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Europa League: Iheanacho Records Two Assists, One Goal In Leicester Win

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Super Eagles forward Kelechi Iheanacho was among the scorers on Thursday as Leicester made the perfect start to their Europa League campaign after a comfortable 3-0 win over Zorya Luhansk.

James Maddison, Harvey Barnes and Iheanacho struck to give the Foxes victory in their Group G opener.

Kasper Schmeichel denied Vladyslav Kabayev but the hosts eventually brushed off the visitors from Ukraine without the injured Jamie Vardy.

They travel to AEK Athens next week, after facing Arsenal on Sunday, having made their European return following a three-year absence.

Brendan Rodgers’ side also earned a morale-boosting win after damaging home defeats to West Ham and Aston Villa.

But the Foxes – also without the injured Caglar Soyuncu and Wilfred Ndidi – were still forced to sweat in the first half.

Zorya, who have qualified for Europe in the last seven seasons, made a solid start and Vladlen Yurchenko shot over.

Leicester were initially sloppy and almost paid the price against limited Zorya in the 22nd minute.

Maksym Lunov slid the ball across the box for the onrushing Kabayev but, with the forward stretching, Schmeichel saved well at the far post.

The hosts had created little but opened the scoring with their first chance of the game after 29 minutes.

Barnes, their brightest spark, cut in from the left and his curling shot came back off the post.

It fell for Iheanacho but, crowded out by defenders, all he could do was shield the ball for Maddison to arrive and tap in.

Leicester’s confidence grew and Mykyta Shevchenko saved Barnes’ low effort soon after but they survived a scare after Schmeichel’s mistake four minutes before the break.

The goalkeeper rattled a routine clearance into Yurchenko and the ball broke to Dmytro Ivanisenia but the midfielder lobbed his shot wide of an empty net.

Yet the Foxes ended any lingering fears by doubling their lead in first-half stoppage time.

Christian Fuchs’ fine pass found Iheanacho and he held the ball up for Barnes to race though and produce an impudent finish past Shevchenko.

A second allowed Leicester to relax and they pressed for another with Wesley Fofana flashing a header wide 10 minutes after the break.

Zorya’s roughhouse tactics did little to upset the Foxes and, after Maddison drilled over, Iheanacho got his goal after 67 minutes.

It was a gift from Zorya as Ivanisenia’s loose pass went straight to the striker who turned Lovro Cvek to find the bottom corner.

He then hit the side netting with 20 minutes left as Leicester cruised to victory.

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Just In: Football Legend Diego Maradona Dies Aged 60

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Football legend and arguably the greatest player to have ever kicked a ball, Diego Maradona has died aged 60.

Maradona died of a heart attack weeks after successfully undergoing surgery to remove clots found in his brain.

A football magician during his playing days, Maradona was famed for the hand of God- a goal scored with his hand against England.

The Napoli and Boca Juniors legend appeared in four World Cups for Argentina, leading the Albiceleste to victory in 1986. He further appeared in the 1990 and 1994 World Cups, in which he was sent home for failing drugs test in the latter.

He also had bouts of cocaine addiction and was wanted by the Italian government over unpaid taxes before his death.

Maradona scored 34 goals in 91 appearances for Argentina and is rated as arguably the most blessed footballer to have ever graced the game.

He coached Argentina between 2008 and 2010 amid other spells in the Middle East.

In a statement on Twitter, the Argentine Football Association expressed “its deepest sorrow for the death of our legend”, adding: “You will always be in our hearts.”

He was in charge of Gimnasia y Esgrima in Argentina’s top flight at the time of his death.

Maradona had good connections with Africa, where he was revered for his greatness and otherworldly skill.

As a global football ambassador, he was in South Africa in 2010 and 2011 where he met locals in the Soweto Township.

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Mane, Salah Nominated For FIFA TheBest Award

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Liverpool African duo, Sadio Mane and Mohammed Salah have been nominated for FIFA TheBest Men’s Player of the Year award.

Mane, Senegalese and Egyptian, Salah played huge roles in Liverpool’s march to their first Premier League trophy in three decades.

The pair form part of the Reds’ deadly three-pronged attack with Brazilian, Firmino being the final piece of that jigsaw.

Both players missed out on the award last year as Lionel Messi took it home, but they managed to get in good positions in the top ten.

Liverpool have not had a start as strong as last season’s this term, but both players have shown good form and have helped their team when it matters most.

They will face teammates Virgil Van Dijk and Thiago Alcântara, Juventus’ Cristiano Ronaldo, Manchester City’s Kevin De Bruyne, Bayern Munich’s Robert Lewandowski, PSG and France’s Kylian Mbappé, Lionel Messi and Neymar.

Lewandowski has been tipped to have the best shout for the award after a stellar season with Die Roten.

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Nigeria’s Dennis to Miss Borussia Dortmund Clash over Team Bus Row

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Footballers get injured and miss games, and it is very commonplace. Sometimes, a footballer’s wife may put to bed and he will have to miss a game, but none of these has happened to Nigerian international, Emmanuel Dennis as he’s ruled out of a European night.

Dennis, 23, a Super Eagles player and former youth international will miss his team’s UEFA Champions League clash against Borussia Dortmund after he received punishment for a funny row he got into.

The former Nigerian U-17 international who plays for Belgian giants, Club Brugge has been dropped from the clash after he stormed out of the team bus. While the club has kept mum on the reason for the punishment meted out to him, a report by Het Laatste Nieuw, a Belgian news publication outfit has said he was dropped for refusing to accept taking another seat in the bus.

Brugge’s coach, Phillip Clement refused to disclose the reason Dennis was dropped but confirmed it was a disciplinary action.

“Dennis is fit, but not in our selection,” he said. “He didn’t follow the club’s rules, that’s all I want to say about that. I prefer to concentrate on the players who are available to me.”

The team had set rules against COVID-19 on resumption of football.

Dennis impressed last season in the Champions League when he bagged a brace against Real Madrid at the Bernabeu.

He followed up on his star shows when he scored against Manchester United in the Europa League and has also impressed this season.

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