maguire, Huth, Fuchs, Benalouane, Dragovic, James, King, Albrighton, Amartey, Gray, Silva, Ndidi, Mahrez, Iborra, Choudhury, Musa, Vardy, Slimani, Okazaki, Ulloa, Iheanacho. And here is a lovely story by Chris Bascombe about Fleetwood's Markus Schwabl When Fleetwood Town’s German midfielder Markus Schwabl was asked to join the 'Cod Army' he knew so little of the club he rushed to the internet to study its history. Should he and his team mates win at Leicester City in Tuesday’s FA Cup replay he will be enshrining his place in it. Midfielder Schwabl, once of 1860 Munich, was convinced to make the move by compatriot Uwe Rosler. Fleetwood manager Rosler was a colleague of Schwabl’s father, ex-West German international Manfred, at Nurnberg in the early 90s. �� | The lads have arrived at the King Power! pic.twitter.com/PCtxEOPG0w— Fleetwood Town FC (@ftfc) January 16, 2018

Leicester City 2 Fleetwood Town 0: VAR history made as offside decision overturned for Iheanacho goal

  Anyone who came here expecting a dramatic night in the traditional sense will have gone home disappointed as Leicester eased through what turned out to be a rather tepid third-round replay. It did, however, provide English football with its first goal awarded by the Video Assistant Referee after the second of Kelechi Iheanacho’s two goals on the night was given after an offside decision was overruled. It came after 77 minutes when Riyad Mahrez’s pass gave assistant referee Lee Betts a marginal call to which he responded by raising his flag. But after a lengthy pause listening to the advice of VAR Michael Jones from a studio in London, referee Jonathan Moss made the TV screen shape with his hands and signalled a goal. The delay meant the moment was diluted in terms of spontaneous celebration, but it was the right decision. 76' - Iheanacho goal disallowed ❌ 78' - VAR correctly gives goal ⚽️ 1-0 VAR �� History made as Kelechi Iheanacho becomes the first player to be awarded a goal by VAR in British football! pic.twitter.com/KXsRbVdFou— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) January 16, 2018 Fleetwood Town manager Uwe Rosler adopted a conservative approach based on a well-organised defence with the knowledge that the likes of Jordy Hiwula and Conor McAleny had the pace to stretch Leicester on the counter-attack. Indeed, the contest was more than 20 minutes old before either side attempted anything that could be described as a shot and. when one did come. it was from a Fleetwood player, McAleny stretching Eldin Jakupovic. Hot chip: the VAR excitement took attention away from what was a great finish by Kelechi Iheanacho Credit: Getty With the “Cod Army” contingent comfortably outsinging the home supporters in a thin crowd, the visitors now became more ambitious and they were close to taking the lead after 36 minutes, when Hunter and Hiwula worked a shooting chance for Kyle Dempsey, whose clean strike from the edge of the box would have gone in but for Jakupovic extending an arm to tip it over the bar. Yet it was Leicester who reached half-time in front. Islam Slimani and Kelechi Iheanacho may not represent a first-choice front two, yet they did cost £54 million between them and they combined to break the deadlock in the 43rd minute when Slimani seized on a poor header by defender Cian Bolger to release Iheanacho with an instant ball over the top. Kelechi Iheanacho of Leicester City and Markus Schwabl of Fleetwood Town Credit: AMA Getty Former Manchester City striker Iheanacho has looked something of a misfit since his move to Leicester last summer, with only two Premier League starts so far. Yet the way he took his chance here was a reminder of the qualities that stood out for a while at the Etihad, reacting to the pass with a well-timed run and simply guiding the ball past goalkeeper Chris Neal. It was only his second goal as a Leicester player, the first having come in an EFL Cup tie last October. That moment apart, though, a Leicester side showing eight changes from the weekend had been unimpressive, and it showed on the face of manager Claude Puel in the technical area. CLAUDE: “We tried to play in the first half, but it was too comfortable for them to defend. We needed to play forward and get behind them more, which we did much better in the second half.” #LeiFle— Leicester City (@LCFC) January 16, 2018 Riyad Mahrez, wearing the captain’s armband for the first time as one of the three retained from the draw at Chelsea, had a quiet first half and wasted his best opportunity with a free kick just outside the box. Puel had plenty in reserve, however, with Jamie Vardy among those on the bench and, having missed the first match through injury, eager for a run-out against the team that launched his rise to stardom. Had it not been for Iheanacho, the Frenchman might have spent half-time wondering how quickly he should make changes. Former comrades: Jamie Vardy of Leicester City shakes hands with Nathan Pond of Fleetwood Town Credit: Getty In the event, his team started the second half on the front foot and should have doubled their lead, but Slimani mishit a volley from a good pass by Iheanacho in what would be his last act of note before Puel did make a change, although it was Marc Albrighton rather than Vardy who replaced him 10 minutes after the restart. Fleetwood offered little as an attacking threat in the second half. Vardy was granted his wish with a 10-minute cameo, by which time Iheanacho, who initially seemed to have no quarrel that his second “goal” had not counted, had played his part in history. 9:44PM Vardy looking absolutely furious and disgusted although he is, in fact, answering some mild questions in perfectly agreeable fashion. Credit: BT Sport 2 Iheanacho says that communication from the officials to the players about the VAR was totally fine, that he did not know himself at the time whether he was onside or offside. No doubt all of these issues will be well covered in the match report from Jon Culley, which will be here very shortly. From me, Alan Tyers, goodnight. 9:40PM Full time: Leicester City 2 Fleetwood Town 0 VAR the winner! And Leicester. Well done to Fleetwood, they were on terms in the first half and it was hard lines that they conceded on 43 minutes. Result wasn't really in doubt after that. Vardy got a late run against his old club. But the match will be remembered for the second goal, which was given offside. Ref Jon Moss called for VAR, the decision was overturned. It took one minute and seven seconds to come up with the correct answer. Iheanacho was credited with the goal, rightly, his second of the match. Full-time: Leicester City 2️⃣-0️⃣ Fleetwood Town Kelechi Iheanacho's double tees up a fourth round trip to Peterborough United ��#LeiFlepic.twitter.com/EhX81gW2e3— Leicester City (@LCFC) January 16, 2018 9:37PM 90 mins Okazaki has tried to nutmeg Polger. Here is what Polger thought about that: a smack in the puss for you, my Premier League friend. Credit: BT Sport 2 9:35PM 88 mins That would have been the cherry on the top / the final cut for Fleetwood: Albrighton whips it in, there is Jamie Vardy, but Bolger clears. 9:33PM 87 mins This is indeed correct. I am very impressed with the Fleetwood social media account. A mine of information. 85' | Burns finds space on the right edge of the area, and shoots at goal but it's saved by Jakupovic. (2-0)— Fleetwood Town FC (@ftfc) January 16, 2018 9:31PM 85 mins Fleetwood have flagged and it's just a matter of whether Vardy can notch one now.  The VAR system worked, then. Linesman gave a very, very tight decision wrong. They overturned it after a brief look. Either you like it or you don't, the system, but it worked as well as you could expect it to there. 9:26PM 82 mins Jamie Vardy is coming on. Mahrez the man to make way. Shinji Okazaki replaces Kelechi Iheanacho, so there won't be a hat-trick for him. Congratulations to Jon Moss for becoming a pub quiz answer— Alan Smith (@alansmith90) January 16, 2018 9:26PM 81 mins All Leicester now, and indeed all Iheanacho, who has gone close to a hat-trick with a shot. Iborra gets up from the corner and heads not far wide. 9:24PM GOAL! VIA VAR! SCENES! Another VAR! Oh our cup runneth over. This time it is to check an offside flag after Leicester have the ball in the net. Really good run from Mahrez, who takes his time to slide the ball through for Iheanacho. He races onto the ball and applies the finish with a lovely little chip. But the linesman has flagged! They're going to take a look at this on VAR... Credit: BT Sport 2  ... he is just onside! It is overturned! That's it! A little moment of history: the decision is overturned and the goal is awarded. Leicester 2 Fleetwood 0 (Iheanacho 77) 9:19PM 72 mins Dempsey is booked. Bobby Grant replaces Markus Schwabl. 9:15PM 71 mins A VAR HAS HAPPENED!!!!! The ball is lofted into the Fleetwood box. Leicester want a penalty because they think Pond is fouling Iborra  "No penalty" is the initial verdict from Referee Moss. There is not enough evidence of a "clear and obvious" error so the decision of "no penalty" stands. 9:14PM Vaaaaaar, me hearties 61' | Leicester have the ball in the net - but it's ruled out. Ref checking with VAR - still no goal, good decision. (1-0)— Fleetwood Town FC (@ftfc) January 16, 2018 9:09PM 64 mins Albrighton delivers a corner, Iborra heading not far over. Double change for Fleetwood... �� | #ftfc subs. Burns and Cole on, McAleny and Hiwula off. (1-0)— Fleetwood Town FC (@ftfc) January 16, 2018 9:08PM Scarecrow tactics Little by little @RobbieSavage8 is morphing into Worzel Gummidge. pic.twitter.com/WFcv1wbagx— Gary Lineker (@GaryLineker) January 16, 2018 9:07PM 61 mins Leicester have the ball in the net, Iheanacho there just outside the six-yard box slotting it home from the pull-back, but it was just out. Credit: BT Sport 2 9:02PM 56 mins Ball is played into the Fleetwood box. Benalouane flails a leg, Pond has attempted a headed-clearance just a foot or so from the ground, and he gets an unpleasant whack in the head for his trouble. Tough customer, but he needs a moment. 9:00PM 54 mins Slimani is getting the hook and is acting with a sort of exaggerated befuddlement, the sort of hamming that one sees in an amateur dramatic production when the stage direction says "looks shocked". Marc Albrighton replaces him. 8:58PM Shane O'Leary writes: "'Sometimes you just need a bit more quality' muses a man who drifted through too many games like a curly-permed Hugh Grant" 8:55PM 50 mins Iheanacho and Slimani link up very nicely. The former takes his time and chips the ball through. Slimani lets the ball drift across his body and hits a right-footed effort. Doesn't catch it right. Decent chance for what would presumably be the killer second goal. 8:51PM 47 mins "Sometimes you just need a bit more quality," muses Steve McManaman as a decent Fleetwood move peters out thanks to poor passing. 8:50PM 46 mins The second half is underway and the player looking to take it by the scruff of the neck is Gray. Bright and busy, but he runs into trouble. 8:49PM Uwe enjoying a hot drink Credit: BT Sport 2 Jamie Vardy has just pinged a 50-yarder into the top corner as the teams were coming out. Respectful, muted celebration against his old club.— Nick Miller (@NickMiller79) January 16, 2018 8:47PM Over to the Fleetwood social media team �� | Half-time. @LCFC 1-0 #ftfc. @CMcAleny and @_kyledempsey have gone close for Town, who have been the better side. Iheanacho's late goal the difference so far. pic.twitter.com/WL80gHbgtp— Fleetwood Town FC (@ftfc) January 16, 2018 8:34PM Half time: Leicester City 1 Fleetwood Town 0 Leicester had more of the ball but it was in fact Fleetwood who enjoyed the superior chances in an admittedly rather drab half. One moment of real incision from the Premier League team was all it took for the lead. Shame. Can Fleetwood rally after half time? 8:33PM 44 mins Adrien Silva gets the ball and is soon having his foot stamped on by Glendon. Sore one on a cold night, and a booking for the Fleetwood player. 8:32PM GOAL! Leicester! It's Iheanacho! Bit of a nothing ball pumped forard, but Iheanacho manages to knock it to  Slimani, who plays an instant, accurate ball back. It's opened Fleetwood up, Iheanacho slots it calmly away and that's the lead. Finally Fleetwood are bested, after an entire match and 43 minutes. 8:30PM 40 mins Uwe Rosler having a word with Cole on the bench. Bit wet of Rosler not to play his actual best player. Came up with some rot about having to face Blackburn at the weekend and managing his resources. It's the FA Cup, sir! The FA Cup. 8:26PM 36 mins Best moment of the match, a really nice little move from Fleetwood as Hiwula-Mayifuila plays a cute little lay-off for the onrushing Dempsey who cracks a sweet shot at goal. Tipped over! Possibly a bit belt-and-braces from the Leicester keeper, I think that would have most likely gone over. But he could hardly take that risk. Corner. 38' | Corner played short to Jones, but his shot is blocked - before McAleny heads Glendon's cross wide. Come on, lads! (0-0)— Fleetwood Town FC (@ftfc) January 16, 2018 8:23PM 33 mins Hiwula-Mayifuila down the right. Benalouane with a nasty lunge. Ref plays advantage but it doesn't come to a lot. Then booked. 8:21PM 30 mins Mahrez is fouled a yard or two outside the box and the player himself will be the one to take the kick. This is CLOSE! Oof, that took a coat of paint off on the way past the upright. Credit: BT Sport 2 8:16PM 27 mins Shot! McAleny with a break, decent run this. He curls a shot at goal that is palmed away by Jakupovic, who maybe makes a bit of a meal of it.  8:14PM 25 mins McAleny has a shot from distance but that is easy for Jakupovic. Mahrez plays it in. Pond heads behind for a corner. perhaps overcautious, he had a bit of time there. 8:11PM 20 mins Claims, but wafer-thin ones. 20' | Cries for a penalty for #ftfc as Bell and Amartey collide in the penalty area. Not given. (0-0)— Fleetwood Town FC (@ftfc) January 16, 2018 8:06PM 19 mins Iheanacho is booked for a foul as he brushes past McAleny, who went down as quickly, cheaply and theatrically as he possibly could. Premier League quality tumble. 8:03PM 16 mins Pond is there to clear as a cross comes in from the left. 8:01PM 12 mins Amartey has done well to get clear down the right, but very poorly to cross the ball straight at the keeper. Neal barely has to move. 7:58PM 11 mins LCFC camped in the FTFC final third, playing header-tennis, but it's all hands to the pump for the lower league side and eventually they manage to clear. Old boy: Jamie Vardy, pictured here in his Fleetwood Town days, will start on the bench for Leicester City tonight Credit: Action 7:56PM 8 mins Still, they have a freekick. Big Bolger up from centre half. The ball sails over everyone. 7:55PM 7 mins Sorry, I rather drifted off there. It is a quiet start to proceedings. Fleetwood are playing quite nicely but a long way from goal. 7' | Dempsey looking sharp, a neat little pass to McAleny who is fouled. Free-kick to be played in... (0-0)— Fleetwood Town FC (@ftfc) January 16, 2018 7:51PM 4 mins Fever reducer. I’m not saying Cup replay fever hasn’t hit Leicester, but.... pic.twitter.com/3YQPOV67O5— Nick Miller (@NickMiller79) January 16, 2018 7:50PM 3 mins A lot of LCFC fans have given this one a swerve. 3' | Decent start from #ftfc, and a super start from the #codarmy. Singing their hearts out - the only noise in the ground. (0-0)— Fleetwood Town FC (@ftfc) January 16, 2018 7:49PM 2 mins But it is the hosts who are nearly in right away! Mahrez with a good ball to free Iheanacho. Fleetwood are lucky that he makes a horlicks of the pass, because the defence was very stretched there. 7:47PM 1 mins Fleetwood Town kick off. 7:46PM Oh, VAR is available I should say. Hope we get to use it. Leicester: Jakupovic, Amartey, Dragovic, Benalouane, Fuchs,  Mahrez, Adrien Silva, Iborra, Gray, Iheanacho, Slimani. Subs:  Vardy, Albrighton, Hamer, Maguire, Okazaki, Ndidi, Barnes. Fleetwood Town: Neal, Jones, Bolger, Pond, Bell, Glendon,  Schwabl, Dempsey, Hiwula, McAleny, Hunter. Subs: Coyle, Burns,  Grant, Cairns, Sowerby, Cargill, Cole. Referee: Jonathan Moss (County Durham)  7:46PM Some seats still available Credit: BT Sport 1 But here's  how we expect the teams to line up 7:43PM Shane is right on all counts Not least "come on Fleetwood." What a result this would be for them. 7:42PM The excellent Shane O'Leary writes Evening Alan, I understand that the Huth 'foot problem' is that it's usually up the jacksie of an opposing player. Come on Fleetwood! 7:29PM Nathan Pond  seems like an excellent fellow. He used to train  with Vardy "he is always very aggressive." Has he ever been tempted to leave Fleetwood? "Nobody's ever wanted me!"  I bet that is not true. Pond, the skipper, has played 460 times for Fleetwood. I hope he can help them to another clean sheet today. If you think otherwise, bet on Leicester to beat Fleetwood at 28/1 with Corals if you are a new customer. 7:24PM Robert Savage's lid Dat hat Credit: BT Sport Peterborough manager Grant McCann has popped along to see the team his lads will be facing in the fourth round. Owen Hargreaves and Robbie Savage chat to him. 7:20PM Uwe Rosler explains why Devante Cole is on the bench "I am happy what I have in the moment. I can hold what I have. I have to think about Blackburn Rovers at the weekend, we have had 7 games in 22 days." Uwe has left his top scorer out of the XI 6:55PM And here are Fleetwood �� | The teams are in! Here's how #ftfc line up for tonight's @EmiratesFACup fixture at @LCFC... pic.twitter.com/LcyGVTarPo— Fleetwood Town FC (@ftfc) January 16, 2018 6:53PM Rumours 40 years ago today, Fleetwood Mac's 'Rumours' spent a thirty-first and final week at #1 on the Billboard 200.— chart flashbacks (@chartflashback) January 14, 2018 6:50PM Leicester City team Tonight's starting XI: Jakupović, Amartey, Dragović, Benalouane, Fuchs, Iborra, Silva, Mahrez (c), Gray, Iheanacho, Slimani. Subs: Hamer, Maguire, Ndidi, Albrighton, Barnes, Okazaki, Vardy. #LeiFlepic.twitter.com/gBEpbyVBHv— Leicester City (@LCFC) January 16, 2018 6:48PM Shame, Vardy only on the bench Today’s Leicester v Fleetwood team sheet pic.twitter.com/KBltr8X5mf— Rosie Swarbrick (@rosieswarb) January 16, 2018 6:47PM Preview "There’s been a great reaction throughout the town." Journalist Rosie Swarbrick gives us her take on #LeiFle �� https://t.co/TTkWLre8Dupic.twitter.com/rOzZ1bIxA2— Leicester City (@LCFC) January 16, 2018 Rosie (not pictured)  6:20PM Good evening Tyers here, FA Cup third round replay action coming up. Will Jamie Vardy face his former team? Defender Robert Huth could make his first Leicester appearance of the season in the FA Cup third-round replay against Fleetwood on Tuesday. The German centre-back has been sidelined since the summer after ankle surgery and then the recurrence of a foot problem, but Ben Chilwell is banned. Jamie Vardy is fit after missing the first tie against his former club with a groin problem and Matty James is also available, despite hobbling off at Chelsea on Saturday. Danny Simpson and Wes Morgan (both hamstring) are still out. Provisional squad: Schmeichel, Hamer, Jakupovic, Maguire, Huth, Fuchs, Benalouane, Dragovic, James, King, Albrighton, Amartey, Gray, Silva, Ndidi, Mahrez, Iborra, Choudhury, Musa, Vardy, Slimani, Okazaki, Ulloa, Iheanacho. And here is a lovely story by Chris Bascombe about Fleetwood's Markus Schwabl When Fleetwood Town’s German midfielder Markus Schwabl was asked to join the 'Cod Army' he knew so little of the club he rushed to the internet to study its history. Should he and his team mates win at Leicester City in Tuesday’s FA Cup replay he will be enshrining his place in it. Midfielder Schwabl, once of 1860 Munich, was convinced to make the move by compatriot Uwe Rosler. Fleetwood manager Rosler was a colleague of Schwabl’s father, ex-West German international Manfred, at Nurnberg in the early 90s. �� | The lads have arrived at the King Power! pic.twitter.com/PCtxEOPG0w— Fleetwood Town FC (@ftfc) January 16, 2018

Leicester City vs Fleetwood Town, FA Cup replay: live score updates

Betting offer: Leicester to beat Fleetwood Town at 28/1 7:58PM 11 mins LCFC camped in the FTFC final third, playing header-tennis, but it's all hands to the pump for the lower league side and eventually they manage to clear. 7:56PM 8 mins Still, they have a freekick. Big Bolger up from centre half. The ball sails over everyone. 7:55PM 7 mins Sorry, I rather drifted off there. It is a quiet start to proceedings. Fleetwood are playing quite nicely but a long way from goal. 7' | Dempsey looking sharp, a neat little pass to McAleny who is fouled. Free-kick to be played in... (0-0)— Fleetwood Town FC (@ftfc) January 16, 2018 7:51PM 4 mins Fever reducer. I’m not saying Cup replay fever hasn’t hit Leicester, but.... pic.twitter.com/3YQPOV67O5— Nick Miller (@NickMiller79) January 16, 2018 7:50PM 3 mins A lot of LCFC fans have given this one a swerve. 3' | Decent start from #ftfc, and a super start from the #codarmy. Singing their hearts out - the only noise in the ground. (0-0)— Fleetwood Town FC (@ftfc) January 16, 2018 7:49PM 2 mins But it is the hosts who are nearly in right away! Mahrez with a good ball to free Iheanacho. Fleetwood are lucky that he makes a horlicks of the pass, because the defence was very stretched there. 7:47PM 1 mins Fleetwood Town kick off. 7:46PM Oh, VAR is available I should say. Hope we get to use it. Leicester: Jakupovic, Amartey, Dragovic, Benalouane, Fuchs,  Mahrez, Adrien Silva, Iborra, Gray, Iheanacho, Slimani. Subs:  Vardy, Albrighton, Hamer, Maguire, Okazaki, Ndidi, Barnes. Fleetwood Town: Neal, Jones, Bolger, Pond, Bell, Glendon,  Schwabl, Dempsey, Hiwula, McAleny, Hunter. Subs: Coyle, Burns,  Grant, Cairns, Sowerby, Cargill, Cole. Referee: Jonathan Moss (County Durham)  7:46PM Some seats still available Credit: BT Sport 1 But here's  how we expect the teams to line up 7:43PM Shane is right on all counts Not least "come on Fleetwood." What a result this would be for them. 7:42PM The excellent Shane O'Leary writes Evening Alan, I understand that the Huth 'foot problem' is that it's usually up the jacksie of an opposing player. Come on Fleetwood! 7:29PM Nathan Pond  seems like an excellent fellow. He used to train  with Vardy "he is always very aggressive." Has he ever been tempted to leave Fleetwood? "Nobody's ever wanted me!"  I bet that is not true. Pond, the skipper, has played 460 times for Fleetwood. I hope he can help them to another clean sheet today. If you think otherwise, bet on Leicester to beat Fleetwood at 28/1 with Corals if you are a new customer. 7:24PM Robert Savage's lid Dat hat Credit: BT Sport Peterborough manager Grant McCann has popped along to see the team his lads will be facing in the fourth round. Owen Hargreaves and Robbie Savage chat to him. 7:20PM Uwe Rosler explains why Devante Cole is on the bench "I am happy what I have in the moment. I can hold what I have. I have to think about Blackburn Rovers at the weekend, we have had 7 games in 22 days." Uwe has left his top scorer out of the XI 6:55PM And here are Fleetwood �� | The teams are in! Here's how #ftfc line up for tonight's @EmiratesFACup fixture at @LCFC... pic.twitter.com/LcyGVTarPo— Fleetwood Town FC (@ftfc) January 16, 2018 6:53PM Rumours 40 years ago today, Fleetwood Mac's 'Rumours' spent a thirty-first and final week at #1 on the Billboard 200.— chart flashbacks (@chartflashback) January 14, 2018 6:50PM Leicester City team Tonight's starting XI: Jakupović, Amartey, Dragović, Benalouane, Fuchs, Iborra, Silva, Mahrez (c), Gray, Iheanacho, Slimani. Subs: Hamer, Maguire, Ndidi, Albrighton, Barnes, Okazaki, Vardy. #LeiFlepic.twitter.com/gBEpbyVBHv— Leicester City (@LCFC) January 16, 2018 6:48PM Shame, Vardy only on the bench Today’s Leicester v Fleetwood team sheet pic.twitter.com/KBltr8X5mf— Rosie Swarbrick (@rosieswarb) January 16, 2018 6:47PM Preview "There’s been a great reaction throughout the town." Journalist Rosie Swarbrick gives us her take on #LeiFle �� https://t.co/TTkWLre8Dupic.twitter.com/rOzZ1bIxA2— Leicester City (@LCFC) January 16, 2018 Rosie (not pictured)  6:20PM Good evening Tyers here, FA Cup third round replay action coming up. Will Jamie Vardy face his former team? Defender Robert Huth could make his first Leicester appearance of the season in the FA Cup third-round replay against Fleetwood on Tuesday. The German centre-back has been sidelined since the summer after ankle surgery and then the recurrence of a foot problem, but Ben Chilwell is banned. Jamie Vardy is fit after missing the first tie against his former club with a groin problem and Matty James is also available, despite hobbling off at Chelsea on Saturday. Danny Simpson and Wes Morgan (both hamstring) are still out. Provisional squad: Schmeichel, Hamer, Jakupovic, Maguire, Huth, Fuchs, Benalouane, Dragovic, James, King, Albrighton, Amartey, Gray, Silva, Ndidi, Mahrez, Iborra, Choudhury, Musa, Vardy, Slimani, Okazaki, Ulloa, Iheanacho. And here is a lovely story by Chris Bascombe about Fleetwood's Markus Schwabl When Fleetwood Town’s German midfielder Markus Schwabl was asked to join the 'Cod Army' he knew so little of the club he rushed to the internet to study its history. Should he and his team mates win at Leicester City in Tuesday’s FA Cup replay he will be enshrining his place in it. Midfielder Schwabl, once of 1860 Munich, was convinced to make the move by compatriot Uwe Rosler. Fleetwood manager Rosler was a colleague of Schwabl’s father, ex-West German international Manfred, at Nurnberg in the early 90s. �� | The lads have arrived at the King Power! pic.twitter.com/PCtxEOPG0w— Fleetwood Town FC (@ftfc) January 16, 2018

Football transfer news and rumours: 'Cristiano Ronaldo wants Man Utd return'

Move aside Alexis Sanchez, there is a bigger transfer rumour brewing around Old Trafford which has the Arsenal and Chilean forward no where to be seen. Former Manchester United legend is once again being linked with a return to his old stage. Take a bow Cristiano Ronaldo, your Premier League comeback has moved another step closer. Before United fans get ahead of themselves, it is, for the time being, just a strong rumour doing the rounds in the Spanish press. Newspaper AS reports that Ronaldo is fed up with the unfulfilled promises being made by Real Madrid and said that apparently enough is enough. The Portuguese superstar has grown tired by the hold up to his new contract negotiations and is said to have told team-mates he will leave. Ronaldo is said to be keen on a return to Man Utd Credit: Reuters Real are fourth in La Liga this season, 19 points behind rivals Barcelona.  The future of Sanchez dominates most of the backpages after Manchester City's decision to pull out of a potential move with Chelsea now rivalling United for his signature this month. Yet Arsenal could lose another forward with Turkish newspaper Posta linking Danny Welbeck with a switch to Besiktas. The Turkish giants sold Cenk Tosun to Everton this month and are in need of a replacement with Welbeck high on their shortlist. Welbeck is wanted by Besiktas Credit: Reuters Arsenal are stepping up their efforts to bring in reinforcements with the club in talks to sign Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang. Our reporter Matt Law writes that the club's new head of recruitment, Sven Mislintat, insists the Gunners they will not be getting a bad boy. He writes: Aubameyang’s disruptive reputation set off some alarm bells inside the Emirates, but it is understood Mislintat, who worked as a scout at Dortmund for 10 years, has given the Gabon international a positive character reference. Mislintat is believed to have assured Arsenal that Aubameyang is hard working and dedicated and that his current issues at Dortmund are not reflective of his normal personality. Chelsea outcast Michy Batshuayi could be heading for Spain this month with Sevilla keen on a loan move for the striker. Batshuayi isn't part of Anontio Conte's plans and has been overlooked by the Italian coach in recent weeks despite Chelsea's goalscoring issues. Michy Batshuayi could boost his season with a loan spell in Seville Credit: PA Now the 24-year-old could give his season a much needed boost with a switch to the La Liga outfit. The story in ESPN says that Chelsea would only be willing to let Batshuayi leave if the Blues can bring in a replacement. January 2018 transfer window And the rest... Alan Pardew wants to make Fulham's Tom Cairney his first signing at West Brom.  The Sun says that the Baggies will lodge a £12m bid but could up it to £15m if they don't hear back from the Championship club soon. Cairney joined Fulham from Blackburn for £2.8m in 2015. Crystal Palace want to sign Fiorentina's 24-year-old Senegal striker Khouma Babacar. The Guardian story adds that the Senegal striker is likely to be one of four January recruits for Palace. 

Football transfer news and rumours: 'Cristiano Ronaldo wants Man Utd return'

Move aside Alexis Sanchez, there is a bigger transfer rumour brewing around Old Trafford which has the Arsenal and Chilean forward no where to be seen. Former Manchester United legend is once again being linked with a return to his old stage. Take a bow Cristiano Ronaldo, your Premier League comeback has moved another step closer. Before United fans get ahead of themselves, it is, for the time being, just a strong rumour doing the rounds in the Spanish press. Newspaper AS reports that Ronaldo is fed up with the unfulfilled promises being made by Real Madrid and said that apparently enough is enough. The Portuguese superstar has grown tired by the hold up to his new contract negotiations and is said to have told team-mates he will leave. Ronaldo is said to be keen on a return to Man Utd Credit: Reuters Real are fourth in La Liga this season, 19 points behind rivals Barcelona.  The future of Sanchez dominates most of the backpages after Manchester City's decision to pull out of a potential move with Chelsea now rivalling United for his signature this month. Yet Arsenal could lose another forward with Turkish newspaper Posta linking Danny Welbeck with a switch to Besiktas. The Turkish giants sold Cenk Tosun to Everton this month and are in need of a replacement with Welbeck high on their shortlist. Welbeck is wanted by Besiktas Credit: Reuters Arsenal are stepping up their efforts to bring in reinforcements with the club in talks to sign Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang. Our reporter Matt Law writes that the club's new head of recruitment, Sven Mislintat, insists the Gunners they will not be getting a bad boy. He writes: Aubameyang’s disruptive reputation set off some alarm bells inside the Emirates, but it is understood Mislintat, who worked as a scout at Dortmund for 10 years, has given the Gabon international a positive character reference. Mislintat is believed to have assured Arsenal that Aubameyang is hard working and dedicated and that his current issues at Dortmund are not reflective of his normal personality. Chelsea outcast Michy Batshuayi could be heading for Spain this month with Sevilla keen on a loan move for the striker. Batshuayi isn't part of Anontio Conte's plans and has been overlooked by the Italian coach in recent weeks despite Chelsea's goalscoring issues. Michy Batshuayi could boost his season with a loan spell in Seville Credit: PA Now the 24-year-old could give his season a much needed boost with a switch to the La Liga outfit. The story in ESPN says that Chelsea would only be willing to let Batshuayi leave if the Blues can bring in a replacement. January 2018 transfer window And the rest... Alan Pardew wants to make Fulham's Tom Cairney his first signing at West Brom.  The Sun says that the Baggies will lodge a £12m bid but could up it to £15m if they don't hear back from the Championship club soon. Cairney joined Fulham from Blackburn for £2.8m in 2015. Crystal Palace want to sign Fiorentina's 24-year-old Senegal striker Khouma Babacar. The Guardian story adds that the Senegal striker is likely to be one of four January recruits for Palace. 

