Lowly Aston Villa defied incessant pressure as it held out bravely for a 1-1 draw at Leicester City despite being unable to field a striker in its League Cup semi-final first leg.
Leicester striker Jamie Vardy returned to the side after missing the previous three matches while Jonathan Kodjia’s illness left Villa, 17th in the league, without a recognised forward. “We haven’t got a choice. That’s where we are,” said Villa manager Dean Smith.
Ayoze Perez had a shot deflected wide and Villa goalkeeper Orjan Nyland denied Vardy with his knees as Leicester seized the initiative. However, it was the visiting team which went ahead. A move started by Jack Grealish ended with Anwar El Ghazi crossing to the far post, where Guilbert caught Ben Chilwell napping and volleyed home.
Villa nearly had another goal before half-time when Ezri Konsa headed onto the bar. Leicester pressed forward relentlessly after the break but Villa appeared to be holding out comfortably until Hamza Choudhury stole the ball from Douglas Luiz and set up a break. It ended with Vardy playing in Nigerian Iheanacho, who scored with a clinical finish.
Real in Super Cup final
German midfielder Toni Kroos scored directly from a corner as Real Madrid booked its place in the final of the revamped Spanish Super Cup in Saudi Arabia by outclassing Valencia 3-1.