Kelechi Iheanacho moved to Leicester from Manchester City for $33 million this summer and has, through his first half-season in the East Midlands, failed to live up to that price tag. In nine PL appearances, he is yet to score his first league goal. Tuesday, however, saw the 21-year-old Nigerian international put forth a bit production and performance more befitting a player of his promise and pedigree.
Manager Claude Puel picked a side consisting of first-team regulars and lesser-used squad players for the Foxes FA Cup third-round replay against League One side Fleetwood Town. It was Iheanacho, who started alongside/just behind target man Islam Slimani, who shown brightest with a pair of goals, in the 43rd and 77th minutes, to send Leicester into the fourth round. Iheanacho’s second, the one that put the game away for Leicester, was originally ruled out for offside, but was eventually after consultation of the video-assistant referee.
It took far longer than Hammers fans would have liked — or expected — but West Ham, over the course of 120 minutes, survived the Cupset bid of third-division Shrewsbury Town. With eight minutes remaining before Tuesday’s replay went to penalty kicks at the London Stadium, 21-year-old defender Reece Burke fired home from inside the box to break the scoreless deadlock.
West Ham will be away to the winner of the replay between Bournemouth and Wigan Athletic (Wednesday), on Sat. Jan. 27.
Elsewhere in FA Cup replay action
Mansfield Town 1-4 Cardiff City
Sheffield Wednesday 2-0 Carlisle United
Reading 3-0 Stevenage
Wednesday’s FA Cup replay schedule
Chelsea vs. Norwich City — 2:45 p.m. ET
Swansea City vs. Wolverhampton Wanderers — 2:45 p.m. ET
Wigan Athletic vs. Bournemouth — 2:45 p.m. ET
A fan seated behind Joe Hart’s goal early in the Hammers’ visit to Shrewsbury Town threw a baseball cap onto the field, so Joe Hart did what any sensible goalkeeper would do…he placed it on his own head and played the entire first half with it on.
🚨A WEST HAM FAN THREW A BASEBALL CAP ON THE FIELD SO JOE HART PUT IT ON AND IS WEARING IT WHILE PLAYING 🚨 pic.twitter.com/LitffQCZxQ
With the sun in his eyes fir the entire first half, Hart was sporting the cap while defending set-pieces, taking goal kicks, and he even made a huge one-on-one save on Reece Burke in the 36th minute after Shrewsbury Town had a massive breakaway opportunity. He parried a dangerous effort from Alex Rodman just a minute later, still sporting the cap.
A West Ham fan took credit on Twitter for the initial mistake of sending the hat onto the pitch. His actions make more sense given that Joe Hart is from Shrewsbury and began his career at Shrewsbury Town before moving to Manchester City in 2006 at 19 years old. His attempts at humor would have been well received at a club where he is revered, and if anything, with the sun in his face, the stunt may have been a genuine attempt to block out the sun which was shining brightly on his goal throughout the first half.
The teams went into the locker without a goal to show for it, and if anything, the League One side looked the more dangerous throughout the 45 minutes. Credit the cap for keeping them out.