Leicester City sealed a thrilling 4-3 win over Spartak Moscow in the Europa League Group stage game on Wednesday, with Patson Daka netting all four goals.
Patson Daka produced a ‘poker’ of goals as Leicester City rallied from behind to defeat Spartak Moscow and register their first UEFA Europa League group stage win of the campaign.
The Foxes almost took the advantage within the first minute itself, with Kelechi Iheanacho failing to tap in from a yard out when the ball dropped to him from a corner kick. After wasting a couple more half-chances, Brendan Rodgers’ side fell behind just under the 10th minute when Aleksandr Sobolev’s deflected attempt sneaked past Kasper Schmeichel.
As the first half proceeded, Leicester generated a slew of openings, with the referee ignoring Patson Daka’s strong penalty appeal. They fell further down before the interval, as Jordan Larsson dispatched Victor Moses’ cross past a hapless Schmeichel after Caglar Soyuncu gave away the ball cheaply.
The East Midlands’ side managed to halve the deficit before the half-time whistle, thanks to Daka, who sprinted onto Iheanacho’s through pass before lashing it powerfully. Leicester equalised a little over two minutes after the interval as the striking pair combined again. Iheanacho latched onto Luke Thomas’ perfectly-weighted through ball into the left half-space before squaring it for Daka to tap home.
It didn’t take long for Daka to clinch his hat-trick with the Zambian international timing his run perfectly, and putting the ball beyond Spartak goalkeeper Aleksandr Maksimenko in a 1v1 situation. After gaining the lead, the Foxes set themselves up to frustrate the opponents. It appeared that they secured all three points with a fluid counter-attack with 12 minutes remaining, which was again put into the back of the net by Daka.
However, Spartak netted through Sobolev with just under five minutes of normal time remaining to set up a frantic climax, but the Foxes were able to cling on in the end. The Hard Tackle will now run the rule over Brendan Rodgers men after a vital win, lifting them to second in Group C.
Kasper Schmeichel: 6/10
He was wrong-footed by the deflected first goal and was rendered powerless for the second and third goals, but he did make a couple of vital stops. His kicking was okay. He may get criticised for poor positioning between the sticks but still has those spectacular saves in his inventory.
Daniel Amartey: 6/10
He fumbled his clearances, allowing Spartak to score their second goal. Following that, he improved steadily as the game went on, although he seemed awkward in handling possession. Was generally decent defensively and went forward when space permitted. Again, he’s not hurting his prospects of playing regular football ahead of Jannik Vestergaard.
Jonny Evans: 6/10
Was a doubt heading into the game, but the Foxes defender ultimately made it to the lineup but was feeling the effects. He led the defensive line admirably and made vital clearances to keep the pressure out. Leicester seem at ease with him at the heart of their backline, but even he can’t stop individual blunders.
Caglar Soyuncu: 6.5/10
Was better on the day but just can’t eradicate errors from his game. He made a blunder leading to Spartak’s second goal after being placed in a dangerous situation by Thomas. Apart from that, he was pretty great. Solid at the back and was aerially dominant, winning plenty of duels and tracking back intelligently to intercept passes.
Ricardo Pereira: 6/10
Defensively strong. Put in a gutsy performance but was frustrated with lack of involvement in attacking play. Ricardo was unable to get past a strong opponent in Ayrton Lucas and so did not pose much of an offensive threat at all.
Youri Tielemans: 7/10
This pass from Tielemans is absolutely superb 🥶💙 pic.twitter.com/pVmpv31xvS
— Olly Mattock (@MattockOlly) October 20, 2021
After overcoming an injury scare and a sluggish first half, he was actively involved, albeit not nearly as impressive as on Saturday. His ball-handling across the pitch was great, and he slid a lovely pass into space for Daka’s third goal. His possible injury will be a source of concern for Leicester.
Boubakary Soumare: 7/10
The summer acquisition put up a fantastic second-half effort. He contributed in the first half holding onto the ball and playing some nice forward passes, but was a complete action package in the second period, interceptions and tackles and charging forwards with the ball, shrugging off anyone who attempted to shut him down. A very effective carrier of the ball.
Luke Thomas: 7/10
A solid display from the youngster. He moved swiftly up and down the field and swung in some really threatening crosses. Played an exquisite forward pass leading to the equaliser. However, he lost the physical duel with Moses, who took advantage of his inexperience. With more performances like these, he’ll be able to push his way into the starting lineup.
James Maddison: 8/10
🏴 James Maddison 🆚 Spartak Moscow 🇷🇺
100% Dribble Success (2)
86% Pass Accuracy (51)
8 Chances Created (🥇)
4 Total Shots
1 Assist 🅰️
Looks to be getting back to his former self, confidence and ability growing with each game 💪
Welcome back 😁 pic.twitter.com/65zTmWhqwD
— 𝙇𝘾𝙁𝘾_𝙎𝙋 🇿🇲 (@LCFCshitposting) October 20, 2021
The new season is finally underway for the Englishman, who was equally impactful as the other day against Man United, indicating the vintage Maddison is back to his best. He was vivacious and incessantly demanded the ball. He was literally on fire, spinning, twisting and turning to exploit spaces and utilised his vision to lay wonderful progressive passes.
Patson Daka: 10/10
Leicester City were 2-0 down to Spartak Moscow…
Before Patson Daka scored FOUR ✨ pic.twitter.com/dMduCyQN4f
— Goal (@goal) October 20, 2021
Daka proved to his doubters why Leicester splashed the cash to sign him from RB Salzburg. A spectacular week for the Zambian, who netted four times just after a couple of days on from scoring his first English top-flight goal. His lightning speed, poise in front of goal and ability to finish off both feet showed on Wednesday. He gives Rodgers a big selection headache ahead of the game this weekend.
Kelechi Iheanacho: 8/10
He struggled a bit early on because of his heavy touches, and he played too many reverse passes destroying the momentum. Nonetheless, he got two assists with some unselfish and precise passing, as he so frequently does. He already has a great rapport with Daka. He drops deeper, and his partner gets in behind the defences or in the right positions – it’s just basics but successful strategy.
Marc Albrighton: 6/10
Worked his socks off. Dug deep late on, and defended well.
Hamza Choudhury: 5/10
Looked rusty and far off the pace. Maybe not having playing time is regressing him.