First-half objectives from Jamie Vardy and Hamza Choudhury gave Leicester a 2-1 win away at AEK Athens to take care of their profitable begin to Europa League Group G.
Vardy’s penalty, received by the striker himself, gave Leicester the lead (18) earlier than Choudhury’s low half volley from a nook put the Foxes in management in Athens (39).
Sub Muamer Tankovic halved the deficit for AEK with a low end beneath Kasper Schmeichel (49) after the break, and missed a advantageous likelihood to equalise simply minutes later as Leicester threatened to crumble.
However the Foxes tightened up, and held on to win their third recreation in eight days after disappointing defeats by Aston Villa and West Ham.
AEK Athens: Tsintotas (5), Bakakis (5), Svarnas (6), Nedelcearu (5), Insua (5), Shakhov (5), Krsticic (5), Livaja (5), Mantalos (6), Helder Lopes (5), Ansarifard (4)
Subs: Tankovic (7), Oliveira (5)
Leicester: Schmeichel (6), Albrighton (6), Fofana (6), Morgan (8), Fuchs (6), Justin (6), Choudhury (7), Tielemans (6), Below (7), Maddison (7), Vardy (7)
Subs: Thomas (7), Mendy (6), Praet (6), Iheanacho (6), Barnes (6)
Man of the match: Wes Morgan
How Leicester’s first-half present proved decisive
Brendan Rodgers picked a powerful aspect in Athens – however confirmed earlier than kick-off that each Timothy Castagne and Jonny Evans had suffered knocks within the week because the Foxes’ harm points proceed.
However on the pitch it was all going in keeping with plan; after resisting some early AEK stress, Leicester took the lead as Rodgers’ calls from the touchline to “get in behind!” have been answered.
James Maddison performed in Vardy, and the striker invited a contact from goalkeeper Panagiotis Tsintotas, taking place to win a penalty. Vardy duly smashed the spot-kick house, regardless of Tsintotas getting two fingers to the ball.
The objective means Vardy has now scored in each competitors he has performed in with Leicester, alongside the Premier League, Championship, League Cup, FA Cup, Group Defend, and Champions League.
Cengiz Below, beginning his first Leicester recreation, noticed a low shot blocked by Tsintotas shortly after, however AEK missed two advantageous possibilities of their very own to equalise as Marko Livaja’s header was splendidly tipped over Schmeichel, earlier than Livaja once more lashed large after capitalising on Wes Morgan and Christian Fuchs’ mix-up.
However Leicester doubled their lead earlier than the break as Maddison’s nook was flicked on by Vardy for the unmarked Choudhury on the far submit, and his hooked half volley beat Tsintotas at his close to submit from 10 yards.
Tankovic got here on at half-time and made an prompt affect for the hosts, assembly Pedros Matalos’ by way of ball to smash beneath Schmeichel from a slight angle on the left of the field.
And he ought to have made it 2-2 only a minute later, turning over the bar from 12 yards out from one other Mantalos ball as Leicester simply held on.
James Maddison and Jamie Vardy began in a surprisingly robust Leicester XI in Athens.
Schmeichel, Fofana, Fuchs, Justin and Tielemans additionally stored their place from the 1-Zero win over Arsenal on Sunday. Wes Morgan got here in to captain the aspect.
Brendan Rodgers confirmed earlier than the sport that Timothy Castagne and Jonny Evans have been out with knocks.
Leicester then settled and practically prolonged their lead in great trend as Below curled a magnificence for the highest nook from the correct of the field, solely to see the ball crash off the skin of the submit.
Rodgers’ aspect ultimately ran down the clock and got here away with one other victory, and going by the aspect he picked within the Greek capital, progress on this competitors seems to be to be a precedence for Leicester.
What the supervisor mentioned…
Leicester boss Brendan Rodgers to BT Sport: “Delighted with the consequence, it was a really skilled efficiency. The pitch is basically poor, we did not wish to make that an excuse earlier than the sport, however it’s a poor pitch by way of high quality and velocity of the sport.
“They’d a bit little bit of momentum second half, and we needed to dig deep and keep robust, and we did that very nicely.
I believed we noticed the sport by way of very nicely, and I am delighted with the three factors.
“So many wonderful performances from guys who’ve come into the workforce. I believed there was an incredible mentality and nice effort for the workforce.”
- Leicester are simply the third English aspect to kick off their very first UEFA Europa League marketing campaign with back-to-back wins within the group levels, after Everton in 2009-10 and Arsenal in 2017-18.
- AEK Athens are winless of their final 13 house matches in main European competitions (D5 L8 – excluding qualifiers), shedding every of the final 4 in a row.
- Leicester’s Jamie Vardy has each received (4) and scored (5) extra penalties in all competitions than another participant for a high 5 European league aspect this season.
- Hamza Choudhury scored solely his second ever objective for Leicester Metropolis and his first since January 2020 versus Newcastle.
Leicester now go to Leeds on Monday Evening Soccer, dwell on Sky Sports activities Premier League at 8pm, earlier than internet hosting Braga within the Europa League on Thursday at 8pm.
AEK Athens go to Zorya Luhansk within the Europa League on Thursday at 8pm.