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Europa Conference League: Dessers Leads Feyenoord Past Marseille

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By Babalola Seyi

 

Leicester City dominated their Europa Conference League semi-final first leg with Roma on Thursday but narrowly escaped with an own goal equaliser to rescue a 1-1 draw.

The energetic Foxes were stunned when Nicola Zalewski found space on the left to set up Roma captain Lorenzo Pellegrini for an unexpected 15th-minute goal.

However, Ademola Lookman met a cross from Harvey Barnes in the 67th minute to force an own goal from Gianluigi Mancini, ensuring parity for Brendon Rodgers’ team on the night.

“I thought I took a nick on it and maybe it hit him after,” Lookman said. “They are a strong team, defensively very good but we played well today.

“It is going to be a difficult game (in Rome), playing away from home, the atmosphere, their fans, we will need our fans to be behind us.

“We are looking forward to the challenge we will go there to try and win the game.

Roma, however, will be confident of finishing the job in front of their own supporters in next week’s second leg to reach the May 25 final in Tirana.

“The second leg is going to be a tough game ——- but we’ll be playing it at home, in front of our fans,” said Pellegrini.

“We’ll be fired up to do the best we can.”

Former European champions Feyenoord are the slight favorites, having won a five-goal thriller 3-2 against Marseille in the other Europa conference League.

Cyriel Dessers scored both goals for the Rotterdam hosts, who also had Luis Sinisterra on the scoresheet.

Marseille were level at the break thanks to Bamba Dieng and Gerson, but Dessers capitalized on a mistake early in the second half to give the Dutch a narrow lead.

 

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