James Maddison finds old fluency to fire Leicester to win but Legia fans' violence mars match

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Leicester City vs Legia Warsaw, Europa League: live score and latest updates -  REUTERS/Craig Brough
Leicester City vs Legia Warsaw, Europa League: live score and latest updates - REUTERS/Craig Brough
  • Second half marred by Legia Warsaw fans' disorder

  • Police had to fight back with batons as Legia supporters tried to charge Leicester fans

  • Uefa to open investigation into violence

  • Leicester top the table by a point from Napoli and Lokomotiv Moscow

Leicester’s Europa League journey has been turbulent but the knockout stages remain firmly in their sights ahead of a crucial encounter with Napoli next month.

Brendan Rodgers and his players will fly to Italy with hopes of securing a place in the round of 16 very much alive, after easing the tension with a victory and a timely performance here.

Leicester’s second win in Group C catapulted them from bottom of the table to the top, with their opponents Legia Warsaw facing a Uefa investigation after alarming crowd trouble in the second half.

Hundreds of the 1,134 Legia fans clashed with police, hurled missiles and threw punches as they attempted to climb across a tarpaulin to advance towards Leicester’s supporters.

For around five minutes, the situation threatened to become more serious until order was restored, but the Polish champions are likely to face punishment.

Leicester can at least look ahead with optimism after a difficult few weeks for Rodgers, who was “disappointed” with the boos at the end of each half in the 3-0 defeat by Chelsea on Saturday.

Here they rediscovered some of their verve and vigour, with James Maddison producing one of his best performances of the season, as three goals in the first-half settled the nerves.

Patson Daka became the club’s leading goalscorer in European competition and Rodgers made a point of applauding every stand after the final whistle.

Leicester must now win in Napoli to be assured of topping the group and bypassing the first knockout stage in February.

Rodgers said: “Going into the last game, if we said that we would be top before we kicked off we would have taken that.

“You see the quality of the teams in the group, we are in control of where we finish. Our objective at the beginning was to qualify and that is in our hands.

“We had a big job to do because there was pressure on us, we knew we had to win the game. This was a really good performance and we're now in a great position."

Leicester’s Europa League campaign has been impossible to predict so far, with some inconsistent performances and bewildering results.

This season they have thrown away a two-goal lead against Napoli, lost in Warsaw, and twice recovered after falling behind in their games against Spartak Moscow.

Though Leicester lost Jonny Evans to injury in the warm-up, Legia were always likely to prove ideal opposition.

The Polish champions are on their worst run in 85 years and have lost nine of their ten games since beating Leicester in September.

Leicester had already threatened before taking the lead in the 11th minute, with Daka capitalising on a fortuitous deflection to drive a left-footed shot across Cezary Miszta.

Daka’s fine finish ensured he became Leicester’s leading goalscorer in Europe, with five goals emphasising the club’s lack of experience in the competition.

Maddison added the second in the 21st minute with a brilliant individual goal, taking the ball inside the penalty area and then producing a neat ‘Cruyff’ turn before arrowing a shot into the corner.

James Maddison of Leicester City scores his teams second goal during the UEFA Europa League group C match between Leicester City and Legia Warszawa at The King Power Stadium - Chloe Knott - Danehouse/Getty Images
James Maddison of Leicester City scores his teams second goal during the UEFA Europa League group C match between Leicester City and Legia Warszawa at The King Power Stadium - Chloe Knott - Danehouse/Getty Images

“I am hungry, I want to do well for my team, fans, family and the manager,” said Maddison after the game.

“I want to get back to my best and I showed that. A goal and an assist, affecting the team going forward. When you come away with the stats, it feels good."

Legia were gifted a route back into the game when Wilfred Ndidi handled Yuri Ribeiro’s cross in the penalty area.

Though Kasper Schmeichel saved Mahir Emreli’s spot kick, Filip Mladenovic was quickest to the loose ball to convert from close range.

Just when Legia appeared to be in the ascendancy, Leicester secured a vital third goal when Ndidi towered over Miszta to glance Maddison’s corner into the net.

Leicester were in control and Legia looked out of ideas in the second half, becoming increasingly desperate in their hopes of reducing the deficit.

