Leicester City Advance To Champions League Knock-Out Stages

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Leicester City’s remarkable debut Champions League campaign continued as they reached the knockout stages with one game to spare by beating Club Brugge.

The Foxes needed a point to make the last 16, yet secured three to ensure they will finish top of Group G.


A smart finish into the top corner by Shinji Okazaki, after a fine cross by Christian Fuchs, set Claudio Ranieri’s side on their way.

Riyad Mahrez doubled the lead from the penalty spot – for his fourth goal in five Champions League games – after Marc Albrighton was fouled by Dion Cools before Jose Izquierdo hit a wonderful consolation after a 40-yard run.

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Leicester were unrecognisable from the side who have struggled in the Premier League this season.

They are the second English team, after Arsenal, to secure a place in the draw for the knockout stages on 12 December.

The Foxes sit just two points above the Premier League’s relegation zone after back-to-back defeats.

Yet Claudio Ranieri’s team cannot stop winning in Europe. Incredibly, they have picked up more points in the Champions League than the domestic league this season.

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While they have lost to, among others, Hull City, West Bromwich Albion and Watford in the league, Leicester have beaten Brugge twice – as well as Porto and FC Copenhagen. It means they have 13 points from five games in Europe – yet just 12 from 12 matches domestically.

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There will be disappointment that their run of four successive Champions League clean sheets is over.

Izquierdo’s thumping finish, following a terrific solo run, sparked a late Brugge surge and ensured a nervous finish, yet the Belgians could not force an equaliser.

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