Tag Archives: jamie vardy

Spot of bother as Leicester lose to Liverpool

Leicester City 2:3 Liverpool

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Jamie Vardy’s predictable penalty cost City a point at home to Liverpool on Saturday evening…

Round 2 of this week’s Leicester v Liverpool double header saw both sides making a few alterations, but Craig Shakepeare’s only change from the last Premier League game was the reintroduction of Okazaki to the starting line-up.
Despite Liverpool dominating the early possession it was City who had the first chance in the 6th minute. Okazaki sent Vardy in down the left and his angled drive was saved by Mignolet. The loose ball sat up for Mahrez who lifted it over the bar from close in.
Liverpool should have gone ahead in the 13th minute when a low 25 yarder from Can thumped the left hand post. The rebound went straight to Salah who jabbed it wide with Schmeichel still recovering from his dive.
Salah soon made amends, however, as Liverpool took the lead on the quarter hour.
Coutinho delivered a fine cross from the right, which Salah nodded past Schmeichel at the far post from an acute angle.

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The game had a physical edge now, with Ndidi and Albrighton getting booked, but Liverpool players avoiding a yellow card for similar fouls.
City’s afternoon then got worse as Liverpool doubled their lead in the 23rd minute, Coutinho curling a superb free-kick over the wall and just inside the left hand post.
Liverpool sat back on their two goal lead for a while, though City were struggling to do much with their possession. A low cross from Chilwell was smothered by Mignolet.
City then had the ball in the net in the 40th minute, but the offside flag was already raised before Okazaki timed his run perfectly to outstrip the Reds defence from a free kick.
City did, however, manage to halve the visitors lead three minutes into time added on.
Albrighton delivered a corner from the left, Mignolet missed his punch in a big aerial duel six yards out and Okazaki was in the right place to toe poke the ball over the line.
Liverpool protests about a foul in the general melee were waved away.

Liverpool had the better start to the second half and racked up a few chances. Coutinho volleyed straight at Schmeichel, Lovren headed wide from a corner, Can headed over from close in and then Firmino fired a shot well over.
Craig Shakespeare made his first change in the 62nd minute, bringing Gray on for Mahrez.
City were enjoying a decent attacking spell when they were caught on the break in the 67th minute. Maguire was striding forward and played a one-two with Ndidi, but the return ball was heavy and possession was lost. Coutinho, Sturridge and Henderson raced forward and the latter was set up up for a neat finish past Schmeichel to restore Liverpool’s two goal lead.
But City struck back just two minutes later. Albrighton beat Gomez down the left and delievered a far post cross to Gray, who fired in a shot that Mignolet did well to save. The ball went straight to Vardy who directed his header into the unguarded goal.
City had their tails up now, and three minutes later they had a golden chance to equalise. Vardy raced into the penalty area and was flattened by Mignolet. Though he got a touch on the ball it was a clumsy challenge and the ref pointed to the spot.
Regardless of the fact that word may have got round, Vardy opted for his usual blast down the middle, and Mignolet had done his homework, staying on his feet to block just to his right.

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Moments after this penalty miss there was another big shout when Can handled in the area, but City were denied a second attempt.
Shakespeare then brought Iheanacho on for Okazaki.
Sturridge went close with a couple of shots before Shakespeare brought on another striker, Slimani for Albrighton.
This new line-up didn’t really work and Liverpool managed to close the game out in relative comfort.
It had been a highly entertaining encounter, but left City with a very poor return of 4 points from the first six games.
Craig Shakespeare commented: “Ultimately because we were searching for that second goal it cost us. We left ourselves too open. The third goal was always going to be hard to come back from. But, try we did and we could’ve got a point in the end. You have to realise that you’re playing against some quality opposition. The aim at the start was to play with the high intensity. We all know in football that games will ebb and flow.”

Leicester: Schmeichel, Simpson, Morgan, Maguire, Chilwell, Mahrez (Gray 61), Ndidi, King, Albrighton (Slimani 80),Okazaki (Iheanacho 74) Vardy. Substitutes: Hamer, Amartey, Iborra, Fuchs.
Liverpool: Mignolet, Gomez, Matip, Lovren, Moreno, Can (Milner), Henderson, Wijnaldum, Salah, Firmino (Sturridge 64), Coutinho (Oxlade-Chamberlain 79). Substitutes: Karius, Klavan, Solanke, Alexander-Arnold.
Referee: A Taylor.

