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too strong
Leicester take step towards Conference League last 16 with routine Randers win
Three goals in the second half saw Leicester to an ultimately comfortable victory.

LEICESTER ARE ON track for the Europa Conference League last 16 after beating Danish outfit Randers 4-1 at the King Power Stadium in the first leg of their play-off tie.

The Foxes, playing in this competition after finishing third in their Europa League group, took the lead through a 23rd-minute Wilfred Ndidi effort before the visitors sprung a surprise by equalising in the 45th minute via captain Vito Hammershoy-Mistrati.

Harvey Barnes put Brendan Rodgers’ men back in front four minutes after the break, and Patson Daka and Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall added finishes in the 55th and 74th minutes respectively.

A worry towards the conclusion of what proved a comfortable victory in the end – halting a run of five games without a win in all competitions – was seeing substitute James Maddison and Caglar Soyuncu having to come off due to injury.

After Randers registered the contest’s first real effort of note, with Tosin Kehinde bringing an eighth-minute save out of Kasper Schmeichel, Daka was presented with two good chances to put Leicester in front in quick succession, heading over from an excellent Youri Tielemans delivery and being thwarted by goalkeeper Patrik Carlgren having been played in by Dewsbury-Hall.

Carlgren then blocked a low Dewsbury-Hall shot with his foot, before being beaten by Ndidi as the Nigeria international, making his 200th Leicester appearance, exchanged passes with Ademola Lookman and side-footed home.

Leicester’s attempts to add to their lead included shots from Barnes, Dewsbury-Hall and Soyuncu being saved by Carlgren, and Daniel Amartey producing a remarkable miss after the Soyuncu effort was parried, heading wide from close-range when looking certain to score.

Randers then stunned the King Power as a slip by Marc Albrighton allowed them to advance down the right, with Kehinde laying the ball to Hammershoy-Mistrati to fire past Schmeichel.

Leicester bounced back swiftly after the interval, regaining the advantage moments in as Lookman tried to get a strike away and the ball broke to Barnes, who turned and shot into the net.

And six minutes later it was 3-1 when Tielemans showed deft footwork and hit a shot, Carlgren parried and Daka was there to divert the loose ball in, with Randers protests that the forward was offside in vain.

Carlgren kept out efforts from Lookman and Daka, before Dewsbury-Hall swept in Leicester’s fourth having been teed up by Lookman.

After Carlgren then produced his latest fine save of the evening to keep out a shot from substitute Kelechi Iheanacho, there was concern for the hosts as Maddison, who had also been brought on just past the our mark, went down injured.

He received treatment on the field – during which a fan ran onto the pitch and was dealt with by security – before being taken off by Rodgers and heading straight down the tunnel, with Soyuncu following before time was up.

Gavan Casey is joined by Bernard Jackman and Murray Kinsella to discuss the prospect of South Africa replacing Italy in the Six Nations and reflect on Ireland’s performance in Paris, before looking ahead to the URC action this weekend.

The42 Rugby Weekly / SoundCloud

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