Manchester United win means Brendan Rodgers' Leicester City are on the cusp of greatness

When the full time whistle was blown at the King Power Stadium on Sunday evening, the joy etched on each Leicester City player's face was quite something.

Their 3-1 victory over Manchester United was significant for several reasons. Not only did it book their place in the FA Cup semi-finals for the first time in 39 years, it also gave them mental ammunition for the Premier League run-in to come.

Aside from the result, the performance was one of their best of the season. A ridiculous injury crisis has forced Rodgers to field five different formations in his side's last seven games.

Despite this, there was little evidence of rustiness on Sunday with the hosts' beautifully balanced 3-4-1-2 providing the platform for Leicester to dominate a fatigue United. The back three of Caglar Soyuncu, Jonny Evans and Wesley Fofana did not put a foot wrong all game, racking 13 clearances, seven tackles and just three fouls between them.

They also played a key role in possession, providing additional passing lanes to help the incredible Wilfred Ndidi and Youri Tielemans control things in the middle despite their opponents boasting a one man advantage.

As has often been the case in recent times though, Kelechi Iheanacho - who is finally playing like the player I thought he was when I took him as my fourth pick in the 90min Fantasy Premier League draft at the beginning of the season - stole the show.

Kelé opened the scoring by seizing upon Fred's horrifically under-hit pass with just under half an hour on the clock. He then grabbed a sucker-punch strike in the 78th minute to make it 3-1, peeling off at the back post to head home Marc Albrighton's free kick.

It was not just his goals that were impressive either. Strike partnerships were once considered to be a dying art in elite football, but Iheanacho's relationship with Jamie Vardy in recent weeks suggests not. Dropping off into a number 10 position for much of the game, he open up plenty of channels for Vardy to attack, while his first touch and close control were sumptuous all night.

This supreme team performance means Leicester now stand on the cusp of greatness. The progress the club has made under Rodgers' in his 100 games in charge has been incredible. The only thing that has been missing is a crowning achievement; a feat of greatness to separate them from the other teams that have threatened to defy English football's money table in the past.

Tielemans scored a fine goal on Sunday as well | Alex Pantling/Getty Images

This term, they have not one but two opportunities to etch their name into Leicester folklore. The first is by winning the club's maiden FA Cup. The Foxes have always had a toxic relationship with this competition, reaching four finals between 1949 and 1969 but not winning a single one. More recently, the heartbreak has continued with three quarter finals exits in the 2010s, all at the hands of Chelsea.

They finally ended their semi-final hoodoo on Sunday and were rewarded with the easiest possible draw against Southampton. It is by no means a gimme and nor is the final, but Leicester have shown that they're capable of beating any Premier League side on their day over the past few seasons. Thus, Rodgers' charges are well-equipped to finally extinguish the club's FA Cup demons.

A feat that would be celebrated nearly as enthusiastically as a cup win would be Leicester finishing in the top four. A few weeks ago, it seemed like the wheels were starting to fall off their Champions League qualification bid. The Foxes have since responded well to these doubts, winning all but one of their four games in March.

This run of form means they enjoy a delicious seven point lead over West Ham in fifth with just nine games to play. The international break could not have come at a better time either. Not only should the talismanic James Maddison and Ricardo Pereira both return for their first game back against Manchester City, players who have not been performing at 100% fitness will also be afforded 14 days off.

They will need the rest as well, with Leicester facing the toughest run-in of any of their top four rivals. After the aforementioned City game, they take on West Ham before playing their FA Cup semi-final. A crucial run of 'easy' games against West Brom, Crystal Palace, Southampton and Newcastle follow, which sets them up for a mouth-watering three game climax where they face United, Chelsea and Tottenham in the space of 12 days.

If they manage to pick up enough points from these remaining fixtures to retain their place in the top four, it is hard to over-exaggerate what a transformative effect it could have on the football club.

This team needs a landmark achievement to rubber stamp their status as one of the best Leicester teams in history | Alex Pantling/Getty Images

As their recent financial records indicated, Leicester have not been immune to the effects of the pandemic. The Champions League broadcast revenue would help to secure their status as European contenders for years to come.

If they don't manage to do this or win the FA Cup, Rodgers' incredible team are in danger of being remembered as another gaggle of Premier League nearly men, who flew too close to sun and could not stand the heat.

Source : 90min