Kelechi Iheanacho’s fortuitous second-half strike broke the resistance of League Two Walsall and sent Leicester into the FA Cup fifth round.
After Youri Tielemans had missed a penalty on a testing afternoon for a strong Foxes side, Iheanacho’s effort from the edge of the box deflected off Brandon Comley and looped over Saddlers goalkeeper Owen Evans in the 68th minute.
It was the Nigeria international’s 17th goal in 23 FA Cup appearances – the most by any player since Iheanacho made his debut in the competition in 2016.
Walsall, one of the form sides in League Two, had defended admirably against the 2021 Cup winners, cheered on by a capacity crowd at a sold-out Bescot Stadium.
Evans made a series of smart saves while Tielemans struck the post with his spot-kick moments after half-time, after Patson Daka was fouled by Isaac Hutchinson.
A point-blank stop from Evans denied Iheanacho a second in the final 10 minutes and kept an entertaining tie alive until the finish, but Leicester held firm for a much-needed Cup win amid their struggles in the Premier League.