AEK Athens 1-2 Leicester City: First-half strikes from Vardy and Choudhury enough for victory
Wes Morgan celebrates with Jamie Vardy following the striker's goal in Athens | Photo: Getty/ MB Media

Leicester City made it two wins from two in the UEFA Europa League as they edged past AEK Athens 2-1 in Greece on Thursday evening. 

The Foxes raced into a comfortable first-half lead as Jamie Vardy won and scored a penalty, with Hamza Choudhury then netting a swept effort from close range. 

Muamer Tanković gave the hosts hope minutes after the restart with a cool finish but the hosts were not able to find their equaliser and remain pointless, whilst Brendan Rodgers' men top the group.

Story of the Match

Vardy off the mark in the Europa League

Despite the Greeks starting the game the better, it always felt as though Leicester were going to be the side to take the lead. James Maddison fired a warning shot at the AEK goal that drifted marginally wide.

He then played a key role in the opener as he played a perfect through ball to Vardy. The striker used a trademark run off the shoulder of his defender to get in-behind but was then hauled down by stopper Panagiotis Tsintotas. Vardy was predictably the man to step up and sent the ball to the goalkeeper's right and into the net despite him managing to get a considerable amount on the shot.

The hosts reacted very well to going behind though and could well have equalised but for wastefulness from Marko Livaja. The Croatian managed to get on the end of a lofted ball but his flicked header was well saved. He then managed to seize onto a poor touch from Leicester skipper Wes Morgan and raced towards goal but his low shot fizzed off target.

Embed from Getty Images

Leicester cruise into half-time

That was about as good as it got for Massimo Carrera's men in the first-half as Leicester doubled their lead. A Maddison corner was flicked on at the near post, falling at the feet of Choudhury. The Foxes' academy graduate took a second to steady himself before smashing the ball low into the AEK net for his first-ever European goal.

The second goal convinced Carrera to make changes at the break and one of those introduced from the bench, Tanković, managed to haul AEK back into the game. He managed to get on the end of Petros Mantalos excellent lofted pass before spinning away from the Leicester defence and finishing through the legs of Schmeichel.

The Swiss forward then had another chance just a minute later as he got on the end of another great pass from Mantalos but when faced with just Schmeichel, lifted his shot high over the crossbar. 

Despite their quick start to the second period, the hosts weren't quite able to continue that momentum, with chances evaporating. As a result, Leicester managed to close out the game, meaning six points from six from their opening two matches of their latest European campaign. 

Embed from Getty Images

Takeaways

Another fast start

Just like in their clash against Zorya Luhansk, Leicester flew out of the traps in the first-half, claiming a 2-0 victory before the break. That allowed the Foxes a little bit of comfort in the second period as both the Ukrainians and AEK attempted to find a way back into the tie. Considering their packed schedule this season, that is a fantastic feature to have. 

AEK miss chances

On the final whistle, Leicester will potentially reflect on a well-deserved win but the hosts will feel slightly hard done by considering the amount of clear-cut chances that they created. Livaja had two great opportunities in the first period but could take neither, whilst goalscorer Tankovic also blazed a wonderful effort over. Their wastefulness may be an indicator as to why they do not yet have a point. 

Injuries hamper Leicester again

With an already lengthy injury list, the last thing that Rodgers will have wanted is more problems to consider. That's exactly what happened though with both Timothy Castagne and Jonny Evans not fit enough to play in Athens. With the schedule not set to abate at all, the Leicester boss will certainly have to be imaginative with his team selections and systems in order to cope.

VAVEL Logo