Football transfer news and rumours: 'Cristiano Ronaldo wants Man Utd return'

Move aside Alexis Sanchez, there is a bigger transfer rumour brewing around Old Trafford which has the Arsenal and Chilean forward no where to be seen. Former Manchester United legend is once again being linked with a return to his old stage. Take a bow Cristiano Ronaldo, your Premier League comeback has moved another step closer. Before United fans get ahead of themselves, it is, for the time being, just a strong rumour doing the rounds in the Spanish press. Newspaper AS reports that Ronaldo is fed up with the unfulfilled promises being made by Real Madrid and said that apparently enough is enough. The Portuguese superstar has grown tired by the hold up to his new contract negotiations and is said to have told team-mates he will leave. Ronaldo is said to be keen on a return to Man Utd Credit: Reuters Real are fourth in La Liga this season, 19 points behind rivals Barcelona.  The future of Sanchez dominates most of the backpages after Manchester City's decision to pull out of a potential move with Chelsea now rivalling United for his signature this month. Yet Arsenal could lose another forward with Turkish newspaper Posta linking Danny Welbeck with a switch to Besiktas. The Turkish giants sold Cenk Tosun to Everton this month and are in need of a replacement with Welbeck high on their shortlist. Welbeck is wanted by Besiktas Credit: Reuters Arsenal are stepping up their efforts to bring in reinforcements with the club in talks to sign Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang. Our reporter Matt Law writes that the club's new head of recruitment, Sven Mislintat, insists the Gunners they will not be getting a bad boy. He writes: Aubameyang’s disruptive reputation set off some alarm bells inside the Emirates, but it is understood Mislintat, who worked as a scout at Dortmund for 10 years, has given the Gabon international a positive character reference. Mislintat is believed to have assured Arsenal that Aubameyang is hard working and dedicated and that his current issues at Dortmund are not reflective of his normal personality. Chelsea outcast Michy Batshuayi could be heading for Spain this month with Sevilla keen on a loan move for the striker. Batshuayi isn't part of Anontio Conte's plans and has been overlooked by the Italian coach in recent weeks despite Chelsea's goalscoring issues. Michy Batshuayi could boost his season with a loan spell in Seville Credit: PA Now the 24-year-old could give his season a much needed boost with a switch to the La Liga outfit. The story in ESPN says that Chelsea would only be willing to let Batshuayi leave if the Blues can bring in a replacement. January 2018 transfer window And the rest... Alan Pardew wants to make Fulham's Tom Cairney his first signing at West Brom.  The Sun says that the Baggies will lodge a £12m bid but could up it to £15m if they don't hear back from the Championship club soon. Cairney joined Fulham from Blackburn for £2.8m in 2015. Crystal Palace want to sign Fiorentina's 24-year-old Senegal striker Khouma Babacar. The Guardian story adds that the Senegal striker is likely to be one of four January recruits for Palace. 

Football transfer news and rumours: 'Cristiano Ronaldo wants Man Utd return'

Move aside Alexis Sanchez, there is a bigger transfer rumour brewing around Old Trafford which has the Arsenal and Chilean forward no where to be seen. Former Manchester United legend is once again being linked with a return to his old stage. Take a bow Cristiano Ronaldo, your Premier League comeback has moved another step closer. Before United fans get ahead of themselves, it is, for the time being, just a strong rumour doing the rounds in the Spanish press. Newspaper AS reports that Ronaldo is fed up with the unfulfilled promises being made by Real Madrid and said that apparently enough is enough. The Portuguese superstar has grown tired by the hold up to his new contract negotiations and is said to have told team-mates he will leave. Ronaldo is said to be keen on a return to Man Utd Credit: Reuters Real are fourth in La Liga this season, 19 points behind rivals Barcelona.  The future of Sanchez dominates most of the backpages after Manchester City's decision to pull out of a potential move with Chelsea now rivalling United for his signature this month. Yet Arsenal could lose another forward with Turkish newspaper Posta linking Danny Welbeck with a switch to Besiktas. The Turkish giants sold Cenk Tosun to Everton this month and are in need of a replacement with Welbeck high on their shortlist. Welbeck is wanted by Besiktas Credit: Reuters Arsenal are stepping up their efforts to bring in reinforcements with the club in talks to sign Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang. Our reporter Matt Law writes that the club's new head of recruitment, Sven Mislintat, insists the Gunners they will not be getting a bad boy. He writes: Aubameyang’s disruptive reputation set off some alarm bells inside the Emirates, but it is understood Mislintat, who worked as a scout at Dortmund for 10 years, has given the Gabon international a positive character reference. Mislintat is believed to have assured Arsenal that Aubameyang is hard working and dedicated and that his current issues at Dortmund are not reflective of his normal personality. Chelsea outcast Michy Batshuayi could be heading for Spain this month with Sevilla keen on a loan move for the striker. Batshuayi isn't part of Anontio Conte's plans and has been overlooked by the Italian coach in recent weeks despite Chelsea's goalscoring issues. Michy Batshuayi could boost his season with a loan spell in Seville Credit: PA Now the 24-year-old could give his season a much needed boost with a switch to the La Liga outfit. The story in ESPN says that Chelsea would only be willing to let Batshuayi leave if the Blues can bring in a replacement. January 2018 transfer window And the rest... Alan Pardew wants to make Fulham's Tom Cairney his first signing at West Brom.  The Sun says that the Baggies will lodge a £12m bid but could up it to £15m if they don't hear back from the Championship club soon. Cairney joined Fulham from Blackburn for £2.8m in 2015. Crystal Palace want to sign Fiorentina's 24-year-old Senegal striker Khouma Babacar. The Guardian story adds that the Senegal striker is likely to be one of four January recruits for Palace. 

Manchester United 3 Stoke City 0: Paul Pogba masterclass brings swagger back

He has the confidence, the ability and the swagger to play for Manchester United. But enough of Alexis Sanchez. This was Paul Pogba’s night – and he also possesses those formidable qualities - with the United midfielder dominating a sorry Stoke side. Plucky Potters? Not against Pogba who provided two clever assists and ran the game as United consolidated themselves in second place in the Premier League and cut Manchester City’s lead to 12 points. United have beaten City in the race to sign Alexis Sanchez from Arsenal or, rather, City have pulled out of that contest believing the finances just do not stack up and, barring a late intervention from Chelsea, it appears the Chilean forward will be another of Pogba’s team-mates hoping to profit from his sharp creativity. For United’s fans there is the tantalising vision of Pogba in a free role – finally Jose Mourinho has come to realise that is the best use of him – opening up defences for the alert movement and relentlessness of Sanchez and the bludgeoning power of Romelu Lukaku. Suddenly, they will hope, the future looks brighter for them as they continue that chase to reduce City’s dominance, to fend off Liverpool, Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur, and to give themselves momentum going into the remainder of this season and the next campaign. Antonio Valencia curled in the first with his left foot Credit:  Robbie Jay Barratt - AMA/Getty Images Whether they will face Stoke in the Premier League again next season remains to be seen. Stoke are in the relegation places but, finally, they appointed a successor to Mark Hughes and hours later Paul Lambert took his place in the Old Trafford directors' box, watching on as caretaker Eddie Niedzwiecki, for his one game in charge, produced a demob-happy coaching performance by putting out an attacking team and opening up the game. It worked only in that it created chances – and Stoke did that, and it would have been interesting had they drawn level in the first-half, when just a goal down, as surely they should have done – but not in defending. The three goals conceded here mean, in fact, that Stoke have become the first team in any of Europe’s top five leagues to let in 50 goals this season. With 23 matches played that is more than two a game – not good enough for a team that spent heavily in bringing in defenders last summer. Lambert has work to do. But then he knew that. And he also knew that this was, in all probability, little more than a fixture to fulfil. Damage had to be limited and, in that, they owed a debt again to their goalkeeper Jack Butland who once more produced a series of saves even if he was quickly beaten. Pogba was central to it. He collected possession, after some fine build-up play, and ran across the face of the penalty area before pushing the ball out wide to Antonio Valencia. The United captain was returning, after four weeks out with a hamstring injury, and celebrated by cutting inside and arcing a left-foot shot (yes, left foot from Valencia) around Butland from just inside the area. It was a superb strike; a well-worked goal. Stephen Ireland snatched at a couple of first-half chances Credit: REUTERS/Andrew Yates Cue the cameras cutting to Lambert, attempting to elicit a response. The Scot buried his head in his coat – but that was more to do with responding to the cold, the hail and the swirling rain. But there was no downpour on his new team. Instead they carved United open. There was an overhead kick from Xherdan Shaqiri, held by David De Gea, and then Stephen Ireland – making his first league start in almost two years – spurned two chances. He snatched at both, dragging his shots wide, when he had space and time to do better. Stoke came closest of all when their new signing, Austrian full-back Moritz Bauer, on his debut, hoisted a high cross into the area and Peter Crouch beat De Gea to it. The ball dropped to Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting, who seemed certain to score, only for his half-volley to be deflected over the cross-bar by a lunging Phil Jones. “I didn’t like the first half. I only liked the two amazing goals,” Mourinho later said, and United’s second was as good as their first with Lukaku running down the right, turning the ball back inside to Pogba who had the presence of mind and vision to move it across goal, with a ‘no-look pass’, where it was met by Anthony Martial who struck a precise first-time, side-footed shot that curled around Butland and high into the net. Anthony Martial made it 2-0 Credit: Robbie Jay Barratt - AMA/Getty Images As a contest, it was over. Stoke appeared dispirited. It was a question, then, of how many United would score but – instead - they were wasteful. Firstly Pogba almost claimed his third assist when he intercepted a sloppy pass by Kurt Zouma and stabbed the ball through to Martial. Butland blocked. Then Martial wriggled clear only for Butland to deny him, again, before Juan Mata turned the ball wide and, soon after, shot over. Butland thwarted Lukaku with his legs but was finally beaten by the striker when Jesse Lingard broke, Martial fired the ball into the Belgium international and the Stoke defenders stood off as he picked his spot and drilled his shot low inside the post. There should have been a goal back when substitute Mame Biram Diouf chested down Shaqiri’s flighted pass only for De Gea to block his first shot, and the former United forward to send his second into the side-netting. There would be no consolation. 9:52PM Full time Manchester United narrow the gap to 12 points with a resounding victory orchestrated by a fine performance from Paul Pogba. Stoke had several moments of inspiration going forward but need some bodies as well as some younger legs in defence and defensive midfield.  9:50PM 90+2 min McTominay tries to glide past Martins Indi who bundles him over at the edge of the D. Time enough for Pogba to take the free-kick ... which he scoops miles over and the referee blows for time's up.  9:49PM 90+1 min The first of two added minutes begins with man-of-the-match Pogba pinging a long pass up to Rashford on the left but he lets it leak out for a throw.  9:48PM 89 min Rashford has a dainty-footed dribble through the box from the left then bobbles a tame shot at Butland as he tried to open his body and arrow it in at the back post. Mishit it.  9:47PM 87 min Ach, Stoke. Shaqiri picks out a diaginal cross towards the penalty spot from the left and Diouf beats Smalling to it and controls it sufficiently well to allow him an unimpeded left-foot shot at goal from 12 yards. But he scuffs it, De Gea saves with his legs and gives him a second chance. Ireland, unmarked, screams for him to square it for a tap-in but Diouf goes his own way and scuds a left-foot shot wide.  Attempt Saved: Man Utd 3 - 0 Stoke (Mame Biram Diouf, 86 min)   9:44PM 84 min Another glorious pass from Pogba on halfway, chipping the ball over Wimmer who manages to reach it with the odd strand of hair. Valencia, bullocking down the whitewash takes it in his stride  and fires in a cross through the six-yard box. Rashford makes a near-post run and tries to back-flick it in with his right foot. Good save from Butland.  9:40PM 82 min Third United substitution: Mata off, McTominay on.  9:39PM 81 min Double United substitution: Lingard and Martial depart to be replaced by Fellaini and Rashford.  9:38PM 79 min United enjoy such a dominant spell of possession that poor old Stoke 'don't now what day it is'. It ends with a left-wing cross towards the penalty spot and Mata does a 'shut-that-door' flick that almost squeaks in at the right post. Lukaku, who cannot resist the temptation to lunge at the rebound off the woodwork, was offside.  Man Utd vs Stoke shots on goal   9:34PM 77 min After twenty-odd passes, though, Martial blunders his trap and the ball squirts to Zouma who clears.  9:34PM 76 min United are strolling now, metaphorically, and pinging passes around in Stoke's half.  9:32PM 73 min Lingard brings the ball forward through the middle from the centre-circle, sprinting towards the box. He lays it off to the left for Martial who cuts inside and then fires in a very heavy pass - shades of Gerrard there - but Lukaku controls it superbly with his chest (Stoke think it was his hand), turns to his right with his back to goal and skelps in a fierce left-foot shot past Butland who had no chance. Man Utd vs Stoke shots on goal   9:29PM GOAL!! Manchester United 3-0 Stoke City (Lukaku) Lukaku smashes in the third Credit: Matthew Peters/Man Utd via Getty Images   9:28PM 69 min Peter Crouch departs. Mame Biram Diouf enters.  9:25PM 68 min Lukaku is booked for a retaliation on Martins Indi then Ireland by his doppelganger Anthony Taylor for going through Mata.  9:24PM 66 min Butland makes a fine save with his feet from Lukaku after United overwhelm Stoke with their pace and movement. The ball rebounds out to the edge of the area. Lingard strikes it low on the volley, Butland saves again and Mata backheels in the rebound from an offside position 9:23PM 64 min Choupo-Moting off Sobhi on. Lingard is booked on the totting up principle for bundling Fletcher over.  9:21PM 61 min Lukaku centres to Lingard in the D from the left. He rolls the pass out to Mata who is charging into the box from the right. He tries to curl a left-footer inside the far post but can't get it to bend in at the last. Lingard had robbed Zouma to start the rapid counter.    9:18PM 59 min More Pogba brilliance, beating Bauer and clipping a left-foot cross into the box. Martial controls it, dinks it inside to try to throw Butland off balance but cannot find the room to squeeze it under the keeper who tries to smother it but it bobbles free. Lukaku  has another effort at poking it past but Butland is up to it.  9:16PM 57 min United corner taken short again and Lingard, who hasn't been at his best tonight, loses the ball as he tries to get into the box. Now it's 'Delilah' from the visiting fans. United are penning them in.  9:13PM 55 min Lukaku attempts to control the ball and hook it back over his shoulder for Pogba but succeeds only in eating the ball as he spanks it into his own mouth.  9:11PM 53 min The cries of 'Paul Lambert's barmy army' drowns out any United response. The home crowd, it has to be said, is preposterously quiet these days.  9:10PM 51 min Shaqiri is unamused when shoved into an advertising hoarding perhaps inadvertently, perhaps not, by Shaw. Shaqiri takes it out on the flashing sign in anti-capitalist rage and hurts his hand after slapping it.  9:08PM 49 min Zouma wins the ball off Shaw and gives it straight back to Pogba who threads a pass up the inside-left channel. The weight perhaps takes it too close to Butland even for swift-footed Achilles Martial at full pelt. Butland manages to get down on the ground, like a draught excluder, to block Martial's stabbed shot.  9:05PM 47 min Ireland has dropped deeper, too. Matic picks out Shaw who works it back to Pogba. The United No6 drills a diagonal over to Mata who cuts it back but there's no one arriving at the edge of the box.  9:03PM 46 min Wimmer - Daniel Levy saw them coming - slots straight in at left-back.  9:02PM Half-time substitution Kevin Wimmer replaces Josh Tymon.  8:56PM Martial's goal Anthony Martial scores United's second Credit: REUTERS/Andrew Yates  Here are the average touch positions to show you Pogba's influence (6) and Ireland's (7). Average touch positions (half time) Man Utd vs Stoke shots on goal   8:51PM Half time Stoke had their moments, Manchester United scored with two tremendous shots and have looked dominant in the last third and vulnerable around their own box. Pogba has all the space he needs to run this match and seems certain to carry on in the second-half. Ireland and Shaqiri are playing very well and Bauer looks very promising but the movement of Lingard, Martial, Lukaku and Mata is too much for Stoke's defence to contain. .  8:47PM 45+1 min De Gea dives low to his left to save Shaqiri's left-foot shot, an opportunity created by his wonderful control as he stunned the pass from the left to the D then drilled a scorching low shot towards goal. Excellent save that proves to be the last touch of the half.  8:46PM 44 min Pogba plays the same right to left pass for Martial that bypasses and isolates the middle of the Stoke defence but this time Martial was too hasty and bolted offside.  8:45PM 42 min United adopt sheer liquid football and Stoke's defence don't know what day it is. Pogba floats a pass from right-half to outside left for Shaw who lays it off to Martial. After scoring with that lovely strike he must think his boots are made of jam so tries an outrageous outisde of the foot chip to the back post for Lukaku who nods it back across goal. Lingard can't reach it but nobbut just.  8:41PM 40 min Valencia wins the ball off Choupo-Moting on halfway and on the right, drives forward and picks out Lukaku who holds it up  and takes it outside, pursued by Martins Indi then turns to roll a pass to Pogba by the right angle of the box. Pogba sees Martial to the left of the D in the space created by Lukaku's run, sweeps a pass over to him and the winger arcs in a shot, bending in a parabola unstoppably past Butland.  Man Utd 2 - 0 Stoke (Anthony Martial, 38 min)   8:38PM GOAL!! Man Utd 2-0 Stoke (Martial) 8:38PM 36 min Pogba torpedoes a 50-yard ball from right to left to pick out Shaw's run to the byline. The left-back pulls the ball back to Martial who shoots into Zouma. Deflection leads to corner. United take it short for the umpteenth time and Stoke scuttle it away. Why so many short corners? Stoke's height?  8:35PM 34 min Mata does that thing after falling over in the box to indicate that he's slipped - serves two purposes (A) No penalty and (B) I didn't dive. It looked as though he did 'go over easily' but because it's the paragon Juan, it couldn't possibly have been anything but a slip.  8:33PM 32 min United fans spark into life when Ireland, once of City, is struck amidships by Lingard's fierce drive but the bounce favours Stoke and Valencia has to bring Allen down to stop them breaking past halfway.  8:31PM 30 min Fletcher uses his resilience and experience to hold off Pogba at the price of a corner on the right that United take short from Mata to Lingard who hangs it up at the back post. Butland drops the slithery ball but pocks it up at the second attempt. Pogba was offside in any case.  8:29PM 28 min United break quickly up the left and Mata, at the end of a slick passing move, cuts a pass back to Martial who balloons a wanton shot over the bar.  Miss: Man Utd 1 - 0 Stoke (Stephen Ireland, 21 min)   8:27PM 25 min Stoke move it out to the right for Shaqiri and his wand. He bends in a cross to the back post and De Gea comes for it but, rare for him, flaps under the challenge of Crouch who nods it back across the now unguarded net. Choupo-Moting meets it on the volley but Jones throws himself in to block from point-blank range and saves a certain goal. Corner. Small wonder Jose Mourinho is off the bench and shouting. Stoke have made four good chances in the past 10 minutes.  Man Utd vs Stoke shots on goal   8:25PM 24 min Very quiet at Old Trafford as Stoke enjoy a good five minutes. Ireland makes another interception, motors forward and Pogba kicks him up the back of his thigh. Free kick.  8:24PM 22 min What a chance for Stoke - all made by Martial's indolence in helping Shaw out when attacked by Allen and Bauer who looks a decent player. The right-back responds to Shaqiri's run inside with a square pass across the 18-yard line that he controls immaculately then dinks the perfect throughball to Ireland who has made a great run. Ireland, 15 yards out, stretches to shoot and pokes it wide. Not exactly a sitter but a chance you have to take.  Miss: Man Utd 1 - 0 Stoke (Stephen Ireland, 21 min)   8:21PM 20 min Here's the goal: Valencia scores Credit:  Robbie Jay Barratt - AMA/Getty Images  Choupo-Moting squanders possession and United break.  8:19PM 18 min Bauer's cross from the right finds Ireland in the United box just shy of the penalty spot and in space. But as he traps the centre it sticks under his feet and gobbles up precious time so that when he does manage to shoot he was being closed down and scuffs it wide.  Miss: Man Utd 1 - 0 Stoke (Stephen Ireland, 16 min)   8:17PM 16 min Clever interception from Ireland thwarts Shaw's cross and he scurries out of defence, laying it off to Choupo-Moting then positioning himself for the return. He kills the pass and pushes the ball out to the right into Shaqiri's path. Shaqiri bends in a left-footer towards the back post that Crouch wins but can't get any power on it. He does enough to retain possession, lay it back and Stoke come again.  8:14PM 14 min The ball is sticking to Lukaku tonight and he is astutely bringing Martial, Lingard, Mata and Pogba into play as attacking threats.  8:12PM 12 min Shaqiri shows us his exquisite technique with a spectacular bicycle kick to meet an outswinging left-wing cross. He meets it crisply but De Gea gets down low to his left to smother it.  8:11PM 10 min Made by Pogba's crossfield chip. Valencia leaves Choupo-Moting stranded, drifts inside on to his left, losing Tymon with a dip of the shoulder before finishing with a 16-yard sweetly-struck, unstoppable curler. Man Utd 1 - 0 Stoke (Antonio Valencia, 9 min) 8:09PM GOAL!! Manchester United 1-0 Stoke (Valencia) 8:08PM 7 min Mata chips a curling left-foot pass from inside-right over the central defenders and Martial makes the run to head it. Bauer, who had his arm on Martial's back, slipped and fell, taking his opponent with him. Big shout for a penalty that the referee ignores but the replay has heads nodding in unison with the fatuous 'I've seen 'em given'' verdict.  8:06PM 6 min Tymon tries to turn Valencia on halfway but can't drive past him once he'd turned back to face him. Valencia kicks the ball on to his shins to take the throw-in. It's sheeting down.  8:04PM 4 min Pogba shifts it up the inside left channel, sweeping it 20 yards upfield. Lukaku takes it in his stride and lays it out to the left for Martial then heads for the six-yard box. Lingard makes the near-post run but the United winger drags his centre behind his team-mate and Stoke work it clear.  8:02PM 2 min Stoke recycle, bang it up to Crouch who is penalised for clattering Jones as he shielded the ball. United take the free-kick, move it up to Lukaku who lats it off to Lingard. Shaqiri hacks him down. Free kick 10 yards inside the Stoke half.  8:01PM 1 min Stoke, in blue, kick off and Stephen Ireland takes it and instigates a move up the right that has to go backwards to go forward. Martins Indi whacks it long and Valencia fires it back, over the top, and beyond Lukaku.  7:58PM Out come the teams Kick off is now just moments away. And the commentator is Alan Parry, just as it was for the Cyrille Regis clip below.  7:48PM Paul Lambert is present and correct Paul Lambert watches his new side at old Trafford Credit: Gareth Copley/Getty Images  He did pretty well at Wolves last season and was terrific at Norwich. Villa, though, was a trial for every supporter who was forced to watch austerity football while Randy Lerner tried to sell. Having said that Ron Vlaar, Christian Benteke and Karim El Anmadi were decent signings.  7:19PM Henrikh Mkhitaryan Is not in Manchester United's XVIII apparently because his head 'is not in the right place'. Or is it his body that's in N5/N7?  Jose Mourinho on Mkhitaryan's omission from tonight's squad: "I would lie if I said it was a pure tactical decision." #mufc [sky]— utdhq (@utdhq) January 15, 2018   7:17PM Those teams in black and white Man Utd De Gea; Valencia, Jones, Smalling, Shaw; Pogba, Matic; Mata, Lingard, Martial; Lukaku.  Substitutes Joel Pereira, Lindelof, Rojo, Ander Herrera, Fellaini, McTominay, Rashford. It's chucking it down at Old Trafford Credit: Michael Regan/Getty Images Stoke City Butland; Bauer, Zouma, Martins Indi, Tymon; Fletcher, Allen; Shaqiri, Ireland, Choupo-Moting; Crouch.  Substitutes Grant, Edwards, Wimmer, Afellay, Adam, Diouf, Sobhi.  Referee Anthony Taylor (Wythenshawe). 7:02PM Antonio Valencia is back for Man Utd Here is how the Reds line up for #MUNSTK... �� pic.twitter.com/otGid7EQkS— Manchester United (@ManUtd) January 15, 2018   7:02PM You know that business about Eddie Niedzwiecki not making many changes ... Ignore it. He's made seven and Moritz Bauer makes his Premier League debut.  Eddie Niedzwiecki makes 7⃣ changes to tonight's team that faces @ManUtd at Old Trafford. �� Bauer, Martins Indi, Tymon, Fletcher, Shaqiri, Choupo-Moting and Crouch all make the starting XI. City line-up in a 4-2-3-1 formation.#SCFC ��⚪️ pic.twitter.com/2CIECRjITg— Stoke City FC (@stokecity) January 15, 2018   6:59PM In memoriam   6:56PM Good evening And welcome to coverage of Manchester United vs Stoke City, the last Premier League match of what those people who we need to cut out of our lives would call ‘round 23’ of the ‘EPL’. We find both clubs loitering around in a kind of threshold. Stoke, obviously, having been turned down by Gary Rowett, Quique Sanchez Flores and Martin O’Neill, are ready to embark on the Paul Lambert era though tonight his will be a watching brief. Given that caretaker Eddie Niedzwiecki has been at Mark Hughes’ side with Wales, Blackburn, Man City, Fulham, QPR and the Oatcake Eaters, he’s hardly likely to pick a radically altered side because to do so would be an implicit rebuke of his friend and former and future boss. So tonight may just be a case of limbo until Lambert makes his mark or purgatory if your view of Lambert’s appointment is as pessimistic as some on that twerps’ trumpet, Twitter, are lamenting. As for Manchester United, it seems that they stand on the verge of signing Alexis Sánchez which will add some much needed dynamism into their attack though I’m not sure how tameable his talent and instincts will be for Jose Mourinho. He certainly won’t step on the throat of his own song like, say, Joe Cole did at Chelsea to track back or Samuel Eto’o at Inter but he may be employed in the manner of Wesley Sneijder or Arjen Robben - indulged if never wholly embraced. Rarely for a Mourinho side, tonight begs a performance more than the result. They played well in the second half at Goodison and there were fluent passages in the draw with Leicester and the victory over West Brom but it has been far too sporadic for the past two months. Ali Sanchez Manchester City’s defeat on Sunday gives United the opportunity to narrow the gap between first and second to 12 points with a win here. It’s still an enormous lead but for those Reds looking for comfort, it was exactly the position United found themselves in 21 years ago behind Newcastle United with 15 games to play and they ended up winning the title by three points. City are not Newcastle obviously but it’s worth pointing out. And a comfortable victory would surely be the only outcome a sane person would accept a wager on tonight. It’s 42 years since Stoke have won at Old Trafford, when Bomber Sheldon set up Bluto Bloor to glance in an 87th-minute winner and end United’s 14-month home unbeaten record and their chances of winning the Double with a couple of games of the season to go. As any fule kno, Southampton, then of Division Two, did for them in the Cup to make it a miserable April and May for Tommy Docherty’s side. Mourinho, with two trophies last year and Sánchez to come, will not be as vulnerable to Alan Bloor and Bobby Stokes type figures in April and May 2018.