ALL PHOTOS: Simon Kimber.

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Leicester scrape a draw at Huddersfield

Huddersfield Town 1:1 Leicester City

Huddersfield Town v Leicester City, Premier League, 16 September 2017

City failed to impress at the John Smith’s Stadium on Saturday, but came away with a point from Huddersfield thanks to a Jamie Vardy penalty…

Craig Shakespeare made three changes to his side, with James injured and Fuchs surffering an eye injury on the training ground, bringing in King and Chilwell, while Iheanacho made his full debut up front.

The raucous atmosphere from a set of fans who are absolutely chuffed to be in the Premier League spurred Town on to a lively start. They were on top in the opening spell, and Depoitre looked impressive on his debut, sending a thumping header into Schmiechel’s grasp.
While City were squandering possession, Town played with more urgency and were dominating possession.
City’s first chance came in the 18th minute when Smith slid in with a fine tackle as Iheanacho was about to pull the trigger.

Huddersfield Town v Leicester City, Premier League, 16 September 2017

The game settled into a midfield hustle and bustle, with few moments of inspiration, and it was a minute before the break before City went close again, Vardy hooking an effort over the bar from a tight angle.

If the first half had been deservedly goalless, the game burst into life 40 seconds after the break. Kachunga played a ball forward to Depoitre, and the big Belgian turned Maguire and then raced ahead of him to slot an angled drive past Schmeichel.
There was pandemonium in the home areas, but City struck back within four minutes.
King played a one two with Iheanacho, and burst into the area, where his progress was halted by a trip from Lowe.
Vardy blasted his penalty down the middle and it was all square again.

Huddersfield Town v Leicester City, Premier League, 16 September 2017

Huddersfield found the net again in the 61st minute, but Kachunga was ruled to be offside when he got a head to Jorgensen’s cross/shot from six yards out. It looked to be a very marginal decision that got City off the hook.
Soon after this Williams sent a 25 yarder narrowly wide.
Craig Shakespeare made a couple of changes, bringing Gray on for Albrighton and then Okazaki for Iheanacho.
Okazaki almost had an instant impact, racing down the right and cutting a ball back for Mahrez, who flashed a ball across goal. Incredibly, what looked like an easy sidefoot home was completely missed by Vardy from two yards out.

Huddersfield Town v Leicester City, Premier League, 16 September 2017

In the 78th minute Mooy teed up Ince for a shot which curled two inches wide of the left hand post.
But Huddersfield hearts were in mouths in the 89th minute. Ndidi sent Gray in on the right and he tumbled in the penalty area under a Jorgensen challenge. Referee Jon Moss rightly ignored the penalty appeals with replays showing minimal contact.

At the final whistle both sides had to be content with a point, with Huddersfield the more disappointed.
Craig Shakespeare admitted:  “I think we have to look at it as a good point, I thought we were second best in the first half and if you’d offered me a point at half-time I would have taken it. We created more chances in the second half but I have to give credit to Huddersfield, they did to us what we normally do to teams.”

Huddersfield: Lössl, Smith, Jorgensen, Schindler, Löwe, Williams, Mooy, Kachunga (Quaner 74), Sabiri (Hogg 82), Ince, Depoitre (van La Parra 90).
Substitutes: Malone, Billing, Coleman, Hefele.
Leicester: Schmeichel, Simpson, Morgan, Maguire, Chilwell, Mahrez, Ndidi, King, Albrighton (Gray 65), Iheanacho (Okazaki 69), Vardy (Slimani 82). Substitutes: Hamer, Dragovic, Amartey, Iborra.
Referee: J Moss. Attendance: 24,129.

ALL PHOTOS: Simon Kimber.

———————————————————-

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Kante strike sees Leicester edged out by Chelsea

Leicester City 1:2 Chelsea

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Goals from Morata and Kante were enough to ease Champions Chelsea to victory over City at the KPS on Saturday.

