LONDON, Jan 7 (Reuters) - Ahmed Musa finally began to justify his $21 million transfer fee as he needed only five minutes to double his Leicester City goal tally in a 2-1 FA Cup third round victory at Everton on Saturday.
The Nigerian, signed from CSKA Moscow to bolster the Premier League champions’ attacking options, has struggled to shine in his first season, scoring only twice, but impressed at Goodison Park after coming off the bench to replace Leandro Ulloa.
First he cancelled out Romelu Lukaku’s 63rd-minute opener, bundling the ball over the line from close range, then five minutes later he exchanged passes with Danny Drinkwater before beating Everton keeper Joel Robles with a right-foot strike.
It was Leicester’s first away victory in all domestic competitions this season and Musa’s contribution was particularly pleasing for manager Claudio Ranieri who gave a debut to 15 million pounds ($18.42 million) signing Wilfred Ndidi.
“Musa was excellent. I’ve watched him recently and think he is starting to understand English football better,” Ranieri, whose side are dangerously close to the relegation zone, said.
“Ndidi only trained two days with us, but he showed strong character and personality. A great performance.”
Ranieri selected a strong side and the Italian was rewarded with one of Leicester’s best away performances of the season.
“I‘m very pleased. We made a good match against a big team who we lost to at home in the league. I loved our reaction to conceding a goal,” he said.
Everton have not beaten a top flight team in the third round of the FA Cup since 1988 and manager Ronald Koeman had some harsh words for his side.
“It’s unbelievable how we lost the control after 1-0 up, a sloppy attitude, and we were punished by two goals,” he said.
“I don’t understand why we dropped back after we were ahead. We needed to continue with the same attitude but we dropped and that’s really bad.”
$1 = 0.8143 pounds Reporting by Martyn Herman, editing by Pritha Sarkar