Manchester United 3 Stoke City 0: Paul Pogba masterclass brings swagger back

He has the confidence, the ability and the swagger to play for Manchester United. But enough of Alexis Sanchez. This was Paul Pogba’s night – and he also possesses those formidable qualities - with the United midfielder dominating a sorry Stoke side. Plucky Potters? Not against Pogba who provided two clever assists and ran the game as United consolidated themselves in second place in the Premier League and cut Manchester City’s lead to 12 points. United have beaten City in the race to sign Alexis Sanchez from Arsenal or, rather, City have pulled out of that contest believing the finances just do not stack up and, barring a late intervention from Chelsea, it appears the Chilean forward will be another of Pogba’s team-mates hoping to profit from his sharp creativity. For United’s fans there is the tantalising vision of Pogba in a free role – finally Jose Mourinho has come to realise that is the best use of him – opening up defences for the alert movement and relentlessness of Sanchez and the bludgeoning power of Romelu Lukaku. Suddenly, they will hope, the future looks brighter for them as they continue that chase to reduce City’s dominance, to fend off Liverpool, Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur, and to give themselves momentum going into the remainder of this season and the next campaign. Antonio Valencia curled in the first with his left foot Credit:  Robbie Jay Barratt - AMA/Getty Images Whether they will face Stoke in the Premier League again next season remains to be seen. Stoke are in the relegation places but, finally, they appointed a successor to Mark Hughes and hours later Paul Lambert took his place in the Old Trafford directors' box, watching on as caretaker Eddie Niedzwiecki, for his one game in charge, produced a demob-happy coaching performance by putting out an attacking team and opening up the game. It worked only in that it created chances – and Stoke did that, and it would have been interesting had they drawn level in the first-half, when just a goal down, as surely they should have done – but not in defending. The three goals conceded here mean, in fact, that Stoke have become the first team in any of Europe’s top five leagues to let in 50 goals this season. With 23 matches played that is more than two a game – not good enough for a team that spent heavily in bringing in defenders last summer. Lambert has work to do. But then he knew that. And he also knew that this was, in all probability, little more than a fixture to fulfil. Damage had to be limited and, in that, they owed a debt again to their goalkeeper Jack Butland who once more produced a series of saves even if he was quickly beaten. Pogba was central to it. He collected possession, after some fine build-up play, and ran across the face of the penalty area before pushing the ball out wide to Antonio Valencia. The United captain was returning, after four weeks out with a hamstring injury, and celebrated by cutting inside and arcing a left-foot shot (yes, left foot from Valencia) around Butland from just inside the area. It was a superb strike; a well-worked goal. Stephen Ireland snatched at a couple of first-half chances Credit: REUTERS/Andrew Yates Cue the cameras cutting to Lambert, attempting to elicit a response. The Scot buried his head in his coat – but that was more to do with responding to the cold, the hail and the swirling rain. But there was no downpour on his new team. Instead they carved United open. There was an overhead kick from Xherdan Shaqiri, held by David De Gea, and then Stephen Ireland – making his first league start in almost two years – spurned two chances. He snatched at both, dragging his shots wide, when he had space and time to do better. Stoke came closest of all when their new signing, Austrian full-back Moritz Bauer, on his debut, hoisted a high cross into the area and Peter Crouch beat De Gea to it. The ball dropped to Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting, who seemed certain to score, only for his half-volley to be deflected over the cross-bar by a lunging Phil Jones. “I didn’t like the first half. I only liked the two amazing goals,” Mourinho later said, and United’s second was as good as their first with Lukaku running down the right, turning the ball back inside to Pogba who had the presence of mind and vision to move it across goal, with a ‘no-look pass’, where it was met by Anthony Martial who struck a precise first-time, side-footed shot that curled around Butland and high into the net. Anthony Martial made it 2-0 Credit: Robbie Jay Barratt - AMA/Getty Images As a contest, it was over. Stoke appeared dispirited. It was a question, then, of how many United would score but – instead - they were wasteful. Firstly Pogba almost claimed his third assist when he intercepted a sloppy pass by Kurt Zouma and stabbed the ball through to Martial. Butland blocked. Then Martial wriggled clear only for Butland to deny him, again, before Juan Mata turned the ball wide and, soon after, shot over. Butland thwarted Lukaku with his legs but was finally beaten by the striker when Jesse Lingard broke, Martial fired the ball into the Belgium international and the Stoke defenders stood off as he picked his spot and drilled his shot low inside the post. There should have been a goal back when substitute Mame Biram Diouf chested down Shaqiri’s flighted pass only for De Gea to block his first shot, and the former United forward to send his second into the side-netting. There would be no consolation. 9:52PM Full time Manchester United narrow the gap to 12 points with a resounding victory orchestrated by a fine performance from Paul Pogba. Stoke had several moments of inspiration going forward but need some bodies as well as some younger legs in defence and defensive midfield.  9:50PM 90+2 min McTominay tries to glide past Martins Indi who bundles him over at the edge of the D. Time enough for Pogba to take the free-kick ... which he scoops miles over and the referee blows for time's up.  9:49PM 90+1 min The first of two added minutes begins with man-of-the-match Pogba pinging a long pass up to Rashford on the left but he lets it leak out for a throw.  9:48PM 89 min Rashford has a dainty-footed dribble through the box from the left then bobbles a tame shot at Butland as he tried to open his body and arrow it in at the back post. Mishit it.  9:47PM 87 min Ach, Stoke. Shaqiri picks out a diaginal cross towards the penalty spot from the left and Diouf beats Smalling to it and controls it sufficiently well to allow him an unimpeded left-foot shot at goal from 12 yards. But he scuffs it, De Gea saves with his legs and gives him a second chance. Ireland, unmarked, screams for him to square it for a tap-in but Diouf goes his own way and scuds a left-foot shot wide.  Attempt Saved: Man Utd 3 - 0 Stoke (Mame Biram Diouf, 86 min)   9:44PM 84 min Another glorious pass from Pogba on halfway, chipping the ball over Wimmer who manages to reach it with the odd strand of hair. Valencia, bullocking down the whitewash takes it in his stride  and fires in a cross through the six-yard box. Rashford makes a near-post run and tries to back-flick it in with his right foot. Good save from Butland.  9:40PM 82 min Third United substitution: Mata off, McTominay on.  9:39PM 81 min Double United substitution: Lingard and Martial depart to be replaced by Fellaini and Rashford.  9:38PM 79 min United enjoy such a dominant spell of possession that poor old Stoke 'don't now what day it is'. It ends with a left-wing cross towards the penalty spot and Mata does a 'shut-that-door' flick that almost squeaks in at the right post. Lukaku, who cannot resist the temptation to lunge at the rebound off the woodwork, was offside.  Man Utd vs Stoke shots on goal   9:34PM 77 min After twenty-odd passes, though, Martial blunders his trap and the ball squirts to Zouma who clears.  9:34PM 76 min United are strolling now, metaphorically, and pinging passes around in Stoke's half.  9:32PM 73 min Lingard brings the ball forward through the middle from the centre-circle, sprinting towards the box. He lays it off to the left for Martial who cuts inside and then fires in a very heavy pass - shades of Gerrard there - but Lukaku controls it superbly with his chest (Stoke think it was his hand), turns to his right with his back to goal and skelps in a fierce left-foot shot past Butland who had no chance. Man Utd vs Stoke shots on goal   9:29PM GOAL!! Manchester United 3-0 Stoke City (Lukaku) Lukaku smashes in the third Credit: Matthew Peters/Man Utd via Getty Images   9:28PM 69 min Peter Crouch departs. Mame Biram Diouf enters.  9:25PM 68 min Lukaku is booked for a retaliation on Martins Indi then Ireland by his doppelganger Anthony Taylor for going through Mata.  9:24PM 66 min Butland makes a fine save with his feet from Lukaku after United overwhelm Stoke with their pace and movement. The ball rebounds out to the edge of the area. Lingard strikes it low on the volley, Butland saves again and Mata backheels in the rebound from an offside position 9:23PM 64 min Choupo-Moting off Sobhi on. Lingard is booked on the totting up principle for bundling Fletcher over.  9:21PM 61 min Lukaku centres to Lingard in the D from the left. He rolls the pass out to Mata who is charging into the box from the right. He tries to curl a left-footer inside the far post but can't get it to bend in at the last. Lingard had robbed Zouma to start the rapid counter.    9:18PM 59 min More Pogba brilliance, beating Bauer and clipping a left-foot cross into the box. Martial controls it, dinks it inside to try to throw Butland off balance but cannot find the room to squeeze it under the keeper who tries to smother it but it bobbles free. Lukaku  has another effort at poking it past but Butland is up to it.  9:16PM 57 min United corner taken short again and Lingard, who hasn't been at his best tonight, loses the ball as he tries to get into the box. Now it's 'Delilah' from the visiting fans. United are penning them in.  9:13PM 55 min Lukaku attempts to control the ball and hook it back over his shoulder for Pogba but succeeds only in eating the ball as he spanks it into his own mouth.  9:11PM 53 min The cries of 'Paul Lambert's barmy army' drowns out any United response. The home crowd, it has to be said, is preposterously quiet these days.  9:10PM 51 min Shaqiri is unamused when shoved into an advertising hoarding perhaps inadvertently, perhaps not, by Shaw. Shaqiri takes it out on the flashing sign in anti-capitalist rage and hurts his hand after slapping it.  9:08PM 49 min Zouma wins the ball off Shaw and gives it straight back to Pogba who threads a pass up the inside-left channel. The weight perhaps takes it too close to Butland even for swift-footed Achilles Martial at full pelt. Butland manages to get down on the ground, like a draught excluder, to block Martial's stabbed shot.  9:05PM 47 min Ireland has dropped deeper, too. Matic picks out Shaw who works it back to Pogba. The United No6 drills a diagonal over to Mata who cuts it back but there's no one arriving at the edge of the box.  9:03PM 46 min Wimmer - Daniel Levy saw them coming - slots straight in at left-back.  9:02PM Half-time substitution Kevin Wimmer replaces Josh Tymon.  8:56PM Martial's goal Anthony Martial scores United's second Credit: REUTERS/Andrew Yates  Here are the average touch positions to show you Pogba's influence (6) and Ireland's (7). Average touch positions (half time) Man Utd vs Stoke shots on goal   8:51PM Half time Stoke had their moments, Manchester United scored with two tremendous shots and have looked dominant in the last third and vulnerable around their own box. Pogba has all the space he needs to run this match and seems certain to carry on in the second-half. Ireland and Shaqiri are playing very well and Bauer looks very promising but the movement of Lingard, Martial, Lukaku and Mata is too much for Stoke's defence to contain. .  8:47PM 45+1 min De Gea dives low to his left to save Shaqiri's left-foot shot, an opportunity created by his wonderful control as he stunned the pass from the left to the D then drilled a scorching low shot towards goal. Excellent save that proves to be the last touch of the half.  8:46PM 44 min Pogba plays the same right to left pass for Martial that bypasses and isolates the middle of the Stoke defence but this time Martial was too hasty and bolted offside.  8:45PM 42 min United adopt sheer liquid football and Stoke's defence don't know what day it is. Pogba floats a pass from right-half to outside left for Shaw who lays it off to Martial. After scoring with that lovely strike he must think his boots are made of jam so tries an outrageous outisde of the foot chip to the back post for Lukaku who nods it back across goal. Lingard can't reach it but nobbut just.  8:41PM 40 min Valencia wins the ball off Choupo-Moting on halfway and on the right, drives forward and picks out Lukaku who holds it up  and takes it outside, pursued by Martins Indi then turns to roll a pass to Pogba by the right angle of the box. Pogba sees Martial to the left of the D in the space created by Lukaku's run, sweeps a pass over to him and the winger arcs in a shot, bending in a parabola unstoppably past Butland.  Man Utd 2 - 0 Stoke (Anthony Martial, 38 min)   8:38PM GOAL!! Man Utd 2-0 Stoke (Martial) 8:38PM 36 min Pogba torpedoes a 50-yard ball from right to left to pick out Shaw's run to the byline. The left-back pulls the ball back to Martial who shoots into Zouma. Deflection leads to corner. United take it short for the umpteenth time and Stoke scuttle it away. Why so many short corners? Stoke's height?  8:35PM 34 min Mata does that thing after falling over in the box to indicate that he's slipped - serves two purposes (A) No penalty and (B) I didn't dive. It looked as though he did 'go over easily' but because it's the paragon Juan, it couldn't possibly have been anything but a slip.  8:33PM 32 min United fans spark into life when Ireland, once of City, is struck amidships by Lingard's fierce drive but the bounce favours Stoke and Valencia has to bring Allen down to stop them breaking past halfway.  8:31PM 30 min Fletcher uses his resilience and experience to hold off Pogba at the price of a corner on the right that United take short from Mata to Lingard who hangs it up at the back post. Butland drops the slithery ball but pocks it up at the second attempt. Pogba was offside in any case.  8:29PM 28 min United break quickly up the left and Mata, at the end of a slick passing move, cuts a pass back to Martial who balloons a wanton shot over the bar.  Miss: Man Utd 1 - 0 Stoke (Stephen Ireland, 21 min)   8:27PM 25 min Stoke move it out to the right for Shaqiri and his wand. He bends in a cross to the back post and De Gea comes for it but, rare for him, flaps under the challenge of Crouch who nods it back across the now unguarded net. Choupo-Moting meets it on the volley but Jones throws himself in to block from point-blank range and saves a certain goal. Corner. Small wonder Jose Mourinho is off the bench and shouting. Stoke have made four good chances in the past 10 minutes.  Man Utd vs Stoke shots on goal   8:25PM 24 min Very quiet at Old Trafford as Stoke enjoy a good five minutes. Ireland makes another interception, motors forward and Pogba kicks him up the back of his thigh. Free kick.  8:24PM 22 min What a chance for Stoke - all made by Martial's indolence in helping Shaw out when attacked by Allen and Bauer who looks a decent player. The right-back responds to Shaqiri's run inside with a square pass across the 18-yard line that he controls immaculately then dinks the perfect throughball to Ireland who has made a great run. Ireland, 15 yards out, stretches to shoot and pokes it wide. Not exactly a sitter but a chance you have to take.  Miss: Man Utd 1 - 0 Stoke (Stephen Ireland, 21 min)   8:21PM 20 min Here's the goal: Valencia scores Credit:  Robbie Jay Barratt - AMA/Getty Images  Choupo-Moting squanders possession and United break.  8:19PM 18 min Bauer's cross from the right finds Ireland in the United box just shy of the penalty spot and in space. But as he traps the centre it sticks under his feet and gobbles up precious time so that when he does manage to shoot he was being closed down and scuffs it wide.  Miss: Man Utd 1 - 0 Stoke (Stephen Ireland, 16 min)   8:17PM 16 min Clever interception from Ireland thwarts Shaw's cross and he scurries out of defence, laying it off to Choupo-Moting then positioning himself for the return. He kills the pass and pushes the ball out to the right into Shaqiri's path. Shaqiri bends in a left-footer towards the back post that Crouch wins but can't get any power on it. He does enough to retain possession, lay it back and Stoke come again.  8:14PM 14 min The ball is sticking to Lukaku tonight and he is astutely bringing Martial, Lingard, Mata and Pogba into play as attacking threats.  8:12PM 12 min Shaqiri shows us his exquisite technique with a spectacular bicycle kick to meet an outswinging left-wing cross. He meets it crisply but De Gea gets down low to his left to smother it.  8:11PM 10 min Made by Pogba's crossfield chip. Valencia leaves Choupo-Moting stranded, drifts inside on to his left, losing Tymon with a dip of the shoulder before finishing with a 16-yard sweetly-struck, unstoppable curler. Man Utd 1 - 0 Stoke (Antonio Valencia, 9 min) 8:09PM GOAL!! Manchester United 1-0 Stoke (Valencia) 8:08PM 7 min Mata chips a curling left-foot pass from inside-right over the central defenders and Martial makes the run to head it. Bauer, who had his arm on Martial's back, slipped and fell, taking his opponent with him. Big shout for a penalty that the referee ignores but the replay has heads nodding in unison with the fatuous 'I've seen 'em given'' verdict.  8:06PM 6 min Tymon tries to turn Valencia on halfway but can't drive past him once he'd turned back to face him. Valencia kicks the ball on to his shins to take the throw-in. It's sheeting down.  8:04PM 4 min Pogba shifts it up the inside left channel, sweeping it 20 yards upfield. Lukaku takes it in his stride and lays it out to the left for Martial then heads for the six-yard box. Lingard makes the near-post run but the United winger drags his centre behind his team-mate and Stoke work it clear.  8:02PM 2 min Stoke recycle, bang it up to Crouch who is penalised for clattering Jones as he shielded the ball. United take the free-kick, move it up to Lukaku who lats it off to Lingard. Shaqiri hacks him down. Free kick 10 yards inside the Stoke half.  8:01PM 1 min Stoke, in blue, kick off and Stephen Ireland takes it and instigates a move up the right that has to go backwards to go forward. Martins Indi whacks it long and Valencia fires it back, over the top, and beyond Lukaku.  7:58PM Out come the teams Kick off is now just moments away. And the commentator is Alan Parry, just as it was for the Cyrille Regis clip below.  7:48PM Paul Lambert is present and correct Paul Lambert watches his new side at old Trafford Credit: Gareth Copley/Getty Images  He did pretty well at Wolves last season and was terrific at Norwich. Villa, though, was a trial for every supporter who was forced to watch austerity football while Randy Lerner tried to sell. Having said that Ron Vlaar, Christian Benteke and Karim El Anmadi were decent signings.  7:19PM Henrikh Mkhitaryan Is not in Manchester United's XVIII apparently because his head 'is not in the right place'. Or is it his body that's in N5/N7?  Jose Mourinho on Mkhitaryan's omission from tonight's squad: "I would lie if I said it was a pure tactical decision." #mufc [sky]— utdhq (@utdhq) January 15, 2018   7:17PM Those teams in black and white Man Utd De Gea; Valencia, Jones, Smalling, Shaw; Pogba, Matic; Mata, Lingard, Martial; Lukaku.  Substitutes Joel Pereira, Lindelof, Rojo, Ander Herrera, Fellaini, McTominay, Rashford. It's chucking it down at Old Trafford Credit: Michael Regan/Getty Images Stoke City Butland; Bauer, Zouma, Martins Indi, Tymon; Fletcher, Allen; Shaqiri, Ireland, Choupo-Moting; Crouch.  Substitutes Grant, Edwards, Wimmer, Afellay, Adam, Diouf, Sobhi.  Referee Anthony Taylor (Wythenshawe). 7:02PM Antonio Valencia is back for Man Utd Here is how the Reds line up for #MUNSTK... �� pic.twitter.com/otGid7EQkS— Manchester United (@ManUtd) January 15, 2018   7:02PM You know that business about Eddie Niedzwiecki not making many changes ... Ignore it. He's made seven and Moritz Bauer makes his Premier League debut.  Eddie Niedzwiecki makes 7⃣ changes to tonight's team that faces @ManUtd at Old Trafford. �� Bauer, Martins Indi, Tymon, Fletcher, Shaqiri, Choupo-Moting and Crouch all make the starting XI. City line-up in a 4-2-3-1 formation.#SCFC ��⚪️ pic.twitter.com/2CIECRjITg— Stoke City FC (@stokecity) January 15, 2018   6:59PM In memoriam   6:56PM Good evening And welcome to coverage of Manchester United vs Stoke City, the last Premier League match of what those people who we need to cut out of our lives would call ‘round 23’ of the ‘EPL’. We find both clubs loitering around in a kind of threshold. Stoke, obviously, having been turned down by Gary Rowett, Quique Sanchez Flores and Martin O’Neill, are ready to embark on the Paul Lambert era though tonight his will be a watching brief. Given that caretaker Eddie Niedzwiecki has been at Mark Hughes’ side with Wales, Blackburn, Man City, Fulham, QPR and the Oatcake Eaters, he’s hardly likely to pick a radically altered side because to do so would be an implicit rebuke of his friend and former and future boss. So tonight may just be a case of limbo until Lambert makes his mark or purgatory if your view of Lambert’s appointment is as pessimistic as some on that twerps’ trumpet, Twitter, are lamenting. As for Manchester United, it seems that they stand on the verge of signing Alexis Sánchez which will add some much needed dynamism into their attack though I’m not sure how tameable his talent and instincts will be for Jose Mourinho. He certainly won’t step on the throat of his own song like, say, Joe Cole did at Chelsea to track back or Samuel Eto’o at Inter but he may be employed in the manner of Wesley Sneijder or Arjen Robben - indulged if never wholly embraced. Rarely for a Mourinho side, tonight begs a performance more than the result. They played well in the second half at Goodison and there were fluent passages in the draw with Leicester and the victory over West Brom but it has been far too sporadic for the past two months. Ali Sanchez Manchester City’s defeat on Sunday gives United the opportunity to narrow the gap between first and second to 12 points with a win here. It’s still an enormous lead but for those Reds looking for comfort, it was exactly the position United found themselves in 21 years ago behind Newcastle United with 15 games to play and they ended up winning the title by three points. City are not Newcastle obviously but it’s worth pointing out. And a comfortable victory would surely be the only outcome a sane person would accept a wager on tonight. It’s 42 years since Stoke have won at Old Trafford, when Bomber Sheldon set up Bluto Bloor to glance in an 87th-minute winner and end United’s 14-month home unbeaten record and their chances of winning the Double with a couple of games of the season to go. As any fule kno, Southampton, then of Division Two, did for them in the Cup to make it a miserable April and May for Tommy Docherty’s side. Mourinho, with two trophies last year and Sánchez to come, will not be as vulnerable to Alan Bloor and Bobby Stokes type figures in April and May 2018.

Manchester United 3 Stoke City 0: Paul Pogba masterclass brings swagger back

He has the confidence, the ability and the swagger to play for Manchester United. But enough of Alexis Sanchez. This was Paul Pogba’s night – and he also possesses those formidable qualities - with the United midfielder dominating a sorry Stoke side. Plucky Potters? Not against Pogba who provided two clever assists and ran the game as United consolidated themselves in second place in the Premier League and cut Manchester City’s lead to 12 points. United have beaten City in the race to sign Alexis Sanchez from Arsenal or, rather, City have pulled out of that contest believing the finances just do not stack up and, barring a late intervention from Chelsea, it appears the Chilean forward will be another of Pogba’s team-mates hoping to profit from his sharp creativity. For United’s fans there is the tantalising vision of Pogba in a free role – finally Jose Mourinho has come to realise that is the best use of him – opening up defences for the alert movement and relentlessness of Sanchez and the bludgeoning power of Romelu Lukaku. Suddenly, they will hope, the future looks brighter for them as they continue that chase to reduce City’s dominance, to fend off Liverpool, Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur, and to give themselves momentum going into the remainder of this season and the next campaign. Antonio Valencia curled in the first with his left foot Credit:  Robbie Jay Barratt - AMA/Getty Images Whether they will face Stoke in the Premier League again next season remains to be seen. Stoke are in the relegation places but, finally, they appointed a successor to Mark Hughes and hours later Paul Lambert took his place in the Old Trafford directors' box, watching on as caretaker Eddie Niedzwiecki, for his one game in charge, produced a demob-happy coaching performance by putting out an attacking team and opening up the game. It worked only in that it created chances – and Stoke did that, and it would have been interesting had they drawn level in the first-half, when just a goal down, as surely they should have done – but not in defending. The three goals conceded here mean, in fact, that Stoke have become the first team in any of Europe’s top five leagues to let in 50 goals this season. With 23 matches played that is more than two a game – not good enough for a team that spent heavily in bringing in defenders last summer. Lambert has work to do. But then he knew that. And he also knew that this was, in all probability, little more than a fixture to fulfil. Damage had to be limited and, in that, they owed a debt again to their goalkeeper Jack Butland who once more produced a series of saves even if he was quickly beaten. Pogba was central to it. He collected possession, after some fine build-up play, and ran across the face of the penalty area before pushing the ball out wide to Antonio Valencia. The United captain was returning, after four weeks out with a hamstring injury, and celebrated by cutting inside and arcing a left-foot shot (yes, left foot from Valencia) around Butland from just inside the area. It was a superb strike; a well-worked goal. Stephen Ireland snatched at a couple of first-half chances Credit: REUTERS/Andrew Yates Cue the cameras cutting to Lambert, attempting to elicit a response. The Scot buried his head in his coat – but that was more to do with responding to the cold, the hail and the swirling rain. But there was no downpour on his new team. Instead they carved United open. There was an overhead kick from Xherdan Shaqiri, held by David De Gea, and then Stephen Ireland – making his first league start in almost two years – spurned two chances. He snatched at both, dragging his shots wide, when he had space and time to do better. Stoke came closest of all when their new signing, Austrian full-back Moritz Bauer, on his debut, hoisted a high cross into the area and Peter Crouch beat De Gea to it. The ball dropped to Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting, who seemed certain to score, only for his half-volley to be deflected over the cross-bar by a lunging Phil Jones. “I didn’t like the first half. I only liked the two amazing goals,” Mourinho later said, and United’s second was as good as their first with Lukaku running down the right, turning the ball back inside to Pogba who had the presence of mind and vision to move it across goal, with a ‘no-look pass’, where it was met by Anthony Martial who struck a precise first-time, side-footed shot that curled around Butland and high into the net. Anthony Martial made it 2-0 Credit: Robbie Jay Barratt - AMA/Getty Images As a contest, it was over. Stoke appeared dispirited. It was a question, then, of how many United would score but – instead - they were wasteful. Firstly Pogba almost claimed his third assist when he intercepted a sloppy pass by Kurt Zouma and stabbed the ball through to Martial. Butland blocked. Then Martial wriggled clear only for Butland to deny him, again, before Juan Mata turned the ball wide and, soon after, shot over. Butland thwarted Lukaku with his legs but was finally beaten by the striker when Jesse Lingard broke, Martial fired the ball into the Belgium international and the Stoke defenders stood off as he picked his spot and drilled his shot low inside the post. There should have been a goal back when substitute Mame Biram Diouf chested down Shaqiri’s flighted pass only for De Gea to block his first shot, and the former United forward to send his second into the side-netting. There would be no consolation. 9:52PM Full time Manchester United narrow the gap to 12 points with a resounding victory orchestrated by a fine performance from Paul Pogba. Stoke had several moments of inspiration going forward but need some bodies as well as some younger legs in defence and defensive midfield.  9:50PM 90+2 min McTominay tries to glide past Martins Indi who bundles him over at the edge of the D. Time enough for Pogba to take the free-kick ... which he scoops miles over and the referee blows for time's up.  9:49PM 90+1 min The first of two added minutes begins with man-of-the-match Pogba pinging a long pass up to Rashford on the left but he lets it leak out for a throw.  9:48PM 89 min Rashford has a dainty-footed dribble through the box from the left then bobbles a tame shot at Butland as he tried to open his body and arrow it in at the back post. Mishit it.  9:47PM 87 min Ach, Stoke. Shaqiri picks out a diaginal cross towards the penalty spot from the left and Diouf beats Smalling to it and controls it sufficiently well to allow him an unimpeded left-foot shot at goal from 12 yards. But he scuffs it, De Gea saves with his legs and gives him a second chance. Ireland, unmarked, screams for him to square it for a tap-in but Diouf goes his own way and scuds a left-foot shot wide.  Attempt Saved: Man Utd 3 - 0 Stoke (Mame Biram Diouf, 86 min)   9:44PM 84 min Another glorious pass from Pogba on halfway, chipping the ball over Wimmer who manages to reach it with the odd strand of hair. Valencia, bullocking down the whitewash takes it in his stride  and fires in a cross through the six-yard box. Rashford makes a near-post run and tries to back-flick it in with his right foot. Good save from Butland.  9:40PM 82 min Third United substitution: Mata off, McTominay on.  9:39PM 81 min Double United substitution: Lingard and Martial depart to be replaced by Fellaini and Rashford.  9:38PM 79 min United enjoy such a dominant spell of possession that poor old Stoke 'don't now what day it is'. It ends with a left-wing cross towards the penalty spot and Mata does a 'shut-that-door' flick that almost squeaks in at the right post. Lukaku, who cannot resist the temptation to lunge at the rebound off the woodwork, was offside.  Man Utd vs Stoke shots on goal   9:34PM 77 min After twenty-odd passes, though, Martial blunders his trap and the ball squirts to Zouma who clears.  9:34PM 76 min United are strolling now, metaphorically, and pinging passes around in Stoke's half.  9:32PM 73 min Lingard brings the ball forward through the middle from the centre-circle, sprinting towards the box. He lays it off to the left for Martial who cuts inside and then fires in a very heavy pass - shades of Gerrard there - but Lukaku controls it superbly with his chest (Stoke think it was his hand), turns to his right with his back to goal and skelps in a fierce left-foot shot past Butland who had no chance. Man Utd vs Stoke shots on goal   9:29PM GOAL!! Manchester United 3-0 Stoke City (Lukaku) Lukaku smashes in the third Credit: Matthew Peters/Man Utd via Getty Images   9:28PM 69 min Peter Crouch departs. Mame Biram Diouf enters.  9:25PM 68 min Lukaku is booked for a retaliation on Martins Indi then Ireland by his doppelganger Anthony Taylor for going through Mata.  9:24PM 66 min Butland makes a fine save with his feet from Lukaku after United overwhelm Stoke with their pace and movement. The ball rebounds out to the edge of the area. Lingard strikes it low on the volley, Butland saves again and Mata backheels in the rebound from an offside position 9:23PM 64 min Choupo-Moting off Sobhi on. Lingard is booked on the totting up principle for bundling Fletcher over.  9:21PM 61 min Lukaku centres to Lingard in the D from the left. He rolls the pass out to Mata who is charging into the box from the right. He tries to curl a left-footer inside the far post but can't get it to bend in at the last. Lingard had robbed Zouma to start the rapid counter.    9:18PM 59 min More Pogba brilliance, beating Bauer and clipping a left-foot cross into the box. Martial controls it, dinks it inside to try to throw Butland off balance but cannot find the room to squeeze it under the keeper who tries to smother it but it bobbles free. Lukaku  has another effort at poking it past but Butland is up to it.  9:16PM 57 min United corner taken short again and Lingard, who hasn't been at his best tonight, loses the ball as he tries to get into the box. Now it's 'Delilah' from the visiting fans. United are penning them in.  9:13PM 55 min Lukaku attempts to control the ball and hook it back over his shoulder for Pogba but succeeds only in eating the ball as he spanks it into his own mouth.  9:11PM 53 min The cries of 'Paul Lambert's barmy army' drowns out any United response. The home crowd, it has to be said, is preposterously quiet these days.  9:10PM 51 min Shaqiri is unamused when shoved into an advertising hoarding perhaps inadvertently, perhaps not, by Shaw. Shaqiri takes it out on the flashing sign in anti-capitalist rage and hurts his hand after slapping it.  9:08PM 49 min Zouma wins the ball off Shaw and gives it straight back to Pogba who threads a pass up the inside-left channel. The weight perhaps takes it too close to Butland even for swift-footed Achilles Martial at full pelt. Butland manages to get down on the ground, like a draught excluder, to block Martial's stabbed shot.  9:05PM 47 min Ireland has dropped deeper, too. Matic picks out Shaw who works it back to Pogba. The United No6 drills a diagonal over to Mata who cuts it back but there's no one arriving at the edge of the box.  9:03PM 46 min Wimmer - Daniel Levy saw them coming - slots straight in at left-back.  9:02PM Half-time substitution Kevin Wimmer replaces Josh Tymon.  8:56PM Martial's goal Anthony Martial scores United's second Credit: REUTERS/Andrew Yates  Here are the average touch positions to show you Pogba's influence (6) and Ireland's (7). Average touch positions (half time) Man Utd vs Stoke shots on goal   8:51PM Half time Stoke had their moments, Manchester United scored with two tremendous shots and have looked dominant in the last third and vulnerable around their own box. Pogba has all the space he needs to run this match and seems certain to carry on in the second-half. Ireland and Shaqiri are playing very well and Bauer looks very promising but the movement of Lingard, Martial, Lukaku and Mata is too much for Stoke's defence to contain. .  8:47PM 45+1 min De Gea dives low to his left to save Shaqiri's left-foot shot, an opportunity created by his wonderful control as he stunned the pass from the left to the D then drilled a scorching low shot towards goal. Excellent save that proves to be the last touch of the half.  8:46PM 44 min Pogba plays the same right to left pass for Martial that bypasses and isolates the middle of the Stoke defence but this time Martial was too hasty and bolted offside.  8:45PM 42 min United adopt sheer liquid football and Stoke's defence don't know what day it is. Pogba floats a pass from right-half to outside left for Shaw who lays it off to Martial. After scoring with that lovely strike he must think his boots are made of jam so tries an outrageous outisde of the foot chip to the back post for Lukaku who nods it back across goal. Lingard can't reach it but nobbut just.  8:41PM 40 min Valencia wins the ball off Choupo-Moting on halfway and on the right, drives forward and picks out Lukaku who holds it up  and takes it outside, pursued by Martins Indi then turns to roll a pass to Pogba by the right angle of the box. Pogba sees Martial to the left of the D in the space created by Lukaku's run, sweeps a pass over to him and the winger arcs in a shot, bending in a parabola unstoppably past Butland.  Man Utd 2 - 0 Stoke (Anthony Martial, 38 min)   8:38PM GOAL!! Man Utd 2-0 Stoke (Martial) 8:38PM 36 min Pogba torpedoes a 50-yard ball from right to left to pick out Shaw's run to the byline. The left-back pulls the ball back to Martial who shoots into Zouma. Deflection leads to corner. United take it short for the umpteenth time and Stoke scuttle it away. Why so many short corners? Stoke's height?  8:35PM 34 min Mata does that thing after falling over in the box to indicate that he's slipped - serves two purposes (A) No penalty and (B) I didn't dive. It looked as though he did 'go over easily' but because it's the paragon Juan, it couldn't possibly have been anything but a slip.  8:33PM 32 min United fans spark into life when Ireland, once of City, is struck amidships by Lingard's fierce drive but the bounce favours Stoke and Valencia has to bring Allen down to stop them breaking past halfway.  8:31PM 30 min Fletcher uses his resilience and experience to hold off Pogba at the price of a corner on the right that United take short from Mata to Lingard who hangs it up at the back post. Butland drops the slithery ball but pocks it up at the second attempt. Pogba was offside in any case.  8:29PM 28 min United break quickly up the left and Mata, at the end of a slick passing move, cuts a pass back to Martial who balloons a wanton shot over the bar.  Miss: Man Utd 1 - 0 Stoke (Stephen Ireland, 21 min)   8:27PM 25 min Stoke move it out to the right for Shaqiri and his wand. He bends in a cross to the back post and De Gea comes for it but, rare for him, flaps under the challenge of Crouch who nods it back across the now unguarded net. Choupo-Moting meets it on the volley but Jones throws himself in to block from point-blank range and saves a certain goal. Corner. Small wonder Jose Mourinho is off the bench and shouting. Stoke have made four good chances in the past 10 minutes.  Man Utd vs Stoke shots on goal   8:25PM 24 min Very quiet at Old Trafford as Stoke enjoy a good five minutes. Ireland makes another interception, motors forward and Pogba kicks him up the back of his thigh. Free kick.  8:24PM 22 min What a chance for Stoke - all made by Martial's indolence in helping Shaw out when attacked by Allen and Bauer who looks a decent player. The right-back responds to Shaqiri's run inside with a square pass across the 18-yard line that he controls immaculately then dinks the perfect throughball to Ireland who has made a great run. Ireland, 15 yards out, stretches to shoot and pokes it wide. Not exactly a sitter but a chance you have to take.  Miss: Man Utd 1 - 0 Stoke (Stephen Ireland, 21 min)   8:21PM 20 min Here's the goal: Valencia scores Credit:  Robbie Jay Barratt - AMA/Getty Images  Choupo-Moting squanders possession and United break.  8:19PM 18 min Bauer's cross from the right finds Ireland in the United box just shy of the penalty spot and in space. But as he traps the centre it sticks under his feet and gobbles up precious time so that when he does manage to shoot he was being closed down and scuffs it wide.  Miss: Man Utd 1 - 0 Stoke (Stephen Ireland, 16 min)   8:17PM 16 min Clever interception from Ireland thwarts Shaw's cross and he scurries out of defence, laying it off to Choupo-Moting then positioning himself for the return. He kills the pass and pushes the ball out to the right into Shaqiri's path. Shaqiri bends in a left-footer towards the back post that Crouch wins but can't get any power on it. He does enough to retain possession, lay it back and Stoke come again.  8:14PM 14 min The ball is sticking to Lukaku tonight and he is astutely bringing Martial, Lingard, Mata and Pogba into play as attacking threats.  8:12PM 12 min Shaqiri shows us his exquisite technique with a spectacular bicycle kick to meet an outswinging left-wing cross. He meets it crisply but De Gea gets down low to his left to smother it.  8:11PM 10 min Made by Pogba's crossfield chip. Valencia leaves Choupo-Moting stranded, drifts inside on to his left, losing Tymon with a dip of the shoulder before finishing with a 16-yard sweetly-struck, unstoppable curler. Man Utd 1 - 0 Stoke (Antonio Valencia, 9 min) 8:09PM GOAL!! Manchester United 1-0 Stoke (Valencia) 8:08PM 7 min Mata chips a curling left-foot pass from inside-right over the central defenders and Martial makes the run to head it. Bauer, who had his arm on Martial's back, slipped and fell, taking his opponent with him. Big shout for a penalty that the referee ignores but the replay has heads nodding in unison with the fatuous 'I've seen 'em given'' verdict.  8:06PM 6 min Tymon tries to turn Valencia on halfway but can't drive past him once he'd turned back to face him. Valencia kicks the ball on to his shins to take the throw-in. It's sheeting down.  8:04PM 4 min Pogba shifts it up the inside left channel, sweeping it 20 yards upfield. Lukaku takes it in his stride and lays it out to the left for Martial then heads for the six-yard box. Lingard makes the near-post run but the United winger drags his centre behind his team-mate and Stoke work it clear.  8:02PM 2 min Stoke recycle, bang it up to Crouch who is penalised for clattering Jones as he shielded the ball. United take the free-kick, move it up to Lukaku who lats it off to Lingard. Shaqiri hacks him down. Free kick 10 yards inside the Stoke half.  8:01PM 1 min Stoke, in blue, kick off and Stephen Ireland takes it and instigates a move up the right that has to go backwards to go forward. Martins Indi whacks it long and Valencia fires it back, over the top, and beyond Lukaku.  7:58PM Out come the teams Kick off is now just moments away. And the commentator is Alan Parry, just as it was for the Cyrille Regis clip below.  7:48PM Paul Lambert is present and correct Paul Lambert watches his new side at old Trafford Credit: Gareth Copley/Getty Images  He did pretty well at Wolves last season and was terrific at Norwich. Villa, though, was a trial for every supporter who was forced to watch austerity football while Randy Lerner tried to sell. Having said that Ron Vlaar, Christian Benteke and Karim El Anmadi were decent signings.  7:19PM Henrikh Mkhitaryan Is not in Manchester United's XVIII apparently because his head 'is not in the right place'. Or is it his body that's in N5/N7?  Jose Mourinho on Mkhitaryan's omission from tonight's squad: "I would lie if I said it was a pure tactical decision." #mufc [sky]— utdhq (@utdhq) January 15, 2018   7:17PM Those teams in black and white Man Utd De Gea; Valencia, Jones, Smalling, Shaw; Pogba, Matic; Mata, Lingard, Martial; Lukaku.  Substitutes Joel Pereira, Lindelof, Rojo, Ander Herrera, Fellaini, McTominay, Rashford. It's chucking it down at Old Trafford Credit: Michael Regan/Getty Images Stoke City Butland; Bauer, Zouma, Martins Indi, Tymon; Fletcher, Allen; Shaqiri, Ireland, Choupo-Moting; Crouch.  Substitutes Grant, Edwards, Wimmer, Afellay, Adam, Diouf, Sobhi.  Referee Anthony Taylor (Wythenshawe). 7:02PM Antonio Valencia is back for Man Utd Here is how the Reds line up for #MUNSTK... �� pic.twitter.com/otGid7EQkS— Manchester United (@ManUtd) January 15, 2018   7:02PM You know that business about Eddie Niedzwiecki not making many changes ... Ignore it. He's made seven and Moritz Bauer makes his Premier League debut.  Eddie Niedzwiecki makes 7⃣ changes to tonight's team that faces @ManUtd at Old Trafford. �� Bauer, Martins Indi, Tymon, Fletcher, Shaqiri, Choupo-Moting and Crouch all make the starting XI. City line-up in a 4-2-3-1 formation.#SCFC ��⚪️ pic.twitter.com/2CIECRjITg— Stoke City FC (@stokecity) January 15, 2018   6:59PM In memoriam   6:56PM Good evening And welcome to coverage of Manchester United vs Stoke City, the last Premier League match of what those people who we need to cut out of our lives would call ‘round 23’ of the ‘EPL’. We find both clubs loitering around in a kind of threshold. Stoke, obviously, having been turned down by Gary Rowett, Quique Sanchez Flores and Martin O’Neill, are ready to embark on the Paul Lambert era though tonight his will be a watching brief. Given that caretaker Eddie Niedzwiecki has been at Mark Hughes’ side with Wales, Blackburn, Man City, Fulham, QPR and the Oatcake Eaters, he’s hardly likely to pick a radically altered side because to do so would be an implicit rebuke of his friend and former and future boss. So tonight may just be a case of limbo until Lambert makes his mark or purgatory if your view of Lambert’s appointment is as pessimistic as some on that twerps’ trumpet, Twitter, are lamenting. As for Manchester United, it seems that they stand on the verge of signing Alexis Sánchez which will add some much needed dynamism into their attack though I’m not sure how tameable his talent and instincts will be for Jose Mourinho. He certainly won’t step on the throat of his own song like, say, Joe Cole did at Chelsea to track back or Samuel Eto’o at Inter but he may be employed in the manner of Wesley Sneijder or Arjen Robben - indulged if never wholly embraced. Rarely for a Mourinho side, tonight begs a performance more than the result. They played well in the second half at Goodison and there were fluent passages in the draw with Leicester and the victory over West Brom but it has been far too sporadic for the past two months. Ali Sanchez Manchester City’s defeat on Sunday gives United the opportunity to narrow the gap between first and second to 12 points with a win here. It’s still an enormous lead but for those Reds looking for comfort, it was exactly the position United found themselves in 21 years ago behind Newcastle United with 15 games to play and they ended up winning the title by three points. City are not Newcastle obviously but it’s worth pointing out. And a comfortable victory would surely be the only outcome a sane person would accept a wager on tonight. It’s 42 years since Stoke have won at Old Trafford, when Bomber Sheldon set up Bluto Bloor to glance in an 87th-minute winner and end United’s 14-month home unbeaten record and their chances of winning the Double with a couple of games of the season to go. As any fule kno, Southampton, then of Division Two, did for them in the Cup to make it a miserable April and May for Tommy Docherty’s side. Mourinho, with two trophies last year and Sánchez to come, will not be as vulnerable to Alan Bloor and Bobby Stokes type figures in April and May 2018.

