Albrighton and Leicester targeting more major Champions League scalps
Leicester City goalscorer Marc Albrighton said the feeling at the final whistle after beating Sevilla outstripped their title-winning joy.
Marc Albrighton believes Leicester City can continue to cause problems for Europe's elite after rediscovering their Premier League title-winning form.
Albrighton scored the pivotal second goal as Leicester overturned a first-leg deficit to dump Sevilla out of the Champions League at the last-16 phase on Tuesday, with a raucous King Power Stadium lapping up a 2-0 triumph.
It was a far cry from their listless performance in the 2-1 defeat at the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan, after which popular boss Claudio Ranieri paid with his job.
Under the guidance of the Italian's number two Craig Shakespeare, Leicester built on back-to-back wins over Liverpool and Hull City that eased domestic relegation fears to overwhelm Jorge Sampaoli's Europa League holders – riding their luck late on when Kasper Schmeichel saved a Steven N'Zonzi penalty that would have taken the tie to extra time.
The gameplan of intense, relentless pressing and well-drilled, committed defending was right out of Ranieri's playbook from last season, with a sense of swagger returning to Albrighton and his team-mates.
"We made it about us, not worrying too much about them," the 27-year-old said. "Obviously they are a fantastic side and we had to be wary of them, of course we did, but ultimately we knew that if we turned up and played our game we would get the result.
"You don't enter a competition and aim not to win, do you? We want to go all the way, we believe we can.
"We believed we could beat Sevilla and we did. The next step is the quarter-finals, we'll take that as it comes."
An elite line-up of Barcelona, Real Madrid and Bayern Munich are among the teams lying in wait and Albrighton hopes Leicester are able to make such luminaries feel as uncomfortable as Sevilla did in the east Midlands.
2 - Both of Marc Albrighton's goals this season have come in the Champions League (also against Club Brugge). Occasion.— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) March 14, 2017
"I am not sure if they will fear us or think it's odd seeing Leicester among those names, so they might want [to draw] us," he said.
"Sevilla probably came here and didn't expect what they got, didn't expect us to be so in their face. If other teams come here, they will have to be wary of that."
Despite the visitors being down to 10 men following Samir Nasri's red card, Leicester were forced to dig in towards the final whistle and Albrighton said the feeling of jubilation at the end outstripped anything he had ever experienced in football – even that famous title win.
"Yes, it was some feeling," he said. "Through the game the fans were fantastic and after the game was something I've not experienced before, even probably when we won the league.
"That was special but this was a different place. I think the relief of it all played a massive part in it, along with the joy of winning the game. It was brilliant."