Lloyd Dyer’s late winner piled more pressure on Martin Jol as Leicester knocked Fulham out of the League Cup tonight.
Fulham took the lead through Hugo Rodallega before Wes Morgan and Chris Wood gave the home side the advantage.
Ignasi Miquel extended the lead with a header before Rodallega scored his second straight from the restart.
Giorgos Karagounis equalised for the Cottagers with just three minutes to go but there was still time for Lloyd Dyer to win it for the Foxes.
The result keeps up Championship side Leicester’s impressive home form, which sees them unbeaten after nine games, while Fulham’s miserable run continued. The Whites have won just three games all season with Saturday’s dismal defeat at Southampton their fifth in a row. The safety of Jol’s position will come under scrutiny again after the Londoners were dumped out by lower-league opposition, despite appearing to have the tie in their hands at one point.
The Cottagers boss made nine changes from the side defeated at St Mary’s – but that could have had as much to do with their failure to create a single chance at the weekend rather than any sense of Jol showing his priorities.
Fulham went ahead in the 18th minute when Damian Duff played in Karagounis, who squared the ball for Rodallega to side-foot home.
The goal sparked the home side into life with Paul Konchesky twice firing over against his former club, before Wood went close.
Fulham keeper Maarten Stekelenburg, a summer signing from Roma, made a double save from Anthony Knockaert but he should have done better when the equaliser came.
Knockaert swung in a free-kick with pace but the keeper got it all wrong and the ball hit his chest, falling for Morgan to head home from close-range.
Leicester went ahead on the stroke of half-time when Wood scored his fourth goal in this season’s competition. The New Zealand international, fresh from a hat-trick at Carlisle in the last round, punished some kamikaze defending from Philippe Senderos. The Swiss centre back clattered a clearance against Paul Konchesky’s head and the ball fell kindly for Wood, who swept home clinically.
The problems only mounted for Fulham after the interval. Loanee Ignasi Miguel headed home his first Leicester goal from a fine Danny Drinkwater cross, although Rodallega halved the visitors’ arrears almost immediately by nodding home a good cross from Elsad Zverotic. Jeffrey Schlupp spurned two good chances to put the Foxes two goals up before Kasper Schmeichel did superbly to thwart Bryan Ruiz.
The Premier League outfit did eventually force an equaliser with three minutes to play, although it owed everything to Karagounis’ set-piece prowess. The veteran Greek midfielder, who didn’t stop running all evening, crashed an unstoppable free-kick past Schmeichel and that seemed to have forced extra time.
But there was another sting in the tale in Jol’s annus horribilis. David Nugent stepped off the substitutes bench to create the winner – prising open the Fulham defence with a gorgeous ball that Dyer drove past Stockdale.
LEICESTER CITY (4-2-3-1): Schmeichel; Wasilewski, Konchesky (Dyer 45), Morgan, Miguel; Hammond, James; Knockaert (Nugent 87), Schlupp, Drinkwater; Wood (Vardy 87). Subs (not used): Logan, Moore, King, Taylor-Fletcher.
BOOKED: Morgan, Vardy.
GOALS: Morgan (41), Wood (45), Miguel (53), Dyer (89).
FULHAM (4-2-3-1): Stekelenburg; Zverotic, Hughes, Senderos, Riise; Boateng (Sidwell 80), Karagounis; Duff (Ruiz 56), Kacaniklic, Taarabt; Rodallega (Bent 65). Subs (not used): Stockdale, Amorebieta, Dejagah.
BOOKED: Boateng, Senderos, Karagounis, Zverotic.
GOALS: Rodallega (18, 54), Karagounis (87).
REFEREE: Keith Stroud (Glocuestershire).