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Posted at: Apr 20, 2017, 12:49 AM; last updated: Apr 20, 2017, 12:49 AM (IST)

Atletico prove fairytale killers to end Leicester City’s run

Atletico prove fairytale killers to end Leicester City’s run

LEICESTER, April 19

Atletico Madrid proved too streetwise to entertain another Leicester City fairytale as they quelled a stirring home display to reach the Champions League semifinals for the third time in four seasons on Tuesday, winning 2-1 on aggregate.

Jamie Vardy’s first goal at the King Power Stadium in the competition gave English champions Leicester hope of something special after Saul Niguez’s first-half header put Atletico in control, but they fell short in an absorbing 1-1 draw.

Diego Simeone’s Atletico, who arrived holding a 1-0 lead handed to them by Antoine Griezmann’s penalty last week in the Spanish capital, were deserved winners but it was nervy as Leicester threw caution to the wind in the second half.

“I’m full of emotion and pride at the performance of my team,” Simeone, whose side have twice suffered heartbreak against Real Madrid in the final, said.

“I also have to say, what a great performance from our opponents. It was almost a pleasure to compete against them. We were living in fear throughout.”

Leicester’s players collapsed to the turf after a breathless second-half revival which, with a better roll of the ball, could have propelled them into dreamland. As it is they return to the humdrum of the Premier League’s mid-table with little prospect of rubbing shoulders with Europe’s elite any time soon. No wonder the fans didn’t want to leave.

“The momentum was with us when Jamie scored but it just wasn’t to be,” coach Craig Shakespeare, who has steered Leicester away from unthinkable relegation since replacing sacked Claudio Ranieri in charge of the free-falling champions in February, said. — Reuters

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