Note: if you’re wondering why it’s not mentioned, this was written yesterday, before the Ranieri news came out.
Shane got this pretty much spot on. Leicester City’s loss to Sevilla in the first leg of their last 16 tie was probably one of the most satisfying losses in the history of the tournament. Some team’s will have progressed despite losing the second leg of course, but this really did feel like a win.
As bad as the performance was in many ways, the tie is still finely balanced; a 1-0 in the home leg putting the Foxes through on away goals. Of course, the performance for the most part would still have to improve a long way before any wins are likely.
Kasper Schmeichel - 9
Was peppered with shots throughout the night. The penalty save might have been his least impressive.
Danny Simpson - 6
Defending crosses at the far post is A) an underrated skill and B) quite possibly Simpson’s strongest attribute.
Wes Morgan - 5
Put in a bad situation for the penalty, but any defender should know to stay on their feet in that situation, especially one as experienced as Wes. He and Huth had a complete breakdown in communication for the 2nd goal.
Robert Huth - 4
Had two chances to clear before Morgan’s penalty, was just as culpable as his captain for the 2nd goal, and generally seemed to struggle with the areas of his game that used to be his strength.
Any chance of Huth winning a header today? - even BT Sport commentator (and ex Fox) Robbie Savage was frustrated by the big German
Christian Fuchs - 6
Was pushed right back by Sevilla’s pressure and couldn’t contribute in attack as he usually would. Unlike Simpson, was beaten for a goal at the back post, but the cross and header were so inch perfect and at such pace that few could have prevented it.
Ahmed Musa - 3
Just poor throughout. He doesn’t look like he’s on the same page as the rest of the team, which is only ok if he’s beating them by himself. Instead he was dribbling the ball out of play.
Danny Drinkwater - 7
The system used throughout the first half left far too much space between the lines that the two midfielders couldn’t hope to fill. Both put in a strong defensive shift though. Made a smart run and his pass for the goal was absolutely perfect. It felt like last year.
Danny Drinkwater: Only Danilo Pereira (46) has won possession in the middle third more times in the CL this season than Drinkwater (45) pic.twitter.com/wyoGGpqxnL— WhoScored.com (@WhoScored) February 21, 2017
Wilfred Ndidi - 6
Again, he covered a lot of ground and was admirable defensively. Like a to of our players, however, he was clearly class below the opposition technically and struggled to hold onto or use the ball.
Marc Albrighton - 5
Another who seemed to the struggle with the technical talents of his opponents, with the ball and without. His defensive effort was impressive again, but he looked a little overmatched at times.
Riyad Mahrez - 6
He’s still not vintage Mahrez, but is he is getting involved more and his direct running worries defenders, even if he couldn’t quite finish them off. Moving him to the wing to cover for Musa’s defensive frailties says much much more about Musa than it does Mahrez.
Jamie Vardy - 7
For the first 15 minutes or so, I thought we looked capable and a big part of that was that the out ball to Vardy was actually working and we could retain possession, rather than giving it away as soon as we won it. Also, he scored! Get in the box, Jamie. It works. It really works.
Get in you beauty. Massive goal for Vardy and Leicester.— Gary Lineker (@GaryLineker) February 22, 2017
Demarai Gray - 7
Every time he ran with the ball, he looked just a few touches away from doing something great but, again, it never turned into much. Unusually his biggest impact came from his passing. His beautifully weighted ball to Drinkwater was every inch as good a pass as the assist it led to.
Daniel Amartey - n/a
Only came on to waste a bit of a time, really.
Overall, I’d say that was about as well as we could have hoped. Everything will be to play for at the King Power and we know they’ve got it in them now. Still, their chances will rest on a clean sheet from today’s Man of the Match, Kasper Schmeichel. If you disagree with my choice, please leave your incorrect picks below.