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HomeSportsRennes 2-1 Leicester (agg 2-3): Wesley Fofana scores decisive goal on return...

Rennes 2-1 Leicester (agg 2-3): Wesley Fofana scores decisive goal on return from broken leg as Foxes hang on to reach Europa Conference League quarter-finals

Wesley Fofana scored his first goal for Leicester on his return from a broken leg to send the Foxes into the Europa Conference League quarter-finals – although Brendan Rodgers’ side had to hang on desperately for a 3-2 aggregate victory after losing 2-1 on the night at Rennes.

Twenty-one-year-old Fofana was cruelly sidelined in pre-season during a friendly with Villarreal but marked his surprise return to the starting XI with a brilliant glancing header from a corner (51) – the goal which would prove to be decisive in this dramatic, brilliant tie.

When that effort cancelled out Benjamin Bourigeaud’s early opener (8) it seemed Leicester had regained control against an energetic Rennes side, who are just a point off second in Ligue 1 and who were roared on by an incredible home support.

However, substitute Flavien Tait set up a grandstand finish when he drove past Kasper Schmeichel after a neat lay-off from Serhou Guirassy with 15 minutes to play.

Leicester were on the ropes in those final stages, with Schmeichel producing an unbelievable save to deny Guirassy from three yards, Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall somehow diverting a cross away from the striker as he was about to shoot again from close range, and Baptiste Santamaria drilling just wide of the post 15 yards out.

Even with the final move of the match, Rennes seemed on the brink of forcing extra-time – and were incensed when referee Anastasios Sidiropoulos waved away their penalty appeals after Harvey Barnes headed a free-kick onto Dewsbury-Hall’s arm in the Leicester box.

In the aftermath, Rennes’ subs and coaching staff charged onto the pitch to surround the officials. However, Leicester had done enough.

Leicester lost Marc Albrighton and Wilfred Ndidi to injury during the contest but are rewarded for their brilliant, battling, backs-to-the-wall effort with just their second-ever quarter-final appearance on the European stage, with the draw to come on Friday.

What’s next?

The Europa Conference League quarter-final and semi-final draws will follow the Champions League ones on Friday, March 18 at 12.30pm UK time, with the balls being drawn out at UEFA’s headquarters in Nyon, Switzerland.

Leicester return to Premier League action on Sunday when they host Brentford at the King Power Stadium at 2pm. Rennes host Metz at 2pm in Ligue 1 on the same day.

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