With Okazaki suffering from jet lag after international duty, Slimani made the starting line-up, the only change to Craig Shakespeare’s side. Adrien ’14 seconds’ Silva watched from the stands, and Danny Drinkwater from the Chelsea bench.
In a lively opening spell Morata saw his shot saved by Schmeichel, while Vardy’s low cross from the left flashed across the goalmouth with no blue shirt on hand to apply a finishing touch.
Vardy then chased down Courtois after the Chelsea keeper took a poor first touch to a back pass, but the clearance was made with inches to spare.
Chelsea then settled into their stride and City had some defending to do, with Morgan producing a couple of vital blocks to keep them at bay.

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In the 25th minute City broke upfield and Mahrez set up Vardy for a shot across Courtois that beat the far post by a couple of yards.
Morgan then produced another good block to deny Morata.
Chances were rare for City, with Chelsea dominating possession,  but they should have taken the lead five minutes before the break.
Mahrez raced upfield, with Vardy unmarked on his left, but as the Chelsea defence caught up he opted to pass to Slimani whose shot was brilliantly saved by Courtois.
A minute later this missed opportunity was compounded when Chelsea took the lead.
Azpilicueta delivered an inch perfect cross from the right and Morata rose above Morgan to plant a header past Schmeichel.
As City pressed forward looking for an instant reply James had a shot blocked by Bakayoko.
In a sudden heavy shower, the last action of the half saw Schmeichel save a well-struck Moses effort.

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Craig Shakespeare had a reshuffle at the break, bringing Gray and King on for Slimani and Albrighton, but City went two goals down five minutes into the second half.
Kante was given an acre of space to line up a 25 yard shot which Schmeichel saw late, and it crept beyond his reach into the bottom left hand corner.
City had a big job on now, and Chelsea were content to sit back and let them try to pick their way through with everyone behind the ball.
After much sideways passing to little effect City got a break on the hour when Courtois clumsily upended Vardy in the box.
Although it looked as though Mahrez wanted to claim the spot kick, before James dissuaded him, Vardy placed the ball and crashed it home.

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With City pressing forward in search of an equaliser referee Lee Mason then angered the home crowd following a clash of heads between James and Willian, that looked like a foul on the City player. Not only did Mason proceed with a drop ball, but he told Vardy it couldn’t be contested, somewhat exceeding his juristiction.
Iheanacho then replaced James as City looked to strengthen their forward line.
Although Willian went close with a couple of efforts, City piled on the pressure with time running out.
Vardy was inches short of getting his head to a King cross, and the Chelsea defence dealt with crosses from Fuchs and Gray.

The final whistle heralded a third defeat in four games which, despite the toughness of the opening fixtures, was not a good start to the season.

Craig Shakespeare summed up:  “When we got back to 2-1 we just couldn’t find that final bit that was required to get something from the game and I just feel at the moment the big moments aren’t going our way.”

With City at the wrong end of the table, some big moments need to start going their way soon.

Leicester: Schmeichel, Simpson, Morgan, Maguire, Fuchs, Mahrez, Ndidi, James (Iheanacho 78), Albrighton (King 45), Slimani (Gray 45), Vardy. Subs Not Used: Chilwell, Hamer, Amartey, Ulloa.
Chelsea: Courtois, Azpilicueta, David Luiz, Rüdiger, Moses (Zappacosta 74), Kanté, Bakayoko, Alonso, Pedro (Willian 63), Fàbregas (Hazard 78), Morata. Subs Not Used: Caballero, Drinkwater, Batshuayi, Christensen.
Referee: L Mason. Attendance: 30,923.


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Leicester lose out in opening night thriller

Arsenal 4:3 Leicester City

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Despite twice taking the lead, City went home with nothing from a thrilling season curtain-raiser at the Emirates, suffering a late collapse and losing 4-3 to Arsenal…

The last City player to score a winner at Arsenal was Mike Stringfellow, in 1973, so this trip is always made more in hope than expectation.
With Huth, Iborra and Drinkwater ruled out through injury, and Iheanacho not quite up to match fitness, it was difficult to argue with Craig Shakespeare’s first starting line-up of the season. Maguire made his debut in defence, and James started his first game for City in over two years.
However, less than two minutes into the 2017-18 season City found themselves a goal down. Elneny curled a cross into the area, and an unmarked Lacazette had time and space to direct a header past Scmeichel from ten yards.
But City responded well and were level just three minutes later. Albrighton swung in a cross from the left, Maguire nodded it back across from the goalline and Okazaki leapt the highest to head past Cech from close in.
In a lively opening spell there were chances for Oxlade-Chamberlain and Vardy as play swept from end to end.
A good passing move from Arsenal then ended with Welbeck having a goalbound shot blocked by Maguire.
Arsenal had the upper hand by this stage and threatened again when Kolasinac fired in a shot which Schmeichel tipped away at the near post.
But it was City who took a 29th minute lead with a classic break. Albrighton hared down the left and delivered a cross into the goalmouth, which Vardy sidefooted home from four yards, having slipped between two defenders.

