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Dublin: 12°C Friday 25 September 2020

Leicester edge closer to Champions League knockout stages

Copenhagen held the Foxes to a goalless draw in Denmark tonight.

Leicester's Wes Morgan battles with Copenhagen's Federico Santander.
Leicester's Wes Morgan battles with Copenhagen's Federico Santander.

LEICESTER CITY MISSED the chance to secure a place in the knockout stages as their 100 per cent record in the Champions League came to an end in a drab 0-0 draw with Copenhagen.

Claudio Ranieri’s men had visited the Danish capital for their Christmas party last year, but their stunning Premier League title win made this trip a rather more serious affair.

And, while the Foxes have struggled to replicate last season’s glorious form in domestic action, their European adventure had been seamless prior to this fixture.

Without club-record signing Islam Slimani, though, Leicester’s forward line looked blunt as Riyad Mahrez and Jamie Vardy both struggled to stamp their mark on the game.

A bore draw was the outcome, with Copenhagen only occasionally threatening to become the first side to score against the English champions in this competition.

Elsewhere, Porto’s 1-0 victory at home to Club Brugge was enough to delay Leicester’s progression to the last 16.

FC Copenhagen v Leicester City - UEFA Champions League - Group G - Parken Stadium Both sets of players shake hands after the final whistle. Source: Tim Goode

Copenhagen had previously failed to score in the first half of a group-stage game this season, and, true to form, there were few chances early on.

Federico Santander got up to meet Benjamin Verbic’s lofted centre but looped his header wide, before William Kvist rolled a 25-yard effort past the near post.

Leicester captain Wes Morgan then cheaply served up another opening for Santander with a loose touch, but the subsequent tame shot was claimed comfortably by Kasper Schmeichel.

It was one of a number of Leicester errors to encourage the hosts, but Copenhagen were unable to profit as Andreas Cornelius and Santander both fired off target.

The visitors finally found some rhythm before the break, only for Jeffrey Schlupp and former Copenhagen man Daniel Amartey to drag their attempts into the arms of Robin Olsen.

Genuine opportunities were at a premium again after the interval, with Peter Ankersen lashing over the crossbar from the edge of the area – and Mahrez doing likewise at the other end.

Vardy optimistically claimed for a penalty to no avail as he tangled with Erik Johansson, and the hosts were soon back on the attack.

Verbic blazed high when running onto Youssef Toutouh’s cross, but he came significantly closer from Ludwig Augustinsson’s centre.

Schmeichel got something on the 22-year-old’s close-range flick, though, with Christian Fuchs then on hand to hack clear from on the goal-line.

The game’s greatest chance was to come in the final seconds as Cornelius rose to head at goal from Kasper Kusk’s delivery, but Schmeichel was there again to brilliantly save in the bottom corner, and Santander sliced the rebound wide.

While Leicester held on for a point after a gruelling 90 minutes, results elsewhere kept Ranieri and his side waiting on a place in the next round.

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