Leicester brush aside MK Dons to book spot in Carabao Cup quarter-finals
Sign up to Miguel Delaney’s Reading the Game newsletter sent straight to your inbox for free
Sign up to Miguel’s Delaney’s free weekly newsletter
Leicester will be eyeing up a tilt at the Carabao Cup after easing into the quarter-finals with 3-0 win at MK Dons.
The Foxes resumed their season after a 39-day break for the World Cup in style as goals from Youri Tielemans, Ayoze Perez and Jamie Vardy booked their spot in the last eight.
With Arsenal, Chelsea and Tottenham already out and one of Manchester City or Liverpool following them after their tie on Thursday night, this year’s competition represents a real chance to break the stranglehold held by the top-six clubs going back to Swansea’s win in 2013.
Leicester, who were FA Cup winners in 2021, have a rich history in the League Cup with two memorable successes in 1997 and 2000 and will consider themselves one of the clubs capable of going all the way.
Progression against the League One strugglers was never in doubt, with Tielemans and Perez scoring before the break and Vardy adding another in the second half.
The Dons, who are managerless after Liam Manning’s sacking 10 days ago, were taken by veteran midfielder Bradley Johnson as he stepped in for interim boss Dean Lewington, who had hamstring surgery earlier in the day, and this experience might make him think again of a coaching career.
The Foxes showed no signs of rustiness as they started brightly and had wasted a couple of decent chances by the time they took an 18th-minute lead.
A defence-splitting pass from Luke Thomas sent Harvey Barnes clear down the left and he looked primed to tee up Vardy, but his cross was just behind the former England international, who adapted quickly and tried to flick the ball home from behind him.
It was saved by Dons goalkeeper Jamie Cumming, but the rebound fell straight to Tielemans, who powered home from 12 yards out.
The League One side’s moments of attack were fleeting but they thought they should have had a free-kick which would have surely seen Leicester defender Wout Faes sent off after he appeared to chop down Daniel Harvie on the edge of the box when he was through on goal.
Referee Andre Marriner waved away protests and less than 60 seconds later – in the 29th minute – it was 2-0 as the ruthless Premier League side killed their hosts on the counter attack, with another Thomas ball setting Perez free and the Spaniard coolly slotted home at the near post.
Leicester buried the game less than five minutes after the restart as Vardy scored his fourth goal of the season.
It was put on a plate for him by Timothy Castagne’s pinpoint cross, allowing the striker to nod home from close range.
Brendan Rodgers’ side, who still have James Maddison to come back into the squad when they resume their Premier League campaign on Boxing Day, could have racked up an even heavier scoreline, but Castagne and Kelechi Iheanacho missed good chances.