Ranieri eyes Champions League knockouts

Leicester City manager Claudio Ranieri said there is another fairytale finish in store after they reached the Champions League knockout stages.

"It's not important [who Leicester play in the last 16], believe me. I hope to be there in good condition. The name is not important. It will be another fairytale, win or lose," Ranieri said. "I don't know which team we'll play, but it'll be a fantastic team."

An early strike by Shinji Okazaki and a penalty from Riyad Mahrez provided a 2-1 victory over Club Brugge, handing the Foxes top spot in Group G with a game to play.

"It's unbelievable, top of the group," Ranieri said. "I am very happy and very proud for my players, very happy for the chairman and the fans. It's another journey through to the knockout — unbelievable."

Porto's 0-0 draw with Copenhagen paved the way for Leicester go travel to the Estadio do Dragao with a place in the last 16 sewn up, while Porto need victory to ensure they progress ahead of Copenhagen.

"It's very important to top the group, now our minds must go on the Premier League," he said. "I want to push my players to think about the Premier League now our job [in Europe] is done."

Last season's shock Premier League winners are five points clear at the top of their group after going unbeaten through five games, despite it being their first Champions League campaign.

However, they have not had such a good run domestically, sitting two points above the relegation zone.

"Now we have to go back into the Premier League, as we are very close to [the] relegation [zone] and we must play at the same level of the Champions League."

Brugge manager Michel Preud'homme said that the first-half performance sealed their fate.

"You have to play 90 minutes to win a game. The first half was a disaster and the second half was our best level. Maybe we could have taken a point," he said.

"Leicester played a fantastic first half and we played a fantastic second half. With a little bit of luck we could have scored again."

"We can score when we're on our best level. Sometimes we can score good goals and afterwards the confidence was back."

Comments