Manchester United 3 Stoke City 0: Paul Pogba masterclass brings swagger back

He has the confidence, the ability and the swagger to play for Manchester United. But enough of Alexis Sanchez. This was Paul Pogba’s night – and he also possesses those formidable qualities - with the United midfielder dominating a sorry Stoke side. Plucky Potters? Not against Pogba who provided two clever assists and ran the game as United consolidated themselves in second place in the Premier League and cut Manchester City’s lead to 12 points. United have beaten City in the race to sign Alexis Sanchez from Arsenal or, rather, City have pulled out of that contest believing the finances just do not stack up and, barring a late intervention from Chelsea, it appears the Chilean forward will be another of Pogba’s team-mates hoping to profit from his sharp creativity. For United’s fans there is the tantalising vision of Pogba in a free role – finally Jose Mourinho has come to realise that is the best use of him – opening up defences for the alert movement and relentlessness of Sanchez and the bludgeoning power of Romelu Lukaku. Suddenly, they will hope, the future looks brighter for them as they continue that chase to reduce City’s dominance, to fend off Liverpool, Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur, and to give themselves momentum going into the remainder of this season and the next campaign. Antonio Valencia curled in the first with his left foot Credit:  Robbie Jay Barratt - AMA/Getty Images Whether they will face Stoke in the Premier League again next season remains to be seen. Stoke are in the relegation places but, finally, they appointed a successor to Mark Hughes and hours later Paul Lambert took his place in the Old Trafford directors' box, watching on as caretaker Eddie Niedzwiecki, for his one game in charge, produced a demob-happy coaching performance by putting out an attacking team and opening up the game. It worked only in that it created chances – and Stoke did that, and it would have been interesting had they drawn level in the first-half, when just a goal down, as surely they should have done – but not in defending. The three goals conceded here mean, in fact, that Stoke have become the first team in any of Europe’s top five leagues to let in 50 goals this season. With 23 matches played that is more than two a game – not good enough for a team that spent heavily in bringing in defenders last summer. Lambert has work to do. But then he knew that. And he also knew that this was, in all probability, little more than a fixture to fulfil. Damage had to be limited and, in that, they owed a debt again to their goalkeeper Jack Butland who once more produced a series of saves even if he was quickly beaten. Pogba was central to it. He collected possession, after some fine build-up play, and ran across the face of the penalty area before pushing the ball out wide to Antonio Valencia. The United captain was returning, after four weeks out with a hamstring injury, and celebrated by cutting inside and arcing a left-foot shot (yes, left foot from Valencia) around Butland from just inside the area. It was a superb strike; a well-worked goal. Stephen Ireland snatched at a couple of first-half chances Credit: REUTERS/Andrew Yates Cue the cameras cutting to Lambert, attempting to elicit a response. The Scot buried his head in his coat – but that was more to do with responding to the cold, the hail and the swirling rain. But there was no downpour on his new team. Instead they carved United open. There was an overhead kick from Xherdan Shaqiri, held by David De Gea, and then Stephen Ireland – making his first league start in almost two years – spurned two chances. He snatched at both, dragging his shots wide, when he had space and time to do better. Stoke came closest of all when their new signing, Austrian full-back Moritz Bauer, on his debut, hoisted a high cross into the area and Peter Crouch beat De Gea to it. The ball dropped to Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting, who seemed certain to score, only for his half-volley to be deflected over the cross-bar by a lunging Phil Jones. “I didn’t like the first half. I only liked the two amazing goals,” Mourinho later said, and United’s second was as good as their first with Lukaku running down the right, turning the ball back inside to Pogba who had the presence of mind and vision to move it across goal, with a ‘no-look pass’, where it was met by Anthony Martial who struck a precise first-time, side-footed shot that curled around Butland and high into the net. Anthony Martial made it 2-0 Credit: Robbie Jay Barratt - AMA/Getty Images As a contest, it was over. Stoke appeared dispirited. It was a question, then, of how many United would score but – instead - they were wasteful. Firstly Pogba almost claimed his third assist when he intercepted a sloppy pass by Kurt Zouma and stabbed the ball through to Martial. Butland blocked. Then Martial wriggled clear only for Butland to deny him, again, before Juan Mata turned the ball wide and, soon after, shot over. Butland thwarted Lukaku with his legs but was finally beaten by the striker when Jesse Lingard broke, Martial fired the ball into the Belgium international and the Stoke defenders stood off as he picked his spot and drilled his shot low inside the post. There should have been a goal back when substitute Mame Biram Diouf chested down Shaqiri’s flighted pass only for De Gea to block his first shot, and the former United forward to send his second into the side-netting. There would be no consolation. 9:52PM Full time Manchester United narrow the gap to 12 points with a resounding victory orchestrated by a fine performance from Paul Pogba. Stoke had several moments of inspiration going forward but need some bodies as well as some younger legs in defence and defensive midfield.  9:50PM 90+2 min McTominay tries to glide past Martins Indi who bundles him over at the edge of the D. Time enough for Pogba to take the free-kick ... which he scoops miles over and the referee blows for time's up.  9:49PM 90+1 min The first of two added minutes begins with man-of-the-match Pogba pinging a long pass up to Rashford on the left but he lets it leak out for a throw.  9:48PM 89 min Rashford has a dainty-footed dribble through the box from the left then bobbles a tame shot at Butland as he tried to open his body and arrow it in at the back post. Mishit it.  9:47PM 87 min Ach, Stoke. Shaqiri picks out a diaginal cross towards the penalty spot from the left and Diouf beats Smalling to it and controls it sufficiently well to allow him an unimpeded left-foot shot at goal from 12 yards. But he scuffs it, De Gea saves with his legs and gives him a second chance. Ireland, unmarked, screams for him to square it for a tap-in but Diouf goes his own way and scuds a left-foot shot wide.  Attempt Saved: Man Utd 3 - 0 Stoke (Mame Biram Diouf, 86 min)   9:44PM 84 min Another glorious pass from Pogba on halfway, chipping the ball over Wimmer who manages to reach it with the odd strand of hair. Valencia, bullocking down the whitewash takes it in his stride  and fires in a cross through the six-yard box. Rashford makes a near-post run and tries to back-flick it in with his right foot. Good save from Butland.  9:40PM 82 min Third United substitution: Mata off, McTominay on.  9:39PM 81 min Double United substitution: Lingard and Martial depart to be replaced by Fellaini and Rashford.  9:38PM 79 min United enjoy such a dominant spell of possession that poor old Stoke 'don't now what day it is'. It ends with a left-wing cross towards the penalty spot and Mata does a 'shut-that-door' flick that almost squeaks in at the right post. Lukaku, who cannot resist the temptation to lunge at the rebound off the woodwork, was offside.  Man Utd vs Stoke shots on goal   9:34PM 77 min After twenty-odd passes, though, Martial blunders his trap and the ball squirts to Zouma who clears.  9:34PM 76 min United are strolling now, metaphorically, and pinging passes around in Stoke's half.  9:32PM 73 min Lingard brings the ball forward through the middle from the centre-circle, sprinting towards the box. He lays it off to the left for Martial who cuts inside and then fires in a very heavy pass - shades of Gerrard there - but Lukaku controls it superbly with his chest (Stoke think it was his hand), turns to his right with his back to goal and skelps in a fierce left-foot shot past Butland who had no chance. Man Utd vs Stoke shots on goal   9:29PM GOAL!! Manchester United 3-0 Stoke City (Lukaku) Lukaku smashes in the third Credit: Matthew Peters/Man Utd via Getty Images   9:28PM 69 min Peter Crouch departs. Mame Biram Diouf enters.  9:25PM 68 min Lukaku is booked for a retaliation on Martins Indi then Ireland by his doppelganger Anthony Taylor for going through Mata.  9:24PM 66 min Butland makes a fine save with his feet from Lukaku after United overwhelm Stoke with their pace and movement. The ball rebounds out to the edge of the area. Lingard strikes it low on the volley, Butland saves again and Mata backheels in the rebound from an offside position 9:23PM 64 min Choupo-Moting off Sobhi on. Lingard is booked on the totting up principle for bundling Fletcher over.  9:21PM 61 min Lukaku centres to Lingard in the D from the left. He rolls the pass out to Mata who is charging into the box from the right. He tries to curl a left-footer inside the far post but can't get it to bend in at the last. Lingard had robbed Zouma to start the rapid counter.    9:18PM 59 min More Pogba brilliance, beating Bauer and clipping a left-foot cross into the box. Martial controls it, dinks it inside to try to throw Butland off balance but cannot find the room to squeeze it under the keeper who tries to smother it but it bobbles free. Lukaku  has another effort at poking it past but Butland is up to it.  9:16PM 57 min United corner taken short again and Lingard, who hasn't been at his best tonight, loses the ball as he tries to get into the box. Now it's 'Delilah' from the visiting fans. United are penning them in.  9:13PM 55 min Lukaku attempts to control the ball and hook it back over his shoulder for Pogba but succeeds only in eating the ball as he spanks it into his own mouth.  9:11PM 53 min The cries of 'Paul Lambert's barmy army' drowns out any United response. The home crowd, it has to be said, is preposterously quiet these days.  9:10PM 51 min Shaqiri is unamused when shoved into an advertising hoarding perhaps inadvertently, perhaps not, by Shaw. Shaqiri takes it out on the flashing sign in anti-capitalist rage and hurts his hand after slapping it.  9:08PM 49 min Zouma wins the ball off Shaw and gives it straight back to Pogba who threads a pass up the inside-left channel. The weight perhaps takes it too close to Butland even for swift-footed Achilles Martial at full pelt. Butland manages to get down on the ground, like a draught excluder, to block Martial's stabbed shot.  9:05PM 47 min Ireland has dropped deeper, too. Matic picks out Shaw who works it back to Pogba. The United No6 drills a diagonal over to Mata who cuts it back but there's no one arriving at the edge of the box.  9:03PM 46 min Wimmer - Daniel Levy saw them coming - slots straight in at left-back.  9:02PM Half-time substitution Kevin Wimmer replaces Josh Tymon.  8:56PM Martial's goal Anthony Martial scores United's second Credit: REUTERS/Andrew Yates  Here are the average touch positions to show you Pogba's influence (6) and Ireland's (7). Average touch positions (half time) Man Utd vs Stoke shots on goal   8:51PM Half time Stoke had their moments, Manchester United scored with two tremendous shots and have looked dominant in the last third and vulnerable around their own box. Pogba has all the space he needs to run this match and seems certain to carry on in the second-half. Ireland and Shaqiri are playing very well and Bauer looks very promising but the movement of Lingard, Martial, Lukaku and Mata is too much for Stoke's defence to contain. .  8:47PM 45+1 min De Gea dives low to his left to save Shaqiri's left-foot shot, an opportunity created by his wonderful control as he stunned the pass from the left to the D then drilled a scorching low shot towards goal. Excellent save that proves to be the last touch of the half.  8:46PM 44 min Pogba plays the same right to left pass for Martial that bypasses and isolates the middle of the Stoke defence but this time Martial was too hasty and bolted offside.  8:45PM 42 min United adopt sheer liquid football and Stoke's defence don't know what day it is. Pogba floats a pass from right-half to outside left for Shaw who lays it off to Martial. After scoring with that lovely strike he must think his boots are made of jam so tries an outrageous outisde of the foot chip to the back post for Lukaku who nods it back across goal. Lingard can't reach it but nobbut just.  8:41PM 40 min Valencia wins the ball off Choupo-Moting on halfway and on the right, drives forward and picks out Lukaku who holds it up  and takes it outside, pursued by Martins Indi then turns to roll a pass to Pogba by the right angle of the box. Pogba sees Martial to the left of the D in the space created by Lukaku's run, sweeps a pass over to him and the winger arcs in a shot, bending in a parabola unstoppably past Butland.  Man Utd 2 - 0 Stoke (Anthony Martial, 38 min)   8:38PM GOAL!! Man Utd 2-0 Stoke (Martial) 8:38PM 36 min Pogba torpedoes a 50-yard ball from right to left to pick out Shaw's run to the byline. The left-back pulls the ball back to Martial who shoots into Zouma. Deflection leads to corner. United take it short for the umpteenth time and Stoke scuttle it away. Why so many short corners? Stoke's height?  8:35PM 34 min Mata does that thing after falling over in the box to indicate that he's slipped - serves two purposes (A) No penalty and (B) I didn't dive. It looked as though he did 'go over easily' but because it's the paragon Juan, it couldn't possibly have been anything but a slip.  8:33PM 32 min United fans spark into life when Ireland, once of City, is struck amidships by Lingard's fierce drive but the bounce favours Stoke and Valencia has to bring Allen down to stop them breaking past halfway.  8:31PM 30 min Fletcher uses his resilience and experience to hold off Pogba at the price of a corner on the right that United take short from Mata to Lingard who hangs it up at the back post. Butland drops the slithery ball but pocks it up at the second attempt. Pogba was offside in any case.  8:29PM 28 min United break quickly up the left and Mata, at the end of a slick passing move, cuts a pass back to Martial who balloons a wanton shot over the bar.  Miss: Man Utd 1 - 0 Stoke (Stephen Ireland, 21 min)   8:27PM 25 min Stoke move it out to the right for Shaqiri and his wand. He bends in a cross to the back post and De Gea comes for it but, rare for him, flaps under the challenge of Crouch who nods it back across the now unguarded net. Choupo-Moting meets it on the volley but Jones throws himself in to block from point-blank range and saves a certain goal. Corner. Small wonder Jose Mourinho is off the bench and shouting. Stoke have made four good chances in the past 10 minutes.  Man Utd vs Stoke shots on goal   8:25PM 24 min Very quiet at Old Trafford as Stoke enjoy a good five minutes. Ireland makes another interception, motors forward and Pogba kicks him up the back of his thigh. Free kick.  8:24PM 22 min What a chance for Stoke - all made by Martial's indolence in helping Shaw out when attacked by Allen and Bauer who looks a decent player. The right-back responds to Shaqiri's run inside with a square pass across the 18-yard line that he controls immaculately then dinks the perfect throughball to Ireland who has made a great run. Ireland, 15 yards out, stretches to shoot and pokes it wide. Not exactly a sitter but a chance you have to take.  Miss: Man Utd 1 - 0 Stoke (Stephen Ireland, 21 min)   8:21PM 20 min Here's the goal: Valencia scores Credit:  Robbie Jay Barratt - AMA/Getty Images  Choupo-Moting squanders possession and United break.  8:19PM 18 min Bauer's cross from the right finds Ireland in the United box just shy of the penalty spot and in space. But as he traps the centre it sticks under his feet and gobbles up precious time so that when he does manage to shoot he was being closed down and scuffs it wide.  Miss: Man Utd 1 - 0 Stoke (Stephen Ireland, 16 min)   8:17PM 16 min Clever interception from Ireland thwarts Shaw's cross and he scurries out of defence, laying it off to Choupo-Moting then positioning himself for the return. He kills the pass and pushes the ball out to the right into Shaqiri's path. Shaqiri bends in a left-footer towards the back post that Crouch wins but can't get any power on it. He does enough to retain possession, lay it back and Stoke come again.  8:14PM 14 min The ball is sticking to Lukaku tonight and he is astutely bringing Martial, Lingard, Mata and Pogba into play as attacking threats.  8:12PM 12 min Shaqiri shows us his exquisite technique with a spectacular bicycle kick to meet an outswinging left-wing cross. He meets it crisply but De Gea gets down low to his left to smother it.  8:11PM 10 min Made by Pogba's crossfield chip. Valencia leaves Choupo-Moting stranded, drifts inside on to his left, losing Tymon with a dip of the shoulder before finishing with a 16-yard sweetly-struck, unstoppable curler. Man Utd 1 - 0 Stoke (Antonio Valencia, 9 min) 8:09PM GOAL!! Manchester United 1-0 Stoke (Valencia) 8:08PM 7 min Mata chips a curling left-foot pass from inside-right over the central defenders and Martial makes the run to head it. Bauer, who had his arm on Martial's back, slipped and fell, taking his opponent with him. Big shout for a penalty that the referee ignores but the replay has heads nodding in unison with the fatuous 'I've seen 'em given'' verdict.  8:06PM 6 min Tymon tries to turn Valencia on halfway but can't drive past him once he'd turned back to face him. Valencia kicks the ball on to his shins to take the throw-in. It's sheeting down.  8:04PM 4 min Pogba shifts it up the inside left channel, sweeping it 20 yards upfield. Lukaku takes it in his stride and lays it out to the left for Martial then heads for the six-yard box. Lingard makes the near-post run but the United winger drags his centre behind his team-mate and Stoke work it clear.  8:02PM 2 min Stoke recycle, bang it up to Crouch who is penalised for clattering Jones as he shielded the ball. United take the free-kick, move it up to Lukaku who lats it off to Lingard. Shaqiri hacks him down. Free kick 10 yards inside the Stoke half.  8:01PM 1 min Stoke, in blue, kick off and Stephen Ireland takes it and instigates a move up the right that has to go backwards to go forward. Martins Indi whacks it long and Valencia fires it back, over the top, and beyond Lukaku.  7:58PM Out come the teams Kick off is now just moments away. And the commentator is Alan Parry, just as it was for the Cyrille Regis clip below.  7:48PM Paul Lambert is present and correct Paul Lambert watches his new side at old Trafford Credit: Gareth Copley/Getty Images  He did pretty well at Wolves last season and was terrific at Norwich. Villa, though, was a trial for every supporter who was forced to watch austerity football while Randy Lerner tried to sell. Having said that Ron Vlaar, Christian Benteke and Karim El Anmadi were decent signings.  7:19PM Henrikh Mkhitaryan Is not in Manchester United's XVIII apparently because his head 'is not in the right place'. Or is it his body that's in N5/N7?  Jose Mourinho on Mkhitaryan's omission from tonight's squad: "I would lie if I said it was a pure tactical decision." #mufc [sky]— utdhq (@utdhq) January 15, 2018   7:17PM Those teams in black and white Man Utd De Gea; Valencia, Jones, Smalling, Shaw; Pogba, Matic; Mata, Lingard, Martial; Lukaku.  Substitutes Joel Pereira, Lindelof, Rojo, Ander Herrera, Fellaini, McTominay, Rashford. It's chucking it down at Old Trafford Credit: Michael Regan/Getty Images Stoke City Butland; Bauer, Zouma, Martins Indi, Tymon; Fletcher, Allen; Shaqiri, Ireland, Choupo-Moting; Crouch.  Substitutes Grant, Edwards, Wimmer, Afellay, Adam, Diouf, Sobhi.  Referee Anthony Taylor (Wythenshawe). 7:02PM Antonio Valencia is back for Man Utd Here is how the Reds line up for #MUNSTK... �� pic.twitter.com/otGid7EQkS— Manchester United (@ManUtd) January 15, 2018   7:02PM You know that business about Eddie Niedzwiecki not making many changes ... Ignore it. He's made seven and Moritz Bauer makes his Premier League debut.  Eddie Niedzwiecki makes 7⃣ changes to tonight's team that faces @ManUtd at Old Trafford. �� Bauer, Martins Indi, Tymon, Fletcher, Shaqiri, Choupo-Moting and Crouch all make the starting XI. City line-up in a 4-2-3-1 formation.#SCFC ��⚪️ pic.twitter.com/2CIECRjITg— Stoke City FC (@stokecity) January 15, 2018   6:59PM In memoriam   6:56PM Good evening And welcome to coverage of Manchester United vs Stoke City, the last Premier League match of what those people who we need to cut out of our lives would call ‘round 23’ of the ‘EPL’. We find both clubs loitering around in a kind of threshold. Stoke, obviously, having been turned down by Gary Rowett, Quique Sanchez Flores and Martin O’Neill, are ready to embark on the Paul Lambert era though tonight his will be a watching brief. Given that caretaker Eddie Niedzwiecki has been at Mark Hughes’ side with Wales, Blackburn, Man City, Fulham, QPR and the Oatcake Eaters, he’s hardly likely to pick a radically altered side because to do so would be an implicit rebuke of his friend and former and future boss. So tonight may just be a case of limbo until Lambert makes his mark or purgatory if your view of Lambert’s appointment is as pessimistic as some on that twerps’ trumpet, Twitter, are lamenting. As for Manchester United, it seems that they stand on the verge of signing Alexis Sánchez which will add some much needed dynamism into their attack though I’m not sure how tameable his talent and instincts will be for Jose Mourinho. He certainly won’t step on the throat of his own song like, say, Joe Cole did at Chelsea to track back or Samuel Eto’o at Inter but he may be employed in the manner of Wesley Sneijder or Arjen Robben - indulged if never wholly embraced. Rarely for a Mourinho side, tonight begs a performance more than the result. They played well in the second half at Goodison and there were fluent passages in the draw with Leicester and the victory over West Brom but it has been far too sporadic for the past two months. Ali Sanchez Manchester City’s defeat on Sunday gives United the opportunity to narrow the gap between first and second to 12 points with a win here. It’s still an enormous lead but for those Reds looking for comfort, it was exactly the position United found themselves in 21 years ago behind Newcastle United with 15 games to play and they ended up winning the title by three points. City are not Newcastle obviously but it’s worth pointing out. And a comfortable victory would surely be the only outcome a sane person would accept a wager on tonight. It’s 42 years since Stoke have won at Old Trafford, when Bomber Sheldon set up Bluto Bloor to glance in an 87th-minute winner and end United’s 14-month home unbeaten record and their chances of winning the Double with a couple of games of the season to go. As any fule kno, Southampton, then of Division Two, did for them in the Cup to make it a miserable April and May for Tommy Docherty’s side. Mourinho, with two trophies last year and Sánchez to come, will not be as vulnerable to Alan Bloor and Bobby Stokes type figures in April and May 2018.

