The fairytale is over. Leicester City's inaugural Champions League campaign ended with a 2-1 aggregate defeat to Atletico Madrid earlier this week, but it's been a fantastic year overall in Europe. Here we take a look at the top five moments of the Foxes' campaign. This was a night that summed up the past two seasons for Leicester City. Raw passion in the stands and 100% effort on the pitch. While they aren’t considered a European giant, Sevilla had been the Europa League winners for the...
That Second Half in Seville
Going into their last 16 1st leg tie in Spain, Leicester were in horrendous form. Without a league goal in 2017, they had lost five games in a row and had been knocked out of the FA Cup by Millwall.
For an hour at the Ramón Sánchez Pizjuán, the game went with form, as Leicester were outplayed and would have been further than 2-0 behind had it not been for a string of fine saves by Kasper Schmeichel.
Claudio Ranieri rolled the dice and brought on Demarai Gray for Ahmed Musa. The change seemed to spark City into life and scored the all-important away goal through Jamie Vardy. News followed the next day that Ranieri had been sacked, though, many believe before the time had come to make the decision to change things.
The Dragon Slayer Does it Again
Leicester’s first home Champions League game at the King Power Stadium was also going to be a thunderous occasion. It was Islam Slimani who proved the Foxes’ hero with a trademark header.
The Algerian had started to repay his £28m transfer fee with two goals on his Premier League debut against Burnley 10 days previous.
Slimani had earned the nickname “The Dragon Slayer” while at Sporting CP because of the number of goals he had fired past Porto, who are nicknamed the dragons. In fact, his final Sporting goal was in a league game against Porto.
They must have been thrilled to have seen him rested for the return game in December.
A Perfect Start…
14th September 2016 is now a date that’ll never be forgotten for Leicester City fans.
Eight years on from their season in League One, here they were walking out for their first ever Champions League tie. They dispatched a poor Club Brugge side with a professional performance that made them appear like Champions League veterans.
Riyad Mahrez scored a free kick and a penalty while Mark Albrighton had the honour of scoring Leicester’s first ever Champions League goal.
The Spirited End Against Atletico
Even by Leicester’s incredible standards of upsetting the odds, needing three goals in one half to defeat one of the best defensive teams in Europe was a long shot.
They gave it everything in the second half, scoring once and but for a couple of Atletico blocks they could have given the Spanish side a real scare. The spirited second half performance where - Leicester had 17 shots - was a fitting end to the fairytale adventure.
This was a night that summed up the past two seasons for Leicester City. Raw passion in the stands and 100% effort on the pitch.
While they aren’t considered a European giant, Sevilla had been the Europa League winners for the previous three years and were favourites with their slender lead from the first leg. The Foxes had to ride their luck, Kasper Schmeichel saved a penalty late on but they were worthy winners on the night.
The roar at the final whistle was reported to have been heard over 5 miles away.