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Rediff.com  » Sports » PHOTOS: Leicester reach last 16 but Spurs knocked out

PHOTOS: Leicester reach last 16 but Spurs knocked out

November 23, 2016 11:48 IST

IMAGE: Leicester City's players celebrate scoring a goal against Club Brugge KV. Photograph: Richard Heathcote/Getty Images

Leicester City added another tale of remarkable success to an incredible year by reaching the last 16 of the Champions League in their debut season with a 2-1 victory over Club Bruges on Tuesday.

A volley from Shinji Okazaki and a Riyad Mahrez penalty put Leicester two goals ahead in the first half and they managed to see off a revival from the visitors who pulled one back with a fine individual effort after the break from Jose Izquierdo.

The result moved the English Premier League champions to 13 points from five matches and not only ensured their spot in the knockout stages, but also their status as Group G winners with one match to spare.

It was a mixed performance, however, from Claudio Ranieri's side who were scintillating in the first half but much more like the team that has struggled in the Premier League this season after the break as the visitors pegged them back.

IMAGE: Riyad Mahrez scores his Leicester City's second goal from the penalty spot. Photograph: Richard Heathcote/Getty Images

Leicester's fans, however, are unlikely to care about a sloppy second-half display after moving forward in Europe's elite club competition just seven years after they were playing in the third tier of English football and 18 months after narrowly avoiding relegation from the top flight.

The hosts ripped through the Bruges defence to open the scoring after five minutes as an incisive counter attack of the sort that characterised their run to the English title last season ended with Okazaki swivelling to volley home Christian Fuch's cross.

A thoroughly dominant first-half display then received further reward 15 minutes before the break when Marc Albrighton was tripped by Dion Cools and Mahrez slammed his penalty down the middle of the goal to double Leicester's lead.

They received a shock to the system when Izquierdo ran from the halfway line and rifled into the roof of the net after 52 minutes.

It was the first goal Leicester had conceded in the Champions League and it prompted a nervy retreat into their shell as Bruges pressed for an equaliser, but they held out to reach another remarkable milestone in 2016.

Monaco qualify and put Spurs out

Monaco

IMAGE: Monaco's players celebrate after winning their match against Tottenham Hotspur. Photograph: Eric Gaillard/Reuters

Monaco cruised into the Champions League last 16 at the expense of Tottenham Hotspur as goals by Djibril Sidibe and Thomas Lemar earned a 2-1 Group E win that would have been more emphatic but for visiting keeper Hugo Lloris.

All the goals came in a breathless spell just after halftime as Sidibe headed home in the 48th minute only for Harry Kane to equalise from the penalty spot four minutes later.

Lemar put Monaco back in front a minute later with an angled shot and France international Lloris, who saved a first-half spot kick from Radamel Falcao, spared the Londoners a thrashing.

Monaco are assured of top spot with 11 points from five games, four more than Bayer Leverkusen who go through to the knockout round as runners-up.

Spurs, unbeaten in the Premier League after 12 games, have four points and must avoid a third defeat at their adopted Wembley home against CSKA Moscow to grab a consolation spot in the Europa League.

"It was disappointing, we weren't good enough today," Kane said. "We got ourselves back in the game at 1-1 and then it was just a schoolboy error to concede straight after.

"The second goal took the stuffing out of us."

Tottenham were given a pre-match boost as news came through of Moscow's late leveller in a 1-1 draw against Leverkusen which meant a point on the French Riviera would have kept them alive.

Son Heung-min should have put the visitors ahead inside 10 minutes when he was played through by Dele Alli's pass but the South Korea forward tried to round keeper Danijel Subasic instead of shooting and the opportunity was lost.

The half belonged to Monaco, though, as their pace and movement proved too much for a hesitant Tottenham defence missing regulars Kyle Walker and Jan Vertonghen -- surprisingly rested for Saturday's Premier League clash at Chelsea.

Lloris was Tottenham's busiest player.

He sprang to his right to save Falcao's 11th-minute penalty after Eric Dier kicked out at Fabinho who tumbled acrobatically inside the area.

Lloris then kept out a header from Valere Germain who was a constant menace and dragged another shot agonisingly wide.

The goal the hosts threatened arrived three minutes after the interval in simple fashion. Benjamin Mendy turned Harry Winks and his cross was headed in by the unmarked Sidibe.

Tottenham's were given a lifeline three minutes later when Monaco's Kamil Glik wrestled Alli in front of the referee who pointed to the spot - Kane dispatched the penalty past Subasic despite the keeper getting a hand on the ball.

No sooner had Spurs drawn level than they were behind - 39 seconds later in fact. Left back Danny Rose was caught hopelessly out of position and Sidibe's cross fell to Lemar who had time to pick his spot and drill a shot past Lloris.

The French keeper produced a miraculous close-range save to deflect Glik's volley over shortly afterwards and also did well to keep out Falcao as Tottenham's campaign ended in tatters.

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