Following a second leg comeback in the last round, I think many of us would have taken a narrow loss in the first leg against Atlético Madrid, and that’s exactly what we got. It wasn’t a great performance, the Spaniards dominated possession and created the better chances, but it was much better away performance than we showed in the last round.
In many ways, it was a typical Leicester City performance. Sit deep, set up two organised defensive lines and let your opponents shoot from range or put crosses onto Robert Huth’s head. The counter attack never really looked like breaking through, but the defence was strong and it took an unfortunately bad decision to concede.
Kasper Schmeichel - 6
Atlético had 68% of possession and took 14 shots, so it feels a little odd to say that Kasper had almost nothing to do. He rushed his distribution early on trying to make something happen, but it just gave away ball we really needed to keep hold of.
Danny Simpson - 6
Solid for most of the game, but was completely caught in no man’s land in the breaking leading to the goal. Not in an attacking position, but nowhere defensively.
The way we came back against Sevilla, we know we can do it - Danny and Cassandra disagree here, not for the first time I’m sure
Yohan Benalouane - 8
No matter how well the defence plays, when a team has 68% of the ball, they’ll get it into dangerous areas sometimes. Benalouane seemed to be there every time to intercept and clear. This was his first Champions League game. Amazing.
Robert Huth - 7
I thought he was equally good as his partner, and Madrid certainly had no one that could challenge him in the air, but he got himself needlessly booked, and that could really hurt his team if Morgan isn't back for the second leg.
Christian Fuchs - 7
A good defensive effort throughout. Was pinned back for most of the game, but in the Foxes one spell on top he whipped in a few dangerous crosses. Plus it’s always fun to see the long throw in a Champions League quarter final.
Riyad Mahrez - 6
Just didn’t quite have it. Nothing he tried to do seemed to come off and, while I’m all for calm defending, he needs to stop trying to dribble his way out of his own box.
Danny Drinkwater - 6
Took 15 minutes to really settle down and get into the game, which really showed because Atlético dominated that period, but after then did well.
Wilfred Ndidi - 7
I thought he looked the most comfortable midfielder on the ball. That was sacrificed a bit when he moved further back, but that certainly worked defensively.
Marc Albrighton - 5
It wasn’t a penalty. That doesn't mean it also wasn't a bad challenge and a bad decision. The rest of his game wasn’t that much better.
It wasn't a penalty. It was a free-kick, but outside the box. At the end of the day it's cost us the game - the manager didn't hold back in his assessment of the penalty
Shinji Okazaki - 5
I don’t know what he ref hated him and that certainly didn't help, but he was really not involved in the game. When his average position was in his own half, there’s no point keeping him on and replacing him with a midfielder was the right choice.
Jamie Vardy - 6
11 touches in 76 minutes is really not great. Not exactly his fault though and he worked hard to get the opportunities he did.
Andy King - 6
Used the ball very well when he had, but just wasn't as involved as you’d like.
Islam Slimani - 6
Didn’t have much time to make an impact, but did fit the game better than Vardy.
In the end it wasn't great, but it was good enough. Maybe the game goes differently without the goal, but this could well have been 0-0 and we’d have been delighted with that. They need to find a new way to break through, and we’re desperate for Morgan to come back, but with Man of the Match Yohan Benalouane the defence looks like it can provide the clean sheet we’ll need.