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Leicester City 2-0 Wigan Athletic, FA Cup third round

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FA Cup: Leicester City 2-0 Wigan Athletic highlights

Leicester manager Brendan Rodgers said he expected “more quality” from his side despite a routine win over Championship Wigan that took the Foxes into the fourth round of the FA Cup.

An own goal from Latics debutant Tom Pearce and a deflected effort from Harvey Barnes gave the Foxes, second in the Premier League, a 2-0 home victory.

“We didn’t play particularly well and we need to be better,” said Rodgers.

“Defensively we were good but offensively we were too static.”

Leicester picked up their third successive victory in eight days and Rodgers added: “The players gave everything and I couldn’t fault the mentality of the team – as always it was top class – but we demand more quality.”

The Latics, who won the cup in 2013, fell behind when Pearce scored an own goal, steering the ball past team-mate David Marshall.

Barnes had an effort well saved before he added a second, although his strike went in off Wigan’s Cheyenne Dunkley.

Leicester could have scored a third but an unmarked Dennis Praet headed wide.

Wigan substitute Jamal Lowe thought he had pulled one back when he volleyed in but it was ruled out after a check from the video assistant referee showed there had been an offside earlier in the move.

Rodgers takes another chance to rotate squad

The Foxes are in the middle of a gruelling schedule that will see them play nine times between 14 December and 11 January and Rodgers will be pleased that his side were not tested further by a side in the bottom three of the Championship.

Rodgers had successfully rotated his squad in their past two Premier League wins and only left-back Ben Chilwell remained in the starting line-up from the side that won 3-0 at Newcastle on 1 January.

Striker Jamie Vardy, back in training after a calf injury, was not risked, while midfielders James Maddison and Ayoze Perez were unused substitutes. Caglar Soyuncu had also been on the bench, although the Turkish defender had to come on after 25 minutes when club captain Wes Morgan, 35, went off injured.

A 19th-minute own goal from Pearce, who fell over his own feet as he tried to clear Marc Albrighton’s low cross, gave the Foxes a lead they never looked like losing.

Barnes nearly made it 2-0 a few minutes later only to be denied by an excellent save from visiting goalkeeper Marshall.

But a quick counter-attack just before the break, which ended with Barnes’ shot clipping Dunkley and looping over Marshall, saw Leicester double their advantage and move them into the fourth round for the sixth time in nine seasons.

“The players have been immense in this period,” said Rodgers.

“It has been a tough schedule and I’ve tried to manage them. Now we look to the next game. Our ambition is to be competitive whether it’s the league or it’s in the cup competitions.”

Leicester are next in action on Wednesday when they entertain Aston Villa in the first leg of their Carabao Cup semi-final.

Analysis

Andy Reid, ex-Nottingham Forest and Tottenham midfielder on BBC Radio 5 Live

Brendan Rodgers has to take a lot of credit for how he has managed this Leicester team over the Christmas period.

The way he has been able to freshen up the side and give people a rest means they are looking really, really strong for the run-in.

It was a thoroughly professional job by Leicester and they went about the performance in the right way.

Wigan did not do themselves any disservice at all. They worked hard and had a good shape but they never really had the quality to threaten Leicester.

‘Our players can be proud’ – what they said

Wigan manager Paul Cook told BBC Sport: “It was a good game. Leicester are absolute quality and to watch them up close and personal is an eye-opener.

“It would’ve been nice if we could’ve nicked a goal. We just wish Leicester well and we will concentrate on the league.

“You are always holding your breath at places like this with the quality they have.

“I was pleased with our lads. We have had a tough schedule and our players can be proud of how they have performed and conducted themselves today.”

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