Leicester City boss Craig Shakespeare 'not looking to future' despite player backing
- Author: Loretta Pittman Mar 15, 2017,
Mar 15, 2017, 1:02
LEICESTER, Back from the depths of despair Leicester City once again scaled improbable heights with a tumultuous 2-0 victory over Spanish club Sevilla to reach the quarter-finals of the Champions League on Tuesday.
Wes Morgan got the go-ahead score, kneeing the ball home from a Riyad Mahrez free kick in the 27th minute. It was just another crucial save, however, that Kasper Schmeichel had made.
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Leicester's PFA player of the year Riyad Mahrez also seemed unfazed about trying to beat a team who are now sitting third in La Liga. They were in dreamland.
Similarly, although Jorge Sampaoli has a justifiable reputation as one of the most meticulously prepared coaches in the game, his team seemed to so oddly and obviously be playing into Leicester's hands. They shouldn't be too hasty, however, because there have been extenuating circumstances in Sevilla's last two performances - as poor as they were - and it's unlikely they are ready to let their season fizzle out.
The most significant blow, however, was landed in the Sevilla penalty area just before the half-hour mark. Yet Leicester remained resilient and looked much more compact and disciplined than they did in Seville.
Sevilla, who had not conceded an away goal in this season's competition, piled forward in the closing minutes but Champions League debutants Leicester held firm on a tumultuous night.
Counterattacks provided a chance to relieve the pressure towards the end of a breathless first half.
But there would be a final chest-clutching moment for Leicester.
That advantage was nearly wiped out within eight minutes of the restart when Sergio Escudero's dipping, swerving shot from 35 yards crashed off the crossbar with Schmeichel rooted to the spot. A vicious dipping effort from left-back Sergio Escudero cleared Schmeichel, only to bounce off the underside of the crossbar en route to safety.
"We were like, "Fine, go on then, you take it".
Then came the flashpoint involving Nasri and Vardy as the two players squared up to one another, forehead to forehead.
The striker turned wind-up merchant in the second period and knowing Samir Nasri was on a yellow card, attempted to get the Frenchman sent off. But there was still another twist when Sevilla earned a penalty six minutes later, only for Kasper Schmeichel to come up big and deny Steven N'Zonzi.