Leicester City 4 Fulham 3
The pressure on the Fulham manager Martin Jol can only have increased after his much-changed Premier League side went down to a chaotic defeat to the Championship club Leicester City.
They conceded three goals in 12 minutes either side of half-time, two of which were directly attributable to defensive errors, and though they fought back to level the score, Lloyd Dyer’s late winner took the Foxes into the quarter-finals.
Leicester came into the match having won their last seven matches at home while Fulham's last match saw them fail to register a single shot on target in an abject effort at Southampton.
While the Leicester manager Nigel Pearson made five changes to the side that beat Bournemouth in their previous outing, only the goalkeeper Maarten Stekelenburg and centre-half Philippe Senderos kept their places for the visitors.
On the other hand it did mean a place in the starting XI for Adel Taarabt, rather startlingly described by Jol recently as Fulham's Diego Maradona.
The Moroccan was detailed to play behind the lone striker Hugo Rodallega, and spent much of the first quarter pointing hopefully but vainly at his feet as the ball pinged past him.
When Fulham began to pass the ball, it swiftly bore results. John Arne Riise's run into space down the left saw the Norwegian cross low and Taarabt dummy to leave Rodallega to turn the ball into an empty goal.
Briefly the visitors restricted Leicester to shots from distance. The number of those shots was increasing, though, and when Stekelenburg failed to hold an Anthony Knockaert effort, the Dutch goalkeeper had to use his legs to block the winger's second attempt.
The ball rebounded again, this time to City's Paul Konchesky, who volleyed over. The equaliser was not long delayed. Knockaert's 30-yard free-kick on 41 minutes was hit firmly enough, but should have been easily held by Stekelenburg. Somehow the goalkeeper allowed the ball to hit his chest, which looped up and Wes Morgan headed calmly to the net.
Minutes later Fulham were again the architects of their own downfall. Senderos's attempt to clear cannoned into Konchesky and rebounded straight to Chris Wood. The New Zealander drove the ball hard under Stekelenburg.
Dyer, who replaced Konchesky at the break, drove a wonderful chance wide at the start of the second half, but City’s third soon arrived.
Ignasi Miquel was completely unmarked when he headed in Danny Drinkwater’s cross.
Leicester had not had time to sit on their cushion before it was removed. Again the marking was conspicuous by its absence when Giorgos Karagounis crossed and Rodallega headed in his second. The game was, by now, ridiculously open.
Three minutes of time remained when Karagounis thundered a free-kick from the edge of the box past City goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel, but with two minutes remaining Dyer struck as he slid David Nugent's low cross past Stekelenburg.
LEICESTER: Schmeichel, Wasilewski, Morgan, Miquel, Konchesky, Knockaert, James, Drinkwater, Hammond, Schlupp, Wood. Subs: Vardy, King, Dyer, Moore, Taylor-Fletcher, Logan, Nugent.
FULHAM: Stekelenburg, Zverotic, Senderos, Hughes, Riise, Duff, Karagounis, Boateng, Kacaniklic, Taarabt, Rodallega. Subs: Sidwell, Ruiz, Stockdale, Dejagah, David, Amorebieta, Bent.
Referee: Keith Stroud