Leicester fans created a sea of blue, gold and silver before kick-off
But where it mattered out on the turf during 90 minutes of sobering reality, Atletico Madrid were just too good, extinguishing hopes and bringing disappointment to a King Power Stadium that has grown used to miracles.
Saul’s first half header arrowing perfectly back across the despairing dive of Kasper Schmeichel just before the half hour mark was the hammer blow which brought an end to the Foxes Champions League run.
Jamie Vardy’s reply on the hour mark saw hope flicker back into life but three goals was a mountain they could not climb.
The atmosphere at the King Power Stadium was electrifying
The end of their campaign in Europe’s elite competition represents a full stop on a period in the club’s history that everyone senses can never be repeated. As such, a sense of deflation was understandable last night.
With the title about to be taken from their faltering grasp and Europe too the fairytale is well and truly over.
But before anyone gets too down, it is hard to think of a set of fans who have had more entertainment for their pound than this club’s followers over the course of the last eight years.
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Others may have celebrated more wins on grander stages but few can have screamed their way through a period of more glorious unpredictability than this lot.
The last two years alone have been like being in a Hollywood loop with The Great Escape of 2014-15 followed by the Mission Impossible of their title triumph.
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But ever since the Foxes won the League One title with a victory against Southend eight years ago to the day in May 2009 the ride has never been less than thrilling with play-off agonies, sackings, buyouts and three league wins.
Jamie Vardy gave Leicester a glimmer of hope late on
And yet, even before last night’s quarter final second leg against Atletico Madrid this season has just about topped the lot for a campaign that you just could not take your eyes off, flirting with relegation at the weekends and charging across Europe’s high-veld in he middle of the week, pausing only to sack Claudio Ranieri.
Last night the ride came to an end against a side good enough to reach two of the last three Champions League finals.
Atletico did not arrive with a clever game-plan to thwart the Foxes counter-attacking style, or sit deep or hold a high line. They just came oozing confidence in all areas.
No bells, whistles or fanfares needed.