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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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Late Leicester show sees off Sunderland

Leicester City 2:0 Sunderland

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City recovered from a disjointed first half performance to mark up their fifth consecutive Premier League win, against Sunderland at the KPS on Tuesday night.

Craig Shakespeare made no changes to his side against bottom placed and seemingly doomed Sunderland, but City struggled to get their game together in a frustrating first half.
After an early chance for City when a Gray cross from the left was met by a near post flick from Okazaki, that went wide, the game settled into a pattern of Sunderland defending resolutely while attempting to counter attack on the flanks.
Larsson wa sa threat for the visitors, with one cross being nodded behind for a corner by Simpson, and another setting up Defoe for an off target effort.
In an even encounter, Huth forced a back-pedalling save from Pickford after getting his head to a Mahrez free kick, and Defoe sent a 25 yard shot wide. Ndong also capped a strong run with a near miss, before Gray cut in from the left, but his attempted curler into the top right, was finger-tipped wide by Pickford.
At the half time whistle Sunderland had just about had the best of the opening half, while City had struggled to get their passing game going.

The second half continued in much the same vein. Sunderland, now nine hours without a goal, had a couple of on target shots from Larsson and Defoe, but both went straight at Schmeichel.
Craig Shakespeare made a double substitution in the 62nd minute, with Albrighton and Slimani on for Gray and Okazaki, and it took just seven minutes to reap its reward.
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City immediately looked better for the change, and a downward header from Huth forced a good save from Pickford.
Then the two subs combined to give City a 69th minute lead.
Albrighton delivered an inviting cross from the left, and Slimani nodded it home from six yards out.
City kept the pressure up, with Slimani and Vardy both off target with decent chances, before they got a scare at the other end.
In the 77th minute an Anichebe shot took a slight deflection off Huth onto the post. Defoe, following up on the rebound, could only find the side-netting.

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Just a minute later City put the game to bed with a second goal, Albrighton the creator again. He chased what looked like a lost cause to beat Jones to a loose ball on the left, and then found Vardy in the middle with a slide rule pass which the England striker slammed home from 14 yards out.

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It was City’s fifth win from five Premier League games since Shakespeare took the reins, and took them into the top half of the table.

The City boss still urged a note of caution: “I couldn’t imagine going on this winning run when i got the job, especially when I saw the games in front of us. But it doesn’t seem easy and I’ve never felt really comfortable until the final whistle. I am still not going to say that we are safe, because other teams are capable of going on good runs. I have been in football for long enough to know anything can happen. We have to make sure we stay focused and move onto the next one.”

Leicester: Schmeichel, Simpson, Benalouane, Huth, Fuchs, Mahrez, Ndidi (King 82), Drinkwater, Gray (Albrighton 62), Vardy, Okazaki (Slimani 62). Subs Not Used: Chilwell, Amartey, Zieler, Ulloa.
Sunderland: Pickford, Jones, Kone, Denayer, Oviedo, Cattermole (Anichebe 73), Ndong, Rodwell (Gibson 80), Larsson (Khazri 73), Defoe, Borini. Subs Not Used: Mannone, Djilobodji, Manquillo, Januzaj.

Referee: G Scott. Attendance: 31,757. 

PHOTOS: Simon Kimber

———————————————

We are simple folk here at Fox Towers, we have previously only offered a season subscription to the fanzine. But now we have decided to offer a further option of a year long subscription so you can hop on at any time, starting with the current issue and renewing a year later. 

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Leicester sink Stoke with two wonder strikes

Leicester City 2:0 Stoke City

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City continued their winning run, with a comfortable 2-0 win against Stoke at the KPS on Saturday…

Craig Shakespeare made one change to his line-up, with Albrighton feeling unwell and making way for Gray.
The game kicked off in misty conditions after the Chairman’s birthday fireworks and after an attacking start from Stoke, City soon got into their stride and were looking threatening going forward.
Mahrez launched a free-kick into the area, and after some pinball in the box, Benalouane failed to get a clean strike when well placed.
Gray then went on a run across the 18 yard line but was eventually crowded out by the Stoke defence.
In the 16th minute Gray went on the charge again, down the left, but was cynically felled by Shawcross who recieved a yellow card. Gray looked to be hurt and shaken by the late challenge, but soon recovered.
Fuchs delivered the free kick, but Huth’s header was cleared off the line and Vardy couldn’t quite reach the rebound.

