Leicester boss Brendan Rodgers hailed the impact of Hamza Choudhury, as Leicester came back to draw 1-1 with Aston Villa in the first leg of their Carabao Cup semi-final.
Frédéric Guilbert gave the visitors a deserved lead in a first half which Villa were the better side.
But the Villans got deeper and deeper in the second period and had stand-in goalkeeper Orjan Nyland to thank on more than one occsion for keeping the Foxes at bay.
And Kelechi Iheanacho came off the bench to finish brilliantly and level the scores for Leicester, a goal which Smith described as “farcical”.
Rodgers was unhappy with Leicester’s first half performance but hailed the impact of second half substitute Choudhury.
Rodgers told Sky Sports: “We dominated the game but we were passive in the first half, played too slow. It was all a bit slow. We didn’t press the game enough. The goal we conceded we have to be stronger.
“But we stayed calm and speeded up the game, made more runs off the ball. Second half we were very good, they made some great blocks to stop us winning the game. Credit to them, they made it very difficult.
“It’s set up perfectly. We look forward to the second leg. Hamza Choudhury made a huge difference, it’s my fault that I didn’t start him tonight. We could see that we needed him and he gave us our identity back.
“Wilfred Ndidi is so good for us, he’s colossal, and we were too slow and not aggressive without him or Hamza.”