Foxes live to fight another day as brave Premier League side keep their hopes of reaching last four alive
LEICESTER CITY’s Champions League remains alive despite falling to a 1-0 first-leg defeat at Atletico Madird.
The brave Foxes battled hard against the La Liga giants, and they were only undone courtesy of a controversial penalty from Antoine Griezmann.
The Manchester United target won the spot-kick himself before converting confidently past Kasper Schmeichel on 28 minutes – although Marc Albrighton’s foul appeared to be outside of the area.
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Craig Shakespeare’s Premier League side survived an early onslaught from Atletico, and they had the woodwork to thank with just four minutes on the clock.
Griezmann set up Koke outside the area, and he thundered a long-range strike against the post.
Despite this, Leicester regrouped and gained their composure to hold firm.
Neither goalkeeper had much work to do on the night, although the hosts did enjoy large spells of possession.
And the resolute performance of the visiting backline ensured that they still have a chance overcoming the deficit in next week’s second leg at the King Power.
FACTS, STATS, GOALS & LOLS
- Atletico Madrid fans hate Uefa with the same passion as Manchester City fans and the Champions’ League anthem was loudly booed before kick-off.
- Atletico fans are convinced Uefa favour their ancient rivals Barcelona and Real Madrid and one fan even tried to sue Europe’s governing body after last year’s final, claiming Mark Clattenburg was incompetent for allowing Sergio Ramos’ ‘offside,’ goal to stand!
- You could say they suffer from having patatas bravas on their shoulders!
- Koke’s long range effort which smacked off the crossbar after four minutes seemed to spook Leicester who struggled to get out of their own half for most of the first half.
- Yohan Benalouane was the rookie of the Foxes back four but Robert Huth looked nervous as a kitten at times and almost commited another Seville style mis-header in his own box. Fortunately Carrasco slashed his volley wide.
Heavy-handed Spanish Police attack Leicester fans in Madrid Square
- News of Bayern Munich’s opening goal against Real Madrid was gleefully beamed on the giant screens at either end of the Vicente Calderon and gave the home crowd a massive lift. Suddenly the home crowd found their voices again – the last thing Craig Shakespeare needed.
- Leicester were just beginning to settle down and limit Atletico to a series of ambitious long-range efforts when disaster struck and Marc Albrighton lost out on the closest of penalty calls. Where is VARs when you need it?
- Antoine Griezmann was the calmest man in the Vicente Calderon as he nonchalantly sent Kasper Schmeichel the wrong way from the spot. Not bad going for someone who had MISSED his previous four spot kicks.
- What is it with Leicester and penalties. They are the penalty kings of the Champions’ League – having CONCEDED four – that’s more than anyone else in the competition!
Fans are attacked by Spanish police in Madrid prior to Leicester’s game against Atletico
- Atlético had never lost at home to English opposition in five attempts (W5 D5) and looked ominously on course to make it six of the best by spanking English opponents yet again at this point.
- Shinji Okazaki and Riyad Mahrez were had a right barney as they left the pitch at half-time. Intriguingly, the Japanese forward didn’t appear for the second half as he was replaced by Andy King.
- Just after half-time it was announced that an English passport had been found and would the owner collect it – along with a fresh pair of underpants!
- Fernando Torres could have buried Leicester when clean through on goal but slipped on the greasy surface to continue his recent dismal form in the eyes of home fans.
DREAM TEAM RATINGS
Atletico: Oblak 6, Juanfran 7, Savic 7, Godin 7, Filipe Luis 7, Carrasco 7 (Correa 65, 6), Gabi 7, Niguez 7, Koke 6, Torres 6 (Partey 75, 6), Griezmann 7
Subs not used: Cerci, Hernandez, Gaitan, Giminez, Campos Moreira
Leicester: Schmeichel 6, Simpson 6, Benalouane 6, Huth 6, Fuchs 6, Mahrez 6, Drinkwater 6, Ndidi 7, Albrighton 6, Okazaki 5 (King 45, 6), Vardy 6 (Slimani 77, 6)
Subs not used: Chilwell, Amartey, Zieler, Gray, Ulloa
STAR MAN: ANTOINE GRIEZMANN
WHAT THEY SAID
Leicester ‘s Andy King, speaking to BT Sport: “To come here and still be in the game was the objective. We can take them back to ours and hopefully turn over the deficit, like the last tie.
“We know we are strong at home and I am sure we can cause them problems.”
Leicester goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel, speaking to BT Sport: “It [the penalty] has ruined out game plan. It is tough to take when it is so clear. We should have had something from this but we have to accept it. They might have scored from what should have been a free-kick but it is easier to score from a penalty.
“A few yellows flying about. Robert Huth will be a big miss – he is a top-class defender.”