Leicester go top of Group C in the Europa League with a comfortable 3-1 win over Legia Warsaw ahead of showdown with Napoli in December.
Patson Daka and James Maddison fired the hosts in front before Filip Mladenovic smashed in the rebound from a Mahir Emeli missed penalty.
But Wilfred Ndidi’s header from a corner restored Leicester’s two-goal advantage and Brendan Rodgers’ side never looked back after that, putting an end to their four-game winless run in all competitions.
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The result sees Leicester lead the group on eight points ahead of their final group game against Napoli – who sit third on seven points – on December 9.
With Spartak Moscow in second on seven points, a draw in Naples will see Leicester qualify for the knockout stages. Legia drop down into fourth on six points.
In an eventful first half Leicester took the lead in the 11th minute thanks to Daka with his fifth Europa League goal of the campaign. The Zambia international latched onto a finely threaded pass from Harvey Barnes and coolly slotted into the net from close range.
Ten minutes later and Leicester deservedly extended their lead through Maddison with his first home goal since February. The Foxes playmaker jinked inside the Legia box and cut onto his left foot before powering a curling shot past Cezary Miszta in goal.
Leicester, who were dominating possession, were deserving of their two-goal lead, but Legia sprung a surprise pulled a goal back in the 25th minute. Ndidi clumsily handled the ball inside the area and Mahir Emeli’s penalty was saved, only for Mladenovic to follow in and give the visitors hope of a comeback.
Ndidi would go some way to atone for his error by restoring Leicester’s two-goal advantage in the 33rd minute with a powerful header from a corner beyond the helpless Miszta, who was stuck in no man’s land.
Wilfred Ndidi scored Leicester’s third goal against Legia Warsaw from a corner
Image credit: Getty Images
Crowd trouble ensued in the Legia supporters section off the pitch as they clashed with police, but on it the second half was a drab affair with Leicester comfortably able to neutralise Legia’s attacking threat, meaning the Premier League side can now look forward to their next European adventure against Napoli in two weeks time.
TALKING POINT – Napoli awaits!
Leicester got an important job done against a Legia side who looked lacklustre at best in attack.
The result tees Leicester up nicely for a very intriguing game against Napoli with the winner guaranteed a spot in the last-16 and the loser potentially out of the Europa League altogether, depending on how Spartak Moscow get on against Legia Warsaw.
Rodgers, who has been linked to the Manchester United job in recent weeks, would greatly bolster his own credentials with a Europa League trophy to his name.
Leicester’s attacking threat tonight, even without Jamie Vardy playing a single minute, suggests they can mount a genuine challenge.
MAN OF THE MATCH – James Maddison
Maddison scored his first goal at home since February and was influential in the majority of Leicester’s attacking moves.
The 25-year-old also produced the all-important assist for Ndidi’s headed goal to make it 3-1 and put the game beyond Legia.
Leicester: Schmeichel (6), Castagne (6), Soyuncu (6), Amartey (6), Thomas (6), Soumare (5), Maddison (8), Ndidi (6), Lookman (6), Barnes (8), Daka (7)
Subs: Dewsbury-Hall (6), Perez (6), Albrighton (N/A), Iheanacho (N/A)
Legia Warsaw: Miszta (6), Ribeiro (5), Johansson (6), Jedrzejczyk (6), Wieteska (5), Mladenovic (7), Muci (5), Slisz (5), Martins (5), Luquinhas (7), Emreli (5)
Subs: Holownia (5), Celhaka (5), Skibicki (5), Wlodarczyk (N/A), Pekhart (N/A)
11′ – GOAL! DAKA FIRES LEICESTER IN FRONT! It’s a lovely finish from Daka to grab his sixth Leicester goal! Thomas drives forwards and lays it off to Barnes. The winger uses his strength to cut inside and plays a deflected pass which lands at the feet of the Zambian who tucks his shot low into the bottom corner. Leicester are ahead!
21′ – GOAL! MADDISON EXTENDS LEICESTER’S LEAD! Leicester get another! Lookman cuts the ball back to Maddison inside the Legia box. He moves the ball onto his left foot to engineer some space and curls his shot beyond helpless Miszta in goal. It’s Maddison’s second goal of the season and his first at the King Power this campaign!
25′ – PENALTY TO LEGIA! Game on! Ndidi handles the ball inside the Leicester box with his flailing right arm. Emreli will take this…
27′ – GOAL! MLADENOVIC SCORES FROM THE REBOUND! Emreli’s penalty is well saved by Schmeichel down to his left-hand side but Mladenovic follows it up and smashes the rebound into the net! Three goals already! We have a match on our hands!
34′ – GOAL! NDIDI SCORES LEICESTER’S THIRD! Barnes looks to move into the box but Jedrzejczyk makes a fine interception. Leicester have another corner and this time Ndidi is there and heads it past Miszta, who is flapping at it behind the Nigerian, into the net! Leicester have restored their two-goal advantage!
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Source: Euro Sports