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Leicester boss Brendan Rodgers was delighted with his team’s performance in beating Randers and revealed why he had to replace James Maddison late in the match.
The Foxes slipped into the Europa Conference League after finishing third in the Europa League group stage. Prior to the match, the Northern Irish tactician had confessed that he knew little about the new competition. But his team is now on track to make the draw for the last 16 after securing a 4-1 lead in the first leg of the Conference League knockout phase.
Wilfred Ndidi gave the visitors the lead 23 minutes into the match to make it 0 – 1. The goal was scored from the penalty spot after a handball in the penalty area.
All thoughts of a disturbance were soon ended when goals in the second half by Harvey Barnes, Patson Daka and Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall put daylight between the teams.
East Midlanders travels to Denmark on February 24 as regular favorites to move on.
Rodgers was pleased with many aspects of Leicester’s triumph, but was critical of the way they left the opposition behind in the competition.
“We are disappointed with the goal we conceded just after the half-time goal, I think we continued right after our match with West Ham,” he told BT Sport. “Our mantra, in terms of being positive with the ball and progressive. I thought we started well in the first half and created a lot of opportunities in the first and second half.
“Their goalkeeper has made some fantastic saves. But I’m happy. It’s of course only the first game, but getting the four goals and creating so much was very encouraging.”
Rodgers lifts the lid on the Maddison replacement
Maddison has been excellent for the King Power outfit this season. The 25-year-old has looked back to his best with nine goals in all tournaments.
But he was seen falling to the ground without any obvious challenge towards the end of the match. There was concern in the stands when, at the 28 minute mark, Kasper Schmeichel’s hit the ground hard.
The 35-year-old had witnessed at close quarters teammate Christian Eriksen’s close call to Denmark during the European Championships 2020. The midfielder’s heart stopped in that match, and the veteran goalkeeper hurried to Maddison’s help to assess the situation.
He was replaced with five minutes left. But Rodgers gave an encouraging update on the former Norwich City star’s health.
“He was not feeling well so we took him off,” he added. “He’s with the doctors and he’s fine. Caglar [Soyuncu] has a knee pain, so we have to see how he feels tomorrow. ”
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