Manchester United 3 Stoke City 0: Paul Pogba masterclass brings swagger back

He has the confidence, the ability and the swagger to play for Manchester United. But enough of Alexis Sanchez. This was Paul Pogba’s night – and he also possesses those formidable qualities - with the United midfielder dominating a sorry Stoke side. Plucky Potters? Not against Pogba who provided two clever assists and ran the game as United consolidated themselves in second place in the Premier League and cut Manchester City’s lead to 12 points. United have beaten City in the race to sign Alexis Sanchez from Arsenal or, rather, City have pulled out of that contest believing the finances just do not stack up and, barring a late intervention from Chelsea, it appears the Chilean forward will be another of Pogba’s team-mates hoping to profit from his sharp creativity. For United’s fans there is the tantalising vision of Pogba in a free role – finally Jose Mourinho has come to realise that is the best use of him – opening up defences for the alert movement and relentlessness of Sanchez and the bludgeoning power of Romelu Lukaku. Suddenly, they will hope, the future looks brighter for them as they continue that chase to reduce City’s dominance, to fend off Liverpool, Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur, and to give themselves momentum going into the remainder of this season and the next campaign. Antonio Valencia curled in the first with his left foot Credit:  Robbie Jay Barratt - AMA/Getty Images Whether they will face Stoke in the Premier League again next season remains to be seen. Stoke are in the relegation places but, finally, they appointed a successor to Mark Hughes and hours later Paul Lambert took his place in the Old Trafford directors' box, watching on as caretaker Eddie Niedzwiecki, for his one game in charge, produced a demob-happy coaching performance by putting out an attacking team and opening up the game. It worked only in that it created chances – and Stoke did that, and it would have been interesting had they drawn level in the first-half, when just a goal down, as surely they should have done – but not in defending. The three goals conceded here mean, in fact, that Stoke have become the first team in any of Europe’s top five leagues to let in 50 goals this season. With 23 matches played that is more than two a game – not good enough for a team that spent heavily in bringing in defenders last summer. Lambert has work to do. But then he knew that. And he also knew that this was, in all probability, little more than a fixture to fulfil. Damage had to be limited and, in that, they owed a debt again to their goalkeeper Jack Butland who once more produced a series of saves even if he was quickly beaten. Pogba was central to it. He collected possession, after some fine build-up play, and ran across the face of the penalty area before pushing the ball out wide to Antonio Valencia. The United captain was returning, after four weeks out with a hamstring injury, and celebrated by cutting inside and arcing a left-foot shot (yes, left foot from Valencia) around Butland from just inside the area. It was a superb strike; a well-worked goal. Stephen Ireland snatched at a couple of first-half chances Credit: REUTERS/Andrew Yates Cue the cameras cutting to Lambert, attempting to elicit a response. The Scot buried his head in his coat – but that was more to do with responding to the cold, the hail and the swirling rain. But there was no downpour on his new team. Instead they carved United open. There was an overhead kick from Xherdan Shaqiri, held by David De Gea, and then Stephen Ireland – making his first league start in almost two years – spurned two chances. He snatched at both, dragging his shots wide, when he had space and time to do better. Stoke came closest of all when their new signing, Austrian full-back Moritz Bauer, on his debut, hoisted a high cross into the area and Peter Crouch beat De Gea to it. The ball dropped to Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting, who seemed certain to score, only for his half-volley to be deflected over the cross-bar by a lunging Phil Jones. “I didn’t like the first half. I only liked the two amazing goals,” Mourinho later said, and United’s second was as good as their first with Lukaku running down the right, turning the ball back inside to Pogba who had the presence of mind and vision to move it across goal, with a ‘no-look pass’, where it was met by Anthony Martial who struck a precise first-time, side-footed shot that curled around Butland and high into the net. Anthony Martial made it 2-0 Credit: Robbie Jay Barratt - AMA/Getty Images As a contest, it was over. Stoke appeared dispirited. It was a question, then, of how many United would score but – instead - they were wasteful. Firstly Pogba almost claimed his third assist when he intercepted a sloppy pass by Kurt Zouma and stabbed the ball through to Martial. Butland blocked. Then Martial wriggled clear only for Butland to deny him, again, before Juan Mata turned the ball wide and, soon after, shot over. Butland thwarted Lukaku with his legs but was finally beaten by the striker when Jesse Lingard broke, Martial fired the ball into the Belgium international and the Stoke defenders stood off as he picked his spot and drilled his shot low inside the post. There should have been a goal back when substitute Mame Biram Diouf chested down Shaqiri’s flighted pass only for De Gea to block his first shot, and the former United forward to send his second into the side-netting. There would be no consolation. 9:52PM Full time Manchester United narrow the gap to 12 points with a resounding victory orchestrated by a fine performance from Paul Pogba. Stoke had several moments of inspiration going forward but need some bodies as well as some younger legs in defence and defensive midfield.  9:50PM 90+2 min McTominay tries to glide past Martins Indi who bundles him over at the edge of the D. Time enough for Pogba to take the free-kick ... which he scoops miles over and the referee blows for time's up.  9:49PM 90+1 min The first of two added minutes begins with man-of-the-match Pogba pinging a long pass up to Rashford on the left but he lets it leak out for a throw.  9:48PM 89 min Rashford has a dainty-footed dribble through the box from the left then bobbles a tame shot at Butland as he tried to open his body and arrow it in at the back post. Mishit it.  9:47PM 87 min Ach, Stoke. Shaqiri picks out a diaginal cross towards the penalty spot from the left and Diouf beats Smalling to it and controls it sufficiently well to allow him an unimpeded left-foot shot at goal from 12 yards. But he scuffs it, De Gea saves with his legs and gives him a second chance. Ireland, unmarked, screams for him to square it for a tap-in but Diouf goes his own way and scuds a left-foot shot wide.  Attempt Saved: Man Utd 3 - 0 Stoke (Mame Biram Diouf, 86 min)   9:44PM 84 min Another glorious pass from Pogba on halfway, chipping the ball over Wimmer who manages to reach it with the odd strand of hair. Valencia, bullocking down the whitewash takes it in his stride  and fires in a cross through the six-yard box. Rashford makes a near-post run and tries to back-flick it in with his right foot. Good save from Butland.  9:40PM 82 min Third United substitution: Mata off, McTominay on.  9:39PM 81 min Double United substitution: Lingard and Martial depart to be replaced by Fellaini and Rashford.  9:38PM 79 min United enjoy such a dominant spell of possession that poor old Stoke 'don't now what day it is'. It ends with a left-wing cross towards the penalty spot and Mata does a 'shut-that-door' flick that almost squeaks in at the right post. Lukaku, who cannot resist the temptation to lunge at the rebound off the woodwork, was offside.  Man Utd vs Stoke shots on goal   9:34PM 77 min After twenty-odd passes, though, Martial blunders his trap and the ball squirts to Zouma who clears.  9:34PM 76 min United are strolling now, metaphorically, and pinging passes around in Stoke's half.  9:32PM 73 min Lingard brings the ball forward through the middle from the centre-circle, sprinting towards the box. He lays it off to the left for Martial who cuts inside and then fires in a very heavy pass - shades of Gerrard there - but Lukaku controls it superbly with his chest (Stoke think it was his hand), turns to his right with his back to goal and skelps in a fierce left-foot shot past Butland who had no chance. Man Utd vs Stoke shots on goal   9:29PM GOAL!! Manchester United 3-0 Stoke City (Lukaku) Lukaku smashes in the third Credit: Matthew Peters/Man Utd via Getty Images   9:28PM 69 min Peter Crouch departs. Mame Biram Diouf enters.  9:25PM 68 min Lukaku is booked for a retaliation on Martins Indi then Ireland by his doppelganger Anthony Taylor for going through Mata.  9:24PM 66 min Butland makes a fine save with his feet from Lukaku after United overwhelm Stoke with their pace and movement. The ball rebounds out to the edge of the area. Lingard strikes it low on the volley, Butland saves again and Mata backheels in the rebound from an offside position 9:23PM 64 min Choupo-Moting off Sobhi on. Lingard is booked on the totting up principle for bundling Fletcher over.  9:21PM 61 min Lukaku centres to Lingard in the D from the left. He rolls the pass out to Mata who is charging into the box from the right. He tries to curl a left-footer inside the far post but can't get it to bend in at the last. Lingard had robbed Zouma to start the rapid counter.    9:18PM 59 min More Pogba brilliance, beating Bauer and clipping a left-foot cross into the box. Martial controls it, dinks it inside to try to throw Butland off balance but cannot find the room to squeeze it under the keeper who tries to smother it but it bobbles free. Lukaku  has another effort at poking it past but Butland is up to it.  9:16PM 57 min United corner taken short again and Lingard, who hasn't been at his best tonight, loses the ball as he tries to get into the box. Now it's 'Delilah' from the visiting fans. United are penning them in.  9:13PM 55 min Lukaku attempts to control the ball and hook it back over his shoulder for Pogba but succeeds only in eating the ball as he spanks it into his own mouth.  9:11PM 53 min The cries of 'Paul Lambert's barmy army' drowns out any United response. The home crowd, it has to be said, is preposterously quiet these days.  9:10PM 51 min Shaqiri is unamused when shoved into an advertising hoarding perhaps inadvertently, perhaps not, by Shaw. Shaqiri takes it out on the flashing sign in anti-capitalist rage and hurts his hand after slapping it.  9:08PM 49 min Zouma wins the ball off Shaw and gives it straight back to Pogba who threads a pass up the inside-left channel. The weight perhaps takes it too close to Butland even for swift-footed Achilles Martial at full pelt. Butland manages to get down on the ground, like a draught excluder, to block Martial's stabbed shot.  9:05PM 47 min Ireland has dropped deeper, too. Matic picks out Shaw who works it back to Pogba. The United No6 drills a diagonal over to Mata who cuts it back but there's no one arriving at the edge of the box.  9:03PM 46 min Wimmer - Daniel Levy saw them coming - slots straight in at left-back.  9:02PM Half-time substitution Kevin Wimmer replaces Josh Tymon.  8:56PM Martial's goal Anthony Martial scores United's second Credit: REUTERS/Andrew Yates  Here are the average touch positions to show you Pogba's influence (6) and Ireland's (7). Average touch positions (half time) Man Utd vs Stoke shots on goal   8:51PM Half time Stoke had their moments, Manchester United scored with two tremendous shots and have looked dominant in the last third and vulnerable around their own box. Pogba has all the space he needs to run this match and seems certain to carry on in the second-half. Ireland and Shaqiri are playing very well and Bauer looks very promising but the movement of Lingard, Martial, Lukaku and Mata is too much for Stoke's defence to contain. .  8:47PM 45+1 min De Gea dives low to his left to save Shaqiri's left-foot shot, an opportunity created by his wonderful control as he stunned the pass from the left to the D then drilled a scorching low shot towards goal. Excellent save that proves to be the last touch of the half.  8:46PM 44 min Pogba plays the same right to left pass for Martial that bypasses and isolates the middle of the Stoke defence but this time Martial was too hasty and bolted offside.  8:45PM 42 min United adopt sheer liquid football and Stoke's defence don't know what day it is. Pogba floats a pass from right-half to outside left for Shaw who lays it off to Martial. After scoring with that lovely strike he must think his boots are made of jam so tries an outrageous outisde of the foot chip to the back post for Lukaku who nods it back across goal. Lingard can't reach it but nobbut just.  8:41PM 40 min Valencia wins the ball off Choupo-Moting on halfway and on the right, drives forward and picks out Lukaku who holds it up  and takes it outside, pursued by Martins Indi then turns to roll a pass to Pogba by the right angle of the box. Pogba sees Martial to the left of the D in the space created by Lukaku's run, sweeps a pass over to him and the winger arcs in a shot, bending in a parabola unstoppably past Butland.  Man Utd 2 - 0 Stoke (Anthony Martial, 38 min)   8:38PM GOAL!! Man Utd 2-0 Stoke (Martial) 8:38PM 36 min Pogba torpedoes a 50-yard ball from right to left to pick out Shaw's run to the byline. The left-back pulls the ball back to Martial who shoots into Zouma. Deflection leads to corner. United take it short for the umpteenth time and Stoke scuttle it away. Why so many short corners? Stoke's height?  8:35PM 34 min Mata does that thing after falling over in the box to indicate that he's slipped - serves two purposes (A) No penalty and (B) I didn't dive. It looked as though he did 'go over easily' but because it's the paragon Juan, it couldn't possibly have been anything but a slip.  8:33PM 32 min United fans spark into life when Ireland, once of City, is struck amidships by Lingard's fierce drive but the bounce favours Stoke and Valencia has to bring Allen down to stop them breaking past halfway.  8:31PM 30 min Fletcher uses his resilience and experience to hold off Pogba at the price of a corner on the right that United take short from Mata to Lingard who hangs it up at the back post. Butland drops the slithery ball but pocks it up at the second attempt. Pogba was offside in any case.  8:29PM 28 min United break quickly up the left and Mata, at the end of a slick passing move, cuts a pass back to Martial who balloons a wanton shot over the bar.  Miss: Man Utd 1 - 0 Stoke (Stephen Ireland, 21 min)   8:27PM 25 min Stoke move it out to the right for Shaqiri and his wand. He bends in a cross to the back post and De Gea comes for it but, rare for him, flaps under the challenge of Crouch who nods it back across the now unguarded net. Choupo-Moting meets it on the volley but Jones throws himself in to block from point-blank range and saves a certain goal. Corner. Small wonder Jose Mourinho is off the bench and shouting. Stoke have made four good chances in the past 10 minutes.  Man Utd vs Stoke shots on goal   8:25PM 24 min Very quiet at Old Trafford as Stoke enjoy a good five minutes. Ireland makes another interception, motors forward and Pogba kicks him up the back of his thigh. Free kick.  8:24PM 22 min What a chance for Stoke - all made by Martial's indolence in helping Shaw out when attacked by Allen and Bauer who looks a decent player. The right-back responds to Shaqiri's run inside with a square pass across the 18-yard line that he controls immaculately then dinks the perfect throughball to Ireland who has made a great run. Ireland, 15 yards out, stretches to shoot and pokes it wide. Not exactly a sitter but a chance you have to take.  Miss: Man Utd 1 - 0 Stoke (Stephen Ireland, 21 min)   8:21PM 20 min Here's the goal: Valencia scores Credit:  Robbie Jay Barratt - AMA/Getty Images  Choupo-Moting squanders possession and United break.  8:19PM 18 min Bauer's cross from the right finds Ireland in the United box just shy of the penalty spot and in space. But as he traps the centre it sticks under his feet and gobbles up precious time so that when he does manage to shoot he was being closed down and scuffs it wide.  Miss: Man Utd 1 - 0 Stoke (Stephen Ireland, 16 min)   8:17PM 16 min Clever interception from Ireland thwarts Shaw's cross and he scurries out of defence, laying it off to Choupo-Moting then positioning himself for the return. He kills the pass and pushes the ball out to the right into Shaqiri's path. Shaqiri bends in a left-footer towards the back post that Crouch wins but can't get any power on it. He does enough to retain possession, lay it back and Stoke come again.  8:14PM 14 min The ball is sticking to Lukaku tonight and he is astutely bringing Martial, Lingard, Mata and Pogba into play as attacking threats.  8:12PM 12 min Shaqiri shows us his exquisite technique with a spectacular bicycle kick to meet an outswinging left-wing cross. He meets it crisply but De Gea gets down low to his left to smother it.  8:11PM 10 min Made by Pogba's crossfield chip. Valencia leaves Choupo-Moting stranded, drifts inside on to his left, losing Tymon with a dip of the shoulder before finishing with a 16-yard sweetly-struck, unstoppable curler. Man Utd 1 - 0 Stoke (Antonio Valencia, 9 min) 8:09PM GOAL!! Manchester United 1-0 Stoke (Valencia) 8:08PM 7 min Mata chips a curling left-foot pass from inside-right over the central defenders and Martial makes the run to head it. Bauer, who had his arm on Martial's back, slipped and fell, taking his opponent with him. Big shout for a penalty that the referee ignores but the replay has heads nodding in unison with the fatuous 'I've seen 'em given'' verdict.  8:06PM 6 min Tymon tries to turn Valencia on halfway but can't drive past him once he'd turned back to face him. Valencia kicks the ball on to his shins to take the throw-in. It's sheeting down.  8:04PM 4 min Pogba shifts it up the inside left channel, sweeping it 20 yards upfield. Lukaku takes it in his stride and lays it out to the left for Martial then heads for the six-yard box. Lingard makes the near-post run but the United winger drags his centre behind his team-mate and Stoke work it clear.  8:02PM 2 min Stoke recycle, bang it up to Crouch who is penalised for clattering Jones as he shielded the ball. United take the free-kick, move it up to Lukaku who lats it off to Lingard. Shaqiri hacks him down. Free kick 10 yards inside the Stoke half.  8:01PM 1 min Stoke, in blue, kick off and Stephen Ireland takes it and instigates a move up the right that has to go backwards to go forward. Martins Indi whacks it long and Valencia fires it back, over the top, and beyond Lukaku.  7:58PM Out come the teams Kick off is now just moments away. And the commentator is Alan Parry, just as it was for the Cyrille Regis clip below.  7:48PM Paul Lambert is present and correct Paul Lambert watches his new side at old Trafford Credit: Gareth Copley/Getty Images  He did pretty well at Wolves last season and was terrific at Norwich. Villa, though, was a trial for every supporter who was forced to watch austerity football while Randy Lerner tried to sell. Having said that Ron Vlaar, Christian Benteke and Karim El Anmadi were decent signings.  7:19PM Henrikh Mkhitaryan Is not in Manchester United's XVIII apparently because his head 'is not in the right place'. Or is it his body that's in N5/N7?  Jose Mourinho on Mkhitaryan's omission from tonight's squad: "I would lie if I said it was a pure tactical decision." #mufc [sky]— utdhq (@utdhq) January 15, 2018   7:17PM Those teams in black and white Man Utd De Gea; Valencia, Jones, Smalling, Shaw; Pogba, Matic; Mata, Lingard, Martial; Lukaku.  Substitutes Joel Pereira, Lindelof, Rojo, Ander Herrera, Fellaini, McTominay, Rashford. It's chucking it down at Old Trafford Credit: Michael Regan/Getty Images Stoke City Butland; Bauer, Zouma, Martins Indi, Tymon; Fletcher, Allen; Shaqiri, Ireland, Choupo-Moting; Crouch.  Substitutes Grant, Edwards, Wimmer, Afellay, Adam, Diouf, Sobhi.  Referee Anthony Taylor (Wythenshawe). 7:02PM Antonio Valencia is back for Man Utd Here is how the Reds line up for #MUNSTK... �� pic.twitter.com/otGid7EQkS— Manchester United (@ManUtd) January 15, 2018   7:02PM You know that business about Eddie Niedzwiecki not making many changes ... Ignore it. He's made seven and Moritz Bauer makes his Premier League debut.  Eddie Niedzwiecki makes 7⃣ changes to tonight's team that faces @ManUtd at Old Trafford. �� Bauer, Martins Indi, Tymon, Fletcher, Shaqiri, Choupo-Moting and Crouch all make the starting XI. City line-up in a 4-2-3-1 formation.#SCFC ��⚪️ pic.twitter.com/2CIECRjITg— Stoke City FC (@stokecity) January 15, 2018   6:59PM In memoriam   6:56PM Good evening And welcome to coverage of Manchester United vs Stoke City, the last Premier League match of what those people who we need to cut out of our lives would call ‘round 23’ of the ‘EPL’. We find both clubs loitering around in a kind of threshold. Stoke, obviously, having been turned down by Gary Rowett, Quique Sanchez Flores and Martin O’Neill, are ready to embark on the Paul Lambert era though tonight his will be a watching brief. Given that caretaker Eddie Niedzwiecki has been at Mark Hughes’ side with Wales, Blackburn, Man City, Fulham, QPR and the Oatcake Eaters, he’s hardly likely to pick a radically altered side because to do so would be an implicit rebuke of his friend and former and future boss. So tonight may just be a case of limbo until Lambert makes his mark or purgatory if your view of Lambert’s appointment is as pessimistic as some on that twerps’ trumpet, Twitter, are lamenting. As for Manchester United, it seems that they stand on the verge of signing Alexis Sánchez which will add some much needed dynamism into their attack though I’m not sure how tameable his talent and instincts will be for Jose Mourinho. He certainly won’t step on the throat of his own song like, say, Joe Cole did at Chelsea to track back or Samuel Eto’o at Inter but he may be employed in the manner of Wesley Sneijder or Arjen Robben - indulged if never wholly embraced. Rarely for a Mourinho side, tonight begs a performance more than the result. They played well in the second half at Goodison and there were fluent passages in the draw with Leicester and the victory over West Brom but it has been far too sporadic for the past two months. Ali Sanchez Manchester City’s defeat on Sunday gives United the opportunity to narrow the gap between first and second to 12 points with a win here. It’s still an enormous lead but for those Reds looking for comfort, it was exactly the position United found themselves in 21 years ago behind Newcastle United with 15 games to play and they ended up winning the title by three points. City are not Newcastle obviously but it’s worth pointing out. And a comfortable victory would surely be the only outcome a sane person would accept a wager on tonight. It’s 42 years since Stoke have won at Old Trafford, when Bomber Sheldon set up Bluto Bloor to glance in an 87th-minute winner and end United’s 14-month home unbeaten record and their chances of winning the Double with a couple of games of the season to go. As any fule kno, Southampton, then of Division Two, did for them in the Cup to make it a miserable April and May for Tommy Docherty’s side. Mourinho, with two trophies last year and Sánchez to come, will not be as vulnerable to Alan Bloor and Bobby Stokes type figures in April and May 2018.

Manchester United 3 Stoke City 0: Paul Pogba masterclass brings swagger back

He has the confidence, the ability and the swagger to play for Manchester United. But enough of Alexis Sanchez. This was Paul Pogba’s night – and he also possesses those formidable qualities - with the United midfielder dominating a sorry Stoke side. Plucky Potters? Not against Pogba who provided two clever assists and ran the game as United consolidated themselves in second place in the Premier League and cut Manchester City’s lead to 12 points. United have beaten City in the race to sign Alexis Sanchez from Arsenal or, rather, City have pulled out of that contest believing the finances just do not stack up and, barring a late intervention from Chelsea, it appears the Chilean forward will be another of Pogba’s team-mates hoping to profit from his sharp creativity. For United’s fans there is the tantalising vision of Pogba in a free role – finally Jose Mourinho has come to realise that is the best use of him – opening up defences for the alert movement and relentlessness of Sanchez and the bludgeoning power of Romelu Lukaku. Suddenly, they will hope, the future looks brighter for them as they continue that chase to reduce City’s dominance, to fend off Liverpool, Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur, and to give themselves momentum going into the remainder of this season and the next campaign. Antonio Valencia curled in the first with his left foot Credit:  Robbie Jay Barratt - AMA/Getty Images Whether they will face Stoke in the Premier League again next season remains to be seen. Stoke are in the relegation places but, finally, they appointed a successor to Mark Hughes and hours later Paul Lambert took his place in the Old Trafford directors' box, watching on as caretaker Eddie Niedzwiecki, for his one game in charge, produced a demob-happy coaching performance by putting out an attacking team and opening up the game. It worked only in that it created chances – and Stoke did that, and it would have been interesting had they drawn level in the first-half, when just a goal down, as surely they should have done – but not in defending. The three goals conceded here mean, in fact, that Stoke have become the first team in any of Europe’s top five leagues to let in 50 goals this season. With 23 matches played that is more than two a game – not good enough for a team that spent heavily in bringing in defenders last summer. Lambert has work to do. But then he knew that. And he also knew that this was, in all probability, little more than a fixture to fulfil. Damage had to be limited and, in that, they owed a debt again to their goalkeeper Jack Butland who once more produced a series of saves even if he was quickly beaten. Pogba was central to it. He collected possession, after some fine build-up play, and ran across the face of the penalty area before pushing the ball out wide to Antonio Valencia. The United captain was returning, after four weeks out with a hamstring injury, and celebrated by cutting inside and arcing a left-foot shot (yes, left foot from Valencia) around Butland from just inside the area. It was a superb strike; a well-worked goal. Stephen Ireland snatched at a couple of first-half chances Credit: REUTERS/Andrew Yates Cue the cameras cutting to Lambert, attempting to elicit a response. The Scot buried his head in his coat – but that was more to do with responding to the cold, the hail and the swirling rain. But there was no downpour on his new team. Instead they carved United open. There was an overhead kick from Xherdan Shaqiri, held by David De Gea, and then Stephen Ireland – making his first league start in almost two years – spurned two chances. He snatched at both, dragging his shots wide, when he had space and time to do better. Stoke came closest of all when their new signing, Austrian full-back Moritz Bauer, on his debut, hoisted a high cross into the area and Peter Crouch beat De Gea to it. The ball dropped to Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting, who seemed certain to score, only for his half-volley to be deflected over the cross-bar by a lunging Phil Jones. “I didn’t like the first half. I only liked the two amazing goals,” Mourinho later said, and United’s second was as good as their first with Lukaku running down the right, turning the ball back inside to Pogba who had the presence of mind and vision to move it across goal, with a ‘no-look pass’, where it was met by Anthony Martial who struck a precise first-time, side-footed shot that curled around Butland and high into the net. Anthony Martial made it 2-0 Credit: Robbie Jay Barratt - AMA/Getty Images As a contest, it was over. Stoke appeared dispirited. It was a question, then, of how many United would score but – instead - they were wasteful. Firstly Pogba almost claimed his third assist when he intercepted a sloppy pass by Kurt Zouma and stabbed the ball through to Martial. Butland blocked. Then Martial wriggled clear only for Butland to deny him, again, before Juan Mata turned the ball wide and, soon after, shot over. Butland thwarted Lukaku with his legs but was finally beaten by the striker when Jesse Lingard broke, Martial fired the ball into the Belgium international and the Stoke defenders stood off as he picked his spot and drilled his shot low inside the post. There should have been a goal back when substitute Mame Biram Diouf chested down Shaqiri’s flighted pass only for De Gea to block his first shot, and the former United forward to send his second into the side-netting. There would be no consolation. 9:52PM Full time Manchester United narrow the gap to 12 points with a resounding victory orchestrated by a fine performance from Paul Pogba. Stoke had several moments of inspiration going forward but need some bodies as well as some younger legs in defence and defensive midfield.  9:50PM 90+2 min McTominay tries to glide past Martins Indi who bundles him over at the edge of the D. Time enough for Pogba to take the free-kick ... which he scoops miles over and the referee blows for time's up.  9:49PM 90+1 min The first of two added minutes begins with man-of-the-match Pogba pinging a long pass up to Rashford on the left but he lets it leak out for a throw.  9:48PM 89 min Rashford has a dainty-footed dribble through the box from the left then bobbles a tame shot at Butland as he tried to open his body and arrow it in at the back post. Mishit it.  9:47PM 87 min Ach, Stoke. Shaqiri picks out a diaginal cross towards the penalty spot from the left and Diouf beats Smalling to it and controls it sufficiently well to allow him an unimpeded left-foot shot at goal from 12 yards. But he scuffs it, De Gea saves with his legs and gives him a second chance. Ireland, unmarked, screams for him to square it for a tap-in but Diouf goes his own way and scuds a left-foot shot wide.  Attempt Saved: Man Utd 3 - 0 Stoke (Mame Biram Diouf, 86 min)   9:44PM 84 min Another glorious pass from Pogba on halfway, chipping the ball over Wimmer who manages to reach it with the odd strand of hair. Valencia, bullocking down the whitewash takes it in his stride  and fires in a cross through the six-yard box. Rashford makes a near-post run and tries to back-flick it in with his right foot. Good save from Butland.  9:40PM 82 min Third United substitution: Mata off, McTominay on.  9:39PM 81 min Double United substitution: Lingard and Martial depart to be replaced by Fellaini and Rashford.  9:38PM 79 min United enjoy such a dominant spell of possession that poor old Stoke 'don't now what day it is'. It ends with a left-wing cross towards the penalty spot and Mata does a 'shut-that-door' flick that almost squeaks in at the right post. Lukaku, who cannot resist the temptation to lunge at the rebound off the woodwork, was offside.  Man Utd vs Stoke shots on goal   9:34PM 77 min After twenty-odd passes, though, Martial blunders his trap and the ball squirts to Zouma who clears.  9:34PM 76 min United are strolling now, metaphorically, and pinging passes around in Stoke's half.  9:32PM 73 min Lingard brings the ball forward through the middle from the centre-circle, sprinting towards the box. He lays it off to the left for Martial who cuts inside and then fires in a very heavy pass - shades of Gerrard there - but Lukaku controls it superbly with his chest (Stoke think it was his hand), turns to his right with his back to goal and skelps in a fierce left-foot shot past Butland who had no chance. Man Utd vs Stoke shots on goal   9:29PM GOAL!! Manchester United 3-0 Stoke City (Lukaku) Lukaku smashes in the third Credit: Matthew Peters/Man Utd via Getty Images   9:28PM 69 min Peter Crouch departs. Mame Biram Diouf enters.  9:25PM 68 min Lukaku is booked for a retaliation on Martins Indi then Ireland by his doppelganger Anthony Taylor for going through Mata.  9:24PM 66 min Butland makes a fine save with his feet from Lukaku after United overwhelm Stoke with their pace and movement. The ball rebounds out to the edge of the area. Lingard strikes it low on the volley, Butland saves again and Mata backheels in the rebound from an offside position 9:23PM 64 min Choupo-Moting off Sobhi on. Lingard is booked on the totting up principle for bundling Fletcher over.  9:21PM 61 min Lukaku centres to Lingard in the D from the left. He rolls the pass out to Mata who is charging into the box from the right. He tries to curl a left-footer inside the far post but can't get it to bend in at the last. Lingard had robbed Zouma to start the rapid counter.    9:18PM 59 min More Pogba brilliance, beating Bauer and clipping a left-foot cross into the box. Martial controls it, dinks it inside to try to throw Butland off balance but cannot find the room to squeeze it under the keeper who tries to smother it but it bobbles free. Lukaku  has another effort at poking it past but Butland is up to it.  9:16PM 57 min United corner taken short again and Lingard, who hasn't been at his best tonight, loses the ball as he tries to get into the box. Now it's 'Delilah' from the visiting fans. United are penning them in.  9:13PM 55 min Lukaku attempts to control the ball and hook it back over his shoulder for Pogba but succeeds only in eating the ball as he spanks it into his own mouth.  9:11PM 53 min The cries of 'Paul Lambert's barmy army' drowns out any United response. The home crowd, it has to be said, is preposterously quiet these days.  9:10PM 51 min Shaqiri is unamused when shoved into an advertising hoarding perhaps inadvertently, perhaps not, by Shaw. Shaqiri takes it out on the flashing sign in anti-capitalist rage and hurts his hand after slapping it.  9:08PM 49 min Zouma wins the ball off Shaw and gives it straight back to Pogba who threads a pass up the inside-left channel. The weight perhaps takes it too close to Butland even for swift-footed Achilles Martial at full pelt. Butland manages to get down on the ground, like a draught excluder, to block Martial's stabbed shot.  9:05PM 47 min Ireland has dropped deeper, too. Matic picks out Shaw who works it back to Pogba. The United No6 drills a diagonal over to Mata who cuts it back but there's no one arriving at the edge of the box.  9:03PM 46 min Wimmer - Daniel Levy saw them coming - slots straight in at left-back.  9:02PM Half-time substitution Kevin Wimmer replaces Josh Tymon.  8:56PM Martial's goal Anthony Martial scores United's second Credit: REUTERS/Andrew Yates  Here are the average touch positions to show you Pogba's influence (6) and Ireland's (7). Average touch positions (half time) Man Utd vs Stoke shots on goal   8:51PM Half time Stoke had their moments, Manchester United scored with two tremendous shots and have looked dominant in the last third and vulnerable around their own box. Pogba has all the space he needs to run this match and seems certain to carry on in the second-half. Ireland and Shaqiri are playing very well and Bauer looks very promising but the movement of Lingard, Martial, Lukaku and Mata is too much for Stoke's defence to contain. .  8:47PM 45+1 min De Gea dives low to his left to save Shaqiri's left-foot shot, an opportunity created by his wonderful control as he stunned the pass from the left to the D then drilled a scorching low shot towards goal. Excellent save that proves to be the last touch of the half.  8:46PM 44 min Pogba plays the same right to left pass for Martial that bypasses and isolates the middle of the Stoke defence but this time Martial was too hasty and bolted offside.  8:45PM 42 min United adopt sheer liquid football and Stoke's defence don't know what day it is. Pogba floats a pass from right-half to outside left for Shaw who lays it off to Martial. After scoring with that lovely strike he must think his boots are made of jam so tries an outrageous outisde of the foot chip to the back post for Lukaku who nods it back across goal. Lingard can't reach it but nobbut just.  8:41PM 40 min Valencia wins the ball off Choupo-Moting on halfway and on the right, drives forward and picks out Lukaku who holds it up  and takes it outside, pursued by Martins Indi then turns to roll a pass to Pogba by the right angle of the box. Pogba sees Martial to the left of the D in the space created by Lukaku's run, sweeps a pass over to him and the winger arcs in a shot, bending in a parabola unstoppably past Butland.  Man Utd 2 - 0 Stoke (Anthony Martial, 38 min)   8:38PM GOAL!! Man Utd 2-0 Stoke (Martial) 8:38PM 36 min Pogba torpedoes a 50-yard ball from right to left to pick out Shaw's run to the byline. The left-back pulls the ball back to Martial who shoots into Zouma. Deflection leads to corner. United take it short for the umpteenth time and Stoke scuttle it away. Why so many short corners? Stoke's height?  8:35PM 34 min Mata does that thing after falling over in the box to indicate that he's slipped - serves two purposes (A) No penalty and (B) I didn't dive. It looked as though he did 'go over easily' but because it's the paragon Juan, it couldn't possibly have been anything but a slip.  8:33PM 32 min United fans spark into life when Ireland, once of City, is struck amidships by Lingard's fierce drive but the bounce favours Stoke and Valencia has to bring Allen down to stop them breaking past halfway.  8:31PM 30 min Fletcher uses his resilience and experience to hold off Pogba at the price of a corner on the right that United take short from Mata to Lingard who hangs it up at the back post. Butland drops the slithery ball but pocks it up at the second attempt. Pogba was offside in any case.  8:29PM 28 min United break quickly up the left and Mata, at the end of a slick passing move, cuts a pass back to Martial who balloons a wanton shot over the bar.  Miss: Man Utd 1 - 0 Stoke (Stephen Ireland, 21 min)   8:27PM 25 min Stoke move it out to the right for Shaqiri and his wand. He bends in a cross to the back post and De Gea comes for it but, rare for him, flaps under the challenge of Crouch who nods it back across the now unguarded net. Choupo-Moting meets it on the volley but Jones throws himself in to block from point-blank range and saves a certain goal. Corner. Small wonder Jose Mourinho is off the bench and shouting. Stoke have made four good chances in the past 10 minutes.  Man Utd vs Stoke shots on goal   8:25PM 24 min Very quiet at Old Trafford as Stoke enjoy a good five minutes. Ireland makes another interception, motors forward and Pogba kicks him up the back of his thigh. Free kick.  8:24PM 22 min What a chance for Stoke - all made by Martial's indolence in helping Shaw out when attacked by Allen and Bauer who looks a decent player. The right-back responds to Shaqiri's run inside with a square pass across the 18-yard line that he controls immaculately then dinks the perfect throughball to Ireland who has made a great run. Ireland, 15 yards out, stretches to shoot and pokes it wide. Not exactly a sitter but a chance you have to take.  Miss: Man Utd 1 - 0 Stoke (Stephen Ireland, 21 min)   8:21PM 20 min Here's the goal: Valencia scores Credit:  Robbie Jay Barratt - AMA/Getty Images  Choupo-Moting squanders possession and United break.  8:19PM 18 min Bauer's cross from the right finds Ireland in the United box just shy of the penalty spot and in space. But as he traps the centre it sticks under his feet and gobbles up precious time so that when he does manage to shoot he was being closed down and scuffs it wide.  Miss: Man Utd 1 - 0 Stoke (Stephen Ireland, 16 min)   8:17PM 16 min Clever interception from Ireland thwarts Shaw's cross and he scurries out of defence, laying it off to Choupo-Moting then positioning himself for the return. He kills the pass and pushes the ball out to the right into Shaqiri's path. Shaqiri bends in a left-footer towards the back post that Crouch wins but can't get any power on it. He does enough to retain possession, lay it back and Stoke come again.  8:14PM 14 min The ball is sticking to Lukaku tonight and he is astutely bringing Martial, Lingard, Mata and Pogba into play as attacking threats.  8:12PM 12 min Shaqiri shows us his exquisite technique with a spectacular bicycle kick to meet an outswinging left-wing cross. He meets it crisply but De Gea gets down low to his left to smother it.  8:11PM 10 min Made by Pogba's crossfield chip. Valencia leaves Choupo-Moting stranded, drifts inside on to his left, losing Tymon with a dip of the shoulder before finishing with a 16-yard sweetly-struck, unstoppable curler. Man Utd 1 - 0 Stoke (Antonio Valencia, 9 min) 8:09PM GOAL!! Manchester United 1-0 Stoke (Valencia) 8:08PM 7 min Mata chips a curling left-foot pass from inside-right over the central defenders and Martial makes the run to head it. Bauer, who had his arm on Martial's back, slipped and fell, taking his opponent with him. Big shout for a penalty that the referee ignores but the replay has heads nodding in unison with the fatuous 'I've seen 'em given'' verdict.  8:06PM 6 min Tymon tries to turn Valencia on halfway but can't drive past him once he'd turned back to face him. Valencia kicks the ball on to his shins to take the throw-in. It's sheeting down.  8:04PM 4 min Pogba shifts it up the inside left channel, sweeping it 20 yards upfield. Lukaku takes it in his stride and lays it out to the left for Martial then heads for the six-yard box. Lingard makes the near-post run but the United winger drags his centre behind his team-mate and Stoke work it clear.  8:02PM 2 min Stoke recycle, bang it up to Crouch who is penalised for clattering Jones as he shielded the ball. United take the free-kick, move it up to Lukaku who lats it off to Lingard. Shaqiri hacks him down. Free kick 10 yards inside the Stoke half.  8:01PM 1 min Stoke, in blue, kick off and Stephen Ireland takes it and instigates a move up the right that has to go backwards to go forward. Martins Indi whacks it long and Valencia fires it back, over the top, and beyond Lukaku.  7:58PM Out come the teams Kick off is now just moments away. And the commentator is Alan Parry, just as it was for the Cyrille Regis clip below.  7:48PM Paul Lambert is present and correct Paul Lambert watches his new side at old Trafford Credit: Gareth Copley/Getty Images  He did pretty well at Wolves last season and was terrific at Norwich. Villa, though, was a trial for every supporter who was forced to watch austerity football while Randy Lerner tried to sell. Having said that Ron Vlaar, Christian Benteke and Karim El Anmadi were decent signings.  7:19PM Henrikh Mkhitaryan Is not in Manchester United's XVIII apparently because his head 'is not in the right place'. Or is it his body that's in N5/N7?  Jose Mourinho on Mkhitaryan's omission from tonight's squad: "I would lie if I said it was a pure tactical decision." #mufc [sky]— utdhq (@utdhq) January 15, 2018   7:17PM Those teams in black and white Man Utd De Gea; Valencia, Jones, Smalling, Shaw; Pogba, Matic; Mata, Lingard, Martial; Lukaku.  Substitutes Joel Pereira, Lindelof, Rojo, Ander Herrera, Fellaini, McTominay, Rashford. It's chucking it down at Old Trafford Credit: Michael Regan/Getty Images Stoke City Butland; Bauer, Zouma, Martins Indi, Tymon; Fletcher, Allen; Shaqiri, Ireland, Choupo-Moting; Crouch.  Substitutes Grant, Edwards, Wimmer, Afellay, Adam, Diouf, Sobhi.  Referee Anthony Taylor (Wythenshawe). 7:02PM Antonio Valencia is back for Man Utd Here is how the Reds line up for #MUNSTK... �� pic.twitter.com/otGid7EQkS— Manchester United (@ManUtd) January 15, 2018   7:02PM You know that business about Eddie Niedzwiecki not making many changes ... Ignore it. He's made seven and Moritz Bauer makes his Premier League debut.  Eddie Niedzwiecki makes 7⃣ changes to tonight's team that faces @ManUtd at Old Trafford. �� Bauer, Martins Indi, Tymon, Fletcher, Shaqiri, Choupo-Moting and Crouch all make the starting XI. City line-up in a 4-2-3-1 formation.#SCFC ��⚪️ pic.twitter.com/2CIECRjITg— Stoke City FC (@stokecity) January 15, 2018   6:59PM In memoriam   6:56PM Good evening And welcome to coverage of Manchester United vs Stoke City, the last Premier League match of what those people who we need to cut out of our lives would call ‘round 23’ of the ‘EPL’. We find both clubs loitering around in a kind of threshold. Stoke, obviously, having been turned down by Gary Rowett, Quique Sanchez Flores and Martin O’Neill, are ready to embark on the Paul Lambert era though tonight his will be a watching brief. Given that caretaker Eddie Niedzwiecki has been at Mark Hughes’ side with Wales, Blackburn, Man City, Fulham, QPR and the Oatcake Eaters, he’s hardly likely to pick a radically altered side because to do so would be an implicit rebuke of his friend and former and future boss. So tonight may just be a case of limbo until Lambert makes his mark or purgatory if your view of Lambert’s appointment is as pessimistic as some on that twerps’ trumpet, Twitter, are lamenting. As for Manchester United, it seems that they stand on the verge of signing Alexis Sánchez which will add some much needed dynamism into their attack though I’m not sure how tameable his talent and instincts will be for Jose Mourinho. He certainly won’t step on the throat of his own song like, say, Joe Cole did at Chelsea to track back or Samuel Eto’o at Inter but he may be employed in the manner of Wesley Sneijder or Arjen Robben - indulged if never wholly embraced. Rarely for a Mourinho side, tonight begs a performance more than the result. They played well in the second half at Goodison and there were fluent passages in the draw with Leicester and the victory over West Brom but it has been far too sporadic for the past two months. Ali Sanchez Manchester City’s defeat on Sunday gives United the opportunity to narrow the gap between first and second to 12 points with a win here. It’s still an enormous lead but for those Reds looking for comfort, it was exactly the position United found themselves in 21 years ago behind Newcastle United with 15 games to play and they ended up winning the title by three points. City are not Newcastle obviously but it’s worth pointing out. And a comfortable victory would surely be the only outcome a sane person would accept a wager on tonight. It’s 42 years since Stoke have won at Old Trafford, when Bomber Sheldon set up Bluto Bloor to glance in an 87th-minute winner and end United’s 14-month home unbeaten record and their chances of winning the Double with a couple of games of the season to go. As any fule kno, Southampton, then of Division Two, did for them in the Cup to make it a miserable April and May for Tommy Docherty’s side. Mourinho, with two trophies last year and Sánchez to come, will not be as vulnerable to Alan Bloor and Bobby Stokes type figures in April and May 2018.

