A stoppage-time strike from Trezeguet earned Aston Villa 3-2 aggregate victory over Leicester and a spot in the League Cup final amid dramatic late scenes at Villa Park.
After the first leg finished 1-1, Matt Targett put Villa ahead in the tie after just 12 minutes of the return fixture, but Kelechi Iheanacho equalised with a little under 20 minutes left on the clock.
Penalties appeared to be inevitable, but substitute Trezeguet volleyed home in the 93rd minute to put Villa into the final where they will face either Manchester City or Manchester United.
Trezeguet, Aston Villa
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Leicester, who bombarded the Villa goal with 21 shots in the first leg draw at the King Power Stadium, continued where they left off, firing in shot after shot in the first half on Villa understudy goalkeeper Orjan Nyland, but the Norwegian stopper was having a stormer, making three sensational saves, with James Maddison the most frequently frustrated Fox.
Very much against the run of play, Villa, with their only shot on target in the first half, took the lead. Jack Grealish was again heavily involved, holding the ball up before feeding Targett, who hammered home his second-ever Villa goal from the angle.
Nyland again thwarted Villa, tipping Youri Tielemans’ goalbound strike onto the crossbar, and Leicester continued to attack en masse after the break, but they still could not find a way through.
Villa debutant Mbwana Samatta could not double his side’s advantage from close range, and that miss looked to have proved costly as Iheanacho met Harvey Barnes’ low cross to level things up, just as he did in the first leg.
However, two substitutes combined to send Villa Park into raptures, with Ahmed Elmohamady crossing for Trezeguet to volley home the dramatic winner, sparking a pitch invasion as the first-ever League Cup winners celebrated another trip to Wembley.
Matt Targett, Aston Villa
Image credit: Getty Images
How on earth did Leicester not reach the final? James Maddison alone had double the amount of shots on goal than the entire Villa side over the two legs, and somehow did not end up on the winning side. Understudy goalkeeper Orjan Nyland had the game of his life, but over the two legs, Leicester has ample opportunities to reach the final. It would have been a big step for a team making real progress. Now, we will see how this talented bunch overcome such disappointment.
MAN OF THE MATCH
Jack Grealish. Where would Villa be without their inspirational local skipper? Grealish was again at the heart of every single Villa attack, and the service he provided team-mates was again first class. Grealish has been directly involved in 16 goals for Villa in all competitions this season - nine goals and seven assists - more than any other English Premier League midfielder. In a team that is struggling. Sensational.
Aston Villa: Nyland 9, Konsa 7, Hause 6, Mings 7, Guilbert 7, Nakamba 7, Luiz 6, Targett 7, El Ghazi 6, Samatta 6, Grealish 9… Subs: Elmohamady 7, Trezeguet 8, Davis 7.
Leicester: Schmeichel 5, Pereira 5, Evans 6, Soyuncu 6, Chilwell 6, Ndidi 6, Tielemans 7, Maddison 7, Perez 5, Barnes 6, Iheanacho 7… Subs: Gray 6, Vardy 4.
6’ - SAVE! Superb stop from Nyland to deny James Maddison. Great play again from Iheanacho to hold the ball up, he lays it off for Maddison in the penalty area, he makes space for the shot, looks to find the bottom corner, but Nyland flings across to tip the ball wide.
12’ - GGOOOOOOOOAAAALLLLL!!!! Aston Villa 1-0 Leicester. Would you believe it! After all those Leicester chances, it is Villa who take the lead through Matt Targett! Brilliant play from Jack Grealish to hold the ball up, he waited for Targett to make the overlap, snuck the ball to the Villa full-back, who rifled home from a tight angle to score only his second-ever Villa goal. What a time to do it!
33’ - NYLAND SAVES VILLA AGAIN! Unbelievable from Nyland - Pepe Reina's place in under threat. Great combination work between Youri Tielemans and Maddison, the former then unleashes a fierce strike which seems destined for the top corner, but Nyland has other ideas, flinging out and arm to tip the ball onto the crossbar.
72’ - GGOOOOOAAALLLLLL!!!! Aston Villa 1-1 Leicester (agg 2-2). At last! Leicester have the equaliser. Iheanacho again the man at the back post. A strange one, as it seemed to come out of nowhere, but Barnes' low cross-cum-shot finds Iheanacho who equalises, just as he did in the first leg.
90+2’ - GGGGGOOOOOOOOAAAALLLLLLL!!!!!!!!! Aston Villa 2-1 Leicester (agg 3-2). Trezegueeeeeeeet at the back post has surely won it for Villa! Scenes here at Villa Park. Pandemonium on the bench and in the stands. Great cross from one substitute Elmohamady to the other, as Trezeguet arrives at the back post to calmly volley into the bottom corner.
- James Maddison had eight attempts in the first leg and has had three shots in the opening eight minutes of this game.
- Matt Targett has scored his second goal of the season and first since October 2019 against Brighton.
- Kelechi Iheanacho has been involved in eight goals in his last five appearances against Aston Villa