Kelechi Iheanacho scored twice as Leicester City moved clear at the top of their Europa League group with a 4-0 win over Braga.

Starting in place of Jamie Vardy up top, the Nigerian produced a fine individual performance, netting in either half and setting up substitute Dennis Praet for the third.

Another impressive performer, James Maddison, then rounded off a comfortable victory with a goal late in the second half.

Leicester now hold a three-point cushion at the summit of Group G and look well placed to make the knockout stages with just half of their fixtures completed.

In dipping temperatures at the King Power Stadium, both sides took time to warm up, leading to a scrappy opening quarter of an hour.

And the biting cold will only have enhanced the pain of the knee to the thigh James Maddison received early on during a challenge with Ali Musrati.

The Englishman was seen limping as he attempted to run off that blow but looked to be moving well enough as he played a beautifully weighted one-two to release Iheanacho in behind.

The Foxes striker still had work to do from a tight angle, but bundled past Matheus with a degree of good fortune before tapping into an empty net.

Braga responded well, with Bruno Viana heading on target before a well-timed Hamza Choudhury slide stopped Abel Ruiz latching onto a delicious Ricardo Esgaio cross at the back post.

But the visitors' failure to capitalise on those chances was punished moments after the restart, Iheanacho grabbing his second with a deflected effort from range.

Leicester's lone striker turned provider with just over 20 minutes remaining, picking out an inch-perfect cross to give Praet a tap-in at the back post.

His reward for that contribution was an early withdrawal, with Brendan Rodgers making the most of generous substitution rules in Europe to give his tiring players a rest.

The hosts did not take their foot off the gas, however, with Maddison grabbing a deserved goal 12 minutes from time, jinking through the Braga defence to poke home.

Francisco Trincao is a great talent who can prosper at Barcelona, according to Danilo Pereira.

Barca announced the signing of Trincao back in January, the 20-year-old penning a five-year contract to join from Braga for a €31million fee.

The Portuguese forward is to finish the season in his homeland before heading to Camp Nou and has scored eight goals in 25 league appearances, in the process impressing Porto midfielder Danilo.

For Danilo, the key for his compatriot when he heads to Spain is having the right coach at Barca to aid his development.

"He's a great talent, a great talent," the Portugal international told Stats Perform News.

Danilo was in the Porto side that lost 2-1 at home to Trincao's Braga back on January 17.

"I think he's only 20 years old but he's playing very well in Braga, scoring a lot of goals. He has a lot to improve, but he's a great player," Danilo said.

"If he has the confidence and if he has a good coach for him, to help him grow, I think he will do really well in Barcelona."

Danilo was on target on Wednesday as Porto clinched their 29th Primeira Liga title with a 2-0 victory over rivals Sporting CP.

They have capitalised on a collapse by Benfica to be crowned champions again and Danilo has praised the impact Iker Casillas, the legendary goalkeeper whose retirement was confirmed in February, has had this season.

The former Spain captain moved to Porto in 2015 but had not played since suffering a heart attack during a training session last May. However, having joined the backroom staff, Casillas has continued to have a major influence.

"I like Casillas so much – he's always trying to help the youngsters," Danilo said when the Portuguese season was paused due to the coronavirus pandemic.

"He's a leader for us. I think he's a great man who tries all the time to help the people, to help the coach and everybody. For me, Iker Casillas is a legend."

Francisco Trincao is similar to Neymar and is ready to make an impact at Barcelona, according to former Portugal international Nuno Gomes.

LaLiga champions Barca completed the €31million signing of Trincao in January but allowed him to stay at Braga for the rest of the 2019-20 season.

The 20-year-old, who was the joint-top scorer as Portugal won the European Under-19 Championship in 2018, has scored seven goals and supplied three assists in 18 Primeira Liga appearances this term, while also helping Braga beat Porto in the Taca da Liga final.

Nuno Gomes sees similarities between the left-footed Trincao and former Barca star Neymar and predicts his development will be rapid upon joining his new team-mates at Camp Nou.

"Trincao is very good and he's very young so it's a big step for him to play for Barcelona, let's see how things will develop. But I believe that he's ready to play because if you look at him from his early ages until now, he improved a lot," Gomes told Stats Perform News.

"But even now when you look at him, for him it doesn't matter if he's playing against Porto or Benfica or a lower team. I believe he plays the game for fun, he plays the game and it doesn't matter about the opponent.

"I believe Barcelona will give him even more strength and Barcelona will put him in difficult situations that will allow him to develop.