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After a Stoke corner City broke upfield and Gray fired a 20 yarder inches wide of the left hand post, but the opening goal arrived in the 26th minute.
Ndidi ran onto a ball from Simpson, took a touch into space, and then launched a superb 25 yarder into the top right hand corner,  giving Grant no chance.

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City continued to attack and Whelan was the second Stoke man in Lee Mason notebook for a foul on Gray. Mahrez’s volley from Fuchs’ free kick was blocked, before Stoke had a rare chance when Arnautovic’s shot on the turn found the side-netting.
City couldn’t add to their tally before the break: a Gray shot was deflected wide, Okazaki’s overhead kick went narrowly over the bar, and a fine shot on the run from Mahrez was brilliantly tipped round the post by Grant.

But City doubled their lead just two minutes into the second half.
Gray reached a dead end down the right and fed the ball back to Simpson who chipped a well-measured cross into the area. Vardy nipped ahead of Johnson and lashed a fierce volley home from 10 yards.

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City pressed on looking for a third goal. Fuchs forced a good save from Grant, and Okazaki was also denied by the Stoke keeper from close range.
Grant’s busy afternoon continued… Vardy made swift progress down the left, evading two defenders to get a low cross in for Mahrez, who sent his close range effort straight at Grant. Mahrez retrieved the ball, and fired in another shot which Grant also blocked.
The visitors then had their best spell of the afternoon as they desperately tried to find a way back into the game. Subsititute Crouch sent an effort wide, before Arnautovic netted but was harshly judged to have been offside. His glare at the linesman would have turned milk.
Shakespeare used his allocation of subs in the final fifteen minutes, with Amartey, Slimani and Chilwell coming on for Okazaki, Vardy and Gray.
Grant pulled off further saves to deny Gray and Mahrez, before Crouch wasted a great chance, heading over from close in.
The final whistle saw Craig Shakepeare setting a record – the first British manager to win his first four Premier League games, while City climbed up to 13th place.

Shakespeare, who joined a club comprising off  Jose Mourinho, Guus Hiddink, Carlo Ancelotti, Pep Guardiola, commented: “Sometimes have to pinch yourself in terms of the names being mentioned. I’m at a very early stage in my management career but to be mentioned in the same breath of them makes me very proud. I realise there’s a lot people to thank along the way, in terms of my previous managers when I’ve been an assistant, but also the players. Confidence is a big thing and we’ve managed to keep the run going. We’re still not safe.”

Leicester: Schmeichel, Simpson, Benalouane, Huth, Fuchs, Mahrez, Drinkwater, Ndidi, Gray (Chilwell 87), Okazaki (Amartey 73), Vardy (Slimani 81). Subs Not Used: Musa, King, Zieler, Ulloa.
Stoke: Grant, Johnson, Shawcross, Martins Indi, Pieters, Arnautovic, Allen, Whelan (Adam 70), Sobhi, Walters (Crouch 54), Berahino (Diouf 70). Subs Not Used: Muniesa, Afellay, Imbula, Given.

Referee: L Mason. Attendance: 31,958. 

———————————————

We are simple folk here at Fox Towers, we have previously only offered a season subscription to the fanzine. But now we have decided to offer a further option of a year long subscription so you can hop on at any time, starting with the current issue and renewing a year later. 

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Leicester dig deep at West Ham for first away win

West Ham United 2:3 Leicester City

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A flying start, and a grimly determined finish, delivered City’s first away win of the season at West Ham on Saturday afternoon…

Craig Shakespeare made one change for City’s first trip to the London Stadium, with Benalouane in for Morgan, who injured his back against Sevilla.
And they got off to a great start, taking a 5th minute lead. Mahrez cut in from the right a swung in a cross that flew straight into the net, with Hammers keeper Randolph distracted by Okazaki’s attempted header.
Just two minutes later, the away end was celebrating again as City doubled their lead.
From a free-kick, Mahrez fed Albrighton on the edge of the area and his lofted flick found Huth on the six yard line, the German nodding home City’s second.

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West Ham’s afternoon then got worse when Reid pulled up while running for the ball and had to be replaced by Snodgrass.
But the home side began to get into their stride and pulled a goal back in the 21st minute.
Drinkwater fouled Antonio 25 yards out for a West Ham free-kick. Lanzini got it over the wall and just inside the left hand post with an excellent strike that left Schmeichel rooted to the spot.

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As West Ham pressed for an equaliser Antonio set up Ayew for a shot, which failed to hit the target. Then Antonio had a shot deflected into Schmeichel’s arms, before Carroll had a goal ruled out by the linesman’s flag.
Ayew then headed over when well placed, before City struck again in the 39th minute.
A Mahrez corner led to a scramble in the goalmouth, then Vardy seized on the loose ball lashing it into the roof of the net.

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Although Lanzini sent a shot narrowly wide, City took a two goal cushion in at the break.

Early in the second half, Benalouane tried an ambitious free-kick from the halfway line, but didn’t catch Randolph out as he collected it under the bar.
A fine Mahrez ball then sent Vardy in on goal, but he was off balance and sent his shot wide.
The home side began to crank up the pressure again, and Schmeichel got down smartly to tip a Lanzini’s free kick round the post.
West Ham reduced City’s lead in the 63rd minute. A Lanzini corner from the left was nodded back by Carroll at the far post, and Ayew headed home from close in.
It left a long time to defend a single goal lead, but City, now looking tried after their midweek heroics, dug deep to cling on to their precious lead.
As West Ham piled on the pressure, Craig Shakespeare made a double change in the 76th minute – Musa and Slimani replacing Vardy and Okazaki.
A minute later Carroll’s far post header forced a brillaint save from Schmeichel.
Ayew then blasted over from close in, with an equaliser looking imminent. Drinkwater cleared a Kouyate effort off the line as play became frantic.
What looked like a dislocated finger for Benalouane, held up play for a while and seemed to take the impetus away from West Ham. But they still looked certain to level in the 90th minute when Carroll found himself with just Schmeichel to beat from close range.
City’s captain for the day spread himself well and blocked the shot with a fantastic save.
City weathered six minutes of time added on, to claim three points away for the first time in eleven months.

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It was an immense performance from City and Craig Shakespeare commented: “There is no secret. I think hard work, commitment and endeavour, we showed all of them today, along with some good footballers. We scored the goals at the right time today. It gave us a foothold in the game. There is no secret. The hard work is paramount to success and we have to keep doing that.” 

West Ham: Randolph, Byram, Fonte, Reid (Snodgrass 18), Cresswell (Masuaku 73), Kouyate, Obiang (Fernandes 67), Ayew, Lanzini, Antonio, Carroll. Subs Not Used: Nordtveit, Feghouli, Adrian, Collins.
Leicester: Schmeichel, Simpson, Benalouane, Huth, Fuchs, Mahrez (Chilwell 87), Drinkwater, Ndidi, Albrighton, Okazaki (Musa 76), Vardy (Slimani 76). Subs Not Used: King, Amartey, Zieler, Gray.

Referee: R East. Attendance: 56,979. 

ALL PHOTOS: Simon Kimber

———————————

We are simple folk here at Fox Towers, we have previously only offered a season subscription to the fanzine. But now we have decided to offer a further option of a year long subscription so you can hop on at any time, starting with the current issue and renewing a year later. 

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For just £16.95 you will receive every issue of The FOX for twelve months, including the Summer Special, posted out to you on publication day.

If you subscribe now, FOX 202 will be posted to you straight away, and you will also receive a free set of City postcards.

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202-cover

THE FOX – THIRTY YEARS, AND WE’RE STILL HERE 

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Leicester stun Sevilla and reach the Champions League quarter finals

Leicester City 2:0 Sevilla (3:2)

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City produced a superb performance against Sevilla in the Champions League second round at the KPS on Tuesday night, a 2-0 victory making this perhaps the most glorious night in the club’s history…

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The atmosphere in the King Power was cranked up to 11, with an impressive Shakespearian ‘Let Slip the Dogs of War’ tifo display in the Kop end, and some great backing for the visitors in the away corner.

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Craig Shakespeare offered no surprises in his starting XI, sticking to the same side for the third game running, a formula that has worked for him up to now.
So we listened to the Champions League anthem for the eighth time, and we were off.

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Sevilla threatened early on, with Huth blocking Yedder’s progress, and then a fine touch by Nasri earned him some space in on the right to blast a shot from an angle that Schmeichel did very well to block with his left arm.
City began to press forward and in the 10th minute Ndidi was inches away from getting his head to an Albrighton corner, before Iborra blocked Mahrez’s shot from the clearance.
An Ndidi foul on Vitolo 25 yards out gave Sevilla a free-kick with possibilities, but Rami sent it sailing over the bar.
Nasri was then booked for clattering Ndidi, a yellow card that would have consequences later on.
In the 21st minute Sarabia dragged his shot wide from a decent position and Sevilla would soon rue that missed chance.
In the 27th minute, City turned the tie on its head. Iborra fouled Vardy out on the left and Mahrez lined up the free-kick. He floated a perfect ball into the area, which evaded the ruck in the middle and fell for Morgan to knee it home at the far post.

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This caused pandemonium around the ground and a frantic spell of play as Sevilla attempted an instant reply. Iborra had a shot blocked and Fuchs headed the resultant corner clear. Yedder then sent a shot into the sidenetting when well placed.
Mercado’s cross/shot then had to be tipped away by Schmeichel before City managed to calm things down.
They were the better side up to the break. Vardy had a shot blocked, Drinkwater fired an effort straight at Rico, and Fuchs made great progress down the left, staying on his feet after a foul in the area, but shooting straight at the keeper.
The half time whistle meant that City were 45 minutes away from a place in the quarter finals and the tension was almost unbearable.

This feeling worsened when Sevilla, with Mariano and Jovetic on for Mercado and Sarabia, had the best of the second half opening spell.
Huth cleared a dangerous low cross from Vitolo, and Fuchs got his head to a Nasri cross before a horrible moment in the 53rd minute when Escudero strode forward before unleashing a dipping 30 yarder that hit the underside of the bar.
It was a reminder of how narrow City’s ‘away goal lead’ was but a minute later City went ahead in the tie and the King Power erupted again.

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Okazaki had a shot blocked, Mahrez crossed the loose ball, Rami’s attempted clearance fell for Albrighton, who took a composed touch before firing a shot just inside the right hand post.
Although Sevilla could still force extra time with a goal, they looked rattled and weren’t causing City’s defence many problems.
Shakespeare made his first change in the 63rd minute, bringing Slimani on for Okazaki, who had run himself into the ground once again.
Vardy then wasted a good chance when Rico pushed a Mahrez cross into his path.
But the tie turned further in City’s favour in the 74th minute when Nasri lost his rag with Vardy following a tussle and appeared to be the main aggressor in a coming together of heads. He was shown his second yellow, but wasn’t prepared to go quietly into the night, having to be dragged off the field by his teammates.

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The FA Cup match at Millwall showed us that ten men can be better than eleven, and so it proved here, with Sevilla being awarded a 79th minute penalty.
Vitolo charged into the area and lifted the ball over Schmeichel, who then crashed into him. The referee pointed to the spot and booked the City keeper.
Silence fell around the ground and the spectre of extra time loomed, but N’Zonzi’s spot-kick was poor and Schmeichel saved low to his left.
A huge roar greeted the save and it looked as though the footballing gods were back on City’s side.

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Sevilla were losing their composure now, and coach Jorge Sampaoli was sent to the stands in a gibbering rage.
City continued to look for goals and Vardy sent a header straight at Rico with the goal at his mercy.
Slimani then went clear down the right, but stumbled in trying to round Rico and the chance was gone.
City last chance came in the 89th minute when Mahrez hared down the middle on the break, and set up Vardy, who snatched his effort over the bar, before giving his face a good pummelling in frustration.
Sevilla desperately pushed forward in the four minutes of time added on. Correa had a shot blocked and blazed another one over, but the final whistle eventually sounded and Leicester City were in the Champions League quarter finals.
You may have to read that sentence a few times.

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It had been a magnificent performance from every City player and this incredible journey continues.
Craig Shakespeare commented: “We deserve to be in the quarter-finals, we have just knocked out one of the best teams in Europe in my opinion. I think it has to stand right up there with all of our achievements because of the quality of the opposition. We know there will be some terrific teams in the last eight, as there were in the previous round, but we’re in there on merit – we might just be the surprise team.”

Leicester: Schmeichel, Simpson, Morgan, Huth, Fuchs, Mahrez (Amartey 89), Drinkwater, Ndidi, Albrighton, Okazaki (Slimani 63), Vardy. Subs Not Used: Zieler, Chilwell, King, Gray, Ulloa.
Sevilla: Sergio Rico, Mercado (Mariano 46), Pareja, Rami, Sarabia (Jovetic 45), Iborra, Nzonzi, Escudero, Vitolo, Ben Yedder (Correa 68), Nasri. Subs Not Used: Soria, Kranevitter, Vazquez, Lenglet.

Referee: D Orsato. Attendance: 31,520. 

ALL PHOTOS: Simon Kimber

———————————

We are simple folk here at Fox Towers, we have previously only offered a season subscription to the fanzine. But now we have decided to offer a further option of a year long subscription so you can hop on at any time, starting with the current issue and renewing a year later. 

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For just £16.95 you will receive every issue of The FOX for twelve months, including the Summer Special, posted out to you on publication day.

If you subscribe now, FOX 202 will be posted to you straight away, and you will also receive a free set of City postcards.

You can pay online via Paypal HERE  (UK price)

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202-cover

THE FOX – THIRTY YEARS, AND WE’RE STILL HERE 

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Leicester see off Tigers as revival continues

Leicester City 3:1 Hull City

1617-hull-home-e

City recovered from an early setback to produce a convincing 3-1 win against Hull at the KPS on Saturday…

Craig Shakespeare made no changes to the side that beat Liverpool. This game presented a different challenge, and City didn’t quite get off to the same high-octane start that they did against the Reds, but they created the first chance after 5 minutes when Morgan’s far post header from a Mahrez free-kick went wide of the target.
Vardy than delivered a dangerous cross from the left, but McGuire managed to intercept before it reached Albrighton.
Huth couldn’t convert a couple of chances in quick succession as City turned up the pressure, but then they found themselves a goal down after a quarter of an hour.

Leicester City v Hull City, Premier League, 4 March 2017

A wayward ball from Ndidi saw Hull racing froward. Clucas charged down the middle before feeding Niasse down the left. Grosicki overlapped and sent in a low cross, which Schmeichel palmed out only as far as Clucas who bundled it home from close in.
Despite this sucker punch, City didn’t let their heads drop and they were back on level terms before the half hour mark. Fuchs and Vardy combined smartly down the left, and then Vardy picked out Fuchs who had continued his run into the area. The Austrian’s sidefooter went straight at Jakupovic, but the Hull keeper allowed it to squirm past him and into the net.

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City dominated the rest of the half, with Vardy dangerous down both flanks, but the sides went in level at the break.

Hull began the second half with a purpose and McGuire brushed the left-hand post with one header, before sending another straight Schmeichel. But City soon regained control and Albrighton sent a long range effort over before Mahrez fired straight at Jakupovic.
In the 59th minute City took the lead, with a piece of Mahrez wizardry that has been lacking all season. Cutting in from the right he was faced with Maguire and Robertson, and he twisted and turned until he gained a yard of space and picked out the bottom right hand corner for a fantastic goal.
Hull came back in search of an equaliser and Grosicki’s free-kick forced a good save from Schmeichel.
Craig Shakespeare made his first change in the 69th minute, bringing Gray on for Okazaki.
Drinkwater then went close with a long range volley, before Slimani came on for Mahrez for the last ten minutes.
Fuchs then volleyed well off target before Hull had a decent spell and Schmeichel had to get down very smartly to tip low Niasse shot round the post. Niasse then fired a shot into the sidenetting as Hull threatened to equalise again.
The home fans could finally stop biting their nails in the 90th minute when an own goal sealed victory. A corner from the left was flicked on by Ndidi, and bounced off Huddlestone’s head and into the net before he could react.

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The Shakespeare revival continued, and the league table made for much better reading after six points, and six goals, in two games.

City’s caretaker boss commented: “In terms of our points, it has been a turnaround. Everyone looked at the game against Liverpool on Monday and to get the three points under pressure was important but to back that up with another win was vitally important. When you’re losing and down on confidence it can be hard. Am I surprised? No, because I know this squad and what they’re capable of.”

Leicester: Schmeichel, Simpson, Morgan, Huth, Fuchs, Drinkwater, Ndidi, Mahrez (Slimani 83), Okazaki (Gray 70), Albrighton, Vardy. Subs Not Used: Chilwell, King, Amartey, Zieler, Ulloa.
Hull: Jakupovic, Elmohamady, Ranocchia, Maguire, Robertson, Huddlestone, Markovic (Diomande 78), N’Diaye (Hernandez 68), Clucas, Grosicki, Niasse. Subs Not Used: Meyler, Elabdellaoui, Maloney, Marshall, Tymon.

Referee: M Dean. Attendance: 31,971. 

—————————————

We are simple folk here at Fox Towers, we have previously only offered a season subscription to the fanzine. But now we have decided to offer a further option of a year long subscription so you can hop on at any time, starting with the current issue and renewing a year later. 

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THE FOX – THIRTY YEARS, AND WE’RE STILL HERE 

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Leicester finally switch on to humble Liverpool

Leicester City 3:1 Liverpool

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Craig Shakespeare’s first game in charge of Leicester saw an emphatic 3:1 win over Liverpool at the KPS on Monday night…

The caretaker boss, who may well have staked a permanent claim to the job, sent out last season’s first choice side, with Ndidi in the Kante role, and also seemed to have summoned last season’s spirit.
Right from the start of the game, City looked like a completely different side to the one that had struggled through this Premier League campaign.
Vardy was haring around the turf and hurt Mane with a tasty challenge in the first minute. City pressed forward and Huth connected with an Albrighton throw, giving Mignolet a comfortable save.
The Liverpool keeper was more stretched by the next effot when Okazaki got his head to a mishit Vardy shot.
Liverpool’s first attack came in the 10th minute when Mane sent in a dangerous low cross from the right, but Ndidi extended a long leg to intercept.
City soon threatened again when Huth should have done better with a header from an Albrighton corner, but sent it well over.
Another chance arrived for City in the 20th minute when Vardy turned Lucas with a flick, but mistimed his connection as the ball dropped allowing Mignolet to block.
Huth blocked a fierce Coutinho effort as Liverpool came more into the game, but then City took a vital 28th minute lead with a goal that conjured up memories of last season.
A defence-splitting pass from Albrighton sent Vardy in down the right and he raced clear and fired home City’s first league goal of 2017 giving Mignolet no chance.

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Although this raised the KPS roof, Liverpool almost struck back straight away when Coutinho went clear of City’s defence down the left, but Schmeichel came racing out to block his shot.
City were soon on the attack again, Mahrez sent Vardy into the box but his clever back-heel was sidefooted over the bar by Ndidi.
City didn’t have to wait long for their second goal, however, and it was truly spectacular when it arrived in the 38th minute.
From a half-cleared corner, Albrighton sent a cross into the goalmouth and when Milner headed it clear it presented itself to Drinkwater on the edge of the area. He crashed home a perfect half-volley into the bottom right hand corner and the KPS went nuts again.
City took their 2-0 lead in with them at the break, with the crowd as well as the players needing to get their breath back.

Despite the two goal cushion, nerves were still jangling as Liverpool dictated play in the first period of the second half. This was a passage of play on which City’s whole season could hinge. Liverpool’s passing game was clicking into gear and Mane was beginning to look threatening.
But then City struck again to make it 3-0 on the hour.Mahrez and Fuchs combined well down the left and Fuchs dummied  a left foot cross, before delivering a perfect ball into the area with his right. There was Vardy, perfectly placed in the middle to direct a fine header into the bottom right corner to surely seal a fantastic victory.

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Klopp’s side were stung into action now, and City had some defending to do. Lallana went close with one effort , before the visitors narrowed the gap in the 68th minute. Can set up Coutinho, who found himself to space to run into and line up a a precise shot past Schmeichel.
This came soon after a touching ‘phone light’ tribute to Claudio Ranieri around the ground, which struck the right tone.
Shakespeare made his first substition after the goal, bringing on Amartey for Okazaki who had run himself into the ground.
Liverpool set up camp in City’s half again without actually creating many chances, and they were almost caught out on the break when Mignolet arrived in the nick of time as Vardy raced after a long ball forward.
Mahrez then went on a run down the right and into the box before being crowded out: he laid the ball off to Drinkwater who skied his effort when well placed.
Mahrez was then replaced by Gray.
Liverpool upped the pressure as the final whistle approached, but the City defence held firm.
Fuchs came within inches of a fourth goal in time added on, lobbing a long-range effort that had Mignolet backpedalling as it just cleared the bar.

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The final whistle brought emotional scenes. Last season’s Leicester had reappeared.
Perhaps we will never know why. Some fans had a strange mixture of elation and anger, thinking that the players had stitched Ranieri up by under-performing for most of the season. Others pointed to subtle changes like Ndidi playing a more defensive role and Drinkwater in a more effective forward position making the difference.
Perhaps it didn’t really matter. What mattered was that Leicester were back and looked much better equipped for the battle against relegation.

Craig Shakespeare, who may well be in charge for the remainder of the season and possibly longer, observed: “I think some of it is human nature when people criticise you there is bound to be a reaction. I know the criticism has hurt and perhaps there was a little more fire in the belly because of that. They know they are guilty of underperforming – but this is only one result and we must build on that.”

 

Leicester: Schmeichel, Simpson, Morgan, Huth, Fuchs, Mahrez (Gray 80), Drinkwater, Ndidi, Albrighton (Chilwell 90), Okazaki (Amartey 69), Vardy. Subs Not Used: King, Slimani, Zieler, Ulloa.
Liverpool: Mignolet, Clyne, Matip, Lucas (Woodburn 84), Milner, Lallana (Origi 66), Can, Wijnaldum, Mane (Moreno 66), Firmino, Coutinho. Subs Not Used: Karius, Klavan, Stewart, Alexander-Arnold.

Referee: L Mason. Attendance: 32,034. 

—————————————

We are simple folk here at Fox Towers, we have previously only offered a season subscription to the fanzine. But now we have decided to offer a further option of a year long subscription so you can hop on at any time, starting with the current issue and renewing a year later. 

postie-frank

For just £16.95 you will receive every issue of The FOX for twelve months, including the Summer Special, posted out to you on publication day.

If you subscribe now, FOX 202 will be posted to you straight away, and you will also receive a free set of City postcards.

You can pay online via Paypal HERE  (UK price)

Or send a cheque to:
The FOX,
22 Cosby Road,
Littlethorpe,
LEICESTER,
LE19 2HF

Annual subscription to EUROPE is £26.00: HERE

Annual subscription to REST OF WORLD is £32.00: HERE

202-cover

THE FOX – THIRTY YEARS, AND WE’RE STILL HERE 

 

 

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