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Leicester City 1-0 Sheffield United

Leicester can “move on” from the Riyad Mahrez transfer saga after the Algerian helped them reach the quarter-finals of the FA Cup, says manager Claude Puel.

Mahrez, who was back in the side after missing 10 days of training when a proposed move to Manchester City did not materialise, set up Jamie Vardy’s goal in a 1-0 win over Sheffield United.

He left the field to a standing ovation when replaced by Matty James in added time.

“The most important thing in the game was the fans supported Riyad, and when I replaced him it was a good feeling with the fans,” said Puel.

“It’s important to stay united about this.

“The situation is behind us, it’s important to look forward. Now we have two home games in the Premier League and it’s important to get the support of the fans.”

Leicester had to work hard to break down a well-drilled Blades defence, and the Championship visitors went close through Enda Stevens and George Baldock.

But their Premier League hosts dominated possession, and Vardy had a second effort ruled out for offside.

Leicester, who are now unbeaten in seven home games, always looked most likely to score first, but only kept their advantage thanks to Kasper Schmeichel’s fine diving save from Baldock.

The Foxes will discover their last-eight opponents on Saturday at 20:00 GMT.

Mahrez’s name received the loudest cheer when the Leicester team was read out before the match, showing the Foxes faithful are a forgiving lot.

The Algerian was back in the starting line-up 16 days after a potential deadline-day move to Manchester City ended in disappointment for him.

It was the second high-profile occasion he had tried to leave Leicester, and the second time their fans had to decide how to respond.

Their support before kick-off will have eased any nerves the 26-year-old harboured, and he replied with an assured performance, including creating the goal for Vardy.

He showed little sign of rust, making four key passes – more than any team-mate – and did enough to suggest he has knuckled down again.

With that issue resolved, Puel wants “conviction and desire” from all of his players on the run-in.

“There are 11 Premier League games left, and we have the FA Cup,” he said. “It’s a crucial competition for us.”

<<BBC>>

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