Leicester 1-1 Roma: The Conference League remains semi-balanced as Rodgers’ side saves a point

In the first leg of their Europa Conference League semi-final against Roma, Gianluca Mancini’s own goal saved a point for Leicester.

Ademola Lookman’s pressure caused the defender to put the ball in his own net. It leaves the Foxes with a 1-1 tie heading to the Stadio Olimpico for the second game next week.

Despite Lorenzo Pellegrini’s first-half opening, Brendan Rodgers’ team gave themselves a fighting chance in Italy with a spirited performance.

They dominated Roma for extended stretches and will be confident of reaching the final in Tirana next month.

Leicester, on the other hand, will be disappointed with a draw after starting brilliantly but letting their guard down once in the first half.

Jamie Vardy’s 19-minute cameo in Saturday’s 0-0 draw with Aston Villa gave him a chance to stretch his legs, and his danger was obvious inside the opening two minutes.

Under pressure from the attacker, Chris Smalling fell, prompting Mancini to clear behind the first of a flurry of Leicester corners.

A stretching comes from one. Timothy Castagne headed wide at the far post, but Leicester’s promising start was cut short as Roma took the lead after 15 minutes.

Nicolo Zaniolo’s crossfield ball found Nicola Zalewski, allowing him to run unopposed and slide in Pellegrini.

The skipper had sprinted behind Wesley Fofana and, with Youri Tielemans unable to follow him, shot between Kasper Schmeichel’s legs for his fourth goal in eight European appearances this season.

Soon after, Castagne was injured and replaced by James Justin, and the Foxes lost their way as Roma surged into the game.

Nonetheless, the Foxes found their bite, as Lookman stretched the visitors twice. Smalling first skillfully stopped Lookman’s attempt before coming to Rui Patricio’s aid after 34 minutes.

Lookman found space on the outskirts of the box again, with Patricio parrying his shot, and the goalkeeper required Smalling to clear swiftly ahead of a waiting Vardy.

Former Manchester United defender Smalling then clattered Kieran Dewsbury-Hall, who was once again outstanding for the Foxes, only for James Maddison’s free-kick to hit the wall.

Maddison curled over five minutes before the interval, then Lookman utterly miscued a header from six yards in the second half.

However, the on-loan RB Leipzig attacker had been the Foxes’ most dangerous threat, and Roma’s resolve eventually gave way after 67 minutes.

Substitute Harvey Barnes had an immediate impact as Roger Ibanez attempted to cut off his pass into the box, only to throw the ball back to the winger.

Barnes took advantage of the situation and crossed for Lookman, with Mancini bundling in from close range.

Leicester were looking for a second goal and Kelechi Iheanacho headed over under pressure as Maddison increased his impact.

The Foxes, by far the superior team, maintained their calm as they looked for chances, and Patricio had to deflect Iheanacho’s curling attempt wide after Tielemans had robbed Bryan Cristante.

Nonetheless, they were nearly undone with 10 minutes remaining when Tammy Abraham’s wonderful technique and power set up Sergio Oliveira and Schmeichel deflected his attempt aside.

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