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Europa League report: Leicester City 3-0 Zorya Luhansk

A winning start to the European tour

Leicester City v Zorya Luhansk: Group G - UEFA Europa League Photo by Simon Stacpoole/Offside/Offside via Getty Images

Leicester City got their Europa League campaign off to a flying start with a comfortable 3-0 win over Zorya Luhansk, with goals from the attacking trio of James Maddison, Harvey Barnes and Kelechi Iheancho.


The Nigerian got the nod up front, with Vardy out and Slimani not available in this competition. Christian Fuchs also came into the side at LB, while Ayoze Perez dropped out to make room for a midfield trio of Tielemans, Praet and Maddison.

After a bright first few minutes, things started to look a little worrying for the Foxes. The visitors pushed on with a few chances of their own, while every good move of ours seemed to fizzle out at the feet of Iheanacho.

Things improved drastically after the first quarter, as Rodgers seemed to uncover the secret to playing without Vardy. Rather than trying to play Iheancho in behind, they started looking to get the ball into his feet, while Barnes, Praet and others made the runs in behind him.

Leicester went ahead after 29 minutes and, like everything else positive today, it started at the feet of Harvey Barnes. His stinging shot came back off the post and, after a brief scramble including Iheanacho, Maddison was able to turn it home.

From there on, Barnes consistently terrorised the Ukranian defence. It seemed like they had no answer for him and, with a few slightly better passes, he could have had several chances.

On the stroke of half time, he finally got his opportunity, as Iheancho’s delicate flick picked out a storming run through the middle. He stayed as calm as you could hope, with a delicate dink over the goalkeeper.

Leicester City v Zorya Luhansk: Group G - UEFA Europa League
He’s turning into a star before our eyes
Photo by Andrew Kearns - CameraSport via Getty Images

In the second half, the formation was noticeably different to the start of the game. Barnes was playing up front along with Iheanacho, with Maddison centrally in behind.

It certainly produced some nice football, although the Foxes needed a defensive blunder for the 3rd goal. The defence put the ball on a platter for Iheanacho, and he was happy to accept it and slot the ball home.

From there, Leicester just had to see the game out, and did so very comfortably. The CB pairing of Evans and Fofana looked particularly assured, for just their second game.

The young Frenchman looked particularly impressive yet again. While his defending was sound, he really stood out to me int he opposition box. He looks like just the towering set piece target we’ve been short of.