Championship high-fliers Leicester City eased past the potential Carlisle United banana skin to claim their place in today’s Capital One Cup round three draw as they overcame a sticky start before clinically and ruthlessly putting their hosts to the sword.
A devastating second-half display of attacking football left Carlisle with more deep wounds to lick as their weaknesses in defence were again cruelly exposed.
Manager Greg Abbott said: “We’re obviously really disappointed with the way we lost this game.
“We started well and looked bright, and then we crumbled. That just isn’t acceptable and we can’t keep having to say that.
“We have to be stronger and tougher because the fans are rightly unhappy with what they’re seeing. My job isn’t to talk about what might happen to my position. My job is to get these players ready to go again for the trip to Brentford at the weekend.”
The Cumbrians grabbed the lead their enterprising play deserved when Miller and Berrett combined to rob Neil Danns of possession in midfield. David Amoo called for it on the overlap and he made it four for the season with an angled finish into the bottom corner.
Leicester went in search of an equaliser and Knockaert rattled a stinging long-range effort over the bar.
Whitbread nodded over and Vardy volleyed wide as Dyer crosses peppered the box and Paul Thirlwell dug his keeper out of a hole when a fierce Drinkwater shot was spilled right in front of the alert Jamie Vardy.
The makeshift defender somehow did enough to stroke the ball to safety.
The Foxes drew level just before the break when Chris Wood picked the ball up just inside the United half.
He put his head down and ran at the back line and didn’t need to be asked twice as he side-footed a neat finish past the stranded keeper.
Leicester suddenly looked very dangerous and they should have taken the lead on the stroke of half-time when Vardy spotted Wood in acres of space. But, with just Gillespie to beat, he was left to explain himself to his stunned team-mates when he leaned back and cannoned a poor effort into the stands.
The visitors made amends for the miss immediately after the restart when a break from their one half left Lloyd Dyer with a free run at goal. His finish was emphatic as he bulged the roof of the net from a tight angle.
The tie was all but settled moments later when Dyer beat the offside trap and made his way into the area. His pull back was perfect for Knockaert, who needed just one touch before picking his spot.
Carlisle continued to unravel and a rash challenge from Potts on Vardy gave Wood the chance to double his tally for the night from the spot. And the big striker claimed his hat-trick when he swept home a fantastic volley on the turn. The increasingly restless home fans were given a brief moment of cheer when James Berrett scored a beauty from the corner of the area.
CARLISLE UNITED: Gillespie, Butterfield, Livesey, Thirlwell, Black, Potts, Noble (Guy 55), Berrett, Amoo (Symington 74), Miller (Beck 80), Robson. Subs (not used): Fleming, Gillies, Edwards, Todd.
Goals: Amoo (16), Berrett (71)
LEICESTER CITY: Logan, Drinkwater, Whitbread, Vardy (Waghorn 62), Dyer, Danns, Moore, Bakayago (Schlupp 83), Miquel, Knockaert, Wood (Hopper 66). Subs (not used): De Laet, King, Gallagher, Smith.
Goals: Wood (39, 60 pen, 63), Dyer (47), Knockaert (51)
Referee: Graham Salisbury Att: 3,308