Wednesday, 19 April 2017

The Fairytale As Ended, Leicester City Out Of The Champions League

Leicester City's hopes of reaching the Champions League semi-finals came to an end after they played a 1-1 draw agianst Atletico Madrid at the King Power Stadium on Tuesday evening.
Saul Niguez's first-half header was cancelled out by Jamie Vardy's 61st-minute goal, but despite laying siege to the opposition goal in the closing stages, the Premier League champions were eliminated 2-1 on aggregate. They always faced an uphill task as they sought to overturn the 1-0 defeat suffered in the first leg at the Vicente Calderon last week with Antoine Griezmann's controversial penalty in that game ultimately proving the decisive moment in the tie.

As Atletico attacked with purpose for the first time in the game, Filipe Luis was afforded space to curl in a left-footed cross from the edge of the area, which was headed brilliantly back across Kasper Schmeichel and into the net by Saul. the away goal meant Leicester needed three without reply to qualify and Riyad Mahrez almost produced the first when he volleyed straight at Jan Oblak from 18 yards after Danny Drinkwater's cross had been headed clear. Schmeichel was perhaps fortunate not to concede a penalty five minutes before the break when he bundled over the marauding Yannick Carrasco inside the six-yard box, and the Atletico forward was inches away from tapping Griezmann's cross into an empty net five minutes after the interval but after that it was all Leicester.

Craig Shakespeare had brought on both Leonardo Ulloa and Ben Chilwell at half-time as he sought to inspire a comeback and the switch to a 3-5-2 formation and a long-ball approach saw the home team dominate the final 40 minutes.

Atletico defenders made two decisive blocks to prevent a second Leicester goal as Lucas Hernandez denied Ulloa and Savic brilliantly stopped Vardy's 15-yard drive. Mahrez curled a late free-kick just over the bar and Wes Morgan, who had been passed fit to replace the suspended Robert Huth in the starting line-up, limped off late on as Leicester's hopes faded.

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