Trouble then flared up in the away end. Legia’s travelling support produced an impromptu light show, with smoke billowing all around the stadium, and then it got more ugly.

Hundreds of fans attempted to rush towards the Leicester support by removing a blue tarpaulin. Police were attacked and exchanged blows with the Legia fans and, for at least five minutes, the situation threatened to spiral out of control.

Police clash with the Legia Warszawa fans during the UEFA Europa League group C match between Leicester City and Legia Warszawa - Naomi Baker/Getty Images
Police clash with the Legia Warszawa fans during the UEFA Europa League group C match between Leicester City and Legia Warszawa - Naomi Baker/Getty Images

Fortunately, police and stewards outnumbered the Legia fans but Uefa are expected to open an investigation in the next 48 hours.

Leicester now face a monumental evening in Naples, where they will aim to extend their European tour into next year.

Leicester vs Legia, as it happened:

09:54 PM

Full time Leicester 3-1 Legia

Comfortable victory ultimately for Leicester after a couple of first-half scares. Harvey Barnes is a gem and there were impressive contributions from Daka, Ndidi, Maddsion as well as their goals.

Leicester go to the top of their group with an away trip to Napoli to come.

09:52 PM

90+1 min Leicester 3-1 Legia

Looks worse than a sprain for Muci who cannot bear his weight on the foot.

09:50 PM

90 min Leicester 3-1 Legia

Muci has sprained his ankle and requires lengthy treatment. There will be three minutes of injury time.

09:47 PM

88 min Leicester 3-1 Legia

Wietska escapes a second yellow card for an off-ball charge on Barnes. The referee erroneously books the Jedrzejczyk instead. He protests, but not too much.

09:45 PM

86 min Leicester 3-1 Legia

Legia have not built on their attacking promise in the first half. Ndidi, one of the most valuable players in the Premier League, has snuffed them out.

09:43 PM

83 min Leicester 3-1 Legia

Albrighton and Iheanacho complete Leicester's substitutions, replacing Lookman and Daka once Daka 's dink from a corner, after Perez dribbled up the byline, was put behind.

09:40 PM

80 min Leicester 3-1 Legia

Slisz fouls Daka on halfway with an arm round his neck followed by a wrestling throw. Leicester play the free-kick backwards.

09:38 PM

78 min Leicester 3-1 Legia

Perez, who has been very good, dribbles down the inside right then flicks a pass to Ndidi on the overlap. He centres in the box but his cross is too close to the keeper.

Emreli and Luqinhas are substituted for Legia. On come Pekhart and IDK.

09:35 PM

75 min Leicester 3-1 Legia

Barnes takes it to the byline by the left corner flag but then sends the ball back into midfield and Ndidi conducts the orchestra, knocking it left, then right as they soak up possession.

09:32 PM

72 min Leicester 3-1 Legia

Double Legia substitution: Mladenovic amjd Martins depart, Skibicki and Celhaka come on.

Looks like some Legia fans are kicking off. They were ripping off the blue sheeting that divides the fans while stewards tried to stop them but BT's cameras were quickly turned back to the pitch. What sort of journalism is that?

09:29 PM

69 min Leicester 3-1 Legia

Perez strides down the inside-left, slips a pass forward to Daka who tees up Castagne for a right-foot shot that sails wide. Should have hit the target ... never mind, he was offside anyway.

09:27 PM

67 min Leicester 3-1 Legia

The pitch is shrouded in smoke after the Legia fans let off flares.

Great play from Barnes, sprinting down the left. He knocks it to Daka who completes the one-two with a lovely back-heel. Barnes takes it into the box and shoots from tight angle. Miszta saves but the ball rebounds to Barnes who shoots, from an even tighter angle, into the side netting.

09:25 PM

64 min Leicester 3-1 Legia

Dewsbury-Hall peels off the right wing to spray a deceptively good-looking left-foot crossfield pass that should have put Barnes in for a run into the box ... but it was too flighted and Barnes needed it to feet to exploit his pace rather than having to bring it down.

09:21 PM

62 min Leicester 3-1 Legia

Mladenovoc bends the free-kick beyond the back stick and all those attacking the ball.

Double substitution for Leicester: Deswbury-Hall and Perez come on for Soumare and Perez.

