FC Zurich rest key men as striker bags hat-trick and Leeds United target impresses ahead of Hearts Europa League play-off tie
FC Zurich rested 10 players for in their huge Europa League play-off second-leg clash against Hearts at Tynecastle Park on Thursday in a comfortable win away to lower division opponents in the Swiss Cup
While Robbie Neilson’s men were falling to a 2-0 defeat to Celtic in a Premiership clash in Glasgow, their Swiss opponents were involved in domestic cup action away to third tier SC Cham.
Franco Foda’s team ran out comfortable 4-0 winners. The former Austrian national team manager was able to make 10 changes to the side which defeated Hearts 2-1 in St Gallen on Thursday, with centre-back Karol Mets the only player to retain his place in the starting XI.
Cheick Conde, Wilfried Gnonto, Fabian Rohner and Fidan Aliti all started after coming off the bench in the Europa League clash.
Gnonto, who has been linked with a big-money move to Leeds United, helped create the opening goal, playing a pass to Rohner for the assist, while he won and missed a first-half penalty.
An Italian international who is highly regarded by Roberto Mancini, the 18-year-old is still likely to feature in Edinburgh despite the interest from the Premier League side. Leeds boss Jesse Marsch has confirmed his interest in the forward.
The star of the show, however, was Aiyegun Tosin who netted a hat-trick. The Benin international has failed to score in the league so far but gave Foda food for thought heading into the Tynecastle Park clash.
Zurich are yet to win a game in the Swiss league but are odds-on to progress in the Europa League play-off having won the first leg.