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City pressed forward again, and this time it was Fuchs who delivered a good cross from the left, Okazaki going inches wide with his header.
Loud appeals for a penalty were turned down by referee Mike Dean who recognised that Kolasinac had been a yard away when he struck the ball at Ndidi’s arm.
But City didn’t make it to half time with their lead. After a scramble on the edge of the area Arsenal passed their way through City’s back line, but with the entire City defence appealing for offside, Kolasinac squared for Welbeck who steered the ball past Schmeichel from close range with seconds of the half remaining.

The second half started in more pedestrian fashion than the first, and City created the first real chance when a good ball forward from Mahrez saw Vardy outpacing two defenders, but Cech had timed his run well to come out and sweep up.
Vardy didn’t have long to wait for his second goal of the season, as City regained the lead in the 56th minute. Mahrez delivered a corner from the right and Vardy took advantage of slack marking to rise and direct a header in at the far post.

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Arsenal began to press forward and Schmeichel blocked a long range effort from Oxlade-Chamberlain and then smothered an effort from Bellerin at his near post.
The pressure then increased when Arsene Wenger introduced  Ramsey and Giroud to the action. Ramsey immediatley went close with a header, under pressure from Fuchs.
Craig Shakespeare made his first change in the 72nd minute, bringing on Amartey for Okazaki, before Ozil and Oxlade-Chamberlain both sent shots narrowly wide of the left hand post.
City were fighting a rearguard action, which Shakespeare attempted to relieve by bringing on Iheanacho for James, to give City more presence up front. But it appeared to backfire with the home side equalising in the 83rd minute.
A blatant handball from Ozil wasn’t seen by the referee and from the resulting corner Ramsey was allowed too much space on the right and had time to line up a shot past Schmeichel to level the game.
Worse was to follow two minutes later when Arsenal went ahead, Giroud winning a battle with Maguire to head home from a corner.
It was a heart-breaker for City and their followers, and despite throwing everything forward in five minutes of time added on, they couldn’t find a way through.

The winless run away to Arsenal now stretches to 44 years, but there was plenty to be optimistic about with this performance.

Craig Shakerspeare commented:  “We spoke about being compact and being a threat with the pace of Vardy. We executed that well. We’re disappointed to score three and come away with a defeat.”

Arsenal: Cech, Holding (Giroud 67), Monreal, Kolasinac, Bellerín, Elneny (Ramsey 67), Xhaka, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Özil, Welbeck (Walcott 75), Lacazette.
Subs Not Used: Ospina, Iwobi, Mustafi, Coquelin.
Leicester: Schmeichel, Simpson, Morgan, Maguire, Fuchs, Mahrez, James (Iheanacho 82), Ndidi, Albrighton (Gray 88), Okazaki (Amartey 72), Vardy.
Substitutes: Chilwell, King, Hamer, Slimani.

Referee: M Dean. Attendance: 59,387.

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Leicester denied top half place by linesman’s flag

Leicester City 1:1 AFC Bournemouth

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City rounded off their season as Champions with a 1-1 draw with Bournemouth at the KPS on Sunday, but they were robbed of a top half finish after Vardy was ruled offside for what should have been the winning goal…

Craig Shakespeare, in what could be his final game in charge, made two changes to his side, bringing in King and Slimani for Amartey and Okazaki.
But City, wearing next season’s kit, were caught napping in the first minute.
As Bournemouth broke upfield, Mousset got past Simpson and Fuchs down the left touchline, Fraser ran on to the loose ball and was upended by Simpson but the ref waved play on. Mousset was following up for a shot which was blocked by Chilwell, but Stanislas was following up to find the net.
This early setback rocked City and another Bournemouth cross zipped across the face of goal with no takers.
City created their first chance in the 9th minute. From a Fuchs long throw Mahrez attempted a spectacular overhead kick. It was headed clear as far as Chilwell, whose first time effort went well off target.

