Leicester 2-0 AEK Athens: Cengiz Under opens his Foxes account with spectacular volley before Harvey Barnes’ deflected strike seals top spot for hosts in the Europa League
- On-loan Under scored a brilliant volley to give the Foxes a 12th-minute lead
- Barnes doubled the lead just two minutes later to clinch top spot in Group G
- Brendan Rodgers’ side will now be seeded in Monday’s draw for the last 32
Cengiz Under opened his account for Leicester in spectacular style to ensure Brendan Rodgers’ men finished top of their Europa League group.
The winger, on a year’s loan from Roma, scored a brilliant volley to give the Foxes a 12th-minute lead over AEK Athens, which Harvey Barnes doubled two minutes later.
This win means Leicester will be seeded in Monday’s last-32 draw.
Quick-fire first-half goals from Cengiz Under and Harvey Barnes secured victory for Leicester
Leicester (4-2-3-1): Ward 6; Justin 6.5, Fofana 6.5 (Morgan 82), Evans 6.5, Thomas 7.5; Tielemans 6.5 (Choudhury 82), Ndidi 7 (Mendy 63, 6); Under 7, Praet 6.5, Barnes 7; Iheanacho 6.5 (Perez 67, 6).
Subs not used: Schmeichel, Jakupovic, Fuchs, Albrighton, Vardy.
Goals: Under 12, Barnes 14
Manager: Brendan Rodgers 7
Referee: Lawrence Visser 6.5
With AEK Athens already eliminated, and Leicester resting key men Jamie Vardy, Kasper Schmeichel and James Maddison, this was a low-key win against an uninterested side.
But it did maintain Leicester’s momentum ahead of Sunday’s meeting with Brighton in the Premier League.
Rodgers was impressed by Under’s attacking play but has demanded the Turk offers graft alongside his craft.
‘He is adapting to how we play,’ said the Leicester boss. ‘He has to work harder but both he and Harvey Barnes were outstanding.
‘With all the injuries we’ve had, fourth place in the Premier League and qualifying for the last 32 is a huge testament to the players.’
Leicester were quickly on the front foot here and soon took the lead.
Stratos Svarnas sliced his attempt to clear Tielemans’ cross and the ball dropped perfectly for Under, whose first-time strike flew past Panagiotis Tsintotas.
On-loan winger Under scored a brilliant volley to give the Foxes a 12th-minute lead
Forward Harvey Barnes doubled the lead two minutes later to clinch top spot in Group G
Tsintotas was as helpless then as he was for Barnes’ goal moments later.
Collecting Luke Thomas’ long pass from deep, Barnes cut in on his right foot and his shot deflected off Ionut Nedelcearu and went in at the near post.
AEK offered nothing in attack and Dennis Praet, Kelechi Iheanacho, Barnes and Under all had chances to make the score more emphatic.
Leicester’s Ayoze Perez (C) takes on AEK pair Nenad Krsticic (L) and Ionut Nedelcearu (R)
Brendan Rodgers’ side will be seeded in Monday’s draw for the last 32 in the Europa League