Wasteful Leicester suffers first defeat in Europe, but top spot is still up for grabs

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Leicester did not take their chances as a late goal from Allahyar Sayyadmanesh gave Zorya a 1-0 Europa League victory in Ukraine.

Brendan Rodgers made nine changes and changed his formation for the clash in Zaporizhzhia. Ricardo Pereira, Caglar Soyuncu spirit Wilfed Ndidi it started for the first time since the setbacks of his injuries.

But Soyuncu lasted only 16 minutes before sustaining a groin injury and was replaced by Wesley Fofana.

The first half had few clear chances, but in the 22nd minute Cengiz Under tried his luck from a distance. His effort flew just above the bar and then shot wide after Harvey Barnes passed him four minutes later.

The Foxes’ first real alarm came at the half hour mark when they failed to clear their lines from a corner. The ball fell to Andrejs Ciganiks and his scratchy shot was well saved by Danny Ward.

Pereira appeared to have been harshly punished when he received a yellow card for leaving an arm extended while contesting the ball. Kelechi Iheanacho followed him into the book four minutes before the interval for another harmless-looking challenge.

Leicester couldn’t shoot on goal for the first 45 minutes and Rodgers will have wanted more after the break. Six minutes after the interval, the Foxes could have been left behind. Vladislav Kochergin’s superb cross from the left was greeted by Vladlen Yurchenko, but his header slammed into the crossbar.

Zorya continued to lead the early exchanges of the second half and looked like the one most likely to score.

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Subs have little impact

Leicester substitute Luke Thomas, who replaced Ricard, injected some life into it. He made a great cross 20 minutes into the second half, but Iheanacho couldn’t connect with a diving header.

Visitors began to build pressure, but there wasn’t much of a final product to talk about. Nampalys Mendy and Christian Fuchs replaced Wilfred Ndidi and Wes Morgan, but there was still no way to do it.

Fofana blew a great opportunity in the 75th minute. An Under free kick picked up the Frenchman but was unable to direct his header on target.

James Maddison replaced Dennis Praet with 13 minutes left as Rodgers searched for a winner. The change had an instant impact as his shot was stopped by Nikola Vasilj after Iheanacho’s effort had also been saved.

He then hit the side net before the hosts took the lead with six minutes to go. Denis Favorov threw a low cross as Allahyar Sayyadmanesh slid into the empty net.

The Foxes increased the pressure as the clock ticked on, but they didn’t do enough to win the points on a disappointing night.

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