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Bournemouth almost went further ahead in the 25th minute, but Schmeichel tipped away a well-struck 22 yarder at full stretch.
City were struggling to get their game together, and didn’t really threaten the Cherries until late in the half.
Vardy sent Mahrez into the area but he was well tackled by Daniels when poised to strike. From the resulting corner Ndidi sent his header straight at Allsop, who gathered at the second attempt.

City got their act together in the second half, and levelled in the 51st minute.
Chilwell swung in a cross from the left, which Slimani nodded back across goal where Vardy was lurking unmarked to prod him his 13th goal of the season from two yards.

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Soon after this equaliser Benalouane was lucky not to see a second yellow card after a foul on Fraser, and he was replaced by Amartey.
A minute after this change Vardy appeared to have given City the lead after slicing through the Cherries defence, setting up Slimani, whose shot deflected back for him to net. The linesman halted the celebrations flagging for offside, but replays clearly showed Vardy to be level with his marker.
Vardy had a couple of chances after that, but Allsop denied him, while Slimani sent a volley off target.
Gray replaced Albrighton in the 73rd minute and the winger was given a standing ovation as he left the field, in acknowlegement of his unstinting effort this season.
City pressed forward in search of the winner that would give them a top half finish. Ndidi flashed a long range shot narrowly wide, and Chilwell sliced an effort wide of the near post. The best chance fell for Slimani, in the 85th minute when he rose at the far post to meet a Mahrez free-kick, but his header across goal went inches wide of the right hand upright.

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City had to be content with a point and a 12th place finish which, coupled with a Champions League quarter-final place, had to represent a very satisfactory season for a side that had been involved in the relegation scrap for a few months.
For Marcin Wasilewski it was definitely goodbye, and he was given a great send off by the crowd. How many others will follow him out of the door, only time will tell.
Craig Shakespeare didn’t seem to know what the future held for him:  “I’ve read the owner’s programme notes and we’ll sit down – there’s no given time. It is the end of the season and I will wait for that meeting. Of course they have made their decisions for the good of the club and for the future of the club. We’ll sit down and I’ll wait for those discussions.”

Leicester: Schmeichel, Simpson, Benalouane (Amartey 59), Fuchs, Chilwell, Mahrez, King, Ndidi, Albrighton (Gray 73), Vardy, Slimani. Subs Not Used: Musa, Kapustka, Okazaki, Zieler, Wasilewski.
Bournemouth: Allsop, Smith, Francis, Cook, Daniels, Stanislas, Gosling, Surman, Pugh (Ibe 63), Fraser (Worthington 74), Mousset (Afobe 62). Subs Not Used: Ramsdale, Smith, Cargill, Surridge.

Referee: L Mason. Attendance: 32,000. 

PHOTOS: Simon Kimber.

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Vardy strike sees Leicester edge out Albion

West Bromwich Albion 0:1 Leicester City

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Any lingering fears that City had about relegation were dispelled as City beat West Brom at the Hawthorns on Saturday afternoon, thanks to a Jamie Vardy strike just before half time…

Craig Shakespeare made one change for this trip to his former club, bringing in Okazaki for Ulloa, in a fixture that had seen a City victory in three of the last four encounters.
Any thoughts that Mark Clattengburg might have an easy time of it in his last Premier League game were soon dismissed as the early stages turned into a physical battle.
Benalouane hit Rondon from behind, but Brunt sent the 25 yard free-kick sailing over the bar.

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Tackles were flying in, and Drinkwater was perhaps lucky to see only a yellow card after a ball-winning challenge with a foot in the air that sent Chadli flying.
Albion’s best chance of the half came in the 18th minute when Evans long cross to the far post was met by the head of Brunt, but Schmeichel pulled off a spectacular save to tip it over the bar.
The cuts and bruises mounted up as Benalouane and McAuley clashed heads and the Albion man had to have treatment for a cut and reemerged with a Basil Fawlty bandage.
Yacob was then lucky that Clattenburg was in last day mode, seeing yellow after planting an elbow into Okazaki’s jaw.

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Brunt then sent Chadli in down the right, but his shot didn’t trouble Schmeichel at the near post.
Neither side were playing with much fluency and a scrappy encounter looked like it was going to be scoreless at the break, until City were gifted a 43rd minute lead.
Rondon had come deep to break up a City move, but sent a wayward pass into the path of Okazaki, who slid a perfect ball in for Vardy to produce a cool finish past Foster.

