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FA Cup 2023 -2 Blackburn: Tyrhys Dolan and Sammie Szmodics score to send Rovers into last eight

FA Cup 2023 -2 Blackburn: Tyrhys Dolan and Sammie Szmodics score to send Rovers into last eight

Championship high-fliers Blackburn Rovers caused an FA Cup fifth round upset by stunning Premier League Leicester City.

Rovers, fourth in the table and aiming for a return to the top flight where they have not played for more than a decade, were more than a match for 2021 cup winners Leicester.

Their dynamic display, in which they should have scored more goals, gave them a place in the last eight for the first time in eight years.

Having been denied by Daniel Iversen’s flying save, Tyrhys Dolan curled past Leicester’s Danish goalkeeper for the opener.

Ryan Hedges then missed a gilt-edged opportunity to double the visiting side’s lead at the start of the second period when he failed to hit the target from 10 yards out.

It didn’t prove costly as Sammie Szmodics wriggled clear to convert Rovers’ second in the 52nd minute, while the midfielder also had a goal ruled out for offside.

Substitute Kelechi Iheanacho pulled one back for the Foxes by slotting in from close range, but a dull and dreary night ended in disappointment for Brendan Rodgers’ men.

Dynamic Rovers maintain run

This was the first meeting between the two sides since they played in the Championship nine years ago, when the Foxes finished top of the table with a tally of 102 points.

They shocked the footballing world by winning the Premier League just two seasons later, as well as winning the FA Cup only two years ago, but Leicester are a significant distance away from those heady heights.

Exiting this competition means they can now concentrate on matters in the league, with the Foxes four places and three points above the drop zone and pondering the unthinkable of relegation.

The hosts actually started brightly, but early missed opportunities proved fatal. Rovers keeper Aynsley Pears denied Tete’s strike and Dennis Praet’s follow-up, before he then kept out Jamie Vardy’s shot from the angle.

But once Blackburn went ahead courtesy of Dolan’s strike from outside the area in the 33rd minute, they showcased a display full of energy and verve.

They deservedly added a second when the sprightly Szmodics got the bounce of the ball and barged his way past the Leicester backline before coolly rolling in his finish.

Jon Dahl Tomasson’s men should have been out of sight, but Leicester’s stand-in keeper Iversen spread himself to keep out a low drive from Szmodics, who twice curled wide.

Iheanacho’s 67th-minute goal produced a nervy finish and the home side almost took the game to extra time.

Nampalys Mendy fired inches wide, while Daniel Amartey’s late header hit the outside of the post.

Blackburn held out for the six minutes of stoppage time, leaving their supporters singing they are “going to Wembley” after a first win at Leicester since 1991 – a run of 10 games.

As well as keeping their Wembley dream alive, Rovers will look to maintain their form in the Championship, as they stretched their excellent recent run to one defeat in their last 13 under Tomasson.

Tielemans out for up to six weeks

In another blow for the Foxes, Rodgers confirmed midfielder Youri Tielemans will be sidelined for up to six weeks with an ankle injury.

The 25-year-old was hurt after coming on as a substitute during Saturday’s defeat by Arsenal.

“Youri will be out for six weeks – six weeks will feel like six months when you lose a player of that quality,” Rodgers said after the Blackburn loss.

“Sadly he’s done the ligaments in his ankle. He won’t be back before the international break.”

