High-flying Leicester got the better of West Ham for the second time this season as the east Londoners departed the Capital One Cup after 120minutes at the King Power Stadium.
After beating three of the top teams away from home, the Irons couldn’t muster a win against the side sitting in fourth in the Premier League under new manager Claudio Ranieri.
The two sides – both on a run of form, both confident, both resilient – played out a draw to the 90minutes with Mauro Zarate’s drive cancelling out the early strike of 20-year-old Joe Dodoo.
Leicester’s “reserves” appeared to have the upper hand for much of the match but manager Slaven Bilic will take heart from the strength of the team, shown against Manchester City on Saturday and repeated here.
Adrian, as usual, was the difference much of the time, producing a string of unflashy but fine saves. But, as penalties loom, the No.1 was unable to keep out Andy King’s header. There were four minutes of extra time to go and no time to turn it around again.
After the match, Bilic said: “Adrian did brilliantly in the two one-on-one situations. He kept us in the game in extra time.
“They started better than us but then after that for the normal 90 minutes we were a bit better than them. But in extra time we started to get tired and when you concede a goal with four minutes left you are very disappointed.
“We are very disappointed because we approached this competition with the aim to win.”
Leicester made 10 changes to the side that won at the weekend but Bilic kept the core of his team intact, with the notable inclusion of Andy Carroll who lasted 63minutes.
The night was made worse when captain Mark Noble was booked for simulation in a penalty box incident. The coach was left fuming. Bilic said: “I have not seen a replay, but I don’t need to see any replays to know it was a penalty. It was a crucial moment of the game.
“It’s a cup tie, it’s 1-1 in extra time, it was a good move and he gets booked for that. It makes no sense to me.
“We are very disappointed, because we approached this competition with the aim of going a long way.”