Leicester European dream still intact after Atletico loss
By Rik Sharma
MADRID (Reuters) - Leicester left the Vicente Calderon stadium with a 1-0 defeat by Atletico Madrid but their chances of reaching the Champions League semi-finals were still intact on Wednesday.
The Spanish side outplayed the English champions in their quarter-final first leg but were only able to leave with Antoine Griezmann’s penalty to their credit.
Leicester failed to register a single shot on Jan Oblak’s goal in the entire game and only had 36 percent possession but manager Craig Shakespeare was content with his team’s performance.
“We know it will be a very difficult return leg,” he told a news conference.
“We have a very good home record at the King Power. Our fans enjoy these Champions League nights.
“We need to create more chances. We need to attack more than we did tonight, but we are aware of what we have to do in the second leg.” Leicester were beaten 2-1 away at Sevilla in the first leg of their last-16 tie but earned a 2-0 victory in the second leg to progress 3-2 on aggregate.
Atletico coach Diego Simeone recognised the difficulties of playing at the King Power and said he expects a raucous atmosphere in Leicester. “In England we expect a fantastic football night," he said.(We’re ready for) a great atmosphere and a stadium with the fans on top of you. We expect a pure football night.
“Leicester knew what they wanted (here) and didn’t change the way they played.”
Leicester striker Jamie Vardy completed just one pass during the game as the visitors focussed on keeping Atletico at bay rather than trying to create any opportunities themselves.
On one of the rare occasions they did move forward the hosts made them pay, with Griezmann breaking at speed and being brought down in the area by Marc Albrighton.
(Editing by Ed Osmond)