Manchester United 3 Stoke City 0: Paul Pogba masterclass brings swagger back

He has the confidence, the ability and the swagger to play for Manchester United. But enough of Alexis Sanchez. This was Paul Pogba’s night – and he also possesses those formidable qualities - with the United midfielder dominating a sorry Stoke side. Plucky Potters? Not against Pogba who provided two clever assists and ran the game as United consolidated themselves in second place in the Premier League and cut Manchester City’s lead to 12 points. United have beaten City in the race to sign Alexis Sanchez from Arsenal or, rather, City have pulled out of that contest believing the finances just do not stack up and, barring a late intervention from Chelsea, it appears the Chilean forward will be another of Pogba’s team-mates hoping to profit from his sharp creativity. For United’s fans there is the tantalising vision of Pogba in a free role – finally Jose Mourinho has come to realise that is the best use of him – opening up defences for the alert movement and relentlessness of Sanchez and the bludgeoning power of Romelu Lukaku. Suddenly, they will hope, the future looks brighter for them as they continue that chase to reduce City’s dominance, to fend off Liverpool, Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur, and to give themselves momentum going into the remainder of this season and the next campaign. Antonio Valencia curled in the first with his left foot Credit:  Robbie Jay Barratt - AMA/Getty Images Whether they will face Stoke in the Premier League again next season remains to be seen. Stoke are in the relegation places but, finally, they appointed a successor to Mark Hughes and hours later Paul Lambert took his place in the Old Trafford directors' box, watching on as caretaker Eddie Niedzwiecki, for his one game in charge, produced a demob-happy coaching performance by putting out an attacking team and opening up the game. It worked only in that it created chances – and Stoke did that, and it would have been interesting had they drawn level in the first-half, when just a goal down, as surely they should have done – but not in defending. The three goals conceded here mean, in fact, that Stoke have become the first team in any of Europe’s top five leagues to let in 50 goals this season. With 23 matches played that is more than two a game – not good enough for a team that spent heavily in bringing in defenders last summer. Lambert has work to do. But then he knew that. And he also knew that this was, in all probability, little more than a fixture to fulfil. Damage had to be limited and, in that, they owed a debt again to their goalkeeper Jack Butland who once more produced a series of saves even if he was quickly beaten. Pogba was central to it. He collected possession, after some fine build-up play, and ran across the face of the penalty area before pushing the ball out wide to Antonio Valencia. The United captain was returning, after four weeks out with a hamstring injury, and celebrated by cutting inside and arcing a left-foot shot (yes, left foot from Valencia) around Butland from just inside the area. It was a superb strike; a well-worked goal. Stephen Ireland snatched at a couple of first-half chances Credit: REUTERS/Andrew Yates Cue the cameras cutting to Lambert, attempting to elicit a response. The Scot buried his head in his coat – but that was more to do with responding to the cold, the hail and the swirling rain. But there was no downpour on his new team. Instead they carved United open. There was an overhead kick from Xherdan Shaqiri, held by David De Gea, and then Stephen Ireland – making his first league start in almost two years – spurned two chances. He snatched at both, dragging his shots wide, when he had space and time to do better. Stoke came closest of all when their new signing, Austrian full-back Moritz Bauer, on his debut, hoisted a high cross into the area and Peter Crouch beat De Gea to it. The ball dropped to Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting, who seemed certain to score, only for his half-volley to be deflected over the cross-bar by a lunging Phil Jones. “I didn’t like the first half. I only liked the two amazing goals,” Mourinho later said, and United’s second was as good as their first with Lukaku running down the right, turning the ball back inside to Pogba who had the presence of mind and vision to move it across goal, with a ‘no-look pass’, where it was met by Anthony Martial who struck a precise first-time, side-footed shot that curled around Butland and high into the net. Anthony Martial made it 2-0 Credit: Robbie Jay Barratt - AMA/Getty Images As a contest, it was over. Stoke appeared dispirited. It was a question, then, of how many United would score but – instead - they were wasteful. Firstly Pogba almost claimed his third assist when he intercepted a sloppy pass by Kurt Zouma and stabbed the ball through to Martial. Butland blocked. Then Martial wriggled clear only for Butland to deny him, again, before Juan Mata turned the ball wide and, soon after, shot over. Butland thwarted Lukaku with his legs but was finally beaten by the striker when Jesse Lingard broke, Martial fired the ball into the Belgium international and the Stoke defenders stood off as he picked his spot and drilled his shot low inside the post. There should have been a goal back when substitute Mame Biram Diouf chested down Shaqiri’s flighted pass only for De Gea to block his first shot, and the former United forward to send his second into the side-netting. There would be no consolation. 9:52PM Full time Manchester United narrow the gap to 12 points with a resounding victory orchestrated by a fine performance from Paul Pogba. Stoke had several moments of inspiration going forward but need some bodies as well as some younger legs in defence and defensive midfield.  9:50PM 90+2 min McTominay tries to glide past Martins Indi who bundles him over at the edge of the D. Time enough for Pogba to take the free-kick ... which he scoops miles over and the referee blows for time's up.  9:49PM 90+1 min The first of two added minutes begins with man-of-the-match Pogba pinging a long pass up to Rashford on the left but he lets it leak out for a throw.  9:48PM 89 min Rashford has a dainty-footed dribble through the box from the left then bobbles a tame shot at Butland as he tried to open his body and arrow it in at the back post. Mishit it.  9:47PM 87 min Ach, Stoke. Shaqiri picks out a diaginal cross towards the penalty spot from the left and Diouf beats Smalling to it and controls it sufficiently well to allow him an unimpeded left-foot shot at goal from 12 yards. But he scuffs it, De Gea saves with his legs and gives him a second chance. Ireland, unmarked, screams for him to square it for a tap-in but Diouf goes his own way and scuds a left-foot shot wide.  Attempt Saved: Man Utd 3 - 0 Stoke (Mame Biram Diouf, 86 min)   9:44PM 84 min Another glorious pass from Pogba on halfway, chipping the ball over Wimmer who manages to reach it with the odd strand of hair. Valencia, bullocking down the whitewash takes it in his stride  and fires in a cross through the six-yard box. Rashford makes a near-post run and tries to back-flick it in with his right foot. Good save from Butland.  9:40PM 82 min Third United substitution: Mata off, McTominay on.  9:39PM 81 min Double United substitution: Lingard and Martial depart to be replaced by Fellaini and Rashford.  9:38PM 79 min United enjoy such a dominant spell of possession that poor old Stoke 'don't now what day it is'. It ends with a left-wing cross towards the penalty spot and Mata does a 'shut-that-door' flick that almost squeaks in at the right post. Lukaku, who cannot resist the temptation to lunge at the rebound off the woodwork, was offside.  Man Utd vs Stoke shots on goal   9:34PM 77 min After twenty-odd passes, though, Martial blunders his trap and the ball squirts to Zouma who clears.  9:34PM 76 min United are strolling now, metaphorically, and pinging passes around in Stoke's half.  9:32PM 73 min Lingard brings the ball forward through the middle from the centre-circle, sprinting towards the box. He lays it off to the left for Martial who cuts inside and then fires in a very heavy pass - shades of Gerrard there - but Lukaku controls it superbly with his chest (Stoke think it was his hand), turns to his right with his back to goal and skelps in a fierce left-foot shot past Butland who had no chance. Man Utd vs Stoke shots on goal   9:29PM GOAL!! Manchester United 3-0 Stoke City (Lukaku) Lukaku smashes in the third Credit: Matthew Peters/Man Utd via Getty Images   9:28PM 69 min Peter Crouch departs. Mame Biram Diouf enters.  9:25PM 68 min Lukaku is booked for a retaliation on Martins Indi then Ireland by his doppelganger Anthony Taylor for going through Mata.  9:24PM 66 min Butland makes a fine save with his feet from Lukaku after United overwhelm Stoke with their pace and movement. The ball rebounds out to the edge of the area. Lingard strikes it low on the volley, Butland saves again and Mata backheels in the rebound from an offside position 9:23PM 64 min Choupo-Moting off Sobhi on. Lingard is booked on the totting up principle for bundling Fletcher over.  9:21PM 61 min Lukaku centres to Lingard in the D from the left. He rolls the pass out to Mata who is charging into the box from the right. He tries to curl a left-footer inside the far post but can't get it to bend in at the last. Lingard had robbed Zouma to start the rapid counter.    9:18PM 59 min More Pogba brilliance, beating Bauer and clipping a left-foot cross into the box. Martial controls it, dinks it inside to try to throw Butland off balance but cannot find the room to squeeze it under the keeper who tries to smother it but it bobbles free. Lukaku  has another effort at poking it past but Butland is up to it.  9:16PM 57 min United corner taken short again and Lingard, who hasn't been at his best tonight, loses the ball as he tries to get into the box. Now it's 'Delilah' from the visiting fans. United are penning them in.  9:13PM 55 min Lukaku attempts to control the ball and hook it back over his shoulder for Pogba but succeeds only in eating the ball as he spanks it into his own mouth.  9:11PM 53 min The cries of 'Paul Lambert's barmy army' drowns out any United response. The home crowd, it has to be said, is preposterously quiet these days.  9:10PM 51 min Shaqiri is unamused when shoved into an advertising hoarding perhaps inadvertently, perhaps not, by Shaw. Shaqiri takes it out on the flashing sign in anti-capitalist rage and hurts his hand after slapping it.  9:08PM 49 min Zouma wins the ball off Shaw and gives it straight back to Pogba who threads a pass up the inside-left channel. The weight perhaps takes it too close to Butland even for swift-footed Achilles Martial at full pelt. Butland manages to get down on the ground, like a draught excluder, to block Martial's stabbed shot.  9:05PM 47 min Ireland has dropped deeper, too. Matic picks out Shaw who works it back to Pogba. The United No6 drills a diagonal over to Mata who cuts it back but there's no one arriving at the edge of the box.  9:03PM 46 min Wimmer - Daniel Levy saw them coming - slots straight in at left-back.  9:02PM Half-time substitution Kevin Wimmer replaces Josh Tymon.  8:56PM Martial's goal Anthony Martial scores United's second Credit: REUTERS/Andrew Yates  Here are the average touch positions to show you Pogba's influence (6) and Ireland's (7). Average touch positions (half time) Man Utd vs Stoke shots on goal   8:51PM Half time Stoke had their moments, Manchester United scored with two tremendous shots and have looked dominant in the last third and vulnerable around their own box. Pogba has all the space he needs to run this match and seems certain to carry on in the second-half. Ireland and Shaqiri are playing very well and Bauer looks very promising but the movement of Lingard, Martial, Lukaku and Mata is too much for Stoke's defence to contain. .  8:47PM 45+1 min De Gea dives low to his left to save Shaqiri's left-foot shot, an opportunity created by his wonderful control as he stunned the pass from the left to the D then drilled a scorching low shot towards goal. Excellent save that proves to be the last touch of the half.  8:46PM 44 min Pogba plays the same right to left pass for Martial that bypasses and isolates the middle of the Stoke defence but this time Martial was too hasty and bolted offside.  8:45PM 42 min United adopt sheer liquid football and Stoke's defence don't know what day it is. Pogba floats a pass from right-half to outside left for Shaw who lays it off to Martial. After scoring with that lovely strike he must think his boots are made of jam so tries an outrageous outisde of the foot chip to the back post for Lukaku who nods it back across goal. Lingard can't reach it but nobbut just.  8:41PM 40 min Valencia wins the ball off Choupo-Moting on halfway and on the right, drives forward and picks out Lukaku who holds it up  and takes it outside, pursued by Martins Indi then turns to roll a pass to Pogba by the right angle of the box. Pogba sees Martial to the left of the D in the space created by Lukaku's run, sweeps a pass over to him and the winger arcs in a shot, bending in a parabola unstoppably past Butland.  Man Utd 2 - 0 Stoke (Anthony Martial, 38 min)   8:38PM GOAL!! Man Utd 2-0 Stoke (Martial) 8:38PM 36 min Pogba torpedoes a 50-yard ball from right to left to pick out Shaw's run to the byline. The left-back pulls the ball back to Martial who shoots into Zouma. Deflection leads to corner. United take it short for the umpteenth time and Stoke scuttle it away. Why so many short corners? Stoke's height?  8:35PM 34 min Mata does that thing after falling over in the box to indicate that he's slipped - serves two purposes (A) No penalty and (B) I didn't dive. It looked as though he did 'go over easily' but because it's the paragon Juan, it couldn't possibly have been anything but a slip.  8:33PM 32 min United fans spark into life when Ireland, once of City, is struck amidships by Lingard's fierce drive but the bounce favours Stoke and Valencia has to bring Allen down to stop them breaking past halfway.  8:31PM 30 min Fletcher uses his resilience and experience to hold off Pogba at the price of a corner on the right that United take short from Mata to Lingard who hangs it up at the back post. Butland drops the slithery ball but pocks it up at the second attempt. Pogba was offside in any case.  8:29PM 28 min United break quickly up the left and Mata, at the end of a slick passing move, cuts a pass back to Martial who balloons a wanton shot over the bar.  Miss: Man Utd 1 - 0 Stoke (Stephen Ireland, 21 min)   8:27PM 25 min Stoke move it out to the right for Shaqiri and his wand. He bends in a cross to the back post and De Gea comes for it but, rare for him, flaps under the challenge of Crouch who nods it back across the now unguarded net. Choupo-Moting meets it on the volley but Jones throws himself in to block from point-blank range and saves a certain goal. Corner. Small wonder Jose Mourinho is off the bench and shouting. Stoke have made four good chances in the past 10 minutes.  Man Utd vs Stoke shots on goal   8:25PM 24 min Very quiet at Old Trafford as Stoke enjoy a good five minutes. Ireland makes another interception, motors forward and Pogba kicks him up the back of his thigh. Free kick.  8:24PM 22 min What a chance for Stoke - all made by Martial's indolence in helping Shaw out when attacked by Allen and Bauer who looks a decent player. The right-back responds to Shaqiri's run inside with a square pass across the 18-yard line that he controls immaculately then dinks the perfect throughball to Ireland who has made a great run. Ireland, 15 yards out, stretches to shoot and pokes it wide. Not exactly a sitter but a chance you have to take.  Miss: Man Utd 1 - 0 Stoke (Stephen Ireland, 21 min)   8:21PM 20 min Here's the goal: Valencia scores Credit:  Robbie Jay Barratt - AMA/Getty Images  Choupo-Moting squanders possession and United break.  8:19PM 18 min Bauer's cross from the right finds Ireland in the United box just shy of the penalty spot and in space. But as he traps the centre it sticks under his feet and gobbles up precious time so that when he does manage to shoot he was being closed down and scuffs it wide.  Miss: Man Utd 1 - 0 Stoke (Stephen Ireland, 16 min)   8:17PM 16 min Clever interception from Ireland thwarts Shaw's cross and he scurries out of defence, laying it off to Choupo-Moting then positioning himself for the return. He kills the pass and pushes the ball out to the right into Shaqiri's path. Shaqiri bends in a left-footer towards the back post that Crouch wins but can't get any power on it. He does enough to retain possession, lay it back and Stoke come again.  8:14PM 14 min The ball is sticking to Lukaku tonight and he is astutely bringing Martial, Lingard, Mata and Pogba into play as attacking threats.  8:12PM 12 min Shaqiri shows us his exquisite technique with a spectacular bicycle kick to meet an outswinging left-wing cross. He meets it crisply but De Gea gets down low to his left to smother it.  8:11PM 10 min Made by Pogba's crossfield chip. Valencia leaves Choupo-Moting stranded, drifts inside on to his left, losing Tymon with a dip of the shoulder before finishing with a 16-yard sweetly-struck, unstoppable curler. Man Utd 1 - 0 Stoke (Antonio Valencia, 9 min) 8:09PM GOAL!! Manchester United 1-0 Stoke (Valencia) 8:08PM 7 min Mata chips a curling left-foot pass from inside-right over the central defenders and Martial makes the run to head it. Bauer, who had his arm on Martial's back, slipped and fell, taking his opponent with him. Big shout for a penalty that the referee ignores but the replay has heads nodding in unison with the fatuous 'I've seen 'em given'' verdict.  8:06PM 6 min Tymon tries to turn Valencia on halfway but can't drive past him once he'd turned back to face him. Valencia kicks the ball on to his shins to take the throw-in. It's sheeting down.  8:04PM 4 min Pogba shifts it up the inside left channel, sweeping it 20 yards upfield. Lukaku takes it in his stride and lays it out to the left for Martial then heads for the six-yard box. Lingard makes the near-post run but the United winger drags his centre behind his team-mate and Stoke work it clear.  8:02PM 2 min Stoke recycle, bang it up to Crouch who is penalised for clattering Jones as he shielded the ball. United take the free-kick, move it up to Lukaku who lats it off to Lingard. Shaqiri hacks him down. Free kick 10 yards inside the Stoke half.  8:01PM 1 min Stoke, in blue, kick off and Stephen Ireland takes it and instigates a move up the right that has to go backwards to go forward. Martins Indi whacks it long and Valencia fires it back, over the top, and beyond Lukaku.  7:58PM Out come the teams Kick off is now just moments away. And the commentator is Alan Parry, just as it was for the Cyrille Regis clip below.  7:48PM Paul Lambert is present and correct Paul Lambert watches his new side at old Trafford Credit: Gareth Copley/Getty Images  He did pretty well at Wolves last season and was terrific at Norwich. Villa, though, was a trial for every supporter who was forced to watch austerity football while Randy Lerner tried to sell. Having said that Ron Vlaar, Christian Benteke and Karim El Anmadi were decent signings.  7:19PM Henrikh Mkhitaryan Is not in Manchester United's XVIII apparently because his head 'is not in the right place'. Or is it his body that's in N5/N7?  Jose Mourinho on Mkhitaryan's omission from tonight's squad: "I would lie if I said it was a pure tactical decision." #mufc [sky]— utdhq (@utdhq) January 15, 2018   7:17PM Those teams in black and white Man Utd De Gea; Valencia, Jones, Smalling, Shaw; Pogba, Matic; Mata, Lingard, Martial; Lukaku.  Substitutes Joel Pereira, Lindelof, Rojo, Ander Herrera, Fellaini, McTominay, Rashford. It's chucking it down at Old Trafford Credit: Michael Regan/Getty Images Stoke City Butland; Bauer, Zouma, Martins Indi, Tymon; Fletcher, Allen; Shaqiri, Ireland, Choupo-Moting; Crouch.  Substitutes Grant, Edwards, Wimmer, Afellay, Adam, Diouf, Sobhi.  Referee Anthony Taylor (Wythenshawe). 7:02PM Antonio Valencia is back for Man Utd Here is how the Reds line up for #MUNSTK... �� pic.twitter.com/otGid7EQkS— Manchester United (@ManUtd) January 15, 2018   7:02PM You know that business about Eddie Niedzwiecki not making many changes ... Ignore it. He's made seven and Moritz Bauer makes his Premier League debut.  Eddie Niedzwiecki makes 7⃣ changes to tonight's team that faces @ManUtd at Old Trafford. �� Bauer, Martins Indi, Tymon, Fletcher, Shaqiri, Choupo-Moting and Crouch all make the starting XI. City line-up in a 4-2-3-1 formation.#SCFC ��⚪️ pic.twitter.com/2CIECRjITg— Stoke City FC (@stokecity) January 15, 2018   6:59PM In memoriam   6:56PM Good evening And welcome to coverage of Manchester United vs Stoke City, the last Premier League match of what those people who we need to cut out of our lives would call ‘round 23’ of the ‘EPL’. We find both clubs loitering around in a kind of threshold. Stoke, obviously, having been turned down by Gary Rowett, Quique Sanchez Flores and Martin O’Neill, are ready to embark on the Paul Lambert era though tonight his will be a watching brief. Given that caretaker Eddie Niedzwiecki has been at Mark Hughes’ side with Wales, Blackburn, Man City, Fulham, QPR and the Oatcake Eaters, he’s hardly likely to pick a radically altered side because to do so would be an implicit rebuke of his friend and former and future boss. So tonight may just be a case of limbo until Lambert makes his mark or purgatory if your view of Lambert’s appointment is as pessimistic as some on that twerps’ trumpet, Twitter, are lamenting. As for Manchester United, it seems that they stand on the verge of signing Alexis Sánchez which will add some much needed dynamism into their attack though I’m not sure how tameable his talent and instincts will be for Jose Mourinho. He certainly won’t step on the throat of his own song like, say, Joe Cole did at Chelsea to track back or Samuel Eto’o at Inter but he may be employed in the manner of Wesley Sneijder or Arjen Robben - indulged if never wholly embraced. Rarely for a Mourinho side, tonight begs a performance more than the result. They played well in the second half at Goodison and there were fluent passages in the draw with Leicester and the victory over West Brom but it has been far too sporadic for the past two months. Ali Sanchez Manchester City’s defeat on Sunday gives United the opportunity to narrow the gap between first and second to 12 points with a win here. It’s still an enormous lead but for those Reds looking for comfort, it was exactly the position United found themselves in 21 years ago behind Newcastle United with 15 games to play and they ended up winning the title by three points. City are not Newcastle obviously but it’s worth pointing out. And a comfortable victory would surely be the only outcome a sane person would accept a wager on tonight. It’s 42 years since Stoke have won at Old Trafford, when Bomber Sheldon set up Bluto Bloor to glance in an 87th-minute winner and end United’s 14-month home unbeaten record and their chances of winning the Double with a couple of games of the season to go. As any fule kno, Southampton, then of Division Two, did for them in the Cup to make it a miserable April and May for Tommy Docherty’s side. Mourinho, with two trophies last year and Sánchez to come, will not be as vulnerable to Alan Bloor and Bobby Stokes type figures in April and May 2018.

