Patson Daka strikes four times as Leicester come back from the brink at Spartak Moscow

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Patson Daka strikes four times as Leicester come back from the brink at Spartak Moscow


Patson Daka has done more than revive Leicester’s ambitions in the Europa League. With four expert arrivals in Moscow, the Zambia international has announced himself as a striker who could rock Leicester for years to come. While he gave a glimpse of his talent when he scored his first Premier League goal against Manchester United on Saturday and then Wednesday, with Jamie Vardy watching from the bench, the 23-year-old signed for £ 23million Last summer paved the way for Leicester’s bright future.

Until Daka scored a hat-trick in nine minutes at the Otkritie Bank Arena, Leicester’s Europa League ambitions were shattered. Led 2-0, they seemed to be on the right track for a result that would have left them with just one point in three matches. They hadn’t played very well this time around, but the overflows of neglect cost them dearly; Daka rescued them with a demonstration of precision that will be remembered for a long time. Aleksandr Sobolev struck late to make sure Leicester couldn’t reach full time, but Brendan Rodgers’ side held on for a win that gives hope to finish at the top of a tough Group C.

The inclusion of Daka early on was one of two changes his manager made to the squad that started against United, the other being Luke Thomas for Timothy Castagne. Leicester started off with the same enthusiasm and goal that has withered United. Kelechi Iheanacho could have opened the scoring in the first minute if he had reacted more quickly to a touch from Daka, whose intelligent movement already made him awkward for local defense. But the Zambian’s finish was poor at first, as he cut wide from the edge of the box in the 10th minute after a careful serve from James Maddison.

The Spartak soon showed that they too could be elusive engines. Zelimkhan Bakaev proved particularly intrusive, continually finding space between the lines to assemble the home team’s quick counterattacks. When Spartak took the lead in the 11th minute, it was no surprise that Bakaev was heavily involved, but the way the ball hit the net had a hint of oddity. Leicester appeared to be relatively safe when a shot blocked by the 25-year-old bounced off Sobolev in the left corner of the box. The striker attempted to dig a cross but the ball deflected onto Boubakary Soumaré and rebounded quite slowly in front of Kasper Schmeichel, whose reaction was unusually slow.

Patson Daka celebrates with the match ball after his finishing clinical demonstration. Photographie : Plumb Images/Leicester City FC/Getty Images

Leicester’s immediate reaction to his delay was impressive, with Maddison threatening to instantly equalize with a scathing shot from long range. Jonny Evans failed to find the target six yards after a Ricardo Pereira cross, and in the 15th minute Maddison reversed a shot after home goalkeeper Aleksandr Maksimenko fought off an effort from Yuri Tielemans. Then the threat of visitors faded, as energetic and well-organized hosts learned to neutralize them.

The visitors fell into ruin as Spartak exploited defensive play in the 44th minute. A failed pass from Thomas and assiduous pressure from Victor Moses forced Caglar Soyuncu to make a mistake on the left side of the defense, then Daniel Amartey fell while attempting to cut the cross from Moses, whom Jordan Larsson transformed for the first. times in the net at eight yards. .

Spartak’s last encounter with a Premier League side ended in a record-breaking defeat – 7-0 to Liverpool in 2017 – but now local audiences were starting to believe in a famous triumph. Daka, however, was about to launch into some scoring action. He reduced Leicester’s deficit just over a minute later, escaping again from the back of center-backs to retrieve a deflected through ball from Iheanacho and unleash a low shot into the net.


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Half-time only gave the hosts a momentary respite. Daka equalized the teams within three minutes of the restart. This time, Iheanacho took off from the right center-back to receive a pass from Maddison, then dodged the goalkeeper and passed the ball through the six-yard box, where Daka again showed his sharpness, beating Georgi Dzhikiya with the ball to nudge the net.

Daka completed his hat trick with another shrewd run and an emphatic finish, rushing over Tielemans’ delivery before throwing a low, sharp shot past the goalkeeper. He was also nerveless in the 78th minute, when he rushed over a pass from Maddison and shot past the keeper again.

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