Leicester City earned their first home win of 2017 after a strong performance from the Foxes led to a 3-1 victory against Championship side Derby County in their FA Cup fourth round replay.
English Champions Leicester, who struggled for goals and league wins in the new year, were condemned to a fierce Premier League survival battle after a 3-0 rout by Manchester United last weekend.
The team and coach Claudio Ranieri came under immense scrutiny in recent weeks as they struggled to find a suitable formation — as opposed to last season, when they won the Premier League title with the least amount changes of all the teams.
But despite Ranieri making 10 changes to the team, the host took the lead with an Andy King header, after Demarai Gray’s clever cross was nodded back across goal by Marc Albrighton.
Abdoul Camara’s free-kick forced extra time for Championship Derby only for substitute Wilfred Ndidi to restore the Foxes’ lead with a fantastic individual strike.
Gray then sealed a deserved win with an angled finish after another fine run.
“Derby played good football and we won. This is what we needed and I wanted,” Ranieri said after the match.
“We want to do well in all competitions. We want to go forward in the FA Cup. The Premier League is not so good but we have to stay in the Premier League. This fresh air is good for the players.”
The Foxes will face League One club Millwall in the fifth round.