"Of course, to play for Barcelona if you are young you have to be better than your team-mates and you have to be aware that it will be not easy to arrive and to play in the first XI right away.

"But I think he will earn his place in the team with his quality and of course he will improve a lot with the players he will practice with every day and play together with – [Lionel] Messi for example, and other players will give him a lot of strength and a lot of things to improve even more.

"In terms of comparing him with another player, I don't know, maybe he's peculiar, he's one that you can never expect what he will be doing so maybe with all the respect Neymar, because Neymar is also a player that with the ball is unpredictable and Trincao looks a little bit like him, he plays in the wing also so maybe Neymar."

Barcelona have secured the signature of Francisco Trincao and Braga president Antonio Salvador believes the attacker will be one of the world's best in 10 years.

Trincao signed a five-year deal with Barca in January, but his €31million move to Camp Nou will not come into effect until July 1. It remains to be seen whether that date will be adhered to due to the suspension of most major sport during the coronavirus pandemic.

A €500m release clause was included in the deal signed by the Portugal Under-21 international, who has scored seven goals in 29 appearances in all competitions for Braga this season.

In an online meeting with supporters, Salvador tipped Trincao to be a huge success in Spain and assured fans he does not expect further departures.

"We already know we are going to lose one of our great players, one that I consider the best, one that will define a decade from now, which is Trincao," said Salvador.

"As you know, he has been sold to Barcelona. I believe that almost the entire squad will be maintained next season."

He added: "Our squad will increasingly have players from the academy. This is due to the exceptional facilities we created.

"They will provide even more talent. We want a strong core of players that will support players who can move into the line-up."

Rangers superbly came from behind to win 3-2 at home against Braga in the first leg of their last-32 tie after Fransergio scored a contender for the best goal of this season's Europa League.

Fransergio and Abel Ruiz struck either side of half-time to put the Portuguese side, who were unbeaten in 13 European matches, in complete control at Ibrox on Thursday.

But Ianis Hagi got one back for Steven Gerrard's side and, with 15 minutes to go, Joe Aribo danced through the Braga defence to slot home and level it up.

Hagi's free-kick then deflected off the wall to wrongfoot goalkeeper Matheus and complete an improbable comeback in front of a raucous crowd in Glasgow.

Braga started brilliantly, with Wallace missing a header from three yards and Francisco Trincao - who will join Barcelona in July for €31million - rifling just wide.

Fransergio then stunned the home fans with a beauty from over 30 yards out, his rocket of a strike clipping the underside of the crossbar to open the scoring in the 11th minute.

Matheus denied the competition's top scorer Alfredo Morelos twice in quick succession, but Trincao was running the show and he almost made it 2-0, a cute curling effort not quite bending enough.

Fransergio almost repeated his wondergoal after the interval, but this time his effort hit the top of the crossbar, with livewire Morelos then denied by a goal-line clearance from the alert Bruno Viana.

Debutant Ruiz, who joined from Barcelona last month, doubled Braga's lead with an excellent finish, but Hagi reduced the deficit with a left-footed strike from just inside the box that went in off the post.

The quality did not let up as Aribo equalised with a superb solo effort and, though Braga have a brace of away goals to take into next week's return leg, momentum is with Rangers after Hagi's fortuitous set-piece wrapped up the scoring.

Barcelona signed Brazilian midfielder Matheus Fernandes and Portuguese forward Francisco Trincao on transfer deadline day, but both players must wait for their chance to shine at Camp Nou.

Fernandes will join Quique Setien's squad from Palmeiras in July after a €10million package was agreed for the 21-year-old, who has played for the Brazil Under-20 team.

Braga accepted a €31m offer from Barca for 20-year-old forward Trincao, and he will also formally join the Catalan club's ranks at the end of the season.

Both players have agreed five-year contracts, the Blaugrana announced, with Fernandes' contract including a €300m buy-out clause and Trincao's deal showing a €500m clause.

Braga will take Barca's 18-year-old striker Abel Ruiz on loan until the end of the season and then make the deal permanent for €8m, with the LaLiga club having a buy-back option.

Barca were not the only Spanish club busy in the market though, with Celta Vigo signing striker Fyodor Smolov on loan from Lokomotiv Moscow until the end of the season.

Atletico Madrid re-signed Belgian winger Yannick Carrasco, almost two years after he left to join Chinese side Dalian Yifang. The 26-year-old joined until the end of the season on loan.
 

STAYING PUT

Deadline day was as notable for the deals that looked to have fallen through as those that were completed.

