FA Cup: Leicester secures draw with late equaliser

Wes Morgan's late equaliser allowed Leicester City to escape with a 2-2 draw against Derby County in its FA Cup tie on Friday night.

Wes Morgan scored in the 86th minute.   -  Reuters

Leicester City's Wes Morgan scored a late header as the Premier League champion rescued a 2-2 FA Cup draw at Derby County having been five minutes from an embarrassing fourth round exit to its second tier opponent on Friday.

Leicester took the lead with a comical own goal from Darren Bent after eight minutes, with the former England striker slicing horribly into his own net, but the wheels swiftly came off. Bent gained redemption with a brilliant header to level and Craig Bryson finished smartly to put the visitor under the cosh five minutes before halftime.

Claudio Ranieri's side rallied after the break, yet had to wait until the 86th minute for Morgan to draw them level, with the captain rising to head substitute Demarai Gray's corner powerfully into the net.

Fans did not have to wait long for the tie to spring into life, although it did so in hilarious fashion with a moment that is likely to be repeated for years to come in compilations of footballing bloopers. Bent, the former Tottenham Hotspur and Aston Villa striker, was defending the post from a corner when the ball fell into his path.

He had an age to clear his lines but instead swung horribly and sliced it into his own net, gazing dumbstruck as the visiting fans roared in a combination of celebration and laughter.

Glaring weakness

He made amends in style 13 minutes later, however, with a pinpoint header from Will Hughes's cross that skidded off the wet turf and away from the despairing dive of Leicester keeper Kasper Schmeichel. It was another example of how Leicester's defence, which conceded just 36 league goals last season and was the cornerstone of its title success, has become a glaring weakness this time around.

Having already conceded 37 goals in 22 league games this season, Leicester's back four is now its Achilles heel and it was breached far too easily for the second time by Derby before halftime.

Bryson picked the ball up 25 metres from goal and burst into the area unchallenged before planting his finish past Schmeichel. Leicester, however, is also struggling to find the net and two glorious opportunities went begging at the start of the second half with both falling to Gray.

He hammered the first into the midriff of derby keeper Scott Carson when he seemed certain to score and then hit the base of the post when played into space, with Shinji Okazaki failing to convert either of two follow-up efforts.

Morgan ensured Leicester's blushes were spared, however, and its home form, which is a vast improvement on its away record this season, means it will be favourite for the replay.

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