Manchester United 3 Stoke City 0: Paul Pogba masterclass brings swagger back

He has the confidence, the ability and the swagger to play for Manchester United. But enough of Alexis Sanchez. This was Paul Pogba’s night – and he also possesses those formidable qualities - with the United midfielder dominating a sorry Stoke side. Plucky Potters? Not against Pogba who provided two clever assists and ran the game as United consolidated themselves in second place in the Premier League and cut Manchester City’s lead to 12 points. United have beaten City in the race to sign Alexis Sanchez from Arsenal or, rather, City have pulled out of that contest believing the finances just do not stack up and, barring a late intervention from Chelsea, it appears the Chilean forward will be another of Pogba’s team-mates hoping to profit from his sharp creativity. For United’s fans there is the tantalising vision of Pogba in a free role – finally Jose Mourinho has come to realise that is the best use of him – opening up defences for the alert movement and relentlessness of Sanchez and the bludgeoning power of Romelu Lukaku. Suddenly, they will hope, the future looks brighter for them as they continue that chase to reduce City’s dominance, to fend off Liverpool, Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur, and to give themselves momentum going into the remainder of this season and the next campaign. Antonio Valencia curled in the first with his left foot Credit:  Robbie Jay Barratt - AMA/Getty Images Whether they will face Stoke in the Premier League again next season remains to be seen. Stoke are in the relegation places but, finally, they appointed a successor to Mark Hughes and hours later Paul Lambert took his place in the Old Trafford directors' box, watching on as caretaker Eddie Niedzwiecki, for his one game in charge, produced a demob-happy coaching performance by putting out an attacking team and opening up the game. It worked only in that it created chances – and Stoke did that, and it would have been interesting had they drawn level in the first-half, when just a goal down, as surely they should have done – but not in defending. The three goals conceded here mean, in fact, that Stoke have become the first team in any of Europe’s top five leagues to let in 50 goals this season. With 23 matches played that is more than two a game – not good enough for a team that spent heavily in bringing in defenders last summer. Lambert has work to do. But then he knew that. And he also knew that this was, in all probability, little more than a fixture to fulfil. Damage had to be limited and, in that, they owed a debt again to their goalkeeper Jack Butland who once more produced a series of saves even if he was quickly beaten. Pogba was central to it. He collected possession, after some fine build-up play, and ran across the face of the penalty area before pushing the ball out wide to Antonio Valencia. The United captain was returning, after four weeks out with a hamstring injury, and celebrated by cutting inside and arcing a left-foot shot (yes, left foot from Valencia) around Butland from just inside the area. It was a superb strike; a well-worked goal. Stephen Ireland snatched at a couple of first-half chances Credit: REUTERS/Andrew Yates Cue the cameras cutting to Lambert, attempting to elicit a response. The Scot buried his head in his coat – but that was more to do with responding to the cold, the hail and the swirling rain. But there was no downpour on his new team. Instead they carved United open. There was an overhead kick from Xherdan Shaqiri, held by David De Gea, and then Stephen Ireland – making his first league start in almost two years – spurned two chances. He snatched at both, dragging his shots wide, when he had space and time to do better. Stoke came closest of all when their new signing, Austrian full-back Moritz Bauer, on his debut, hoisted a high cross into the area and Peter Crouch beat De Gea to it. The ball dropped to Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting, who seemed certain to score, only for his half-volley to be deflected over the cross-bar by a lunging Phil Jones. “I didn’t like the first half. I only liked the two amazing goals,” Mourinho later said, and United’s second was as good as their first with Lukaku running down the right, turning the ball back inside to Pogba who had the presence of mind and vision to move it across goal, with a ‘no-look pass’, where it was met by Anthony Martial who struck a precise first-time, side-footed shot that curled around Butland and high into the net. Anthony Martial made it 2-0 Credit: Robbie Jay Barratt - AMA/Getty Images As a contest, it was over. Stoke appeared dispirited. It was a question, then, of how many United would score but – instead - they were wasteful. Firstly Pogba almost claimed his third assist when he intercepted a sloppy pass by Kurt Zouma and stabbed the ball through to Martial. Butland blocked. Then Martial wriggled clear only for Butland to deny him, again, before Juan Mata turned the ball wide and, soon after, shot over. Butland thwarted Lukaku with his legs but was finally beaten by the striker when Jesse Lingard broke, Martial fired the ball into the Belgium international and the Stoke defenders stood off as he picked his spot and drilled his shot low inside the post. There should have been a goal back when substitute Mame Biram Diouf chested down Shaqiri’s flighted pass only for De Gea to block his first shot, and the former United forward to send his second into the side-netting. There would be no consolation. 9:52PM Full time Manchester United narrow the gap to 12 points with a resounding victory orchestrated by a fine performance from Paul Pogba. Stoke had several moments of inspiration going forward but need some bodies as well as some younger legs in defence and defensive midfield.  9:50PM 90+2 min McTominay tries to glide past Martins Indi who bundles him over at the edge of the D. Time enough for Pogba to take the free-kick ... which he scoops miles over and the referee blows for time's up.  9:49PM 90+1 min The first of two added minutes begins with man-of-the-match Pogba pinging a long pass up to Rashford on the left but he lets it leak out for a throw.  9:48PM 89 min Rashford has a dainty-footed dribble through the box from the left then bobbles a tame shot at Butland as he tried to open his body and arrow it in at the back post. Mishit it.  9:47PM 87 min Ach, Stoke. Shaqiri picks out a diaginal cross towards the penalty spot from the left and Diouf beats Smalling to it and controls it sufficiently well to allow him an unimpeded left-foot shot at goal from 12 yards. But he scuffs it, De Gea saves with his legs and gives him a second chance. Ireland, unmarked, screams for him to square it for a tap-in but Diouf goes his own way and scuds a left-foot shot wide.  Attempt Saved: Man Utd 3 - 0 Stoke (Mame Biram Diouf, 86 min)   9:44PM 84 min Another glorious pass from Pogba on halfway, chipping the ball over Wimmer who manages to reach it with the odd strand of hair. Valencia, bullocking down the whitewash takes it in his stride  and fires in a cross through the six-yard box. Rashford makes a near-post run and tries to back-flick it in with his right foot. Good save from Butland.  9:40PM 82 min Third United substitution: Mata off, McTominay on.  9:39PM 81 min Double United substitution: Lingard and Martial depart to be replaced by Fellaini and Rashford.  9:38PM 79 min United enjoy such a dominant spell of possession that poor old Stoke 'don't now what day it is'. It ends with a left-wing cross towards the penalty spot and Mata does a 'shut-that-door' flick that almost squeaks in at the right post. Lukaku, who cannot resist the temptation to lunge at the rebound off the woodwork, was offside.  Man Utd vs Stoke shots on goal   9:34PM 77 min After twenty-odd passes, though, Martial blunders his trap and the ball squirts to Zouma who clears.  9:34PM 76 min United are strolling now, metaphorically, and pinging passes around in Stoke's half.  9:32PM 73 min Lingard brings the ball forward through the middle from the centre-circle, sprinting towards the box. He lays it off to the left for Martial who cuts inside and then fires in a very heavy pass - shades of Gerrard there - but Lukaku controls it superbly with his chest (Stoke think it was his hand), turns to his right with his back to goal and skelps in a fierce left-foot shot past Butland who had no chance. Man Utd vs Stoke shots on goal   9:29PM GOAL!! Manchester United 3-0 Stoke City (Lukaku) Lukaku smashes in the third Credit: Matthew Peters/Man Utd via Getty Images   9:28PM 69 min Peter Crouch departs. Mame Biram Diouf enters.  9:25PM 68 min Lukaku is booked for a retaliation on Martins Indi then Ireland by his doppelganger Anthony Taylor for going through Mata.  9:24PM 66 min Butland makes a fine save with his feet from Lukaku after United overwhelm Stoke with their pace and movement. The ball rebounds out to the edge of the area. Lingard strikes it low on the volley, Butland saves again and Mata backheels in the rebound from an offside position 9:23PM 64 min Choupo-Moting off Sobhi on. Lingard is booked on the totting up principle for bundling Fletcher over.  9:21PM 61 min Lukaku centres to Lingard in the D from the left. He rolls the pass out to Mata who is charging into the box from the right. He tries to curl a left-footer inside the far post but can't get it to bend in at the last. Lingard had robbed Zouma to start the rapid counter.    9:18PM 59 min More Pogba brilliance, beating Bauer and clipping a left-foot cross into the box. Martial controls it, dinks it inside to try to throw Butland off balance but cannot find the room to squeeze it under the keeper who tries to smother it but it bobbles free. Lukaku  has another effort at poking it past but Butland is up to it.  9:16PM 57 min United corner taken short again and Lingard, who hasn't been at his best tonight, loses the ball as he tries to get into the box. Now it's 'Delilah' from the visiting fans. United are penning them in.  9:13PM 55 min Lukaku attempts to control the ball and hook it back over his shoulder for Pogba but succeeds only in eating the ball as he spanks it into his own mouth.  9:11PM 53 min The cries of 'Paul Lambert's barmy army' drowns out any United response. The home crowd, it has to be said, is preposterously quiet these days.  9:10PM 51 min Shaqiri is unamused when shoved into an advertising hoarding perhaps inadvertently, perhaps not, by Shaw. Shaqiri takes it out on the flashing sign in anti-capitalist rage and hurts his hand after slapping it.  9:08PM 49 min Zouma wins the ball off Shaw and gives it straight back to Pogba who threads a pass up the inside-left channel. The weight perhaps takes it too close to Butland even for swift-footed Achilles Martial at full pelt. Butland manages to get down on the ground, like a draught excluder, to block Martial's stabbed shot.  9:05PM 47 min Ireland has dropped deeper, too. Matic picks out Shaw who works it back to Pogba. The United No6 drills a diagonal over to Mata who cuts it back but there's no one arriving at the edge of the box.  9:03PM 46 min Wimmer - Daniel Levy saw them coming - slots straight in at left-back.  9:02PM Half-time substitution Kevin Wimmer replaces Josh Tymon.  8:56PM Martial's goal Anthony Martial scores United's second Credit: REUTERS/Andrew Yates  Here are the average touch positions to show you Pogba's influence (6) and Ireland's (7). Average touch positions (half time) Man Utd vs Stoke shots on goal   8:51PM Half time Stoke had their moments, Manchester United scored with two tremendous shots and have looked dominant in the last third and vulnerable around their own box. Pogba has all the space he needs to run this match and seems certain to carry on in the second-half. Ireland and Shaqiri are playing very well and Bauer looks very promising but the movement of Lingard, Martial, Lukaku and Mata is too much for Stoke's defence to contain. .  8:47PM 45+1 min De Gea dives low to his left to save Shaqiri's left-foot shot, an opportunity created by his wonderful control as he stunned the pass from the left to the D then drilled a scorching low shot towards goal. Excellent save that proves to be the last touch of the half.  8:46PM 44 min Pogba plays the same right to left pass for Martial that bypasses and isolates the middle of the Stoke defence but this time Martial was too hasty and bolted offside.  8:45PM 42 min United adopt sheer liquid football and Stoke's defence don't know what day it is. Pogba floats a pass from right-half to outside left for Shaw who lays it off to Martial. After scoring with that lovely strike he must think his boots are made of jam so tries an outrageous outisde of the foot chip to the back post for Lukaku who nods it back across goal. Lingard can't reach it but nobbut just.  8:41PM 40 min Valencia wins the ball off Choupo-Moting on halfway and on the right, drives forward and picks out Lukaku who holds it up  and takes it outside, pursued by Martins Indi then turns to roll a pass to Pogba by the right angle of the box. Pogba sees Martial to the left of the D in the space created by Lukaku's run, sweeps a pass over to him and the winger arcs in a shot, bending in a parabola unstoppably past Butland.  Man Utd 2 - 0 Stoke (Anthony Martial, 38 min)   8:38PM GOAL!! Man Utd 2-0 Stoke (Martial) 8:38PM 36 min Pogba torpedoes a 50-yard ball from right to left to pick out Shaw's run to the byline. The left-back pulls the ball back to Martial who shoots into Zouma. Deflection leads to corner. United take it short for the umpteenth time and Stoke scuttle it away. Why so many short corners? Stoke's height?  8:35PM 34 min Mata does that thing after falling over in the box to indicate that he's slipped - serves two purposes (A) No penalty and (B) I didn't dive. It looked as though he did 'go over easily' but because it's the paragon Juan, it couldn't possibly have been anything but a slip.  8:33PM 32 min United fans spark into life when Ireland, once of City, is struck amidships by Lingard's fierce drive but the bounce favours Stoke and Valencia has to bring Allen down to stop them breaking past halfway.  8:31PM 30 min Fletcher uses his resilience and experience to hold off Pogba at the price of a corner on the right that United take short from Mata to Lingard who hangs it up at the back post. Butland drops the slithery ball but pocks it up at the second attempt. Pogba was offside in any case.  8:29PM 28 min United break quickly up the left and Mata, at the end of a slick passing move, cuts a pass back to Martial who balloons a wanton shot over the bar.  Miss: Man Utd 1 - 0 Stoke (Stephen Ireland, 21 min)   8:27PM 25 min Stoke move it out to the right for Shaqiri and his wand. He bends in a cross to the back post and De Gea comes for it but, rare for him, flaps under the challenge of Crouch who nods it back across the now unguarded net. Choupo-Moting meets it on the volley but Jones throws himself in to block from point-blank range and saves a certain goal. Corner. Small wonder Jose Mourinho is off the bench and shouting. Stoke have made four good chances in the past 10 minutes.  Man Utd vs Stoke shots on goal   8:25PM 24 min Very quiet at Old Trafford as Stoke enjoy a good five minutes. Ireland makes another interception, motors forward and Pogba kicks him up the back of his thigh. Free kick.  8:24PM 22 min What a chance for Stoke - all made by Martial's indolence in helping Shaw out when attacked by Allen and Bauer who looks a decent player. The right-back responds to Shaqiri's run inside with a square pass across the 18-yard line that he controls immaculately then dinks the perfect throughball to Ireland who has made a great run. Ireland, 15 yards out, stretches to shoot and pokes it wide. Not exactly a sitter but a chance you have to take.  Miss: Man Utd 1 - 0 Stoke (Stephen Ireland, 21 min)   8:21PM 20 min Here's the goal: Valencia scores Credit:  Robbie Jay Barratt - AMA/Getty Images  Choupo-Moting squanders possession and United break.  8:19PM 18 min Bauer's cross from the right finds Ireland in the United box just shy of the penalty spot and in space. But as he traps the centre it sticks under his feet and gobbles up precious time so that when he does manage to shoot he was being closed down and scuffs it wide.  Miss: Man Utd 1 - 0 Stoke (Stephen Ireland, 16 min)   8:17PM 16 min Clever interception from Ireland thwarts Shaw's cross and he scurries out of defence, laying it off to Choupo-Moting then positioning himself for the return. He kills the pass and pushes the ball out to the right into Shaqiri's path. Shaqiri bends in a left-footer towards the back post that Crouch wins but can't get any power on it. He does enough to retain possession, lay it back and Stoke come again.  8:14PM 14 min The ball is sticking to Lukaku tonight and he is astutely bringing Martial, Lingard, Mata and Pogba into play as attacking threats.  8:12PM 12 min Shaqiri shows us his exquisite technique with a spectacular bicycle kick to meet an outswinging left-wing cross. He meets it crisply but De Gea gets down low to his left to smother it.  8:11PM 10 min Made by Pogba's crossfield chip. Valencia leaves Choupo-Moting stranded, drifts inside on to his left, losing Tymon with a dip of the shoulder before finishing with a 16-yard sweetly-struck, unstoppable curler. Man Utd 1 - 0 Stoke (Antonio Valencia, 9 min) 8:09PM GOAL!! Manchester United 1-0 Stoke (Valencia) 8:08PM 7 min Mata chips a curling left-foot pass from inside-right over the central defenders and Martial makes the run to head it. Bauer, who had his arm on Martial's back, slipped and fell, taking his opponent with him. Big shout for a penalty that the referee ignores but the replay has heads nodding in unison with the fatuous 'I've seen 'em given'' verdict.  8:06PM 6 min Tymon tries to turn Valencia on halfway but can't drive past him once he'd turned back to face him. Valencia kicks the ball on to his shins to take the throw-in. It's sheeting down.  8:04PM 4 min Pogba shifts it up the inside left channel, sweeping it 20 yards upfield. Lukaku takes it in his stride and lays it out to the left for Martial then heads for the six-yard box. Lingard makes the near-post run but the United winger drags his centre behind his team-mate and Stoke work it clear.  8:02PM 2 min Stoke recycle, bang it up to Crouch who is penalised for clattering Jones as he shielded the ball. United take the free-kick, move it up to Lukaku who lats it off to Lingard. Shaqiri hacks him down. Free kick 10 yards inside the Stoke half.  8:01PM 1 min Stoke, in blue, kick off and Stephen Ireland takes it and instigates a move up the right that has to go backwards to go forward. Martins Indi whacks it long and Valencia fires it back, over the top, and beyond Lukaku.  7:58PM Out come the teams Kick off is now just moments away. And the commentator is Alan Parry, just as it was for the Cyrille Regis clip below.  7:48PM Paul Lambert is present and correct Paul Lambert watches his new side at old Trafford Credit: Gareth Copley/Getty Images  He did pretty well at Wolves last season and was terrific at Norwich. Villa, though, was a trial for every supporter who was forced to watch austerity football while Randy Lerner tried to sell. Having said that Ron Vlaar, Christian Benteke and Karim El Anmadi were decent signings.  7:19PM Henrikh Mkhitaryan Is not in Manchester United's XVIII apparently because his head 'is not in the right place'. Or is it his body that's in N5/N7?  Jose Mourinho on Mkhitaryan's omission from tonight's squad: "I would lie if I said it was a pure tactical decision." #mufc [sky]— utdhq (@utdhq) January 15, 2018   7:17PM Those teams in black and white Man Utd De Gea; Valencia, Jones, Smalling, Shaw; Pogba, Matic; Mata, Lingard, Martial; Lukaku.  Substitutes Joel Pereira, Lindelof, Rojo, Ander Herrera, Fellaini, McTominay, Rashford. It's chucking it down at Old Trafford Credit: Michael Regan/Getty Images Stoke City Butland; Bauer, Zouma, Martins Indi, Tymon; Fletcher, Allen; Shaqiri, Ireland, Choupo-Moting; Crouch.  Substitutes Grant, Edwards, Wimmer, Afellay, Adam, Diouf, Sobhi.  Referee Anthony Taylor (Wythenshawe). 7:02PM Antonio Valencia is back for Man Utd Here is how the Reds line up for #MUNSTK... �� pic.twitter.com/otGid7EQkS— Manchester United (@ManUtd) January 15, 2018   7:02PM You know that business about Eddie Niedzwiecki not making many changes ... Ignore it. He's made seven and Moritz Bauer makes his Premier League debut.  Eddie Niedzwiecki makes 7⃣ changes to tonight's team that faces @ManUtd at Old Trafford. �� Bauer, Martins Indi, Tymon, Fletcher, Shaqiri, Choupo-Moting and Crouch all make the starting XI. City line-up in a 4-2-3-1 formation.#SCFC ��⚪️ pic.twitter.com/2CIECRjITg— Stoke City FC (@stokecity) January 15, 2018   6:59PM In memoriam   6:56PM Good evening And welcome to coverage of Manchester United vs Stoke City, the last Premier League match of what those people who we need to cut out of our lives would call ‘round 23’ of the ‘EPL’. We find both clubs loitering around in a kind of threshold. Stoke, obviously, having been turned down by Gary Rowett, Quique Sanchez Flores and Martin O’Neill, are ready to embark on the Paul Lambert era though tonight his will be a watching brief. Given that caretaker Eddie Niedzwiecki has been at Mark Hughes’ side with Wales, Blackburn, Man City, Fulham, QPR and the Oatcake Eaters, he’s hardly likely to pick a radically altered side because to do so would be an implicit rebuke of his friend and former and future boss. So tonight may just be a case of limbo until Lambert makes his mark or purgatory if your view of Lambert’s appointment is as pessimistic as some on that twerps’ trumpet, Twitter, are lamenting. As for Manchester United, it seems that they stand on the verge of signing Alexis Sánchez which will add some much needed dynamism into their attack though I’m not sure how tameable his talent and instincts will be for Jose Mourinho. He certainly won’t step on the throat of his own song like, say, Joe Cole did at Chelsea to track back or Samuel Eto’o at Inter but he may be employed in the manner of Wesley Sneijder or Arjen Robben - indulged if never wholly embraced. Rarely for a Mourinho side, tonight begs a performance more than the result. They played well in the second half at Goodison and there were fluent passages in the draw with Leicester and the victory over West Brom but it has been far too sporadic for the past two months. Ali Sanchez Manchester City’s defeat on Sunday gives United the opportunity to narrow the gap between first and second to 12 points with a win here. It’s still an enormous lead but for those Reds looking for comfort, it was exactly the position United found themselves in 21 years ago behind Newcastle United with 15 games to play and they ended up winning the title by three points. City are not Newcastle obviously but it’s worth pointing out. And a comfortable victory would surely be the only outcome a sane person would accept a wager on tonight. It’s 42 years since Stoke have won at Old Trafford, when Bomber Sheldon set up Bluto Bloor to glance in an 87th-minute winner and end United’s 14-month home unbeaten record and their chances of winning the Double with a couple of games of the season to go. As any fule kno, Southampton, then of Division Two, did for them in the Cup to make it a miserable April and May for Tommy Docherty’s side. Mourinho, with two trophies last year and Sánchez to come, will not be as vulnerable to Alan Bloor and Bobby Stokes type figures in April and May 2018.

Manchester United 3 Stoke City 0: Paul Pogba masterclass brings swagger back

He has the confidence, the ability and the swagger to play for Manchester United. But enough of Alexis Sanchez. This was Paul Pogba’s night – and he also possesses those formidable qualities - with the United midfielder dominating a sorry Stoke side. Plucky Potters? Not against Pogba who provided two clever assists and ran the game as United consolidated themselves in second place in the Premier League and cut Manchester City’s lead to 12 points. United have beaten City in the race to sign Alexis Sanchez from Arsenal or, rather, City have pulled out of that contest believing the finances just do not stack up and, barring a late intervention from Chelsea, it appears the Chilean forward will be another of Pogba’s team-mates hoping to profit from his sharp creativity. For United’s fans there is the tantalising vision of Pogba in a free role – finally Jose Mourinho has come to realise that is the best use of him – opening up defences for the alert movement and relentlessness of Sanchez and the bludgeoning power of Romelu Lukaku. Suddenly, they will hope, the future looks brighter for them as they continue that chase to reduce City’s dominance, to fend off Liverpool, Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur, and to give themselves momentum going into the remainder of this season and the next campaign. Antonio Valencia curled in the first with his left foot Credit:  Robbie Jay Barratt - AMA/Getty Images Whether they will face Stoke in the Premier League again next season remains to be seen. Stoke are in the relegation places but, finally, they appointed a successor to Mark Hughes and hours later Paul Lambert took his place in the Old Trafford directors' box, watching on as caretaker Eddie Niedzwiecki, for his one game in charge, produced a demob-happy coaching performance by putting out an attacking team and opening up the game. It worked only in that it created chances – and Stoke did that, and it would have been interesting had they drawn level in the first-half, when just a goal down, as surely they should have done – but not in defending. The three goals conceded here mean, in fact, that Stoke have become the first team in any of Europe’s top five leagues to let in 50 goals this season. With 23 matches played that is more than two a game – not good enough for a team that spent heavily in bringing in defenders last summer. Lambert has work to do. But then he knew that. And he also knew that this was, in all probability, little more than a fixture to fulfil. Damage had to be limited and, in that, they owed a debt again to their goalkeeper Jack Butland who once more produced a series of saves even if he was quickly beaten. Pogba was central to it. He collected possession, after some fine build-up play, and ran across the face of the penalty area before pushing the ball out wide to Antonio Valencia. The United captain was returning, after four weeks out with a hamstring injury, and celebrated by cutting inside and arcing a left-foot shot (yes, left foot from Valencia) around Butland from just inside the area. It was a superb strike; a well-worked goal. Stephen Ireland snatched at a couple of first-half chances Credit: REUTERS/Andrew Yates Cue the cameras cutting to Lambert, attempting to elicit a response. The Scot buried his head in his coat – but that was more to do with responding to the cold, the hail and the swirling rain. But there was no downpour on his new team. Instead they carved United open. There was an overhead kick from Xherdan Shaqiri, held by David De Gea, and then Stephen Ireland – making his first league start in almost two years – spurned two chances. He snatched at both, dragging his shots wide, when he had space and time to do better. Stoke came closest of all when their new signing, Austrian full-back Moritz Bauer, on his debut, hoisted a high cross into the area and Peter Crouch beat De Gea to it. The ball dropped to Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting, who seemed certain to score, only for his half-volley to be deflected over the cross-bar by a lunging Phil Jones. “I didn’t like the first half. I only liked the two amazing goals,” Mourinho later said, and United’s second was as good as their first with Lukaku running down the right, turning the ball back inside to Pogba who had the presence of mind and vision to move it across goal, with a ‘no-look pass’, where it was met by Anthony Martial who struck a precise first-time, side-footed shot that curled around Butland and high into the net. Anthony Martial made it 2-0 Credit: Robbie Jay Barratt - AMA/Getty Images As a contest, it was over. Stoke appeared dispirited. It was a question, then, of how many United would score but – instead - they were wasteful. Firstly Pogba almost claimed his third assist when he intercepted a sloppy pass by Kurt Zouma and stabbed the ball through to Martial. Butland blocked. Then Martial wriggled clear only for Butland to deny him, again, before Juan Mata turned the ball wide and, soon after, shot over. Butland thwarted Lukaku with his legs but was finally beaten by the striker when Jesse Lingard broke, Martial fired the ball into the Belgium international and the Stoke defenders stood off as he picked his spot and drilled his shot low inside the post. There should have been a goal back when substitute Mame Biram Diouf chested down Shaqiri’s flighted pass only for De Gea to block his first shot, and the former United forward to send his second into the side-netting. There would be no consolation. 9:52PM Full time Manchester United narrow the gap to 12 points with a resounding victory orchestrated by a fine performance from Paul Pogba. Stoke had several moments of inspiration going forward but need some bodies as well as some younger legs in defence and defensive midfield.  9:50PM 90+2 min McTominay tries to glide past Martins Indi who bundles him over at the edge of the D. Time enough for Pogba to take the free-kick ... which he scoops miles over and the referee blows for time's up.  9:49PM 90+1 min The first of two added minutes begins with man-of-the-match Pogba pinging a long pass up to Rashford on the left but he lets it leak out for a throw.  9:48PM 89 min Rashford has a dainty-footed dribble through the box from the left then bobbles a tame shot at Butland as he tried to open his body and arrow it in at the back post. Mishit it.  9:47PM 87 min Ach, Stoke. Shaqiri picks out a diaginal cross towards the penalty spot from the left and Diouf beats Smalling to it and controls it sufficiently well to allow him an unimpeded left-foot shot at goal from 12 yards. But he scuffs it, De Gea saves with his legs and gives him a second chance. Ireland, unmarked, screams for him to square it for a tap-in but Diouf goes his own way and scuds a left-foot shot wide.  Attempt Saved: Man Utd 3 - 0 Stoke (Mame Biram Diouf, 86 min)   9:44PM 84 min Another glorious pass from Pogba on halfway, chipping the ball over Wimmer who manages to reach it with the odd strand of hair. Valencia, bullocking down the whitewash takes it in his stride  and fires in a cross through the six-yard box. Rashford makes a near-post run and tries to back-flick it in with his right foot. Good save from Butland.  9:40PM 82 min Third United substitution: Mata off, McTominay on.  9:39PM 81 min Double United substitution: Lingard and Martial depart to be replaced by Fellaini and Rashford.  9:38PM 79 min United enjoy such a dominant spell of possession that poor old Stoke 'don't now what day it is'. It ends with a left-wing cross towards the penalty spot and Mata does a 'shut-that-door' flick that almost squeaks in at the right post. Lukaku, who cannot resist the temptation to lunge at the rebound off the woodwork, was offside.  Man Utd vs Stoke shots on goal   9:34PM 77 min After twenty-odd passes, though, Martial blunders his trap and the ball squirts to Zouma who clears.  9:34PM 76 min United are strolling now, metaphorically, and pinging passes around in Stoke's half.  9:32PM 73 min Lingard brings the ball forward through the middle from the centre-circle, sprinting towards the box. He lays it off to the left for Martial who cuts inside and then fires in a very heavy pass - shades of Gerrard there - but Lukaku controls it superbly with his chest (Stoke think it was his hand), turns to his right with his back to goal and skelps in a fierce left-foot shot past Butland who had no chance. Man Utd vs Stoke shots on goal   9:29PM GOAL!! Manchester United 3-0 Stoke City (Lukaku) Lukaku smashes in the third Credit: Matthew Peters/Man Utd via Getty Images   9:28PM 69 min Peter Crouch departs. Mame Biram Diouf enters.  9:25PM 68 min Lukaku is booked for a retaliation on Martins Indi then Ireland by his doppelganger Anthony Taylor for going through Mata.  9:24PM 66 min Butland makes a fine save with his feet from Lukaku after United overwhelm Stoke with their pace and movement. The ball rebounds out to the edge of the area. Lingard strikes it low on the volley, Butland saves again and Mata backheels in the rebound from an offside position 9:23PM 64 min Choupo-Moting off Sobhi on. Lingard is booked on the totting up principle for bundling Fletcher over.  9:21PM 61 min Lukaku centres to Lingard in the D from the left. He rolls the pass out to Mata who is charging into the box from the right. He tries to curl a left-footer inside the far post but can't get it to bend in at the last. Lingard had robbed Zouma to start the rapid counter.    9:18PM 59 min More Pogba brilliance, beating Bauer and clipping a left-foot cross into the box. Martial controls it, dinks it inside to try to throw Butland off balance but cannot find the room to squeeze it under the keeper who tries to smother it but it bobbles free. Lukaku  has another effort at poking it past but Butland is up to it.  9:16PM 57 min United corner taken short again and Lingard, who hasn't been at his best tonight, loses the ball as he tries to get into the box. Now it's 'Delilah' from the visiting fans. United are penning them in.  9:13PM 55 min Lukaku attempts to control the ball and hook it back over his shoulder for Pogba but succeeds only in eating the ball as he spanks it into his own mouth.  9:11PM 53 min The cries of 'Paul Lambert's barmy army' drowns out any United response. The home crowd, it has to be said, is preposterously quiet these days.  9:10PM 51 min Shaqiri is unamused when shoved into an advertising hoarding perhaps inadvertently, perhaps not, by Shaw. Shaqiri takes it out on the flashing sign in anti-capitalist rage and hurts his hand after slapping it.  9:08PM 49 min Zouma wins the ball off Shaw and gives it straight back to Pogba who threads a pass up the inside-left channel. The weight perhaps takes it too close to Butland even for swift-footed Achilles Martial at full pelt. Butland manages to get down on the ground, like a draught excluder, to block Martial's stabbed shot.  9:05PM 47 min Ireland has dropped deeper, too. Matic picks out Shaw who works it back to Pogba. The United No6 drills a diagonal over to Mata who cuts it back but there's no one arriving at the edge of the box.  9:03PM 46 min Wimmer - Daniel Levy saw them coming - slots straight in at left-back.  9:02PM Half-time substitution Kevin Wimmer replaces Josh Tymon.  8:56PM Martial's goal Anthony Martial scores United's second Credit: REUTERS/Andrew Yates  Here are the average touch positions to show you Pogba's influence (6) and Ireland's (7). Average touch positions (half time) Man Utd vs Stoke shots on goal   8:51PM Half time Stoke had their moments, Manchester United scored with two tremendous shots and have looked dominant in the last third and vulnerable around their own box. Pogba has all the space he needs to run this match and seems certain to carry on in the second-half. Ireland and Shaqiri are playing very well and Bauer looks very promising but the movement of Lingard, Martial, Lukaku and Mata is too much for Stoke's defence to contain. .  8:47PM 45+1 min De Gea dives low to his left to save Shaqiri's left-foot shot, an opportunity created by his wonderful control as he stunned the pass from the left to the D then drilled a scorching low shot towards goal. Excellent save that proves to be the last touch of the half.  8:46PM 44 min Pogba plays the same right to left pass for Martial that bypasses and isolates the middle of the Stoke defence but this time Martial was too hasty and bolted offside.  8:45PM 42 min United adopt sheer liquid football and Stoke's defence don't know what day it is. Pogba floats a pass from right-half to outside left for Shaw who lays it off to Martial. After scoring with that lovely strike he must think his boots are made of jam so tries an outrageous outisde of the foot chip to the back post for Lukaku who nods it back across goal. Lingard can't reach it but nobbut just.  8:41PM 40 min Valencia wins the ball off Choupo-Moting on halfway and on the right, drives forward and picks out Lukaku who holds it up  and takes it outside, pursued by Martins Indi then turns to roll a pass to Pogba by the right angle of the box. Pogba sees Martial to the left of the D in the space created by Lukaku's run, sweeps a pass over to him and the winger arcs in a shot, bending in a parabola unstoppably past Butland.  Man Utd 2 - 0 Stoke (Anthony Martial, 38 min)   8:38PM GOAL!! Man Utd 2-0 Stoke (Martial) 8:38PM 36 min Pogba torpedoes a 50-yard ball from right to left to pick out Shaw's run to the byline. The left-back pulls the ball back to Martial who shoots into Zouma. Deflection leads to corner. United take it short for the umpteenth time and Stoke scuttle it away. Why so many short corners? Stoke's height?  8:35PM 34 min Mata does that thing after falling over in the box to indicate that he's slipped - serves two purposes (A) No penalty and (B) I didn't dive. It looked as though he did 'go over easily' but because it's the paragon Juan, it couldn't possibly have been anything but a slip.  8:33PM 32 min United fans spark into life when Ireland, once of City, is struck amidships by Lingard's fierce drive but the bounce favours Stoke and Valencia has to bring Allen down to stop them breaking past halfway.  8:31PM 30 min Fletcher uses his resilience and experience to hold off Pogba at the price of a corner on the right that United take short from Mata to Lingard who hangs it up at the back post. Butland drops the slithery ball but pocks it up at the second attempt. Pogba was offside in any case.  8:29PM 28 min United break quickly up the left and Mata, at the end of a slick passing move, cuts a pass back to Martial who balloons a wanton shot over the bar.  Miss: Man Utd 1 - 0 Stoke (Stephen Ireland, 21 min)   8:27PM 25 min Stoke move it out to the right for Shaqiri and his wand. He bends in a cross to the back post and De Gea comes for it but, rare for him, flaps under the challenge of Crouch who nods it back across the now unguarded net. Choupo-Moting meets it on the volley but Jones throws himself in to block from point-blank range and saves a certain goal. Corner. Small wonder Jose Mourinho is off the bench and shouting. Stoke have made four good chances in the past 10 minutes.  Man Utd vs Stoke shots on goal   8:25PM 24 min Very quiet at Old Trafford as Stoke enjoy a good five minutes. Ireland makes another interception, motors forward and Pogba kicks him up the back of his thigh. Free kick.  8:24PM 22 min What a chance for Stoke - all made by Martial's indolence in helping Shaw out when attacked by Allen and Bauer who looks a decent player. The right-back responds to Shaqiri's run inside with a square pass across the 18-yard line that he controls immaculately then dinks the perfect throughball to Ireland who has made a great run. Ireland, 15 yards out, stretches to shoot and pokes it wide. Not exactly a sitter but a chance you have to take.  Miss: Man Utd 1 - 0 Stoke (Stephen Ireland, 21 min)   8:21PM 20 min Here's the goal: Valencia scores Credit:  Robbie Jay Barratt - AMA/Getty Images  Choupo-Moting squanders possession and United break.  8:19PM 18 min Bauer's cross from the right finds Ireland in the United box just shy of the penalty spot and in space. But as he traps the centre it sticks under his feet and gobbles up precious time so that when he does manage to shoot he was being closed down and scuffs it wide.  Miss: Man Utd 1 - 0 Stoke (Stephen Ireland, 16 min)   8:17PM 16 min Clever interception from Ireland thwarts Shaw's cross and he scurries out of defence, laying it off to Choupo-Moting then positioning himself for the return. He kills the pass and pushes the ball out to the right into Shaqiri's path. Shaqiri bends in a left-footer towards the back post that Crouch wins but can't get any power on it. He does enough to retain possession, lay it back and Stoke come again.  8:14PM 14 min The ball is sticking to Lukaku tonight and he is astutely bringing Martial, Lingard, Mata and Pogba into play as attacking threats.  8:12PM 12 min Shaqiri shows us his exquisite technique with a spectacular bicycle kick to meet an outswinging left-wing cross. He meets it crisply but De Gea gets down low to his left to smother it.  8:11PM 10 min Made by Pogba's crossfield chip. Valencia leaves Choupo-Moting stranded, drifts inside on to his left, losing Tymon with a dip of the shoulder before finishing with a 16-yard sweetly-struck, unstoppable curler. Man Utd 1 - 0 Stoke (Antonio Valencia, 9 min) 8:09PM GOAL!! Manchester United 1-0 Stoke (Valencia) 8:08PM 7 min Mata chips a curling left-foot pass from inside-right over the central defenders and Martial makes the run to head it. Bauer, who had his arm on Martial's back, slipped and fell, taking his opponent with him. Big shout for a penalty that the referee ignores but the replay has heads nodding in unison with the fatuous 'I've seen 'em given'' verdict.  8:06PM 6 min Tymon tries to turn Valencia on halfway but can't drive past him once he'd turned back to face him. Valencia kicks the ball on to his shins to take the throw-in. It's sheeting down.  8:04PM 4 min Pogba shifts it up the inside left channel, sweeping it 20 yards upfield. Lukaku takes it in his stride and lays it out to the left for Martial then heads for the six-yard box. Lingard makes the near-post run but the United winger drags his centre behind his team-mate and Stoke work it clear.  8:02PM 2 min Stoke recycle, bang it up to Crouch who is penalised for clattering Jones as he shielded the ball. United take the free-kick, move it up to Lukaku who lats it off to Lingard. Shaqiri hacks him down. Free kick 10 yards inside the Stoke half.  8:01PM 1 min Stoke, in blue, kick off and Stephen Ireland takes it and instigates a move up the right that has to go backwards to go forward. Martins Indi whacks it long and Valencia fires it back, over the top, and beyond Lukaku.  7:58PM Out come the teams Kick off is now just moments away. And the commentator is Alan Parry, just as it was for the Cyrille Regis clip below.  7:48PM Paul Lambert is present and correct Paul Lambert watches his new side at old Trafford Credit: Gareth Copley/Getty Images  He did pretty well at Wolves last season and was terrific at Norwich. Villa, though, was a trial for every supporter who was forced to watch austerity football while Randy Lerner tried to sell. Having said that Ron Vlaar, Christian Benteke and Karim El Anmadi were decent signings.  7:19PM Henrikh Mkhitaryan Is not in Manchester United's XVIII apparently because his head 'is not in the right place'. Or is it his body that's in N5/N7?  Jose Mourinho on Mkhitaryan's omission from tonight's squad: "I would lie if I said it was a pure tactical decision." #mufc [sky]— utdhq (@utdhq) January 15, 2018   7:17PM Those teams in black and white Man Utd De Gea; Valencia, Jones, Smalling, Shaw; Pogba, Matic; Mata, Lingard, Martial; Lukaku.  Substitutes Joel Pereira, Lindelof, Rojo, Ander Herrera, Fellaini, McTominay, Rashford. It's chucking it down at Old Trafford Credit: Michael Regan/Getty Images Stoke City Butland; Bauer, Zouma, Martins Indi, Tymon; Fletcher, Allen; Shaqiri, Ireland, Choupo-Moting; Crouch.  Substitutes Grant, Edwards, Wimmer, Afellay, Adam, Diouf, Sobhi.  Referee Anthony Taylor (Wythenshawe). 7:02PM Antonio Valencia is back for Man Utd Here is how the Reds line up for #MUNSTK... �� pic.twitter.com/otGid7EQkS— Manchester United (@ManUtd) January 15, 2018   7:02PM You know that business about Eddie Niedzwiecki not making many changes ... Ignore it. He's made seven and Moritz Bauer makes his Premier League debut.  Eddie Niedzwiecki makes 7⃣ changes to tonight's team that faces @ManUtd at Old Trafford. �� Bauer, Martins Indi, Tymon, Fletcher, Shaqiri, Choupo-Moting and Crouch all make the starting XI. City line-up in a 4-2-3-1 formation.#SCFC ��⚪️ pic.twitter.com/2CIECRjITg— Stoke City FC (@stokecity) January 15, 2018   6:59PM In memoriam   6:56PM Good evening And welcome to coverage of Manchester United vs Stoke City, the last Premier League match of what those people who we need to cut out of our lives would call ‘round 23’ of the ‘EPL’. We find both clubs loitering around in a kind of threshold. Stoke, obviously, having been turned down by Gary Rowett, Quique Sanchez Flores and Martin O’Neill, are ready to embark on the Paul Lambert era though tonight his will be a watching brief. Given that caretaker Eddie Niedzwiecki has been at Mark Hughes’ side with Wales, Blackburn, Man City, Fulham, QPR and the Oatcake Eaters, he’s hardly likely to pick a radically altered side because to do so would be an implicit rebuke of his friend and former and future boss. So tonight may just be a case of limbo until Lambert makes his mark or purgatory if your view of Lambert’s appointment is as pessimistic as some on that twerps’ trumpet, Twitter, are lamenting. As for Manchester United, it seems that they stand on the verge of signing Alexis Sánchez which will add some much needed dynamism into their attack though I’m not sure how tameable his talent and instincts will be for Jose Mourinho. He certainly won’t step on the throat of his own song like, say, Joe Cole did at Chelsea to track back or Samuel Eto’o at Inter but he may be employed in the manner of Wesley Sneijder or Arjen Robben - indulged if never wholly embraced. Rarely for a Mourinho side, tonight begs a performance more than the result. They played well in the second half at Goodison and there were fluent passages in the draw with Leicester and the victory over West Brom but it has been far too sporadic for the past two months. Ali Sanchez Manchester City’s defeat on Sunday gives United the opportunity to narrow the gap between first and second to 12 points with a win here. It’s still an enormous lead but for those Reds looking for comfort, it was exactly the position United found themselves in 21 years ago behind Newcastle United with 15 games to play and they ended up winning the title by three points. City are not Newcastle obviously but it’s worth pointing out. And a comfortable victory would surely be the only outcome a sane person would accept a wager on tonight. It’s 42 years since Stoke have won at Old Trafford, when Bomber Sheldon set up Bluto Bloor to glance in an 87th-minute winner and end United’s 14-month home unbeaten record and their chances of winning the Double with a couple of games of the season to go. As any fule kno, Southampton, then of Division Two, did for them in the Cup to make it a miserable April and May for Tommy Docherty’s side. Mourinho, with two trophies last year and Sánchez to come, will not be as vulnerable to Alan Bloor and Bobby Stokes type figures in April and May 2018.