Player of the match

SzmodicsSammie Szmodics

with an average of 8.88

Leicester City

  1. Squad number14Player nameIheanacho

  2. Squad number16Player nameKristiansen

  3. Squad number7Player nameBarnes

  4. Squad number31Player nameIversen

  5. Squad number24Player nameMendy

  6. Squad number27Player nameCastagne

  7. Squad number21Player nameRicardo Pereira

  8. Squad number22Player nameDewsbury-Hall

  9. Squad number3Player nameFaes

  10. Squad number26Player namePraet

  11. Squad number37Player nameTetê

  12. Squad number20Player nameDaka

  13. Squad number42Player nameSoumaré

  14. Squad number18Player nameAmartey

  15. Squad number33Player nameThomas

  16. Squad number9Player nameVardy

Blackburn Rovers

  1. Squad number8Player nameSzmodics

  2. Squad number10Player nameDolan

  3. Squad number27Player nameTravis

  4. Squad number11Player nameRankin-Costello

  5. Squad number9Player nameGallagher

  6. Squad number6Player nameMorton

  7. Squad number5Player nameHyam

  8. Squad number17Player nameCarter

  9. Squad number13Player namePears

  10. Squad number3Player namePickering

  11. Squad number19Player nameHedges

  12. Squad number2Player nameBrittain

  13. Squad number33Player namePhillips

  14. Squad number21Player nameBuckley

  15. Squad number29Player nameVale



Formation 4-3-3

  • 31Iversen
  • 21Ricardo PereiraSubstituted forCastagneat 73′minutes
  • 18Amartey
  • 3Faes
  • 33ThomasBooked at 16minsSubstituted forKristiansenat 57′minutes
  • 26PraetSubstituted forIheanachoat 58′minutesBooked at 83mins
  • 42SoumaréSubstituted forMendyat 74′minutesBooked at 90mins
  • 22Dewsbury-Hall
  • 37TetêSubstituted forDakaat 74′minutes
  • 9Vardy
  • 7Barnes


  • 12Smithies
  • 14Iheanacho
  • 15Souttar
  • 16Kristiansen
  • 20Daka
  • 24Mendy
  • 25Ndidi
  • 27Castagne
  • 40Marçal-Madivadua


Formation 4-2-3-1

  • 13Pears
  • 11Rankin-CostelloSubstituted forBrittainat 61′minutes
  • 17Carter
  • 5Hyam
  • 3Pickering
  • 27Travis
  • 6MortonSubstituted forPhillipsat 84′minutes
  • 19HedgesSubstituted forBuckleyat 84′minutes
  • 8SzmodicsBooked at 83mins
  • 10Dolan
  • 9GallagherSubstituted forValeat 76′minutes


  • 2Brittain
  • 7Edun
  • 21Buckley
  • 29Vale
  • 30Garrett
  • 33Phillips
  • 34Hilton
  • 37Harlock
  • 38Leonard

Tim Robinson


Match Stats

Live Text

  1. Match ends, Leicester City 1, Blackburn Rovers 2.

  2. Second Half ends, Leicester City 1, Blackburn Rovers 2.

  3. Foul by Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall (Leicester City).

  4. Lewis Travis (Blackburn Rovers) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  5. Offside, Blackburn Rovers. John Buckley tries a through ball, but Tyrhys Dolan is caught offside.

  6. Nampalys Mendy (Leicester City) is shown the yellow card.

  7. Foul by Nampalys Mendy (Leicester City).

  8. Lewis Travis (Blackburn Rovers) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  9. Foul by Patson Daka (Leicester City).

  10. Dominic Hyam (Blackburn Rovers) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  11. Daniel Amartey (Leicester City) hits the right post with a header from very close range. Assisted by Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall with a cross following a corner.

  12. Corner, Leicester City. Conceded by Callum Brittain.

  13. Attempt missed. Nampalys Mendy (Leicester City) right footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the left. Assisted by Wout Faes following a corner.

  14. Corner, Leicester City. Conceded by Harry Pickering.

  15. Corner, Leicester City. Conceded by Aynsley Pears.

  16. Attempt saved. Kelechi Iheanacho (Leicester City) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom left corner. Assisted by Harvey Barnes.

  17. Victor Kristiansen (Leicester City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  18. Foul by Jack Vale (Blackburn Rovers).

  19. Offside, Blackburn Rovers. Dominic Hyam tries a through ball, but Tyrhys Dolan is caught offside.

  20. Attempt missed. Kelechi Iheanacho (Leicester City) left footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the left. Assisted by Timothy Castagne with a headed pass.

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