For City’s crunch clash with Legia, manager Brendan Rodgers initially made three changes to his XI, with Luke Thomas, James Maddison and Patson Daka all starting on Filbert Way. Daniel Amartey then had to come in for Jonny Evans just before kick-off after the Northern Ireland international picked up a problem in the warm-up.
They continued to push forward, and when Barnes' pass deflected into the path of Daka, the Zambian was ruthless and, with his first touch, he slotted past Cezary Miszta to hand his side the lead with only 11 minutes on the clock. That made him Leicester's all-time leading goalscorer in Europe, with five strikes to his name.
A chance for 2-0 soon followed, with Maddison seeing a strike blocked in the box, but just seconds later, he took his next opportunity. After a playing a neat one-two with Ademola Lookman, he twisted and turned in the box before slamming home.
The travelling outfit had one back soon after, though. After the ball hit Wilfred Ndidi's hand in the box, Legia were awarded a penalty. Schmeichel did excellently to save Mahir Emreli's initial spot-kick, but Filip Mladenović raced in to convert the rebound.
Mladenović then fired into the side-netting with just over 30 minutes on the clock, but City were determined to restore their two-goal advantage and were able to not long after. Barnes won a corner which Maddison delivered, and up leapt Ndidi to glance in for 3-1.
The Foxes started the second 45 minutes as they did the first, with Thomas drilling a low strike at Miszta after Maddison was brought down in the build-up. They were assured in possession, too, and a constant danger in the final third.
Looking to inject energy into Leicester's midfield and attack, Academy graduate Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall and forward Ayoze Pérez came on on the 62-minute mark, replacing Boubakary Soumaré and Maddison respectively.
It was Barnes who next went close, first drawing a save from Miszta before his follow-up hit the side-netting from a tight angle. City were content with their two-goal advantage, though, and remained compact in the second half.
Dewsbury-Hall looked to add a fourth goal of the night, but his left-footed drive sailed wide of the mark, and it was Leicester's flurry of first-half strikes that ultimately settled the tie.
Patson Daka scored after just 11 minutes to hand City the lead.
Although Legia provided a stern test in the first encounter, and were defensively solid throughout the 90 minutes in Poland, Leicester struck after just 11 minutes on Filbert Way on Thursday to set the tempo for an electric first half.
It was Zambia forward Patson Daka who crucially opened the scoring, and then further goals from James Maddison and Wilfred Ndidi earned Leicester all three points in matchday five of the UEFA Europa League.
The City No.10 netted an excellent strike to double Leicester's advantage.
Speaking on LCFC Radio, Gerry Taggart said: “It’s pretty close, but [Boubakary] Soumaré was good tonight. Patson Daka was back on the scoresheet, and Luke Thomas played really well. For me, I’m going to give it to James Maddison. He took his goal brilliantly and he was a constant thorn. When he’s on form, he’s a bright spark."
Where do we stand?
The Nigeria international nodded in to make it 3-1 to the Foxes in the first half.
City move into pole position in Group C with one fixture remaining - a trip to Diego Armando Maradona Stadium to take on Napoli on Thursday 9 December.
Leicester City's three goalscorers celebrate in a clinical opening 45 minutes.
The Foxes entertain Watford in Leicester on Sunday (2pm kick-off) in the Premier League, before heading to St. Mary’s Stadium three days later to tackle Southampton (7:30pm kick-off).
All times GMT.
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