Football: Legia stun Leicester to scoop second Europa League win

Legia Warsaw caused a huge upset by defeating the English side Leicester City 1:0 in the second match of their UEFA Europa League group. The Polish underdogs lead Group C on six points, previously beating Spartak Moscow.

The only goal of the night was scored by the Azerbaijani striker Mahir Emreli in the 31st minute.

Legia began well and could have been awarded a penalty after a Leicester handball in the penalty area but the referee dismissed the home players’ pleas after a video check.

The more renowned rivals from England were unable to gain control in the match. What is more, they lacked creativity in the buildup phase and did not have any significant efforts on goal in the first half.

Legia, on the other hand, were dangerous on the counterattack, one of which resulted in an opening goal scored by Mahir Emreli in the 31st minute. The ball hit the inside of the post and went into the net behind the disoriented goalkeeper Schmeichel. Despite a few last-ditch efforts by the English champions of 2016, the score at halftime was 1:0.

Leicester could have equalised early into the second half, but the referee spotted a foul in Legia’s penalty area and Perez’s goal was disallowed. The visitors started to maintain better possession and pushed the hosts into a deeper defensive line. Cezary Miszta, who was standing in for Artur Boruc in goal, made a superb save from Vestergaard’s header to keep his team in the lead.

Brendan Rodgers, the visitors’ coach, sent on Premier League regulars James Maddison, Harvey Barnes and Jamie Vardy in search of an equaliser. Maddison had a great chance in the 85th minute but he was denied by Miszta and the rebound was cleared by one of Legia's defenders on his own goal line.

Legia had a perfect opportunity to double their lead in the 88th minute, when Josue set up a substitute, Kastrati. He dribbled past Vestergaard but Schmeichel kept his team in the game. One minute later, Legia sprung another counter attack and Kastrati squared to Pekhart, who fired over when it looked easier to score. Nevertheless, Leicester could not offer more and it was Legia who took the spoils, earning their second victory in the group.

The Polish champions will likely face their sternest test in their next Europa League match away on October 21 to Serie A leaders Napoli, who suffered a shock 2:3 home defeat to Spartak in the simultaneously played match.