Another chapter in Leicester City’s fairytale was written last night as the Premier league champions overturned a 2-1 first-leg loss to beat Sevilla and reach the Champions League quarter-finals.
Goals from captain Wes Morgan and Marc Albrighton was enough to beat the La Liga high-flyers on Tuesday night.
Leicester now joins the likes of Barcelona, Borussia Dortmund, Real Madrid, Bayern Munich and Juventus who won on the night to advance to the last eight of Europe’s elite club competition.
It was a night of raw passion at the King Power Stadium with the Foxes knowing they only needed to score one goal and keep a clean sheet to progress.
The rejuvenized Leicester team kicked off the match with the same intensity they showed last season as Jamie Vardy and Riyad Mahrez grabbed the game by the scruff of the neck to make a point.
The first goal came from a Mahrez set-piece which was bundled in by Morgan who didn’t know much about the strike. The goal put Leicester in control of the tie although Sevilla always looked like they could score from a counter attack.
Nine minutes after the break, Leicester doubled their advantage, a few seconds after Sergio Escudero hit the bar for the visitors. It was ecstasy for both the fans and players as a quarter-finals place looked to have been sealed.
Leicester had to, however, dig deep to survive the final moments to the game which saw Sevilla boss Jorge Sampaoli sent to the stands, Samir Nasri sent off and Foxes GK Kasper Schmeichel saving a Steven N’Zonzi penalty.
Manager Craig Shakespeare, who has won all three games since stepping into the vacancy created by Claudio Ranieri’s sacking congratulated the players on a well-fought victory.
He said the achievement of reaching the Champions League quarter-finals ranks as high as Leicester City’s fairytale Premier League title success.
”I think it has to stand right up there because of the quality of the opposition. When the draw was made, everyone said, ‘Ooh, Seville.’ We knew what they’re about. It has to stand up there with all the achievements.”
”Of course, when you win the league it’s over a lot more games, but the quality of the opposition means this has to stand right up there.”
Also speaking after the game was Sampaoli who said he would be going to bed in pain tonight having had a role in Leicester City’s fairytale.
”I think this result is undeserved. These types of games are resolved by important details and ours were worse.”
”I think maybe we lost it on one or two fine details. We didn’t manage to finish our chances. We had control of the ball in the second half and had three decent chances, but that was when they scored their second goal.”
”I see myself going to bed in pain tonight, thinking that a dream has gone.”