Who saw them coming? I didn’t! That’s me stating it categorically. No one saw them coming when they went against all odds and won the premier league in the 2015/2016 season with a 10 points gap off the second placed team. This meant they would represent England in the UCL as debutants, and they have done it in style. The only negative is the absence of Ranieri who brought them into European limelight.
Leicester went into the UCL as English champions amid cries from different schools of thoughts questioning their quality and ability to ably represent England like other experienced sides would. Their poor run in the league didn’t make matters any better but surprisingly they faltered in domestic games and shone brightly on UCL nights
They were placed in group G, alongside an experienced FC Porto, Copenhagen and FC Brugge. A stage where a fairly experienced Tottenham Hotspurs were bundled out.
- Won 4, drew 1 and lost 1 out of 6
- Scored 7 and conceded 6
- Garnered 13 points
- Topped the group against all odds
Voila! Into the round of 16 they went!
They were paired to face an in form and experienced Sevilla, putting Barcelona and Real Madrid on the lookout in pursuit of the Laliga Santander title. A side managed by an energetic and vibrant Jorge Sampaoli. Sevilla were clearly the favorites to progress, but the foxes had a thing or two to say to the amazement of fans and critics alike. Prior to the encounter, Leicester had never beaten Spanish opposition in any European competition.
Some stats over 2 legged RI6 tie against Sevilla
- Kasper Schmeichel was on hand, and definitely the key man as he saved 2 crucial penalties over the 2 legged tie
- Sevilla dominated possession in both ties. 68% to 32% in the first leg, and 67% to 33% in the second leg
- Sevilla had 579 completed passes to Leicester’s 171 in the first leg and 459 to 140 in the second leg
- 9 yellow cards and 1 red were issued over the two legs. 4 to Leicester, 5 to Sevilla with 1 red
Well, only maximum goals would guarantee a place in the next phase as Leicester outscored Sevilla with 3 goals to 2 and a clean sheet at home. A R8 place was guaranteed after the final whistle. Funny enough, Arsenal, an experienced team were knocked out in this stage. Man City have a cracker against Monaco in some hours, if they falter, Leicester will be the only team holding high the English flag in the last 8 of the UCL. Did you see that coming? I didn’t!
Going by the quality and caliber of teams who have already made it to the last 8, a tougher encounter most certainly awaits the foxes. They’ve shown they have the character. Let’s watch and see how far they can still go in the competition. Who knows, another miracle might be on the cards. Meanwhile, Kudos to the Foxes for making history