Leicester City’s UEFA Europa Conference League (UECL) hopes remain alive thanks to a 3-2 aggregate victory over Rennes, despite a 2-1 defeat on the night. Having held out against their determined hosts, the ‘Foxes’ find themselves in their first European quarter-finals since 2017.
Rennes started the match on the front foot as they looked to climb back into the tie. Their pressure told after only nine minutes, when a Martin Terrier cross into the danger area ricocheted off of Benjamin Bourigeaud to cut Leicester’s aggregate lead to 2-1. The ‘Foxes’ managed to weather the storm in the remaining 35 minutes of the opening interval, but Rennes continued to enjoy the better of play, setting the scene for a second half of high tension and drama.
Daniel Amartey saw his header from point-blank range saved by Doğan Alemdar in superb fashion in the opening minutes of the second half, but Rennes’ luck ran out on the resulting corner kick. First half substitute Ademola Lookman whipped the ball into the danger area, and Wesley Fofana marked his return to action after a serious leg injury with a flicked header into the back of the net to restore Leicester’s two goal lead. Rennes pulled themselves back within touching distance in dramatic fashion, when Flavien Tait struck home a low shot from the edge of the box, making Leicester sweat for the final 15 minutes of the night.
It was too little, too late though, and Rennes will be disappointed to see their UECL campaign come to an end at the hands of the Premier League side. However, back in Ligue 1 play, four straight wins have lifted Bruno Génésio’s side into pole position to return to European competition next season, and their battle will now be free of midweek distractions.