The Warm Down: Leicester City cement Europa League top spot with SC Braga demolition
Kelechi Iheanacho is mobbed by teammates after netting against Braga | Photo: Getty/ Michael Regan

Leicester City enjoyed another successful Europa League outing after comfortably defeating SC Braga 4-0 at the King Power Stadium.

Despite boasting an identical record in the group ahead of the match, the Foxes looked in control from start to finish against a Braga side who had won six games in a row in all competitions coming into the game.

The East Midlands side secured a one-nil lead at half time through Kelechi Iheancho, before the Nigerian doubled his and his side's tally soon after the break with a deflected effort. Dennis Praet and James Maddison added their names to the score sheet to cap off a comfortable night under the lights.

The win symbolises Leicester's record win in European competitions as they sit at the top of their group with nine points out of nine ahead of the reverse fixtures.

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Iheanacho is the perfect deputy

It is not a secret that Jamie Vardy is the starting striker for Leicester. He is their talisman. However, with injuries and a congested schedule, Vardy has not always been available for selection but with the way that Iheanacho has been deputising for him, that has not been a problem.

Especially in the Europa League, a competition that Iheanacho has been relishing with three goals and three assists to his name already, the Nigerian has been instrumental to the club's success as his link up play and his ruthlessness in front of goal has meant that in the two games that he has started in the competition, he had a hand in six out of the seven goals scored against Zorya Luhansk and Braga respectively.

While he is a different striker to Vardy, as he prefers to play with his back to goal and to receive the ball into his feet, the Leicester squad have shown that they are able to adapt seemlessly to the strengths of each front man and Maddison in particular has created an partnership with both strikers at the club.

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Maddison shows his class

Speaking of Maddison, while he has been making his return from injury, the English playmaker can feel hard done by due to the fact that he did not receive a call up to the national team.

In ten appearances that he has made in all competitions this season, Maddison has three goals and three assists despite not having a consistent run in the starting squad.

Despite his injury woes, the midfielder has been heavily involved in the Europa League and has been at the forefront of most of the Leicester attacks and has had more attempts on goal than anyone else in his side. His influence on the team has seen him develop a target on his back, with only three players in the group stage suffering more fouls against them in the competition, (12 fouls each as opposed to Maddison's 11 suffered).

At the start of the season, Maddison had told Sky Sports that he wanted to score more "scruffy goals" and the Leicester number ten has certainly been working on that wish. His tenacity to score goals, mixed with the fact that he is appearing in the box a lot more often as opposed to hovering just outside, has meant that his two goals in Europe could be classed as the scruffy goals that he has been aiming for.

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An exciting time to be a Leicester fan

The win against Braga was the Foxes' fifth win in a row in all competitons. That would be considered a great run for any team, but for a depleted Leicester who are missing a number of key players due to injury, the run will have the fans dreaming.

To put it in perspective, Leicester fielded a backline of Marc Albrighton, James Justin, Wesley Fofana, Christian Fuchs and Luke Thomas. Albrighton is a winger, Justin and Fuchs are fullbacks who played in centreback and Thomas and Fofana are both only 19-years-old and do not have a lot of experience playing professional football. Despite these facts, they looked in control of the match and kept a clean sheet against an in form Braga side who sit third in their domestic league.

This has happened without three of the back four of last season who contributed to the majority of the 13 clean sheets kept in the Premier League last season in Ricardo Pereira, Jonny Evans and Caglar Soyuncu. If you add Wilfred Ndidi into the equation, who has developed into arguably one of the league's best defensive midfielders, the feat becomes even more impressive.

With all of these players waiting on their return, as well as Jamie Vardy and Maddison returning to full fitness, coupled with the performance levels of the rest of the squad and the form that they find themselves is, there is plenty to be excited for the Foxes faithful.

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