Mahrez helps Leicester into FA Cup quarters
Back in favour at Leicester, Riyad Mahrez helped the team reach the English FA Cup quarter-finals by resuming his lethal partnership with Jamie Vardy yesterday.
Vardy earned Leicester a 1-0 win over second-tier Sheffield United in the fifth round by heading in a cross from Mahrez, who was starting for the first time since the collapse of his move to Manchester City at the end of the January transfer window.
Mahrez spent more than a week in self-imposed exile after being denied a transfer to the English Premier League leader, missing two games and a string of training sessions.
He began his reintegration by going on as a substitute last weekend coincidentally in a league match against Man City and was given a standing ovation by Leicester fans when substituted in injury time yesterday. He returned the applause.
"The most important thing in the game was the fans supported Riyad," Leicester manager Claude Puel said, "and when I replaced him, it was a good feeling with the fans. It's important to stay united about this."
Chelsea also advanced against opposition from the League Championship, beating Hull 4-0 with Willian scoring twice and Olivier Giroud netting his first goal since joining from Arsenal.