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Craig Shakespeare wants to see Leicester get back into Europe

20 April 2017

Craig Shakespeare's side did well to only lose 1-0 in the Spanish capital last week to give themselves a chance at the King Power Stadium, but a Saul Niguez header after 26 minutes made their task infinitely more hard. "We can be immensely proud but the players are ultimately very disappointed to go out".

"The players attitude towards making that work was first class and you could see in the second half that we got the goal, but not the breaks we needed to get more".

40 per cent - Leicester's average possession in Champions League games according to statistics on uefa.com.

"This season has been more downs than ups, but I feel we've turned it around and we're coming good now", he said.

Leicester, which is 12th in the Premier League and not sure of survival, now faces up to the reality that it could be many years before the team can contemplate a return to the Champions League.

"The fans have got us through the 90 minutes".

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The victory put Madrid into the semifinals for the seventh straight time and kept alive its hopes of becoming the first team to defend the Champions League title since the competition's new format was created in 1992.

"Shakespeare made two changes in the second half, Chilwell for Benalouane, his shakier defender, and Ulloa for Okazaki".

"But I have to say what a great performance from Leicester, it was nearly a pleasure to compete against them".

That goal meant that Leicester needed to score three times, and with the atmosphere in the King Power stadium somewhat subdued, the visitors bossed the rest of the first period.

"We were living in fear throughout".

On more than one occasion, both domestically and in Europe, Leicester have shown that anything is possible and Drinkwater revealed the squad felt they were capable of going all the way in the Champions League.

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Jamie Vardy does what he always seems to do, and poached a goal in the 61 minute to give Leicester hope of writing another chapter in that fairytale, but it was not to be.

Vardy said: "We've given our all, especially in the second half".

Diego Simeone's side are through to the semi-finals for the third time in four seasons alongside city rivals Real Madrid, who beat them after extra-time and penalties respectively in the 2014 and 2016 finals and triumphed in a 2015 quarter-final.

He confessed he wants to lead that charge next season and is ready to bring forward talks about his long-term future, if the club's owners want him to. "It's in the club's hands, I've said we'd sit down at the end of the season, I'm more than happy to do that before if it arises but the contract says until the end of the season", he said. But it was not enough to surprise one of the world's best defensive teams.

Saul, just a couple of days after his shock revelation that he had played the last two years with a urine infection, was completely unmarked in the Foxes box when he guided home Filipe's left-wing cross with his head.

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