- Wes Morgan looks to the many positives to take after Quarter-Final UEFA Champions League exit
- Leicester City succumbed to a 2-1 aggregate defeat to Spanish side Atlético Madrid on Tuesday
- Jamie Vardy struck for the Foxes on Filbert Way but Saúl Ñíguez's early header proved decisive
- Morgan says City can nonetheless hold their heads high after a brilliant debut in the competition
Following Tuesday evening's 1-1 draw with Atlético Madrid, Leicester City can look back on their UEFA Champions League debut with their heads held high, according to captain Wes Morgan.
Diego Simeone’s side emerged victorious from their two-legged Quarter-Final after the draw at Leicester City Stadium was preceded by a 1-0 success at the Vicente Calderón. Antoine Griezmann's penalty had given Los Rojiblancos the lead six days earlier before Saúl Ñíguez's opener on Tuesday.
Jamie Vardy equalised on the night in the 61st minute but City still needed two more goals. Atléti then delivered a performance befitting their reputation as one of the most fearsome defensive outfits in world football by shutting their hosts out despite continuous waves of pressure late on during the second leg.
The Foxes went toe-to-toe with their illustrious opponents and - but for a sequence of unfortunate events and near misses - they could have become the first British debutants since Leeds United in 2000/01 to reach the semi-finals of the Champions League since its 1992 inception.
Speaking with LCFC TV, Morgan was reflective at full-time, saying: “It was a big effort from the boys. Obviously, it’s not the result we wanted but we have to be proud of ourselves. We gave it our all. We threw everything we had at the goal late on and they had a few blocks off the line.
“We tried our best, we needed to get three goals, we could only get one, but it was a huge effort from the boys. We kept knocking on the door throughout the second half. We went very direct, trying to win every second ball. Credit to Atlético, they defended well and got a few vital blocks at vital times.”
The achievement of reaching the last-eight was not lost on Morgan, however, who has been with the Club since their spell in the Sky Bet Championship. Now a Premier League champion, the 33-year-old says Leicester have come a long way since he signed back in 2012.
On City’s European exploits, he added: “It’s massive, it’s the pinnacle of football. To play against the best teams in Europe is what you want to do. We’ve given a great account of ourselves. We can really be proud of what we’ve achieved in being the last English team in the competition.
"Getting to the quarter-finals on our debut is a massive achievement and we can leave the competition with our heads held high.”