Spartak Moscow 3-4 Leicester: Dynamite Patson Daka scores four as visitors rally in thrilling Europa League clash
UEFA Europa League Group C, Otkritie Arena, Moscow - Spartak Moscow 3 (Sobolev 11', 86', Larsson 44') Leicester 4 (Daka 45', 48', 54', 78')
Patson Daka of Leicester City celebrates after scoring to make it 2-3 during the UEFA Europa League group C match between Spartak Moscow and Leicester City at Otkritie Bank Arena on October 20, 2021 in Moscow, Russia.
Kasper Schmeichel was at fault as Spartak Moscow raced into an 11th-minute lead when Aleksandr Sobolev's deflected shot sneaked past the Dane at his near post.
Leicester had a mountain to climb when they conceded a second on the stroke of half-time after Victor Moses robbed Caglar Soyuncu before setting up Jordan Larsson.
However, the visitors responded immediately through Daka who finished with aplomb from Kelechi Iheanacho's perfectly-weighted through ball, and just two minutes after the restart, the duo combined once again as Daka bagged his brace to draw Leicester level.
The turnaround was complete five minutes later when Daka broke the offside trap once more to latch onto Youri Tielemans' pass and slide his shot between the legs of Maksimenko.
But he wasn't finished there.
James Maddison finally registered his first assist since February with a defence-splitting pass to release the forward, and he showed unbelievable composure to grab his fourth on an unforgettable night - he is now Leicester's joint-highest scorer in Europe.
Spartak Moscow set up a tense finale courtesy of Sobolev's second, but Brendan Rodgers' side held on for maximum points.
TALKING POINT - Deadly Daka shows there is life after Vardy
Patson Daka of Leicester City celebrates after scoring to make it 2-3 during the UEFA Europa League group C match between Spartak Moscow and Leicester City
Image credit: Getty Images
Aged 34, Vardy is getting no younger and gone are the days where the former England international can play three matches in a week, so it was no surprise that he was rested for what was essentially a must-win game for Leicester.
Rodgers promised the acquisition of the Zambian would ease the reliance on Vardy, and that came to pass tonight. Daka played like Vardy in his prime, his pace a constant threat to Spartak Moscow's high line, and he clearly possesses the ability and composure to find the net on a frequent basis.
"He is quick, he wants to run off the back line, he is a great finisher," said Rodgers at the time of his signing, and tonight the Leicester boss was proved right. The future at the King Power is very bright after all, it seems.
MAN OF THE MATCH - Patson Daka (Leicester)
Announced himself as the true successor to Vardy with a sparkling performance, showing the ruthless edge to finish with a remarkable four goals.
11' - GOAL! Spartak Moscow 1-0 Leicester (Aleksandr Sobolev): Schmeichel is caught out at his near post by a deflected shot and the hosts are ahead! It's too easy for Spartak Moscow to pass through their defence as Sobolev receives the ball on the left. His first shot is blocked but he gets a second bite of the cherry and it takes a deflection, sneaking in at the near post.
44' - GOAL! Spartak Moscow 2-0 Leicester (Jordan Larsson): Leicester had multiple opportunities to clear their lines before Moses nicks it from Soyuncu on the left. He races to the by-line and rolls it across the face of goal for Larsson who finishes with aplomb!
45' - GOAL! Spartak Moscow 2-1 Leicester (Patson Daka): The Foxes halve the deficit immediately! Iheanacho lifts a beautiful through ball into Daka's path and he makes no mistake. Two goals in two games for Daka! Leicester are right back in this!
48' - GOAL! Spartak Moscow 2-2 Leicester (Patson Daka): Leicester are level thanks to Daka's brace! Iheanacho makes a clever run and shows great strength to hold off his marker before squaring it to Daka. With the goalkeeper out of his position, he slots home into an empty net!VAR is having a look for a potential offside... but it's going to stand!
53' - GOAL! Spartak Moscow 2-3 Leicester (Patson Daka): What a turnaround as Leicester take the lead for the first time tonight, with Daka scoring his first club hat-trick! Maddison plays through the lines to find Tielemans, who strokes it through to Daka and he slips the ball through the legs of the goalkeeper to complete his hat-trick!
79' - GOAL! Spartak Moscow 2-4 Leicester (Patson Daka): Guess who! Daka scores his FOURTH of the game! It's another ruthless finish from the 23-year-old, who times his run to perfection to meet Maddison's pass. He takes a touch to set himself before bending it past the helpless goalkeeper. Outstanding!
86' - GOAL! Spartak Moscow 3-4 Leicester (Aleksandr Sobolev): What a game! And it's not over yet as Sobolev nets his second of the game to give Spartak Moscow real hope! Moses delivers the cross and the forward stabs it home!
Patson Daka is the first Leicester player to score four goals in a single match in any competition since Derek Hines against Aston Villa in November 1958.