James Maddison

City Enter UECL Last-16 With Randers Success

A 3-1 victory over Randers at Cepheus Park Randers on Thursday night saw Leicester City qualify for the last-16 of the UEFA Europa Conference League with a 7-2 aggregate success.
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For City's second leg clash, manager Brendan Rodgers made four changes to the side that faced Wolverhampton Wanderers on Sunday. In came Denmark international Jannik Vestergaard, James Maddison, Harvey Barnes and Kelechi Iheanacho for a 4-3-3 formation.

The returning Barnes took less than two minutes to open the scoring as he raced down the left wing, latching onto a pass from Wilfred Ndidi, and opened up his body before curling into the far corner past Patrik Carlgren, much to the delight of the 600 members of the Blue Army in attendance.

The No.7's effort saw him draw level with Patson Daka in City's all-time European goalscoring charts, taking his total to six. It was also the Club's fastest-ever goal in a UEFA competition.

City had to do some defending of their own on seven minutes, though, as Academy graduate Luke Thomas made two crucial blocks either side of skipper Kasper Schmeichel's save, before Mikkel Kallesøe rolled an effort wide and Björn Kopplin headed off target for the hosts. 

Towards the end of the first half, Vito Hammershøy-Mistrati directed and attempt around the post, before Carlgren raced out to close down Iheanacho after the Nigeria star had burst through the middle and into the Randers box. Approaching stoppage time, Simon Piesinger lifted over - City 1-0 up after 45 minutes. 

Into the second period, it took a spectacular, one-handed save from Schmeichel to prevent Stephen Odey from levelling matters on the night. The striker had his shot turned off the line by Thomas from the resulting corner, as Randers applied pressure. 

Thomas got in the way of another strike not long after, prior to Jakob Ankersen hammering high and wide of the target. On 56 minutes, goalscorer Barnes sent a delivery across the face of goal, however there was no one there to convert. 

After a triple substitution saw Hamza Choudhury, Boubakary Soumaré and Ayoze Pérez enter the action, it was in fact Maddison who next went close, but he couldn't beat Carlgren at the near post. Daniel Amartey headed the subsequent corner wide, and later got in the way of Odey's shot from deep inside City territory. 

The Foxes were able to sustain the Randers pressure and, when Iheanacho was fouled around 25 yards from goal, a second goal arrived for the visitors in stunning fashion. Maddison curled into the top corner to stun the home crowd and delight the away end.

The No.10 wasn't done there. When Iheanacho played the ball inside to Maddison, he took a touch to set himself before bending the ball into the far corner, displaying more magic in Jutland.

Randers remained a threat, though, with Schmeichel making a point-blank stop, and then Amartey sliding in to prevent an almost certain goal with just over 10 minutes of normal tie to go. However, the hosts were able to pull one back when Odey tapped in at the far post, despite the efforts of Schmeichel.

Substitute Tobias Klysner then drilled into the side-netting from distance, however that proved to be the final major chance for Randers, who bowed out of the Europa Conference League at the hands of the Foxes.

Major moment

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James Maddison

An unstoppable set-piece from City's No.10.

Although City were well organise in defence, a second goal of the match, to make sure of the result on the night, meant Brendan Rodgers' men would leave Denmark with a win. That goal came in the form of a sublime free-kick from James Maddison. 

Who impressed?

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James Maddison

James Maddison netted a stunning brace at Cepheus Park Randers.

Speaking on LCFC Radio's Matchday Live at full-time, Gerry Taggart said: "Those two moments of quality, in a difficult game in difficult conditions, makes James Maddison my Man of the Match. Nice and simple, James Maddison - class." 

Where do we stand?

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Harvey Barnes

A trademark celebration from Harvey Barnes, who opened the scoring in Randers.

The Foxes will discover their last-16 opponents on Friday, when the draw takes place in Nyon from approximately 12pm.

Coming up...

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Blue Army

Six hundred City fans headed to Randers to back their side.

City's next challenge arrives in the form of a Premier League encounter with Burnley at Turf Moor on Tuesday (7:45pm kick-off). Leicester then host Leeds United at King Power Stadium four days later (12:30pm kick-off). 

All times GMT.

Leicester City Crest

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