Zorya Luhansk 1-0 Leicester City: Brendan Rodgers’ men get late goal against Ukrainian side as Foxes misses chance to seal first place in Europa League Group G
- Brendan Rodgers’ Leicester squad lost 1-0 to Ukrainian Zorya Luhansk
- The Premier League side missed the opportunity to take first place in Group G.
- Leicester got a boost as several players returned to play from injuries
Brendan Rodgers had a miserable night in Ukraine when Leicester missed the opportunity to take first place in their Europa League group and Caglar Soyuncu was injured in his comeback.
In near-freezing temperatures against Zorya Luhansk, center-back Soyuncu held on for just 15 minutes after being out with a thigh problem since early October, and the home side rubbed salt into the wound when substitute Allahyar Sayyadmanesh scored the winner six minutes before time. time.
Along with Soyuncu, Rodgers brought two other stars who were injured. Fullback Ricardo Pereira played 45 minutes on his first appearance as a senior since injured the cruciate ligament of the knee nine months ago, and midfielder Wilfred Ndidi lasted just under an hour. Ndidi seemed the most solid of the three after recovering from his adductor injury.
Brendan Rodgers’ Leicester missed the opportunity to take first place in their Europa League group
This result means that Leicester – who is already qualified – will have to beat AEK Athens at King Power Stadium to be sure to finish above Braga and improve their chances of a favorable draw in the last 32.
Rodgers had brought up the importance of his three returning players, but they looked early on in a Leicester squad without Jamie Vardy, Kasper Schmeichel, Jonny Evans and Youri Tielemans, all leaving the UK.
With less than three minutes left, Vladyslav Kochergin came in to Pereira and Danny Ward showed impressive agility to keep the low shot out. Shortly after, Ndidi gave up an unnecessary free kick with a foul on the edge of the penalty area.
Not only did Allahyar Sayyadmanesh score a late winner, Rodgers also suffered injuries
Main center-back Soyuncu (above) lasted just 15 minutes after being out since early October
But the worst was yet to come. Running across to intercept a through ball, Soyuncu quickly stopped his stride and held on to his thigh. His first two-month game had lasted just 15 minutes and, understandably frustrated, Soyuncu threw his gloves on the grass.
His countryman Cengiz Under looked lively on the right, and lost an excellent chance to lead Leicester just after half an hour. Under was played by Dennis Praet, but he pushed his finish next to the far post with his weaker right foot.
Leicester City: Ward; Ricardo, Morgan, Soyuncu, Justin; Ndidi, Choudhury, Praet; Below, Iheanacho, Barnes.
Substitutions: Jakupovic, Stolarczyk, Fofana, Nelson, Fuchs, Thomas, Flynn, Mendy, Leshabela, Albrighton, Maddison, Perez.
Zorya Luhansk: Vasyl Ciganiks Abu Hanna Ivanisenia Favorov Nazaryna Kocherhin Yurchenko Kabaev Hromov Hladkyy
Then Ward was again wary of pushing away a savage 25-meter drive through Andrej’s Ciganiks. In the closing moments of the half, Harvey Barnes ended a strong run with a poor finish, and Morgan may have been lucky enough not to get punished for a last-man challenge on Oleksandr Gladkyy.
Rodgers had said on Wednesday that he intended to give Pereira, whose previous first-team appearance in March against Aston Villa against Aston Villa in the final Premier League game before the lockdown, 75 minutes here, but the Portuguese only lasted 45 minutes and was replaced by Luke Thomas for the second half.
Leicester was lucky enough not to fall behind six minutes into the break when Vladlen Yurchenko’s thunderous header came back off the crossbar with Ward defeated.
Wesley Fofana, who had replaced Soyuncu, couldn’t match Yurchenko’s technique when his own chance came. Under’s free kick took the young Frenchman in front of goal and from an unmarked position he planted his header wide.
They got even closer with 12 minutes more. Kelechi Iheanacho found space 22 yards from the goal, only for Zorya goalkeeper Nikola Vasilj to push his attempt away and somehow fend off the follow-up to James Maddison, who had just replaced Dennis Praet. . James Justin missed another great opportunity after being defeated by Maddison.
Leicester had to pay in the 84th minute when Sayyadmanesh, who had only just come, returned a low cross from close range to the far post. In the last seconds, Under’s 25-meter curling iron was beautifully overturned by Vasilj.
Youth Wesley Fofana (right) took the place of Soyuncu in the back line of Leicester