09:20 PM

59 min Leicester 3-1 Legia

Leicester fans are having a party because of the scoreline, making a constant, good humoured racket. Legia pounce on Leicester's wayward passing when playing out from the back and Thomas hacks down Slisz to stop him breaking into the box.

09:17 PM

56 min Leicester 3-1 Legia

Luqinhas, Ribeiro and Mladenovic combine in a neat left-wing triangle again, shifting the ball forward slickly, exploiting a Soumare mistake but when the shit comes from Muci it is high, wide and hideous.

09:14 PM

53 min Leicester 3-1 Legia

Leicester are given the benefit by the referee who concludes oddly that Schmeichel did not catch the ball behind the touchline and allows him to throw it out instead of taking a goalkick.

09:12 PM

51 min Leicester 3-1 Legia

You can see why Rodgers prefers Amartey to Vestergaard, he's a much better passer and positionally he's very sound. Less intelligible is why buy Vestergaard in the first place even with Fofana injured when you have Amartey to fill in.

09:09 PM

48 min Leicester 3-1 Legia

Jedrzejczyk does well against Barnes when the ref plays advantage after Wietska clatters into Maddison's thigh (for which he is later booked). Barnes skitters down the left but the Legia captain forces him inside on to his right and he lays it off to Thomas who almost squeezes a shot through the legs of Martins to score but can't find the power.

09:05 PM

46 min Leicester 3-1 Legia

Legia send on Holownia for Johansson, switch to a back four with the veteran and captain Jedrzejczyk from sweeper to right-back.

08:50 PM

Half-time Leicester 3-1 Legia

Leicester look sensational down their left with Thomas and Barnes, Ndidi is playing as well as he usually does and Maddison is getting into good positions. But Legia are actually playing quite well going forward, looking a real threat with Mladenovic and Ribeiro down their left and victory is not signed, sealed and delivered just yet.

08:48 PM

45+1 min Leicester 3-1 Legia

Barnes skips down the left, has Johansson on toast and pulls it back for Daka who can't get his feet sorted quickly enough to do anything but scuff a stabbed effort from eight yards that Legia clear.

08:47 PM

44 min Leicester 3-1 Legia

Wieteska meets the corner with a bludgeoned near-post header that sends the ball arrowing towards the back post but Castagne reads the flight and heads it away.

08:45 PM

42 min Leicester 3-1 Legia

Poor from Leicester on the left of their defence, allowing Muci and Luquinhas to make it all the way into teh six-yard box as if they were waiting for one of their colleagues to make a decisive move. They scramble it away for a corner.

08:44 PM

40 min Leicester 3-1 Legia

Soumare lets the ball run across him and recovers by committing a foul.

Wilfred Ndidi of Leicester City scores his teams third goal during the UEFA Europa League group C match between Leicester City and Legia Warszawa  - Chloe Knott - Danehouse/Getty Images
Wilfred Ndidi of Leicester City scores his teams third goal during the UEFA Europa League group C match between Leicester City and Legia Warszawa - Chloe Knott - Danehouse/Getty Images

08:41 PM

38 min Leicester 3-1 Legia

Mladenovic arcs in a left-wing cross towards Muci at the back post. It was deflected by Castagne and went behind but the referee awards a goalkick and Mladenovic is booked for arguing.

08:39 PM

35 min Leicester 3-1 Legia

The corner was earned by the fleet-footed Barnes and he earns another when dribbling down the left and cuts inside. Maddison will test the keeper again ... but this time it's cleared at the near post.

Leiga Warszawa's Serbian defender Filip Mladenovic (L) scores his team's first goal during the UEFA Europa League Group  -  Oli SCARFF / AFP
Leiga Warszawa's Serbian defender Filip Mladenovic (L) scores his team's first goal during the UEFA Europa League Group - Oli SCARFF / AFP

08:36 PM

33 min Leicester 3-1 Legia

Terrible from the goalkeeper who came out, flapped like a kite at it and Ndidi steered it into the right corner from seven yards or so with a firm header.

08:35 PM

GOOOAL!

Leicester 3-1 Legia Justice for Ndidi as he makes it 3-1 from a left-wing corner.

