The Warm Down: Leicester City down Zorya Luhansk in Europa League opener
Kelechi Iheanacho celebrates his strike against Zorya Luhansk | Photo: Getty/ Lindsey Parnaby

Leicester City enjoyed a strong start to their maiden Europa League campaign with a 3-0 win over Ukrainian side Zorya Luhansk

Despite naming a strong starting 11, Zorya  looked more of a threat and had the first real chance of the game only to be denied by the onrushing Kasper Schmeichel.

Leicester took the lead, arguably against the run of play, through James Maddison after a scramble in the box, before Harvey Barnes doubled the scoring on the stroke of half time with a well taken finish past Mykyta Shevchenko.

With the damage done in the first half, Leicester turned on the style and enjoyed more chances in the second, with Kelechi Iheanacho notching his first goal of the season after being gifted the ball by the Zorya defence, adding to his two assists.

The Foxes saw out the game with a string of defensive changes, meaning they finish the night top of their group, level with SC Braga.

Embed from Getty Images

Leicester's attackers fill Vardy void

Without the talismanic Jamie Vardy in attack for the East Midlands side, it has been seen in past matches that Leicester lack that clinical edge but the likes of Maddison, Barnes and Iheanacho stepped up in the number nine's absence.

Barnes in particular looked menacing on the ball as he danced through the Zorya defence and created chances for himself and his teammates but it was Iheanacho who allowed the England winger to do this.

The Nigerian striker took up deeper positions, held the ball up and released the runs of Maddison and Barnes, with the second goal acting as a prime example as Iheanacho's back heel played through Barnes who glided through and scored with confidence.

Maddison's return to the starting lineup represented a big boost to Brendan Rodgers as the playmaker's tight ball control, link-up play and threat posed in the final third offered something in attack that had been missing with him on the sidelines as Zorya struggled to contain him throughout.

Embed from Getty Images

Fofana the latest scouting success story

It is easy to forget that Wesley Fofana is only 19-years-old as he plays with the assurance of someone who has years of experience.

After a promising debut for his new side against Aston Villa, Fofana made the step up to European football with ease as he looked solid at the back alongside Jonny Evans.

The youngster's pace and timing of tackles aided his side in keeping a clean sheet and the fact that he has hit the ground running will give Rodgers a great sense of confidence with Caglar Soyuncu suffering a long term injury.

The Leicester recruitment team has been hailed for their shrewd business, with Timothy Castagne also shining since joining the club, and Fofana is another example of their success in the market.

Embed from Getty Images

The win will do Leicester the world of good

Not only was it important for Leicester to get off to the best start possible in their European campaign, the Foxes also needed to bounce back to form after suffering successive defeats in the Premier League.

The injury list had proven to hamper Rodgers' side as they looked like they missed their key men against West Ham United. The international break also proved unkind to the Foxes as it saw Soyuncu join the likes of Wilfred NdidiRicardo PereiraDaniel Amartey and Jamie Vardy on the sidelines, with Maddison and Evans representing injury doubts.

It was imperative that Leicester stopped the run of defeats to give the much changed side a taste of victory and with it completed in a big game in the club's recent history, it will give the players the confidence to kick on in place of important squad members who look to recover from their respective injuries.

VAVEL Logo