Leicester City captain Wes Morgan sees no reason not to dream of Champions League glory.
The reigning Premier League champions are the only English representatives in the quarter-finals of the competition after goals from Morgan and Marc Albrighton secured a 2-0 win over LaLiga high flyers Sevilla on Tuesday – overturning a 2-1 first-leg deficit at a raucous King Power Stadium.
Some of the shine has come off Leicester’s remarkable Premier League triumph this season, not least in the aftermath of their loss at Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan, when popular manager Claudio Ranieri was sacked.
But the Foxes have won back-to-back games over Liverpool and Hull City domestically to ease relegation fears under the Italian’s promoted number two Craig Shakespeare, while their stirring efforts against Sevilla evoked the unforgettable march to glory 12 months ago.
Morgan marshalled a defence that rediscovered its steel in the face of Sevilla’s efforts to force extra time and, as the likes of Barcelona, Real Madrid, Bayern Munich and Juventus lie in wait in Friday’s draw, the 33-year-old feels ready to test football’s boundaries of probability once more.
Asked whether he dreamt of lifting the Champions League trophy, he said: “Yeah, you know, we achieved the impossible winning the Premier League and I’m sure no one would have thought we’d get this far in the Champions League, so why not dream?
“I just think you have to take it a game at a time. It’s a cliched saying but it’s true. We’ll see who we get next and then look forward to that game.”
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Leicester goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel saved a penalty from Steven N’Zonzi that would have taken the tie to extra time – repeating his heroics from the first leg when he thwarted Joaquin Correa from 12 yards.
Morgan hailed Schmeichel as the finest goalkeeper he has shared a dressing room with but revealed his penalty saving practice on the training ground did not go entirely to plan.
“He’s a fantastic keeper – the best I’ve ever played with – and when it’s time for him to be counted he’s there,” the defender added.
“His two penalty saves were brilliant and he’s kept us in the games. When you’ve got someone like that behind you, you’ve always got a chance to win.
“Besides the penalty saves he came out with some important stops. He’s fantastic and I’m delighted for him.
“We’d been working on penalties this week and he didn’t save any actually in the first five but he was guessing right every time. When it came to game day he stepped up to the mark and made a decent save.”
Leicester suffered a 4-2 defeat when they faced Barcelona in a pre-season friendly in Stockholm last August but Morgan is keen to test himself against the some of the giants of the European game in a competitive setting.
He added: “Why not? You want to put yourself against the best players in the world and that’s where they are.
“We played Barca in pre-season and it would be nice to play at the Bernabeu.”
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