Patson Daka

Magnificent Daka Hits Four As Leicester Roar To Victory In Moscow

Patson Daka hit four goals to seal a 4-3 comeback triumph over Spartak Moscow at Otkrytie Bank Arena in the UEFA Europa League on a stunning evening for Leicester City in the Russian capital.
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There were just two changes from Saturday's 4-2 win over Manchester United in the Premier League, one enforced, one tactical. After picking up a hamstring complaint, Timothy Castagne made way for Luke Thomas, while Daka also came into the starting XI for Jamie Vardy.

The Zambia international would go on to become the first Leicester City player to score four goals in a single game since Derek Hines in a 6-3 victory over Aston Villa in November 1958.

Before kick-off, the reduced crowd observed a moment of silence in memory of those who sadly passed away on 20 October, 1982 during the match between Spartak Moscow and Haarlem in Luzhniki. 

Early on in the Russian capital, as a sprinkling of snow tumbled to the ground, Ayrton Lucas fired wide, before Jordan Larsson saw a low drive deflect behind for a corner. Daka, on the other hand, picked up an inventive, chipped pass from James Maddison and half-volleyed it narrowly wide for the Foxes.

Moments later, City were behind. It came out as Alexander Sobolev's long-range effort was deflected past Kasper Schmeichel in the 11th minute. Aleksandr Maksimenko would become increasingly busy very suddenly, however, as Leicester looked to hit back immediately in Moscow.

First, a long-range curler from Maddison had to be dealt with by the Spartak shot-stopper, before defender Jonny Evans was unable to bundle the ball in from close range. Çağlar Söyüncü then powerfully headed Maddison's corner wide of the near post and Maksimenko saved from Youri Tielemans.

Nikolai Rasskazov, on the other hand, was alert to read Maddison's quick-thinking free-kick, trying to tee up Kelechi Iheanacho, ultimately blocking a shot from the Nigeria international. Iheanacho showcased his excellent close-control of the ball moments later, before Thomas arrowed wide. 
 
As half-time loomed, a free-kick was awarded to Rui Vitória's home side and up stepped Georgi Dzhikiya to hit it along the ground, beneath the wall, but straight at Schmeichel. They would double their lead, though, when Victor Moses' cross was drilled into the net by Larsson.
 
Almost straight away, and on the cusp of half-time, Leicester gave themselves a chance in the second half when Iheanacho dinked the ball through the backline for Daka to side-foot past Maksimenko and reduce the deficit, marking his second game in succession on the scoresheet for City.

In truth, the visitors were on top for large spells in the opening 45 minutes, although they did occasionally get caught out on the counter. Their performance reaped its due rewards just three minutes into the second half, however, as Daka doubled his tally on the night.

Thomas played in Iheanacho on the left flank and City's 2021/22 top goalscorer fizzed the ball into the area, inviting his strike partner to convert inside the six-yard box and finally get Brendan Rodgers' men back on level terms. It was about to get even better for Daka and Leicester too.

A nine-minute hat-trick, split by the interval, was complete as Tielemans threaded a ball through to City's man of the moment to cooly dispatch past Maksimenko to become the first man to net three goals in a single game for the Club on the European stage.

There was even more to come. With 16 minutes remaining, Maddison spotted the run of Daka. As a hush befell Otkrytie Bank Arena, there was no doubt in the mind of Leicester's No.29 and he riffled home, into the bottom corner, for his fourth goal. He is the first LCFC player in 63 years to achieve the feat.

Sobolev's second strike of the game, bundled in inside the area, would create a nervous finish, but the Foxes would not yield, and were able to register their maiden win of their 2021/22 Europa League campaign.

Major moment

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Patson Daka
Patson Daka

Leicester's No.29 swiftly collects the ball after getting one back for the visitors before the break.

Things looked bleak for Leicester in the 44th minute after Jordan Larsson hit Spartak's second goal of the game. By the 45th minute, there was hope, and the Foxes used that to galvanise themselves in the second period. By the 54th minute, the visitors had turned the game on its head and led in Moscow.

Who impressed?

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Patson Daka
Patson Daka

Sheer delight for Leicester's summer signing after his third goal of the night.

Speaking on LCFC Radio, Gerry Taggart said: "Bouba Soumaré was colossal again and Jonny Evans was nice and steady. Kelechi Iheanacho put in another good performance and James Maddison played his part, but if you score four goals and don’t get Man of the Match, then there’s something wrong! For me, it’s Patson Daka."

Where do we stand?

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James Maddison
James Maddison

The No.10 set up Patson Daka for his fourth goal.

Following their first UEL success of the season, City climb to second in Group C on four points, two adrift of Legia Warsaw. The Polish club, though, are yet to play on matchday three, as they tackle Napoli on Thursday evening.

Coming up

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Çağlar Söyüncü
Çağlar Söyüncü

Çağlar Söyüncü salutes the travelling Blue Army at full-time.

The Foxes head to the capital on Sunday for the Club's first-ever Premier League encounter with newly-promoted Brentford (2pm kick-off) before welcoming Brighton & Hove Albion to King Power Stadium in the fourth round of the Carabao Cup on Wednesday (7:45pm kick-off).

Next up in the Europa League, on the other hand, it's Spartak Moscow's turn to visit Leicester on Thursday 4 November (8pm GMT kick-off), with tickets now on general sale. Tickets for City's home clash with Legia Warsaw, meanwhile, will go on sale from 8am on Thursday online, and 9am by phone.

All times BST unless stated otherwise. 

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