Paris Saint-Germain ruled out allowing Edinson Cavani to leave, as a host of clubs fancied taking the Uruguayan off their hands, while Chelsea refused to let France striker Olivier Giroud depart Stamford Bridge.

Tottenham were among the clubs keen on Giroud, but Jose Mourinho looked like missing out on the striker he wanted to strengthen a front-line depleted by the loss of injured England captain Harry Kane.

Real Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane said Gareth Bale would not be leaving the Santiago Bernabeu.

Manchester United remained linked with Bournemouth forward Joshua King, but time was running out for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to add new faces to his Old Trafford squad.

United made one signing, but it was a low-profile deal as England Under-20 goalkeeper Nathan Bishop arrived from third-tier Southend United.

Arsenal brought in defender Cedric Soares on loan from Southampton.

In Scotland, champions Celtic shipped out Scotland international Lewis Morgan to Major League Soccer side Inter Miami, who are part-owned by David Beckham.

Belgian side Genk allowed attacking midfielder Ianis Hagi, son of Romanian great Gheorghe Hagi, to join Scottish giants Rangers on loan.
 

KOUAME, DUNCAN IN

Serie A transfer activity was dominated by Fiorentina, who signed Ivorian forward Christian Kouame from Genoa, initially on loan. The deal will be made permanent at the end of the season.

They also brought in Ghanaian midfielder Alfred Duncan from Sassuolo in a similar deal, a loan with an obligation to buy.

Reports in Italy said Kevin-Prince Boateng was set to leave Fiorentina among the incomings, with Besiktas his destination. Turkish giants Besiktas also snapped up 18-year-old Croatian midfielder Ajdin Hasic from Dinamo Zagreb on permanent terms.

Atalanta agreed a loan deal with Nice, acquiring defender Adrien Tameze from the Ligue 1 outfit with a purchase option.

World Cup winner Steven Nzonzi cut short a season-long loan from Roma to Galatasaray, returning to his French homeland with Rennes on a six-month loan with an option for a further year.
 

HERTHA BUSY

In the Bundesliga, Emre Can left Juventus for Borussia Dortmund on Friday evening, initially on loan until the end of the campaign but with a €25m fee agreed for a potential permanent transfer.

Elsewhere, Hertha Berlin followed up Thursday's signing of Krzysztof Piatek by prising 20-year-old Brazilian winger Matheus Cunha from table-toppers RB Leipzig, for whom he scored nine goals in 52 games.

Hertha managing director Michael Preetz said on the club's website: "We wanted to increase the quantity and improve the quality up front, which we have been able to do with the Piatek and Cunha transfers."

Leipzig also offloaded Austrian midfielder Stefan Ilsanker to Eintracht Frankfurt. He spent four-and-a-half years at Leipzig, joining them in the second tier.

Werder Bremen signed striker Davie Selke on an 18-month loan from Hertha, the 25-year-old returning to the club where he began his professional career.

Francisco Trincao will join Barcelona on July 1 after the club confirmed they had agreed a €31million deal with Braga to sign the Portuguese forward.

Trincao will sign a five-year contract at Camp Nou and his release clause has been set at an eye-watering €500m.

The 20-year-old was the joint top-scorer at the 2018 European Under-19 Championships as Portugal claimed victory.

He has featured in 21 games across all competitions for Braga this season, contributing three goals and six assists, after making his first-team debut for the club in December 2018.

A versatile player capable of operating across the forward line, he will provide a further attacking option for Barcelona once the 2020-21 season gets under way.

The club had been linked with Richarlison and Willian this week but on Thursday director Guillermo Amor ruled out any further incomings during the January transfer window.

The full draw for the Europa League's round of 32 is: 

Wolves v Espanyol

Sporting CP v Istanbul Basaksehir

Getafe v Ajax

Bayer Leverkusen v Porto

Copenhagen v Celtic

APOEL v Basel

Cluj v Sevilla

Olympiacos v Arsenal

AZ v LASK Linz

Club Brugge v Manchester United

Ludogorets v Inter

Eintracht Frankfurt v Salzburg

Shakhtar Donetsk v Benfica

Wolfsburg v Malmo

Roma v Gent

Rangers v Braga

The first legs will take place on Thursday 20 February, with the return fixtures scheduled for a week later.

Club chiefs will return to Nyon for the last-16 draw on February 28.

Nuno Espirito Santo was proud to deliver a night to remember for Wolves fans after a 3-3 draw in Braga secured a spot in the last 32 of the Europa League.

The Premier League side roared back from a goal down to lead 3-1 by the break in Portugal, with Raul Jimenez, Matt Doherty and Adama Traore on target – the latter two strikes coming 81 seconds apart.

