Craig Shakespeare has been confirmed as manager of Leicester City until the end of the season after winning his first two games in charge as caretaker of the faltering Premier League champions.
The English champions rebounded from a 2-1 first leg defeat to beat Sevilla 2-0 and go through 3-2 on aggregate. “We had a game plan, we stuck to it and it came off perfectly”.
But we came back from a 2-1 defeat in an wonderful match that had all the drama of the attractive game – a red card, a penalty save, a shot off the crossbar which thankfully bounced out the right way and two goals to seal the game, knowing that one from Sevilla would’ve taken it into extra time and possibly penalties. “We don’t have much time to turn things around but we could not have got anyone better at this moment”.
Leicester, the defending Premier League champion, has endured a disappointing season but is enjoying a sort of revival since Claudio Ranieri was sacked following the loss to Sevilla.
He took up a grassroots coaching role at West Brom, rejoining forces with his old Wednesday team-mate Nigel Pearson, then West Brom’s assistant coach, who would take Shakespeare with him to Leicester.
“We deserve to be in the quarter-finals, we have just knocked out one of the best teams in Europe in my opinion”.
“Leicester are a unsafe and passionate team who can cause trouble for opponents who take the initiative”, said the Italy worldwide, 38.
“That is not to say we will be open as we know Sevilla have world-class players but it makes for an interesting game due to their away goal”.
“Incredible. I can’t quite believe it”. Of course I’ll be excited.
The defence was tight, the midfield was compact while attack pushed Sevilla all through the game.
The traditional club from southern Spain is a three-time defending champion in the Europa League, but it hasn’t advanced past the last 16 in the top European club competition since 1958.
Leicester has looked a lot more motivated since the departure of Ranieri, and although it was seen as a slap in the face, of sorts, to the manager that led them to the championship, you can’t argue with the result in the first game under Shakespeare.
Only three players from the two Champions League second round ties played on Tuesday, March 14 had more clearance than him. “The fans were absolutely magnificent and it was a great atmosphere”.
One-time Leicester striker Emile Heskey appeared to agree, telling the Straits Times in Singapore the players had hidden behind Ranieri and that their return to form after his departure reflected badly on them.
“I see myself going to bed in pain tonight, thinking that a dream has gone”.