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In first half injury time Rondon got his head to a Chadli corner but sent it narrowly off target and City took a precious lead in with them at the break.

City created the first chance of the second half when Vardy fired in a low cross from the left, but it was a yard ahead of Okazaki’s reach in the middle.
Albion began to apply some pressure, but they hadn’t found the net in the previous four games. Rondon fired in a shot that was too close to Schmeichel, Yacob sent another shot well over, and Dawson headed wide from a free-kick. Dawson’s next header, from a corner, was on target, but deflected over the bar off Brunt.
City broke forward and Drinkwater sent Mahrez in on the right. He sidestepped Nyom and fired in a low shot that brushed the outside of the right hand post.
Drinkwater fouled on Morrison on the edge of the area, but Chadli’s free-kick flew a yard over the bar.
Craig Shakespeare made his first change in the 67th minute, bringing Ulloa on for Okazaki, as West Brom began to press hard in search of an equaliser.
City’s defence dealt with everything that was thrown at them and Albion’s goalless streak stretched to a record fifth game.
Mahrez had a chance to extend City’s lead but couldn’t get the intended curl on his shot, which went well wide.
Rondon wasted a good chance, and then Chadli almost nipped in when Huth left a ball for Schmeichel, but City saw out the game for their second away win of the season.

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It took them to 40 points, and while not quite mathematically safe, the players went over to the away fans at the end to celebrate another virtually guaranteed year of Premier League football.
Craig Shakespeare was waiting for the rubber stamp when asked about safety: “No, I’m not going to say so. Of course, it takes another giant step towards it. We knew it would be a difficult game today but what I will say about it was that it was a real gutsy performance.”

Albion: Foster, Dawson, McAuley, Evans, Nyom (McClean 60), Livermore, Yacob (Fletcher 69), Brunt, Morrison (Leko 79), Chadli, Rondon. Subs Not Used: Wilson, Myhill, Harper, Field.
Leicester: Schmeichel, Simpson, Benalouane, Huth, Fuchs, Mahrez (King 81), Drinkwater, Ndidi, Albrighton, Okazaki (Ulloa 67), Vardy. Subs Not Used: Chilwell, Amartey, Slimani, Zieler, Gray.
Referee: M Clattenburg. Attendance: 24,611.

PHOTOS: Simon Kimber.

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Leicester’s European Adventure ended by Atletico masterclass

Leicester City 1:1 Atletico Madrid (1:2)

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City’s wonderful European Odyssey came to an end at the King Power on Tuesday night when Atletico Madrid’s first half away goal simply gave them too much to do…

Craig Shakespeare made one change from the first leg six days previously, with Morgan returning from his injury lay-off to replace the suspended Huth.
The teams emerged to a cauldron of an atmosphere with a forest of metallic blue, silver and gold flags in the home areas and the away corner contributing their own display of scarves.

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After we heard the Champions League Anthem for a tenth time, the noise increased still further as the game kicked off, with Madrid attacking the Kop end.

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With the game so finely balanced, neither side could afford to throw too many men forward, and the early stages saw City probing forward and trying to send Vardy through, but Atletico’s defence appeared to have the measure of him.
Atletico’s first attacking move came in the 12th minute, but Simpson managed to slide in to block a dangerous looking run from Griezmann.
The visitors’ attacking spell continued with fast and accurate passing and Carrasco’s low cross almost found Koke in the middle.
Saul then fired a shot from the edge of the area well wide.

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Ndidi wasted an opportunity as he ran forward into space but mishit his shot straight at Oblak.
City had a good spell 20 minutes in. They won a corner, but a Benalouane foul meant that it came to nought. But they continued to press forward and a Mahrez through ball sent Vardy into the area on the left. His cross to the near post found Okazaki but he blazed it wide from 6 yards as a challenge came in.
Soon after this, Griezmann brought Mahrez down, but the winger delivered a tame free-kick straight into Oblak’s grasp.
City then broke again, but Mahrez delayed his pass to Vardy and the offside flag halted the move.
Just as in the first leg, an attacking spell for City ended with a goal for Atletico.