But Braga maintained their grip on top spot in Group K courtesy of second-half goals from Paulinho and Fransergio.

The point ensured Wolves' qualification for the last 32 with a game to spare and Nuno was particularly delighted for the sizeable travelling contingent.

"I'm extremely proud – 6,000 fans here is amazing," he said, in quotes reported by Wolves' official website. "It requires a lot of effort from them, flights and travel, on a night like this, that's what makes us proud.

"The journey we started together, since the Championship. If we can achieve more, we will try. It's the same group of players that started, that are trying to grow, our fans are always with us supporting and that's what makes me happy."

Despite his evident satisfaction at extending Wolves' continental campaign into 2020, Nuno noted areas for improvement after a game the visitors really ought to have won.

"The first half was good. We started bad, we conceded a goal and that can happen, but the reaction was very good," he said.

"We pressed well, we stayed organised and achieved good combinations, so naturally we were finishing goals, the way the team reacted in play was good.

"Second half not so good, not so well organised, allowing passes to Braga that unbalances and conceded in situations that we must improve.

"The season has been long and it was another demanding match. We started very early in the season, however the balance so far has been good. The team is improving, the players are responding.

"We need to keep this momentum because in a couple of days we have a key game against Sheffield United and we want to develop and improve.

"We don't have limits, we always keep going and we're going to the next one."

Wolves were left stunned by Braga's second-half revival as both sides sealed progress to the last 32 of the Europa League following a 3-3 draw.

After storming back from a goal down to lead 3-1 at the interval, Wolves somehow let maximum points and top spot in Group K slip from their grasp in a thriller in the rain in Portugal.

The visitors, unchanged from the 2-1 Premier League win over Bournemouth, fell behind after six minutes when Andre Horta's deflected effort found the back of the net in sodden conditions.

But Raul Jimenez – involved in all three of his side's goals – swiftly levelled matters with his 15th of the season before a quick-fire double from Matt Doherty and Adama Traore put Nuno Espirito Santo's men in the ascendancy.

That was far from the end of the story, though, as Paulinho cut the gap and Fransergio grabbed a late equaliser to keep Braga top. Third-placed Slovan Bratislava's 2-1 defeat at Besiktas spelled the end of road for the Slovakians, with their Turkish opponents already out of the running.

Braga won the reverse fixture with Wolves at Molineux courtesy of Ricardo Horta's goal and it was his brother who put them ahead on Thursday, Andre Horta's low strike taking a telling touch off Ruben Neves to send the ball beyond Rui Patricio.

Wolves, sitting fifth in the English top flight, were quick to respond and Jimenez headed home after Jonny's looping cross had left Eduardo flapping at thin air.

Nuno's side came close to forging ahead midway through the first half, but Traore's teasing ball across the six-yard box was just beyond the reach of Diogo Jota.

Undeterred, Wolves continued to push forward and got their reward with two goals in 81 seconds – Doherty leaping to nod in Jimenez's lofted delivery before Traore coolly slotted in the third.

A smart stop from Eduardo spared Braga further punishment as he parried away Jota's header five minutes into the second half.

The hosts lost a tearful Wallace to injury just before the hour mark but were soon celebrating halving the deficit through Paulinho's close-range finish, after excellent work from Wenderson Galeno.

Despite Wolves still appearing to carry the greater threat, they were rocked by Fransergio's 79th-minute header from Nuno Sequeira's assist as the spoils were shared in an unlikely classic.

Nuno Espirito Santo says he will not be distracted over "not real" speculation he could be in line to replace Unai Emery at Arsenal.

Emery is under increasing pressure after a run of six games without a win in all competitions, with reports he is facing the sack.

Nuno, meanwhile, continues to burnish his reputation with Wolves fifth in the Premier League, three places above the Gunners, and on the brink of the Europa League knockout stages.

The Portuguese manager was unwilling to be drawn on the speculation at a news conference on Wednesday.

"[Rumours] are not a distraction," Nuno said.

"You know me. I don't talk about ifs, I don't talk about possibilities, I don't talk about things that are not real.

"I think you know me well enough and you know that I'm not going to answer about that. 

"I will never mention an issue that's not a reality. Mainly because the job has a manager in it. It would be disrespectful."

Asked if he was happy at Wolves, Nuno added: "I think we are doing okay. 

"It requires a lot of work and every day is a chance to improve and this is what we want to do all together."

Wolves and Arsenal are both in Europa League action on Thursday, with Nuno's side away to Braga while the Gunners host Eintracht Frankfurt.

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