LEICESTER, England: Leicester City manager Brendan Rodgers hailed his side’s bravery as they reached the semi-finals of the FA Cup for the first time since 1982 after dispatching a misfiring Manchester United on Sunday.
Four-times Cup runners-up Leicester ran United ragged en route to a 3-1 win with Kelechi Iheanacho scoring twice and Youri Tielemans adding a third as they comprehensively out-worked the visitors to set up a last-four encounter with Southampton.
“We showed courage to play football against one of Europe’s greatest teams — I’m so happy for the players, I thought we thoroughly deserved it," a beaming Rodgers said.
Goalscorer Tielemans praised Leicester’s togetherness as they left United with only the Europa League to play for after a sluggish performance from Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side.
“Everyone worked together. Everyone was talking, everyone was positive. That’s what we need to win these type of games. It was a very hard game and I think we did brilliant," Tielemans told BBC Sport.
Manchester United boss Solskjaer said his side’s winning effort in their last-16 Europa League second leg against AC Milan on Thursday left them too tired to mount a fightback.
“We didn’t have the spark tonight, but it’s understandable. This team have been fantastic in the last three or four months. We played every three days and been on a great run — it just caught up with us, all the games and travels," he said.
United are second in the Premier League, 14 points adrift of Manchester City, and their only realistic hope of a trophy looks to be in the Europa League, where they will meet Granada in the quarter-finals.
“We’re in a good position in the league and we want to keep improving, of course Leicester are just behind us so it won’t be easy, but we want to keep going and get as far as possible in the Europa as well," Solskjaer said.