Championship high-fliers Blackburn Rovers caused an FA Cup fifth round upset by stunning Premier League Leicester City.

Rovers, fourth in the table and aiming for a return to the top flight where they have not played for more than a decade, were more than a match for 2021 cup winners Leicester.

Their dynamic display, in which they should have scored more goals, gave them a place in the last eight for the first time in eight years.

Having been denied by Daniel Iversen’s flying save, Tyrhys Dolan curled past Leicester’s Danish goalkeeper for the opener.

Ryan Hedges then missed a gilt-edged opportunity to double the visiting side’s lead at the start of the second period when he failed to hit the target from 10 yards out.

It didn’t prove costly as Sammie Szmodics wriggled clear to convert Rovers’ second in the 52nd minute, while the midfielder also had a goal ruled out for offside.

Substitute Kelechi Iheanacho pulled one back for the Foxes by slotting in from close range, but a dull and dreary night ended in disappointment for Brendan Rodgers’ men.

Dynamic Rovers maintain run

This was the first meeting between the two sides since they played in the Championship nine years ago, when the Foxes finished top of the table with a tally of 102 points.

They shocked the footballing world by winning the Premier League just two seasons later, as well as winning the FA Cup only two years ago, but Leicester are a significant distance away from those heady heights.

Exiting this competition means they can now concentrate on matters in the league, with the Foxes four places and three points above the drop zone and pondering the unthinkable of relegation.

The hosts actually started brightly, but early missed opportunities proved fatal. Rovers keeper Aynsley Pears denied Tete’s strike and Dennis Praet’s follow-up, before he then kept out Jamie Vardy’s shot from the angle.

But once Blackburn went ahead courtesy of Dolan’s strike from outside the area in the 33rd minute, they showcased a display full of energy and verve.

They deservedly added a second when the sprightly Szmodics got the bounce of the ball and barged his way past the Leicester backline before coolly rolling in his finish.

Jon Dahl Tomasson’s men should have been out of sight, but Leicester’s stand-in keeper Iversen spread himself to keep out a low drive from Szmodics, who twice curled wide.

Iheanacho’s 67th-minute goal produced a nervy finish and the home side almost took the game to extra time.

Nampalys Mendy fired inches wide, while Daniel Amartey’s late header hit the outside of the post.

Blackburn held out for the six minutes of stoppage time, leaving their supporters singing they are “going to Wembley” after a first win at Leicester since 1991 – a run of 10 games.

As well as keeping their Wembley dream alive, Rovers will look to maintain their form in the Championship, as they stretched their excellent recent run to one defeat in their last 13 under Tomasson.

Kesh Awefada

Kesh Awefada

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