A superb 2-0 victory over Sevilla on Tuesday night saw Leicester City qualify for the quarter-finals of the UEFA Champions League.
Aiming to recover from a 2-1 first leg deficit, the Foxes headed into the game on the back of successive Premier League wins over Liverpool and Hull City, prompting Craig Shakespeare to field an unchanged side for the tie against Jorge Sampaoli’s men.
With just four minutes on the clock, Kasper Schmeichel was forced into an excellent save to deny Samir Nasri at the front post, and that stop eventually proved pivotal as Wes Morgan bundled Riyad Mahrez’s cross over the line midway through the first period.
City built on their early dominance inside 10 minutes of the second half by doubling their advantage through Marc Albrighton, who controlled the ball and fired home a half-volley from the edge of the box to put his side into a healthy 2-0 lead.
With around 15 minutes to play, Sevilla were reduced to 10 men after Nasri picked up a second booking for an altercation with Jamie Vardy, but that only spurred on the visiting side, who had a huge chance to force the tie to extra-time from the spot.
Vitolo went down in the box under challenge from Schmeichel and it was Steven N’Zonzi who stepped up to take the penalty, only for the Denmark international, for the second time in the tie, to guess the right way and parry the ball to safety.
For the final 10 minutes, Sevilla peppered the City box with deliveries but the Foxes showed their fearless character to dig in and defend their precious clean sheet to advance to the next round.
To save a penalty in the UEFA Champions League is one thing, but for Kasper Schmeichel to save two, in the same tie, is sensational.
With the Foxes leading 2-0, City’s No.1 denied Steven N’Zonzi with just 10 minutes to play from the spot to protect City’s shutout and prevent the tie from heading to extra-time.
Work rate has always been a key part of Marc Albrighton’s game and Leicester City certainly benefitted from it on Tuesday evening.
In truth, it was a huge team effort and every player that took to the pitch deserves credit for their performance, but Albrighton’s brilliantly-taken goal capped off a historic night for the Club.
Where do we stand?
Into the last-eight of the UEFA Champions League, the Foxes will learn their quarter-final opponents on Friday, when the draw takes play at approximately 11am GMT in Nyon, Switzerland. The first leg of the quarter-final is scheduled for 11 or 12 April, with the second leg set for 18 or 19 April.
Ahead of the third international break of the season, Leicester City play their final fixture of the month on Saturday 18 March, as they take on West Ham United at the London Stadium. A victory could see the Foxes move as much as six points clear of the bottom three.