Paul Lambert will earn £1 million bonus if Stoke avoid relegation

Paul Lambert is in line for a £1m survival bonus if he guides Stoke City to Premier League safety, after making his return to management in the Potteries.  Lambert is back in the technical area following a seven-month exile after accepting the job with the Staffordshire strugglers, in a move which has left many Stoke supporters underwhelmed by the appointment.   The 48-year-old has signed a two-and-a-half year contract and will be assured of a significant bonus if he can maintain the club's place in the top-flight, with his first game against Huddersfield this weekend. Lambert's arrival ends a nine-day search for Mark Hughes's successor, with moves for Gary Rowett, Quique Sanchez Flores and Martin O'Neill all ending in frustration. Rowett was a leading contender but opted to sign a new deal at Derby while Flores, the Espanyol manager, performed a surprise u-turn despite the Stoke board flying out to meet him in Barcelona. O'Neill, the Republic of Ireland manager, was also interviewed twice by chairman Peter Coates and his son John, the vice-chairman, plus chief executive Tony Scholes, but neither party was ever truly convinced. It left Stoke's with no alternative but to consider other candidates but Lambert is understood to have impressed so much in his interview that he quickly emerged as the No. 1 choice.  During talks he outlined his ambitions for the season and Stoke's strengths and weaknesses, with his appointment confirmed on Monday morning. He will be assured of funds for the January transfer window. Peter Coates said: “Paul greatly impressed us with his knowledge of our squad and had a clear plan of how he would improve our results. He’s a man who backed himself as a player, none more so than when he turned down contract offers in Scotland to go on trial in the German Bundesliga with Borussia Dortmund, and it’s obvious he adopts the same approach as a manager.” There is an acceptance within the Stoke boardroom that the appointment will not be wholly popular, but Lambert has proven Premier League experience and, crucially, was never relegated during a turbulent spell at Aston Villa. His reputation was arguably at its highest nearly seven years ago, when he achieved back-to-back promotions at Norwich City. He departed for Villa in 2012 and endured a difficult two-and-a-half years under former chairman Randy Lerner, operating on a restricted budget. Yet he never suffered relegation in that time before his dismissal in February 2015. Since leaving Villa he has managed Blackburn Rovers and Wolves, while he was interviewed last month by Championship clubs Hull City and Sheffield Wednesday. January 2018 transfer window John Coates said: “Paul has been successful in management at clubs with a strong and stable background and with local ownership – the kind of foundation we are able to give to our managers. We were determined to appoint someone with Premier League experience or an extensive knowledge of English football. We look forward to working with Paul and supporting him to help achieve our goals.” Lambert was in the stands at Old Trafford for Stoke's game against Manchester United on Monday night. He will be officially presented at the bet365 Stadium on Tuesday afternoon.

Manchester United vs Stoke City, Premier League: live score updates

Coral: Manchester United to win @ 33-1   9:52PM Full time Manchester United narrow the gap to 12 points with a resounding victory orchestrated by a fine performance from Paul Pogba. Stoke had several moments of inspiration going forward but need some bodies as well as some younger legs in defence and defensive midfield.  9:50PM 90+2 min McTominay tries to glide past Martins Indi who bundles him over at the edge of the D. Time enough for Pogba to take the free-kick ... which he scoops miles over and the referee blows for time's up.  9:49PM 90+1 min The first of two added minutes begins with man-of-the-match Pogba pinging a long pass up to Rashford on the left but he lets it leak out for a throw.  9:48PM 89 min Rashford has a dainty-footed dribble through the box from the left then bobbles a tame shot at Butland as he tried to open his body and arrow it in at the back post. Mishit it.  9:47PM 87 min Ach, Stoke. Shaqiri picks out a diaginal cross towards the penalty spot from the left and Diouf beats Smalling to it and controls it sufficiently well to allow him an unimpeded left-foot shot at goal from 12 yards. But he scuffs it, De Gea saves with his legs and gives him a second chance. Ireland, unmarked, screams for him to square it for a tap-in but Diouf goes his own way and scuds a left-foot shot wide.  Attempt Saved: Man Utd 3 - 0 Stoke (Mame Biram Diouf, 86 min)   9:44PM 84 min Another glorious pass from Pogba on halfway, chipping the ball over Wimmer who manages to reach it with the odd strand of hair. Valencia, bullocking down the whitewash takes it in his stride  and fires in a cross through the six-yard box. Rashford makes a near-post run and tries to back-flick it in with his right foot. Good save from Butland.  9:40PM 82 min Third United substitution: Mata off, McTominay on.  9:39PM 81 min Double United substitution: Lingard and Martial depart to be replaced by Fellaini and Rashford.  9:38PM 79 min United enjoy such a dominant spell of possession that poor old Stoke 'don't now what day it is'. It ends with a left-wing cross towards the penalty spot and Mata does a 'shut-that-door' flick that almost squeaks in at the right post. Lukaku, who cannot resist the temptation to lunge at the rebound off the woodwork, was offside.  Man Utd vs Stoke shots on goal   9:34PM 77 min After twenty-odd passes, though, Martial blunders his trap and the ball squirts to Zouma who clears.  9:34PM 76 min United are strolling now, metaphorically, and pinging passes around in Stoke's half.  9:32PM 73 min Lingard brings the ball forward through the middle from the centre-circle, sprinting towards the box. He lays it off to the left for Martial who cuts inside and then fires in a very heavy pass - shades of Gerrard there - but Lukaku controls it superbly with his chest (Stoke think it was his hand), turns to his right with his back to goal and skelps in a fierce left-foot shot past Butland who had no chance. Man Utd vs Stoke shots on goal   9:29PM GOAL!! Manchester United 3-0 Stoke City (Lukaku) Lukaku smashes in the third Credit: Matthew Peters/Man Utd via Getty Images   9:28PM 69 min Peter Crouch departs. Mame Biram Diouf enters.  9:25PM 68 min Lukaku is booked for a retaliation on Martins Indi then Ireland by his doppelganger Anthony Taylor for going through Mata.  9:24PM 66 min Butland makes a fine save with his feet from Lukaku after United overwhelm Stoke with their pace and movement. The ball rebounds out to the edge of the area. Lingard strikes it low on the volley, Butland saves again and Mata backheels in the rebound from an offside position 9:23PM 64 min Choupo-Moting off Sobhi on. Lingard is booked on the totting up principle for bundling Fletcher over.  9:21PM 61 min Lukaku centres to Lingard in the D from the left. He rolls the pass out to Mata who is charging into the box from the right. He tries to curl a left-footer inside the far post but can't get it to bend in at the last. Lingard had robbed Zouma to start the rapid counter.    9:18PM 59 min More Pogba brilliance, beating Bauer and clipping a left-foot cross into the box. Martial controls it, dinks it inside to try to throw Butland off balance but cannot find the room to squeeze it under the keeper who tries to smother it but it bobbles free. Lukaku  has another effort at poking it past but Butland is up to it.  9:16PM 57 min United corner taken short again and Lingard, who hasn't been at his best tonight, loses the ball as he tries to get into the box. Now it's 'Delilah' from the visiting fans. United are penning them in.  9:13PM 55 min Lukaku attempts to control the ball and hook it back over his shoulder for Pogba but succeeds only in eating the ball as he spanks it into his own mouth.  9:11PM 53 min The cries of 'Paul Lambert's barmy army' drowns out any United response. The home crowd, it has to be said, is preposterously quiet these days.  9:10PM 51 min Shaqiri is unamused when shoved into an advertising hoarding perhaps inadvertently, perhaps not, by Shaw. Shaqiri takes it out on the flashing sign in anti-capitalist rage and hurts his hand after slapping it.  9:08PM 49 min Zouma wins the ball off Shaw and gives it straight back to Pogba who threads a pass up the inside-left channel. The weight perhaps takes it too close to Butland even for swift-footed Achilles Martial at full pelt. Butland manages to get down on the ground, like a draught excluder, to block Martial's stabbed shot.  9:05PM 47 min Ireland has dropped deeper, too. Matic picks out Shaw who works it back to Pogba. The United No6 drills a diagonal over to Mata who cuts it back but there's no one arriving at the edge of the box.  9:03PM 46 min Wimmer - Daniel Levy saw them coming - slots straight in at left-back.  9:02PM Half-time substitution Kevin Wimmer replaces Josh Tymon.  8:56PM Martial's goal Anthony Martial scores United's second Credit: REUTERS/Andrew Yates  Here are the average touch positions to show you Pogba's influence (6) and Ireland's (7). Average touch positions (half time) Man Utd vs Stoke shots on goal   8:51PM Half time Stoke had their moments, Manchester United scored with two tremendous shots and have looked dominant in the last third and vulnerable around their own box. Pogba has all the space he needs to run this match and seems certain to carry on in the second-half. Ireland and Shaqiri are playing very well and Bauer looks very promising but the movement of Lingard, Martial, Lukaku and Mata is too much for Stoke's defence to contain. .  8:47PM 45+1 min De Gea dives low to his left to save Shaqiri's left-foot shot, an opportunity created by his wonderful control as he stunned the pass from the left to the D then drilled a scorching low shot towards goal. Excellent save that proves to be the last touch of the half.  8:46PM 44 min Pogba plays the same right to left pass for Martial that bypasses and isolates the middle of the Stoke defence but this time Martial was too hasty and bolted offside.  8:45PM 42 min United adopt sheer liquid football and Stoke's defence don't know what day it is. Pogba floats a pass from right-half to outside left for Shaw who lays it off to Martial. After scoring with that lovely strike he must think his boots are made of jam so tries an outrageous outisde of the foot chip to the back post for Lukaku who nods it back across goal. Lingard can't reach it but nobbut just.  8:41PM 40 min Valencia wins the ball off Choupo-Moting on halfway and on the right, drives forward and picks out Lukaku who holds it up  and takes it outside, pursued by Martins Indi then turns to roll a pass to Pogba by the right angle of the box. Pogba sees Martial to the left of the D in the space created by Lukaku's run, sweeps a pass over to him and the winger arcs in a shot, bending in a parabola unstoppably past Butland.  Man Utd 2 - 0 Stoke (Anthony Martial, 38 min)   8:38PM GOAL!! Man Utd 2-0 Stoke (Martial) 8:38PM 36 min Pogba torpedoes a 50-yard ball from right to left to pick out Shaw's run to the byline. The left-back pulls the ball back to Martial who shoots into Zouma. Deflection leads to corner. United take it short for the umpteenth time and Stoke scuttle it away. Why so many short corners? Stoke's height?  8:35PM 34 min Mata does that thing after falling over in the box to indicate that he's slipped - serves two purposes (A) No penalty and (B) I didn't dive. It looked as though he did 'go over easily' but because it's the paragon Juan, it couldn't possibly have been anything but a slip.  8:33PM 32 min United fans spark into life when Ireland, once of City, is struck amidships by Lingard's fierce drive but the bounce favours Stoke and Valencia has to bring Allen down to stop them breaking past halfway.  8:31PM 30 min Fletcher uses his resilience and experience to hold off Pogba at the price of a corner on the right that United take short from Mata to Lingard who hangs it up at the back post. Butland drops the slithery ball but pocks it up at the second attempt. Pogba was offside in any case.  8:29PM 28 min United break quickly up the left and Mata, at the end of a slick passing move, cuts a pass back to Martial who balloons a wanton shot over the bar.  Miss: Man Utd 1 - 0 Stoke (Stephen Ireland, 21 min)   8:27PM 25 min Stoke move it out to the right for Shaqiri and his wand. He bends in a cross to the back post and De Gea comes for it but, rare for him, flaps under the challenge of Crouch who nods it back across the now unguarded net. Choupo-Moting meets it on the volley but Jones throws himself in to block from point-blank range and saves a certain goal. Corner. Small wonder Jose Mourinho is off the bench and shouting. Stoke have made four good chances in the past 10 minutes.  Man Utd vs Stoke shots on goal   8:25PM 24 min Very quiet at Old Trafford as Stoke enjoy a good five minutes. Ireland makes another interception, motors forward and Pogba kicks him up the back of his thigh. Free kick.  8:24PM 22 min What a chance for Stoke - all made by Martial's indolence in helping Shaw out when attacked by Allen and Bauer who looks a decent player. The right-back responds to Shaqiri's run inside with a square pass across the 18-yard line that he controls immaculately then dinks the perfect throughball to Ireland who has made a great run. Ireland, 15 yards out, stretches to shoot and pokes it wide. Not exactly a sitter but a chance you have to take.  Miss: Man Utd 1 - 0 Stoke (Stephen Ireland, 21 min)   8:21PM 20 min Here's the goal: Valencia scores Credit:  Robbie Jay Barratt - AMA/Getty Images  Choupo-Moting squanders possession and United break.  8:19PM 18 min Bauer's cross from the right finds Ireland in the United box just shy of the penalty spot and in space. But as he traps the centre it sticks under his feet and gobbles up precious time so that when he does manage to shoot he was being closed down and scuffs it wide.  Miss: Man Utd 1 - 0 Stoke (Stephen Ireland, 16 min)   8:17PM 16 min Clever interception from Ireland thwarts Shaw's cross and he scurries out of defence, laying it off to Choupo-Moting then positioning himself for the return. He kills the pass and pushes the ball out to the right into Shaqiri's path. Shaqiri bends in a left-footer towards the back post that Crouch wins but can't get any power on it. He does enough to retain possession, lay it back and Stoke come again.  8:14PM 14 min The ball is sticking to Lukaku tonight and he is astutely bringing Martial, Lingard, Mata and Pogba into play as attacking threats.  8:12PM 12 min Shaqiri shows us his exquisite technique with a spectacular bicycle kick to meet an outswinging left-wing cross. He meets it crisply but De Gea gets down low to his left to smother it.  8:11PM 10 min Made by Pogba's crossfield chip. Valencia leaves Choupo-Moting stranded, drifts inside on to his left, losing Tymon with a dip of the shoulder before finishing with a 16-yard sweetly-struck, unstoppable curler. Man Utd 1 - 0 Stoke (Antonio Valencia, 9 min) 8:09PM GOAL!! Manchester United 1-0 Stoke (Valencia) 8:08PM 7 min Mata chips a curling left-foot pass from inside-right over the central defenders and Martial makes the run to head it. Bauer, who had his arm on Martial's back, slipped and fell, taking his opponent with him. Big shout for a penalty that the referee ignores but the replay has heads nodding in unison with the fatuous 'I've seen 'em given'' verdict.  8:06PM 6 min Tymon tries to turn Valencia on halfway but can't drive past him once he'd turned back to face him. Valencia kicks the ball on to his shins to take the throw-in. It's sheeting down.  8:04PM 4 min Pogba shifts it up the inside left channel, sweeping it 20 yards upfield. Lukaku takes it in his stride and lays it out to the left for Martial then heads for the six-yard box. Lingard makes the near-post run but the United winger drags his centre behind his team-mate and Stoke work it clear.  8:02PM 2 min Stoke recycle, bang it up to Crouch who is penalised for clattering Jones as he shielded the ball. United take the free-kick, move it up to Lukaku who lats it off to Lingard. Shaqiri hacks him down. Free kick 10 yards inside the Stoke half.  8:01PM 1 min Stoke, in blue, kick off and Stephen Ireland takes it and instigates a move up the right that has to go backwards to go forward. Martins Indi whacks it long and Valencia fires it back, over the top, and beyond Lukaku.  7:58PM Out come the teams Kick off is now just moments away. And the commentator is Alan Parry, just as it was for the Cyrille Regis clip below.  7:48PM Paul Lambert is present and correct Paul Lambert watches his new side at old Trafford Credit: Gareth Copley/Getty Images  He did pretty well at Wolves last season and was terrific at Norwich. Villa, though, was a trial for every supporter who was forced to watch austerity football while Randy Lerner tried to sell. Having said that Ron Vlaar, Christian Benteke and Karim El Anmadi were decent signings.  7:19PM Henrikh Mkhitaryan Is not in Manchester United's XVIII apparently because his head 'is not in the right place'. Or is it his body that's in N5/N7?  Jose Mourinho on Mkhitaryan's omission from tonight's squad: "I would lie if I said it was a pure tactical decision." #mufc [sky]— utdhq (@utdhq) January 15, 2018   7:17PM Those teams in black and white Man Utd De Gea; Valencia, Jones, Smalling, Shaw; Pogba, Matic; Mata, Lingard, Martial; Lukaku.  Substitutes Joel Pereira, Lindelof, Rojo, Ander Herrera, Fellaini, McTominay, Rashford. It's chucking it down at Old Trafford Credit: Michael Regan/Getty Images Stoke City Butland; Bauer, Zouma, Martins Indi, Tymon; Fletcher, Allen; Shaqiri, Ireland, Choupo-Moting; Crouch.  Substitutes Grant, Edwards, Wimmer, Afellay, Adam, Diouf, Sobhi.  Referee Anthony Taylor (Wythenshawe). 7:02PM Antonio Valencia is back for Man Utd Here is how the Reds line up for #MUNSTK... �� pic.twitter.com/otGid7EQkS— Manchester United (@ManUtd) January 15, 2018   7:02PM You know that business about Eddie Niedzwiecki not making many changes ... Ignore it. He's made seven and Moritz Bauer makes his Premier League debut.  Eddie Niedzwiecki makes 7⃣ changes to tonight's team that faces @ManUtd at Old Trafford. �� Bauer, Martins Indi, Tymon, Fletcher, Shaqiri, Choupo-Moting and Crouch all make the starting XI. City line-up in a 4-2-3-1 formation.#SCFC ��⚪️ pic.twitter.com/2CIECRjITg— Stoke City FC (@stokecity) January 15, 2018   6:59PM In memoriam   6:56PM Good evening And welcome to coverage of Manchester United vs Stoke City, the last Premier League match of what those people who we need to cut out of our lives would call ‘round 23’ of the ‘EPL’. We find both clubs loitering around in a kind of threshold. Stoke, obviously, having been turned down by Gary Rowett, Quique Sanchez Flores and Martin O’Neill, are ready to embark on the Paul Lambert era though tonight his will be a watching brief. Given that caretaker Eddie Niedzwiecki has been at Mark Hughes’ side with Wales, Blackburn, Man City, Fulham, QPR and the Oatcake Eaters, he’s hardly likely to pick a radically altered side because to do so would be an implicit rebuke of his friend and former and future boss. So tonight may just be a case of limbo until Lambert makes his mark or purgatory if your view of Lambert’s appointment is as pessimistic as some on that twerps’ trumpet, Twitter, are lamenting. As for Manchester United, it seems that they stand on the verge of signing Alexis Sánchez which will add some much needed dynamism into their attack though I’m not sure how tameable his talent and instincts will be for Jose Mourinho. He certainly won’t step on the throat of his own song like, say, Joe Cole did at Chelsea to track back or Samuel Eto’o at Inter but he may be employed in the manner of Wesley Sneijder or Arjen Robben - indulged if never wholly embraced. Rarely for a Mourinho side, tonight begs a performance more than the result. They played well in the second half at Goodison and there were fluent passages in the draw with Leicester and the victory over West Brom but it has been far too sporadic for the past two months. Ali Sanchez Manchester City’s defeat on Sunday gives United the opportunity to narrow the gap between first and second to 12 points with a win here. It’s still an enormous lead but for those Reds looking for comfort, it was exactly the position United found themselves in 21 years ago behind Newcastle United with 15 games to play and they ended up winning the title by three points. City are not Newcastle obviously but it’s worth pointing out. And a comfortable victory would surely be the only outcome a sane person would accept a wager on tonight. It’s 42 years since Stoke have won at Old Trafford, when Bomber Sheldon set up Bluto Bloor to glance in an 87th-minute winner and end United’s 14-month home unbeaten record and their chances of winning the Double with a couple of games of the season to go. As any fule kno, Southampton, then of Division Two, did for them in the Cup to make it a miserable April and May for Tommy Docherty’s side. Mourinho, with two trophies last year and Sánchez to come, will not be as vulnerable to Alan Bloor and Bobby Stokes type figures in April and May 2018.

Manchester United vs Stoke City, Premier League: live score updates

Coral: Manchester United to win @ 33-1   8:47PM 45+1 min De Gea dives low to his left to save Shaqiri's left-foot shot, an opportunity created by his wonderful control as he stunned the pass from the left to the D then drilled a scorching low shot towards goal. Excellent save that proves to be the last touch of the half.  8:46PM 44 min Pogba plays the same right to left pass for Martial that bypasses and isolates the middle of the Stoke defence but this time Martial was too hasty and bolted offside.  8:45PM 42 min United adopt sheer liquid football and Stoke's defence don't know what day it is. Pogba floats a pass from right-half to outside left for Shaw who lays it off to Martial. After scoring with that lovely strike he must think his boots are made of jam so tries an outrageous outisde of the foot chip to the back post for Lukaku who nods it back across goal. Lingard can't reach it but nobbut just.  8:41PM 40 min Valencia wins the ball off Choupo-Moting on halfway and on the right, drives forward and picks out Lukaku who holds it up  and takes it outside, pursued by Martins Indi then turns to roll a pass to Pogba by the right angle of the box. Pogba sees Martial to the left of the D in the space created by Lukaku's run, sweeps a pass over to him and the winger arcs in a shot, bending in a parabola unstoppably past Butland.  Man Utd 2 - 0 Stoke (Anthony Martial, 38 min)   8:38PM GOAL!! Man Utd 2-0 Stoke (Martial) 8:38PM 36 min Pogba torpedoes a 50-yard ball from right to left to pick out Shaw's run to the byline. The left-back pulls the ball back to Martial who shoots into Zouma. Deflection leads to corner. United take it short for the umpteenth time and Stoke scuttle it away. Why so many short corners? Stoke's height?  8:35PM 34 min Mata does that thing after falling over in the box to indicate that he's slipped - serves two purposes (A) No penalty and (B) I didn't dive. It looked as though he did 'go over easily' but because it's the paragon Juan, it couldn't possibly have been anything but a slip.  8:33PM 32 min United fans spark into life when Ireland, once of City, is struck amidships by Lingard's fierce drive but the bounce favours Stoke and Valencia has to bring Allen down to stop them breaking past halfway.  8:31PM 30 min Fletcher uses his resilience and experience to hold off Pogba at the price of a corner on the right that United take short from Mata to Lingard who hangs it up at the back post. Butland drops the slithery ball but pocks it up at the second attempt. Pogba was offside in any case.  8:29PM 28 min United break quickly up the left and Mata, at the end of a slick passing move, cuts a pass back to Martial who balloons a wanton shot over the bar.  Miss: Man Utd 1 - 0 Stoke (Stephen Ireland, 21 min)   8:27PM 25 min Stoke move it out to the right for Shaqiri and his wand. He bends in a cross to the back post and De Gea comes for it but, rare for him, flaps under the challenge of Crouch who nods it back across the now unguarded net. Choupo-Moting meets it on the volley but Jones throws himself in to block from point-blank range and saves a certain goal. Corner. Small wonder Jose Mourinho is off the bench and shouting. Stoke have made four good chances in the past 10 minutes.  Man Utd vs Stoke shots on goal   8:25PM 24 min Very quiet at Old Trafford as Stoke enjoy a good five minutes. Ireland makes another interception, motors forward and Pogba kicks him up the back of his thigh. Free kick.  8:24PM 22 min What a chance for Stoke - all made by Martial's indolence in helping Shaw out when attacked by Allen and Bauer who looks a decent player. The right-back responds to Shaqiri's run inside with a square pass across the 18-yard line that he controls immaculately then dinks the perfect throughball to Ireland who has made a great run. Ireland, 15 yards out, stretches to shoot and pokes it wide. Not exactly a sitter but a chance you have to take.  Miss: Man Utd 1 - 0 Stoke (Stephen Ireland, 21 min)   8:21PM 20 min Here's the goal: Valencia scores Credit:  Robbie Jay Barratt - AMA/Getty Images  Choupo-Moting squanders possession and United break.  8:19PM 18 min Bauer's cross from the right finds Ireland in the United box just shy of the penalty spot and in space. But as he traps the centre it sticks under his feet and gobbles up precious time so that when he does manage to shoot he was being closed down and scuffs it wide.  Miss: Man Utd 1 - 0 Stoke (Stephen Ireland, 16 min)   8:17PM 16 min Clever interception from Ireland thwarts Shaw's cross and he scurries out of defence, laying it off to Choupo-Moting then positioning himself for the return. He kills the pass and pushes the ball out to the right into Shaqiri's path. Shaqiri bends in a left-footer towards the back post that Crouch wins but can't get any power on it. He does enough to retain possession, lay it back and Stoke come again.  8:14PM 14 min The ball is sticking to Lukaku tonight and he is astutely bringing Martial, Lingard, Mata and Pogba into play as attacking threats.  8:12PM 12 min Shaqiri shows us his exquisite technique with a spectacular bicycle kick to meet an outswinging left-wing cross. He meets it crisply but De Gea gets down low to his left to smother it.  8:11PM 10 min Made by Pogba's crossfield chip. Valencia leaves Choupo-Moting stranded, drifts inside on to his left, losing Tymon with a dip of the shoulder before finishing with a 16-yard sweetly-struck, unstoppable curler. Man Utd 1 - 0 Stoke (Antonio Valencia, 9 min) 8:09PM GOAL!! Manchester United 1-0 Stoke (Valencia) 8:08PM 7 min Mata chips a curling left-foot pass from inside-right over the central defenders and Martial makes the run to head it. Bauer, who had his arm on Martial's back, slipped and fell, taking his opponent with him. Big shout for a penalty that the referee ignores but the replay has heads nodding in unison with the fatuous 'I've seen 'em given'' verdict.  8:06PM 6 min Tymon tries to turn Valencia on halfway but can't drive past him once he'd turned back to face him. Valencia kicks the ball on to his shins to take the throw-in. It's sheeting down.  8:04PM 4 min Pogba shifts it up the inside left channel, sweeping it 20 yards upfield. Lukaku takes it in his stride and lays it out to the left for Martial then heads for the six-yard box. Lingard makes the near-post run but the United winger drags his centre behind his team-mate and Stoke work it clear.  8:02PM 2 min Stoke recycle, bang it up to Crouch who is penalised for clattering Jones as he shielded the ball. United take the free-kick, move it up to Lukaku who lats it off to Lingard. Shaqiri hacks him down. Free kick 10 yards inside the Stoke half.  8:01PM 1 min Stoke, in blue, kick off and Stephen Ireland takes it and instigates a move up the right that has to go backwards to go forward. Martins Indi whacks it long and Valencia fires it back, over the top, and beyond Lukaku.  7:58PM Out come the teams Kick off is now just moments away. And the commentator is Alan Parry, just as it was for the Cyrille Regis clip below.  7:48PM Paul Lambert is present and correct Paul Lambert watches his new side at old Trafford Credit: Gareth Copley/Getty Images  He did pretty well at Wolves last season and was terrific at Norwich. Villa, though, was a trial for every supporter who was forced to watch austerity football while Randy Lerner tried to sell. Having said that Ron Vlaar, Christian Benteke and Karim El Anmadi were decent signings.  7:19PM Henrikh Mkhitaryan Is not in Manchester United's XVIII apparently because his head 'is not in the right place'. Or is it his body that's in N5/N7?  Jose Mourinho on Mkhitaryan's omission from tonight's squad: "I would lie if I said it was a pure tactical decision." #mufc [sky]— utdhq (@utdhq) January 15, 2018   7:17PM Those teams in black and white Man Utd De Gea; Valencia, Jones, Smalling, Shaw; Pogba, Matic; Mata, Lingard, Martial; Lukaku.  Substitutes Joel Pereira, Lindelof, Rojo, Ander Herrera, Fellaini, McTominay, Rashford. It's chucking it down at Old Trafford Credit: Michael Regan/Getty Images Stoke City Butland; Bauer, Zouma, Martins Indi, Tymon; Fletcher, Allen; Shaqiri, Ireland, Choupo-Moting; Crouch.  Substitutes Grant, Edwards, Wimmer, Afellay, Adam, Diouf, Sobhi.  Referee Anthony Taylor (Wythenshawe). 7:02PM Antonio Valencia is back for Man Utd Here is how the Reds line up for #MUNSTK... �� pic.twitter.com/otGid7EQkS— Manchester United (@ManUtd) January 15, 2018   7:02PM You know that business about Eddie Niedzwiecki not making many changes ... Ignore it. He's made seven and Moritz Bauer makes his Premier League debut.  Eddie Niedzwiecki makes 7⃣ changes to tonight's team that faces @ManUtd at Old Trafford. �� Bauer, Martins Indi, Tymon, Fletcher, Shaqiri, Choupo-Moting and Crouch all make the starting XI. City line-up in a 4-2-3-1 formation.#SCFC ��⚪️ pic.twitter.com/2CIECRjITg— Stoke City FC (@stokecity) January 15, 2018   6:59PM In memoriam   6:56PM Good evening And welcome to coverage of Manchester United vs Stoke City, the last Premier League match of what those people who we need to cut out of our lives would call ‘round 23’ of the ‘EPL’. We find both clubs loitering around in a kind of threshold. Stoke, obviously, having been turned down by Gary Rowett, Quique Sanchez Flores and Martin O’Neill, are ready to embark on the Paul Lambert era though tonight his will be a watching brief. Given that caretaker Eddie Niedzwiecki has been at Mark Hughes’ side with Wales, Blackburn, Man City, Fulham, QPR and the Oatcake Eaters, he’s hardly likely to pick a radically altered side because to do so would be an implicit rebuke of his friend and former and future boss. So tonight may just be a case of limbo until Lambert makes his mark or purgatory if your view of Lambert’s appointment is as pessimistic as some on that twerps’ trumpet, Twitter, are lamenting. As for Manchester United, it seems that they stand on the verge of signing Alexis Sánchez which will add some much needed dynamism into their attack though I’m not sure how tameable his talent and instincts will be for Jose Mourinho. He certainly won’t step on the throat of his own song like, say, Joe Cole did at Chelsea to track back or Samuel Eto’o at Inter but he may be employed in the manner of Wesley Sneijder or Arjen Robben - indulged if never wholly embraced. Rarely for a Mourinho side, tonight begs a performance more than the result. They played well in the second half at Goodison and there were fluent passages in the draw with Leicester and the victory over West Brom but it has been far too sporadic for the past two months. Ali Sanchez Manchester City’s defeat on Sunday gives United the opportunity to narrow the gap between first and second to 12 points with a win here. It’s still an enormous lead but for those Reds looking for comfort, it was exactly the position United found themselves in 21 years ago behind Newcastle United with 15 games to play and they ended up winning the title by three points. City are not Newcastle obviously but it’s worth pointing out. And a comfortable victory would surely be the only outcome a sane person would accept a wager on tonight. It’s 42 years since Stoke have won at Old Trafford, when Bomber Sheldon set up Bluto Bloor to glance in an 87th-minute winner and end United’s 14-month home unbeaten record and their chances of winning the Double with a couple of games of the season to go. As any fule kno, Southampton, then of Division Two, did for them in the Cup to make it a miserable April and May for Tommy Docherty’s side. Mourinho, with two trophies last year and Sánchez to come, will not be as vulnerable to Alan Bloor and Bobby Stokes type figures in April and May 2018.

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