Claudio Ranieri believes his Leicester side have a chance after scoring crucial away goal v Sevilla
Jamie Vardy’s 73rd-minute away goal put a whole new complexion on a game that looked to be running away from them after they had fallen two goals behind.
But Claudio Ranieri, whose side could be bottom of the Premier League after this weekend’s fixtures, praised his men had for their courage and believes they have given themselves a chance going into the second leg on March 14.
“We showed our big heart and organisation, belief and we never give up,” he said. “With the match at home everything is open. We are ready to battle. I’m pleased for Jamie because goalscorers thrive on goals.
Jamie Vardy celebrates scoring Leicester's crucial away goal in the 2-1 defeat to Sevilla
“It was an important goal but we got it because we never give up. It has re-opened the match for the second game. We showed great character.”
Up to Vardy’s late striker Leicester had relief largely on the heroics of keeper Kasper Schmeichel who pulled out a string of fine saves including a 14th-minute penalty.
Vardy’s goal broke a goal drought that stretches back an agonising 748 minutes – and even his missus Rebekah could not hide her delight, tweeting: “Guess that’s what happens when you get service.”
Ranieri acknowledged Schmeichel’s contribution and said: “Kasper kept us alive with his saves – especially the penalty.”
Kasper Schmeichel produced an impressive display during the Champions League defeat to Sevilla
Top Champions League goalscorers with Premier League experience
Wed, February 22, 2017
Click through the gallery to reveal the top Champions League goalscorers with Premier League experience
1 of 20
Click for the top Champions League goalscorers with Premier League experience
Schmeichel added: “That was tough, very tough. We were up against a very good side but going into it it was about how much we were hurting from what has happened this season and how much we wanted to put in a performance.
“We lost the game but they are a very good side, 2-1 away from home in the Champions League is a good result. Away goal is massive, that was something we had hoped we could get. Going back to the King Power Stadium, anything can happen.
“That [the saves] is what I’m there to do. You have nights like that. We knew we would have to ride our luck and we would have to come up with some saves. Everyone deserves credit.
“We lost the game and that is disappointing. We certainly are not celebrating. But 2-1 away from home in the Champions League? We will take that.”