FA Cup: Leicester hit Birmingham for six to reach final eight

Janice Cayman of Leicester City celebrates after scoring a goal
Janice Cayman of Leicester City celebrates during the Barclays Women's Super League match vs Arsenal at The King Power Stadium on November 12, 2023 (Photo by Nathan Stirk/Getty Images)

Leicester will continue their FA Cup run after thrashing Birmingham City in a huge 6-2 victory on Saturday. Five different goal-scorers got themselves in on the action for the Foxes, with Shannon O’Brien contributing a brace in the eight-goal thriller.

Leicester punch their ticket into the last eight of the tournament. Here’s how the action unfolded.

Lineups

Leicester City

Leizig; Tierney, Bott, Howard, Rantala, Cayman, Green, Takarada, Goodwin, O’Brien, Momiki

Birmingham City

Thomas; Mason, Lawley, Finn, Smith, Harrison-Murray, Holloway, Cho, Walker, Moore, Herron

How the action unfolded

This FA Cup clash saw seventh-placed Women’s Super League side Leicester take on fifth-placed Championship side Birmingham City at the Pirelli Stadium. This ground is used as Leicester City’s home away from home for Cup matches and when the King Power is under maintenance.

With a good turnout from fans of both sides, the match got underway. After some good Birmingham play, the Blues took the lead after just two minutes through a Missy Goodwin own goal.

Embed from Getty Images

Leicester looked shaken but were able to regain possession high up the field and level the scoring on 19 minutes, after a great through ball from Saori Takarada to Janice Cayman. The Belgian scored her seventh goal of the season since signing for the Foxes in the summer.

Leicester then had a fire lit under them and went ahead after a great solo run from O’Brien. She really made the difference during the first half and deserved her goal. Then, against the run of play, Birmingham split the Leicester defence with a long ball and striker Libby Smith brilliantly put it past the returning Janina Leitzig to make it 2-2.

Women’s FA Cup: Leicester City vs Birmingham City at the Pirelli Stadium, 10th February 2024 (Photo credit: Lucy Jones)

Firing into the lead

The Foxes rallied again and their quality began to shine through as Birmingham looked too slow. On 43 minutes, O’Brien caused Birmingham more problems down the wing. She scored her second of the match to send Leicester in ahead 3-2 at half-time.

The second half saw Birmingham make a change with Lucy Quinn coming off but it didn’t stem the flow of Leicester, Just before the hour mark, Takarada rose to meet Jutta Rantala’s corner and score her first goal for the Foxes.

Leicester then made three changes with Deanne Rose, Aileen Whelan, and Ava Baker coming on and instantly making an impact. Rose continued her FA Cup goal run after latching onto a ball in the attacking half and striking from distance to make it 5-2.

Embed from Getty Images

Leicester introduced more fresh faces, including January signings Asmita Ale and Emilia Pelgander. In the 82nd minute, Whelan made the most of her minutes on the pitch by getting onto a Cayman pass to tap in front close range.

Despite what the scoreline suggests, Birmingham didn’t give up and can now continue to focus on their Championship ambitions. Meanwhile, Leicester wait to find out their next FA Cup opponents. They’ll hope to take this performance into their next WSL match against Bristol City.

MORE from Her Football Hub: