Champions League

Foxes march on in Europe

2016-11-23 00:16
Riyad Mahrez (Getty Images)

Cape Town - Leicester progressed to the Champions League last 16 with a 2-1 win over Club Brugge in Group G at the King Power Stadium on Wednesday.

With only a 1-0 win needed to secure their spot in the knockout phase, Ranieri set up his side to remind Europe how they lifted the Premier League crown.

It took the hosts just five minutes to open the scoring, as they did in the first round, with Okazaki finishing off a vintage counter. Marc Albrighton did well to start the move off just outside his own half that sent left-back Christian Fuchs on a lung-bursting run down the flank.

His first-time cross evaded three Brugge defenders before the Japan international's volley found the roof of the net.

It went from bad to worse on the half-hour mark when Danny Cools failed to keep his composure and bundled Albrighton over with a clumsy challenge just inside the area. Mahrez stepped up to convert the resulting spot-kick with consummate ease, sending Ludovic Butelle the wrong way and smashing the ball down the middle.

In the second half, the visitors improved immeasurably with a bit more zip to their passing and movement, and Izquierdo handed the English champions a taste of their own medicine seven minutes in.

After picking up the ball from Jello Voosen in his own half, the Colombian forward went on a surging 60-meter run before cutting from the right and driving a rising shot past Ron-Robert Zieler.

The goal seemed to have disabled the Foxes' first-half dominance and opened a few chances for the Blauw-Zwart.

Substitute Jeffrey Schlupp nearly made an immediate impact when he stole the ball in the Brugge half, but his shot at goal went straight at Butelle, with Jamie Vardy and Demarcus Gray awaiting a simple lay-off.

Michel Preud'homme's men caused Leicester a few nervy moments late on, but they held firm to finish as Group G winners, ahead of FC Porto, with one game to spare.

 

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