08:35 PM

31 min Leicester 2-1 Legia

The Sebia left-back Mladenovic cuts in from the left, gets away from Castagne and fires a right-foot shot that Amartey has to turn behind for a corner.

Legia take it short and it quickly fizzles out.

James Maddison of Leicester City scores his teams second goal during the UEFA Europa League group C match between Leicester City  - Chloe Knott - Danehouse/Getty Images
James Maddison of Leicester City scores his teams second goal during the UEFA Europa League group C match between Leicester City - Chloe Knott - Danehouse/Getty Images

08:32 PM

29 min Leicester 2-1 Legia

Leicester free-kick on the left. Maddison goes for a cute one, knocking it towards the left of the six-yard box with his right foot rather than bending a cross to the back post, but Miszta was alert and got there before Daka.

08:30 PM

28 min Leicester 2-1 Legia

Ndidi didn't do too much wrong to concede the penalty. It was just one of those unfortunate things.

08:28 PM

GOOAL!!

Leicester 2-1 Legia (Mladenovic). Schmeichel saves Emreli's penalty low to his left but Mladenovic followed it in at breakneck pace to bury the rebound.

08:27 PM

25 min Leicester 2-0 Legia

Legia penalty for Ndidi's handball. His hands were up when Soyuncu defended the cross but could only glance the header on.

08:25 PM

22 min Leicester 2-0 Legia

He may look more ponderous to this writer than he did at times over the preceding two seasons but he's scored (though he was given all the time he needed by a stand-offish defence). He takes the pass on the right of the box, goes right, cuts back, changes his feet then uses a defender to block the keeper's view before unfurling the crispest of left-foot, bending finishes.

08:22 PM

GOOOAL!!

Leicester 2 Legia 0 (Maddsion)

08:22 PM

20 min Leicester 1-0 Legia

Mladenovic sends in a brilliant, dipping free-kick that only needed a decisive player to head it in but no one ws on the front foot and it bounces and skips out for a goalkick.

08:20 PM

18 min Leicester 1-0 Legia

Legia corner after good defending from Amartey on the right of the penalty area. City clear it comfortably but their break breaks down and Soumare clips and trips Ribeiro as Legia counter up their left.

Leicester City's Patson Daka scores their first goal  - REUTERS/Craig Brough
Leicester City's Patson Daka scores their first goal - REUTERS/Craig Brough

08:18 PM

16 min Leicester 1-0 Legia

Maddison is suffering from Dele Alli disease. Seems to have completely lost his ability to glide and looks ponderous.

08:17 PM

14 min Leicester 1-0 Legia

Daka has brilliant instincts and finished that well. Looks a great buy.

08:14 PM

12 min Leicester 1-0 Legia

Interception by Thomas on halfway and he drives forward 20 yards before slipping it to Barnes down the left. The winger cuts in and tries to find an opportunity to shoot but gets too close to a defender but no bother as the ball deflects from the block-tackle to Daka who is on to in a flash, turns and rifles a left-foot shot across goal from about 15 yards and in at the right post.

08:12 PM

GOOOOAL!!

Leicester 1-0 Legia (Daka)

08:11 PM

9 min Leicester 0-0 Legia

Ndidi's cross from the right is missed by Ribiro and the ball breaks out to Barnes on the left. He raises his head, scans the box and sees Daka but then overhits the cross. Right idea, poor execution.

08:09 PM

7 min Leicester 0-0 Legia

Lookman and Maddison combine on the left to send Maddison round the back to the byline but his cutback goes straight to Johansson who knocks it clear.

08:08 PM

5 min Leicester 0-0 Legia

Barnes chips the ball up for Daka but it clears him and skips into the keeper's arms. Daja gives him the aloft thumb a la Macca.

08:05 PM

3 min Leicester 0-0 Legia

Leicester corner earned by Thomas and Barnes. Maddison takes but it's header away at the near post. Soumare sends it back in and it breaks back to Maddison who shimmies and jinks in off the left and wraps his right foot around a shot that has the right bend bit not the dip to sneak under the bar.

08:03 PM

2 min Leicester 0-0 Legia

Good work from Luquinhas in midfield, cutting in from the left, sets up Slisz for a shot from 25 yards which he hits low and straight at Schmeichel.

