LEICESTER. — Wes Morgan hailed Leicester City’s heroes for pulling off the “impossible again” after reaching the Champions League soccer quarter-finals. The 5 000-1 English Premier League champions are into the last eight after memorably overturning a 2-1 first leg deficit on Tuesday night. Foxes skipper Morgan opened the scoring before Marc Albrighton made it 2-0 and Samir Nasri was sent off for Sevilla. Kasper Schmeichel then crucially saved a late penalty from Steven N’Zonzi in dramatic scenes at the King Power Stadium.
“Incredible,” beamed Foxes skipper Morgan, with languishing City 15th in the top-flight. “I can’t quite believe it.
“We are newcomers in the Champions League, didn’t expect to get this far and here we are.
“I’m not sure if it will happen again but we did it. We proved a lot of people wrong and pulled off the impossible again.
“We will take whoever comes next. It is a fantastic night for Leicester. We still need to concentrate on the league but we will enjoy this moment.”
It made for an incredible night in Craig Shakespeare’s first game after being confirmed as Claudio Ranieri’s successor until the end of the season.
Morgan stabbed in Riyad Mahrez’s free-kick to open the scoring in the 27th minute.
Albrighton then fired in on 54 minutes after Sergio Escudero hit the bar from distance. The Spaniards, who have won the Europa League the last three seasons, were reduced to 10 men in the 74th minute.
On loan Manchester City midfielder Nasri, already on a booking, collected a second caution for locking heads with Vardy. Sevilla were handed a lifeline with an 80 minute penalty when Schmeichel brought down Vitolo.
But Schmeichel, who saved a penalty in the first leg, denied N’Zonzi’s tame effort.
Hero Schmeichel said: “This is an unbelievable achievement for the club.
“It was such a tough game against a top team. In the second half it was going to be tough to maintain the intensity. The boys did brilliantly to keep them from creating chances.
“These saves are what I’m there to do. It’s a great feeling to help the team progress. It’s about confidence. We’ve played more like we did last season. For a lot of us, we’ve come a long way.
“I don’t mind who we draw. No matter who we get, they’re going to be a good club.”
Sevilla boss Jorge Sampaoli was even sent to the stands as his club’s dream of a first Champions League crown went up in smoke. But Shakespeare, who has won all three of his matches since being promoted when Ranieri was axed, was in dreamland.
Shakespeare, who insists Leicester can potentially win the competition, said: “I think this night has to stand right up there because of the quality of the opposition.
“We know there’s going to be some terrific teams left in the draw. But we are in there on merit, make no mistake about that. We might just be the surprise package.
“We know that the teams left in the competition are of a great quality now.
“We have to be delighted with our performance in knocking out a top class European team.
“We have to play to our strengths. In terms of desire, we can play a bit as well and this epitomises what we’re about.” — The Mirror.