Leicester City’s achievement of reaching the Champions League quarter-finals stands comparison with last season’s fairytale Premier League title success, according to new manager Craig Shakespeare.
Wes Morgan and Marc Albrighton struck at the King Power Stadium on Tuesday and Kasper Schmeichel saved a late penalty as Leicester beat Sevilla 2-0 to record a famous 3-2 aggregate win.
Shakespeare has now won all three games since stepping into the vacancy created by Claudio Ranieri’s sacking after the first leg and he said beating Sevilla — Europa League winners in the last three seasons — ranked alongside the club’s greatest feats.
“I think it has to stand right up there because of the quality of the opposition,” he told his post-match press conference.
“When the draw was made, everyone said, ‘Ooh, Seville.’ We knew what they’re about. It has to stand up there with all the achievements.
“Of course when you win the league it’s over a lot more games, but the quality of the opposition means this has to stand right up there.”
Morgan, who opened the scoring with an untidy 27th-minute finish, said Leicester had “pulled off the impossible again”.
“We proved a lot of people wrong and pulled off the impossible again,” the centre-back told BT Sport.
“Incredible. I can’t quite believe it. We are newcomers in the Champions League, didn’t expect to get this far and here we are.”
Leicester will find out their last-eight opponents in Friday’s draw and Morgan was relaxed about which of Europe’s heavyweights they will face next.
“We will take whoever comes,” said Morgan, whose side have never previously reached the last eight of Europe’s top club competition.
“It is a fantastic night for Leicester. We still need to concentrate on the league, but we will enjoy this moment.”
Sevilla saw Samir Nasri sent off after he was shown a second yellow card for lowering his head towards Jamie Vardy’s face, while coach Jorge Sampaoli was sent to the stands in the dying stages.
“It’s not for me to evaluate why he was sent off,” Sampaoli said of Nasri’s 74th-minute dismissal.
“It’s the referee who decides, not me. I was never going to take him off (to protect him from a second yellow card).”
Sampaoli added: “I think maybe we lost it on one or two fine details. We didn’t manage to finish our chances.
“We had control of the ball in the second half and had three decent chances, but that was when they scored their second goal.
“But despite the difficult circumstances, I’m pleased with how the team tried to get back into the game until the last minute.” – Agence France-Presse