Leicester City are out of the Champions league following a 2-1 aggregate defeat against Atletico Madrid. Practically this ends Leicester’s incredible run of form which began with the team winning last year’s Premier League title.
Leicester City provided one of the most unexpected stories in modern football. First, the team defeated even the expectations of their most devoted fans by winning their first Premier League title. Lead by manager Claudio Ranieri the team easily qualified through Champions League group. This was the team’s first ever participation and it adding to the surprise.
A poor showing in the League saw next season’s Leicester City floating just above the relegation line. Many would have argued that the team was back in a position which would have been expected of them to begin with. However, the team’s board took action against the manager. Claudio Ranieri, the man practically responsible with this modern day miracle was sacked.
However, Leicester City persevered. Craig Shakespeare was given interim of the team. The English side had one more surprise to offer when they overturned a first leg loss to Sevilla and qualified for the Quarterfinals. Here they met Atletico Madrid, a team familiar with the final stages of the Champions League. Leicester City lost, but only with a narrow 2-1 aggregate result.
The second leg against Atletico was a testament to Leicester City’s spirit. The team was expected to lose by a clear margin, however they started out bravely with a 3-4-3 formation. Leicester City attacked and almost won. Saul Niguez scored for Atletico. Last season’s hero Jamie Vardy netted his sides only goal.
It ended 1-1, a score that sees Leicester City out of the competition. However, it was a good performance. And most impressively Leicester City ended the competition as England’s only remaining representative and the current EPL champions. Captain Wes Morgan congratulated his team-mates for their hard work. “We have to be proud of ourselves, we gave our all. In the second half, we threw everything we had at the goal. They had a few blocks on the line.”
Even Atletico’s manager Diego Simeone praised the Foxes spirited performance. “What a great performance from our competitors tonight. It was almost a pleasure to compete against them,” Simeone said. “They never gave up for one minute. They didn’t let their heads drop. We lived in fear all night of what they might achieve as they were coming forward … they pushed us all the way.”