Eight years ago, Leicester City played Scunthorpe in League 1. The Irons won today, staying top of the English third tier.
With a 2-1 win over Clubb Brugge, and a draw between FCs Porto and Copenhagen, Leicester City have won Group G of the Uefa Champions League. No really. It’s going really really well.
It’s fantastic. More than we could have imagined - Captain Morgan was understandably happy with the look of the table
Even with the added buzz of the competition, recent results and performances left the Foxes needing a lift. They got one very early on, in a move eerily reminiscent of last year’s success.
In the 5thminute , great defensive work from Marc Albrighton won the ball deep and a precise long ball found Jamie Vardy, who linked up very well with a breaking Christian Fuchs. The Austrian whipped in a dangerous low ball and Shinji Okazaki, working hard to get to the front post first, found the net with an emphatic left footed finish.
End to end in seconds.
The team immediately looked fired up, working hard to close down their opposition and win possession all over the pitch. Just three minutes after the goal, Mahrez nearly scored after he was picked out by a beautiful long ball from Andy King.
Brugge were not without threat, mostly through Izquierdo, but Huth and Morgan looked equal to the task, with Zieler only once called into action; a simple save from a long throw in.
The majority of the play, however, came from the boys in blue, with Vardy, Albrighton and Mahrez running past full backs with ease.
The pressure continued to build and on 28 minutes Albrighton, again breezing past his fullback, was brought down for a clear penalty, which Riyad Mahrez comfortably put away for his 4th goal in 5 Champions League games.
With a two goal cushion, Leicester looked almost too comfortable and the first half petered out with Leicester happy to pass the ball around and their opponents could do nothing to stop them. Commentator Robbie Savage described the action as “almost like a training game” for Leicester.
The Foxes started the second half in a similar manner, with a dangerous long throw from Fuchs nearly flicked in by vardy.
However, in the 52nd minute Brugge were right back in the game after a fantastic solo effort from Izquierdo. He beat Fuchs, powered into the box and smashed the ball into the top corner.
Leicester were the last team to concede in the competition this year, but Zieler will be disappointed to have been beaten at his near post.
While Leicester stayed on top, the away side were clearly boosted by their goal and looked much more dangerous on the counter after and did cause the defence a number of problems.
Vardy appeared to have broken his goalless streak with a neat backheel after another great cross from Fuchs, but he had strayed offside. Minutes later Brugge also had the ball in the net from an offside position.
Schlupp and Gray replaced Mahrez and Okazaki, presumably in an attempt to take back control of the game, but the changes didn’t work out. Wes Morgan was called on again and again for important clearances, before Brugge had a second goal disallowed for offside.
Eventually Daniel Amartey was introduced, replacing Marc Albrighton, but still Brugge came forwards, searching for an equaliser and a first point in the group.
In the end, with a little help from Zieler, who was booked for time wasting, eventually held on (although Gray had several chances to make it more comfortable).
What a fantastic achievement this is. Breathe it in. Savour it. Leicester City are through to the last 16 after dominating their Champions League group.
Make the most of this feeling, because Cassandra will be back for the recaps at the weekend and, while I'm not blaming her exactly, we do always seem to lose when she’s around...