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Filipe Luis swung in a cross from the left and Saul timed his run perfectly to send a precise header beyond Schmeichel’s reach and into the net.
It was the goal that City couldn’t afford to concede, and left them needing three goals to win the tie.
Although the crowd roared City on, Atletico were in control now and looking every inch one of the top sides in Europe.
Carrasco curled in a shot that Schmeichel had to be sharp to catch, before Mahrez struck a volley through a crowded defence that didn’t have enough pace to trouble Oblak.
Carrasco then went on a solo run down the right, rode a challenge from Benalouane, and seemed intent on dribbling the ball into the net before Schmeichel managed to halt his progress with a sliding tackle at the right hand post.

Craig Shakespeare was faced with a huge challenge at half time and he made two changes, introducing Ulloa and Chilwell for Okazaki and Benalouane.
This changed City’s shape and immediately made life less comfortable for the Champions League finalists. Both subs looked lively as City launched one attack after another.
There was a scare in the 50th minute, however, when Griezmann raced down the right, and hit a low cross to Carrasco. Albrighton applied just enough contact to prevent him from getting on the end of it without conceding a penalty.
City kept up the frantic pace and when a header from Vardy dropped into some space in the area Chilwell fired a fine volley inches over the bar.
City finally managed to breach Atletico’s defence in the 61st minute. Albrighton swung in a dangerous cross from the right which reached Chilwell at the back post. His fierce shot was blocked, but as he appealed to the ref for handball, the loose ball fell for Vardy who stabbed it home from six yards.
City still needed two goals, but the noise around the stadium was clamorous, Madrid were out of their comfort zone, and the miracle was still on.

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Four minutes later City came so close to a second. A Fuchs long throw from the left saw Morgan win an aerial duel and the ball sat up nicely for Ulloa who blasted a shot on target, but Hernandez somehow managed to block.
As City continued to pile forward Mahrez set up Vardy on the penalty spot but this time it was Savic who managed to get in the way of a goal bound effort.
With Atletico pinned in their own half, Ndidi was the next to have a shot on goal, but he miskicked it wide.
As the game entered the final twenty minutes Albrighton delivered another cross from the right, but Vardy’s smart backheeled effort didn’t catch out Oblak.
Godin then brought Mahrez down on the edge of the area: he took the free kick himself but it flew narrowly over the bar.
City continued to threaten relentlessly with crosses from Albrighton and Chilwell and long throws from Fuchs, but time was running out for them.
With seven minutes left Morgan went down and stayed down, having to be replaced by Amartey. It was a sad sight to see him limping round the perimeter after his first game back from injury and he was given a standing ovation all the way.
Atletico still had the threat of Griezmann on the break but on one occasion Schmeichel came racing way out of goal to thwart him, and then he should have fed Torres but fluffed the chance.
As the game entered time added on City looked exhausted after an incredible second half performance and Atletico had more posession.
Schmeichel came up for a late series of corners, but City couldn’t will the ball into the net and the final whistle signalled the end of City’s awfully big adventure.

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Most of the crowd remained after the final whistle, bristlng with pride, and after Diego Simeone had sought out the City players for a consoling hug, there was a fitting lap of honour.
It had been said that Leicester would embarrass England in the Champions League. As the last English team in the competition, winners of their group, and unbeaten at home, this could not have been further from the truth.

Craig Shakepeare summed up: “The whole club, from the supporters to the players to the owners can be immensely proud. We had them rattled with the effort and commitment we showed. It’s no discredit to lose to a team of that calibre. I’ve just said to the players that they should want more of this and they’ve agreed that that’s what they want. All players want to play at the highest level and the Champions League is the highest level but we have to get back to winning ways in the Premier League now.”

Leicester: Schmeichel, Simpson, Morgan (Amartey 84), Benalouane (Chilwell 45), Fuchs, Mahrez, Ndidi, Drinkwater, Albrighton, Okazaki (Ulloa 45), Vardy. Subs Not Used: Musa, King, Zieler, Gray.
Atletico: Oblak, Juanfran (Hernández 55), Savic, Godín, Filipe Luis (Correa 74), Ñíguez, Gabi, Giménez, Koke, Carrasco (Torres 69), Griezmann. Subs Not Used: Moyá, Gameiro, Partey, Gaitán.
Referee: Gianluca Rocchi. Attendance: 31,548.

PHOTOS: Simon Kimber

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