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How Leicester City can advance to the Champions League semifinals

No, really.

Leicester City - Training & Press Conference Photo by Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images

As some eagle-eyed Leicester City fans might have spotted, the Foxes are currently in the quarter finals of the Champions League. We consider this quite a big deal, including the possibility that they’ll win and qualify for the semifinals. After a narrow loss to Atlético Madrid in the first leg, advancement is still entirely possible, so below we’ll run through the Champions League knockout rules, and how they effect possible scores tonight. Feel free to skip the next two paragraphs and jump straight to the advancement scenarios below.

Overall it’s simple, score more goals over the two ties to go through. Having scored more in the first leg, the advantage here is with Madrid of course. As you’ll probably remember from the Sevilla game, the Champions League has an away goals rule, in which a draw on aggregate is awarded to the team who scored more goals in their away leg. Since they failed to score in Madrid, Leicester can only lose or draw by this rule.

If the teams are level after the second leg and level on away goals, the match goes into extra time (two 15-minute periods). The away goals rule then also applies after extra time, if the teams are still level. If they still can’t be separated, the match will go to a penalty shoot out, which starts with both sides taking 5, and moves on to sudden death if they are still equal.

Which is a long way of saying:

Atlético win - Atlético advance

Draw - Atlético advance

Leicester win by one goal, but Atlético score at least one (2-1, 3-2 etc.) - Atlético advance

Leicester win by more than one goal - Leicester advance

Leicester win 1-0 - Extra time

1-0 after extra time - Penalties

It basically boils down to: Leicester need to keep a clean sheet and to score at least one. In fact, 1-0 will do just fine.

So that’s how, but can they? Well, yes. Of course they can. It won’t be easy and Madrid are favourites for a reason, but if they can learn their lessons from the first leg and produce their very best on the night, this one is still far from from over.

If they do pull it off, the draw for the semifinals will take place on Friday 21st April at 11.00am local time (6am Eastern, 3am Pacific). No teams are through yet, but the current leaders to meet them in the next round would be Real Madrid, Juventus and Monaco.