08:03 PM

1 min Leicester 0-0 Legia

Robbie Savage has forsaken his Manchester United fandom to root for Leicester tonight. City take a knee, Legia do not. Daka is through the middle with Maddsion behind and they try to swarm the keeper Miszta as he tries to clear.

08:00 PM

Late Leicester change

Amartey replaces Evans who was injured in the warm up.

07:59 PM

Your teams in black and white

As Leicester revert to a back four

Leicester Schmeichel; Castagne, Soyuncu, Evans, Thomas; Maddison, Ndidi, Soumare; Lookman, Daka, Barnes. Subs Bertrand, Vardy, Albrighton, Ward, Iheanacho, Perez, Amartey, Choudhury, Dewsbury-Hall, Vestergaard, Marcal-Madivadua, Stolarczyk.

Legia Warsaw Miszta, Johansson, Wieteska, Jedrzejczyk, Yuri Ribeiro, Andre Martins, Slisz, Mladenovic, Muci, Emreli, Luquinhas.
Subs Holownia, Pekhart, Celhaka, Skibicki, Wlodarczyk, Rose, Tobiasz, Ciepiela.

Referee Deniz Aytekin (Germany)

07:26 PM

'It is going to be quite difficult'

Caretaker boss Marek Golebiewski has urged struggling Legia Warsaw to revive their nightmare season at Leicester.

The Polish champions, who find themselves second bottom of the Ekstraklasa, arrive at the King Power Stadium with Group C wide open.

Legia are third, a point ahead of Leicester, after Spartak Moscow's surprise 2-1 win over Napoli sent them top on Wednesday.

Just two points separate the four teams and Golebiewski, who replaced Czeslaw Michniewicz last month, wants the game to help breathe fresh life into their awful campaign.

"It is very important because this can decide the look of the table. If we are unsuccessful then the final one against Spartak will be the deciding game," he said, with Legia having lost eight of their last nine games.

"It's important we lift ourselves up from a mentally low place. We need to move forward and tomorrow's victory would be very important. It would help us gain a better mental attitude.

"There's no conflicts in the team. I have been in charge for a month and I'm still very enthusiastic for this. We are still looking to put the best squad together and looking to play the players in their best positions.

"We can see it is improving so if I still have a chance I would like to make sure I am working with this team. Leicester are a very good team and it is going to be quite difficult."

06:57 PM

Legia Warsaw starting XI

06:55 PM

Leicester starting XI

04:05 PM

Good evening

And welcome to coverage of this fifth round of Group C matches in which Leicester City, currently bottom of the group (but merely two points off top spot) are looking for their first victory in November , following two draws and a defeat during a run when their sparkle seems to have dissipated entirely. They need to win tonight against a side who beat them 1-0 in Poland because their last fixture is a daunting trip to Napoli, but still a stadium of which their most prominent fan, Gary Lineker, will have fond memories, having scored two penalties to spring England from jail against Cameroon in the Italia 90 quarter-final.

Ayoze Perez was asked on the eve of the match whether speculation linking Brendan Rodgers to Manchester United had destabilised the club.

"We are not even thinking about that possibility," Perez said. "What he has shown us, he is totally focused on where we can improve. We are not thinking about anything else, not him either. We are really focused here.

"He is trying to make us think about the basics (to improve form). You have to try not to overthink and overdo things. We are sure the win is close. We know the importance of tomorrow and we are focused on that."

Victories in their final two games against Legia and then at Napoli next month will send the Foxes through to the last 16 as Group C winners. Should they finish second they will go into the play-offs for a place in the new knock-out phase and face one of the eight third-placed teams from the Champions League group stage.

The Foxes are bottom after Spartak Moscow's surprise 2-1 win over Napoli sent them top of the group on Wednesday.

Perez says the squad have held some tough inquests recently over their poor form. "They've been very honest and open conversations, which is very important," he said. "In this situation we know we are struggling in terms of results and even performing but we are focused on what we can change to get the results we all want."

Youri Tielemans will miss tonight's game with a calf problem while Ricardo Pereira is sidelined with a hamstring issue. Wesley Fofana (broken leg) and James Justin (knee) are both long-term absentees.

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