Club Brugge 0 – 3 Leicester City: Foxes triumph in Belgium
This Wednesday nights match saw Belgian champions Club Brugge host Premier League champions Leicester City for their first ever Champions League fixture.
Leicester City have never featured in the Champions League in any of the competitions format.
Their last European venture was a 4 – 1 defeat on aggregate to Atletico Madrid in the UEFA Cup (Now Europa League).
Leicester City entered Group G as number 1 seeds, which saw them avoid powerhouses such as Barcelona, Real Madrid and Bayern Munich.
- 9/14 – Club Brugge 0 – 3 Leicester City: Foxes triumph in Belgium
- 9/14 – UCL: Leicester City projected lineup for UEFA Champions League Bruges battle
- 9/13 – UCL: Latest Leicester City injury news ahead of UEFA Champions League debut
- 9/13 – ‘Leicester City can win the CL’ – Danny Drinkwater
- 9/12 – Eduardo Macia is Leicester City’s new Head of Recruitment
This is due to the Champions League’s new seeding system, where by winning one of the major leagues, you automatically get placed into pot 1.
The foxes were the first team to enter Group G and were shortly followed by Porto, Copenhagen and tonights opponents, Club Brugge.
Like Leicester City, Club Brugge have had a very shaky start to their season.
The Belgian champions currently sit 10th in the table after winning just 7 points from 6 games.
The foxes have had an unexpected loss of form since the return of the Premier League.
Defeats to both Hull City and Liverpool have seen Leicester win just 4 points from 4 games and are currently sitting just above the relegation zone in 16th.
It’s not all doom and gloom for foxes fans however as they can expect club record signing to start today’s game after not featuring during Saturday’s thrashing at Anfield.
— Leicester City (@LCFC) September 14, 2016
Another point to take from the starting line up is summer signing Luis Hernandez coming in for Danny Simpson at right-back after Danny limped off during Saturday’s defeat.
A shaky start to the first half for the foxes saw Club Brugge’s striker Izquierdo played in behind Wes Morgan following a string of sloppy Leicester City passes.
Izquierdo was then 1 on 1 with Schmeichel who did fantastically well to make himself big, putting off Brugge’s main man who put the ball wide of the net. A huge opportunity for the home side.
Just minutes later Leicester City receive a throw in parallel to CLub Brugge’s box. We say throw in however with Luis Hernandez they may as well count as corners!
Hernandez launches the ball into the box and the keeper makes a complete hash of things. The ball then falls to Marc Albrighton who manages to get a foot in and slots it away into an open net.
1 – 0 to Leicester City after just 4 minutes! What a way to open your first ever Champions League fixture.
the 17th minute saw some positive leadership from Leicester City’s prolific striker Jamie Vardy.
Dropping deep to the halfway line he picked the ball up, turned and drove at the Belgian champion’s defence. After getting to the edge of the opposition box he tried to weave past his man and attempted to beat him for pace but is stopped in his tracks.
A positive opening 20 minutes from the foxes, the same however cannot be said for the hosts.
According to the telegraph, during the period between the 12th minute and the 22nd minute, Leicester City had just 23% possession! Tony Pulis will be at home taking notes.
The 28th minute saw the most controversial moment of the first half as Brugge misplace a pass. As always Jamie Vardy is the fastest onto the ball, too fast for the Brugge defender Simons, who dives in after Vardy.
Simons completely takes out Jamie Vardy whilst being the last man and should have been sent off however the referee elects to give Simons only a yellow.
I doubt many foxes fans will care however as this was quickly forgotten, the subsequent freekick flew into the top left corner after a fantastic striker from PFA Player of The Year Riyad Mahrez.
Danny Drinkwater has spent the majority of the first half bossing the midfield however when he has driven forward, his long distance strikes have left little to be desired.
He came closest in the 42nd minute as a corner kick was cleared from the Club Brugge half. Drinkwater, running backwards elects to shoot the cleared ball with his left foot.
The volley dipped just over the Club Brugge bar, going out for a corner kick. What a goal it would have been.
Leicester City enter the tunnel at halftime leading the game 2 – 0.
The second half started off in a feisty manner.
Just 3 minutes into the half Leicester’s record signing Islam Slimani chased down Brugge defender Engels, shoving him when it’s clear he’ll be second best.
Quickly on his feet Engels looked fine however he quickly hit the deck again and by the looks of things, he’s dislocated his shoulder however as of now, it is to be confirmed.
A silly decision from Slimani as he finds himself in the ref’s book.
The next 15 minutes were relatively even with Leicester sitting back allowing Brugge to hold the majority of possession.
In the 59th minute Slimani looked to be in as the ball is played in behind the defence.
It looked to be a 50/50 between the goalkeeper and Slimani with both players backing out at the last second.
The ball was eventually cleared however it’s clear that Slimani has struggled to put his stamp on the game.
Just a minute later Jamie Vardy is through 1 on 1 and knocks the ball past the keeper who fouls him.
Under the old rules it would have been a clear cut red card however as the rules have now been updated, he only receives a yellow after conceding the penalty.
Mahrez steps up as many Leicester fans hope he’s been training his penalties.
He smashed it down the middle and it looks like he’s been putting in the hours on the training ground. 3 – 0 to the away side!
City make their first change before the game is restarted as Ulloa comes on for Slimani.
In the 65th minute Izquiedo does fantastically well to take the ball around Morgan following a brilliant 2 – 1 with his team-mate but fails to score as he strikes the post.
In the 71st minute Jamie Vardy is replaced by Ahmed Musa.
In the 82nd minute Demarai Gray replaced Riyad Mahrez shortly before Albrighton whipped a fantastic corner into the box. Huth was there to meet it but narrowly missed the post.
The game is truly over at this point, the only question is whether Kasper Schmeichel can keep his clean sheet.
Ulloa is booked in the 90th minute for a 50/50 challenge on the keeper.
The replay shows that Ulloa got to the ball first and was well within his right to challenge for the ball. Another questionable decision from the officials.
Dodgy refereeing again! In the 4th minute of stoppage time Vormer goes flying into Hernandez with both feet off of the ground.
On other day with another referee and Vormer would have been sent off with a straight red card.
This was the last action of the game which ended 3 – 0 to Leicester City, what an introduction to the Champions League for the foxes!
Post Match Thoughts
A fantastic showing from Leicester City who have done their traveling fans justice.
Many expected Leicester City to be taken lying down due to European competition being so different from regular Premier League football, as Manchester City have found out in the past 5 seasons.
The foxes however looked fired up and ready to take the game to the Belgian champions.
Claudio Ranieri didn’t change the game-plan from their usual fixtures, instead he opted to stick with his trusted 4-4-2, handing the home side the bulk of possession and looking to hit on the break.
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Many will put the goals down to defensive errors however with Leicester City’s system of pressing, defensive errors are cause predominantly by the foxes themselves.
One key note is the form of Riyad Mahrez, who’s two goals tonight may flatter to deceive.
He looked very off and frankly, he has done during every game this season. Whether or not he is tired after playing almost every game last season or not is yet to be seen however if he does score 2 goals every game, you won’t find any Leicester fans complaining.
Record signing Islam Slimani failed to impress today during his 60 minute debut. It’s too early for alarm bells to be ringing however and Islam should be judged in December on how well he’s integrated into life in the East Midlands alongside countryman Riyad Mahrez.
Leicester City’s next European night sees them host Porto at the King Power stadium on the 27th.
The atmosphere will be electric as this is the first ever Champions League game to be played in Leicester, whether it be at the King Power or their former stadium Filbert Street.
Should City play the way they have tonight, hopes will be high for a good result.