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Draw edges Leicester closer to Champions League knockout stages

Kasper Schmeichel

Kasper Schmeichel is yet to concede a goal in this season’s Champions League

Premier League champions Leicester edged closer to the Champions League knockout stages thanks to a goalless draw at FC Copenhagen.

The best chance of a lacklustre match came in the 90th minute as Leicester goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel pushed away Andreas Cornelius’s header.

The closest the visitors came to scoring was when winger Jeffrey Schlupp’s deflected shot dribbled into the hands of keeper Robin Olsen.

Claudio Ranieri’s Leicester, who won their opening three Group G games, need only a point from their final two matches to reach the last 16.

They have not conceded a goal in four games and remain top of the group, three points ahead of Porto.

  • Spurs’ hopes hit by Leverkusen defeat

Schmeichel saves the day – again

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Champions League Group H

Leicester had Schmeichel to thank for a late save to deny Cornelius, just as he did at home two weeks ago.

The Dane kept his concentration by springing to his right to claw away the ex-Cardiff striker’s flicked header from Kasper Kusk’s cross.

Before the match, Ranieri said his side were close to “achieving something special” in Europe’s elite club competition.

History is on their side as all the previous 64 teams that had won their opening three games all progressed to the knockout stages.

The draw means they will finish, at worst, third in the group, securing at least a place in the Europa League.

Copenhagen have not lost at home in all competitions since August 2015, a run that now stands at 29 games.

Vardy’s barren run goes on

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Leicester striker Jamie Vardy had to come deep in search of the ball and also found himself on the right-hand side of the pitch. It meant the Foxes had no player further forward, limiting their chances in the final third

England striker Jamie Vardy scored 24 league goals in a stunning campaign last season, but has managed only three this term in all competitions.

He has not netted for club or country in 12 games stretching back to 10 September.

With regular partner Shinji Okazaki on the bench, Vardy was deployed as a lone frontman against Copenhagen, a role which did not help his prospects of ending his goal drought.

He had only one shot in the match and his 37 touches of the ball were the second fewest of any player in the Leicester starting XI.

Man of the match – William Kvist (Copenhagen)

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Impressive showing from the former Fulham and Wigan man, whose 79 passes was the most of any player on the pitch. He also won the ball back 10 times and made four interceptions

What they said

Leicester manager Claudio Ranieri: “I am happy. The first 20 minutes was not so good but the second half was much better.

“Kasper Schmeichel is a great keeper and we are very, very, happy. I was expecting this kind of match. I wanted to do more on the counter-attack. We had a chance to score but a draw is OK.

“It is our first time in the Champions League. We want to be very, very attentive until the end.”

What next?

Leicester host West Brom in the Premier League on Sunday (16:40 GMT), having won only one of their previous four games.

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The stats you need to know

  • Leicester City are the first team in Champions League history to keep a clean sheet in each of their first four games in the competition
  • Copenhagen have lost only two of their 12 home games in the Champions League (won six, drawn four, lost two)
  • The Foxes managed only one shot on target for the second game running
  • Copenhagen have allowed their opponents a combined only seven shots on target in the Champions League this season, fewer than any other team
  • English teams have only lost one of their Champions League games against Danish opposition, winning eight, drawing three and losing one (Manchester United at Copenhagen in November 2006)
  • This match featured only three shots on target, the fewest in a Champions League game this season

Live Text

Match ends, FC København 0, Leicester City 0.

Second Half ends, FC København 0, Leicester City 0.

Zanka (FC København) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Jamie Vardy (Leicester City).

Attempt missed. Federico Santander (FC København) left footed shot from the left side of the six yard box is close, but misses the top left corner.

Attempt saved. Andreas Cornelius (FC København) header from the centre of the box is saved in the bottom left corner. Assisted by Kasper Kusk with a cross.

Youssef Toutouh (FC København) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Daniel Drinkwater (Leicester City).

Kasper Kusk (FC København) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Daniel Amartey (Leicester City).

Offside, FC København. Thomas Delaney tries a through ball, but Federico Santander is caught offside.

Ludwig Augustinsson (FC København) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Foul by Riyad Mahrez (Leicester City).

Substitution, FC København. Kasper Kusk replaces Benjamin Verbic.

William Kvist (FC København) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Shinji Okazaki (Leicester City).

Wes Morgan (Leicester City) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Federico Santander (FC København) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Foul by Wes Morgan (Leicester City).

Attempt missed. Daniel Drinkwater (Leicester City) right footed shot from outside the box is too high following a corner.

Corner, Leicester City. Conceded by Zanka.

Corner, Leicester City. Conceded by Robin Olsen.

Attempt blocked. Thomas Delaney (FC København) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Benjamin Verbic.

Substitution, Leicester City. Shinji Okazaki replaces Jeffrey Schlupp.

Attempt saved. Benjamin Verbic (FC København) left footed shot from very close range is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Ludwig Augustinsson with a cross.

Attempt missed. Benjamin Verbic (FC København) right footed shot from the centre of the box is too high. Assisted by Youssef Toutouh with a cross.

Federico Santander (FC København) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Robert Huth (Leicester City).

Substitution, FC København. Youssef Toutouh replaces Rasmus Falk Jensen.

Benjamin Verbic (FC København) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Daniel Drinkwater (Leicester City).

Offside, Leicester City. Ahmed Musa tries a through ball, but Jamie Vardy is caught offside.

Attempt blocked. Ahmed Musa (Leicester City) left footed shot from the left side of the box is blocked. Assisted by Daniel Amartey.

Attempt blocked. Robert Huth (Leicester City) left footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Wes Morgan.

Corner, Leicester City. Conceded by Erik Johansson.

Attempt missed. Peter Ankersen (FC København) left footed shot from the centre of the box is too high. Assisted by Federico Santander.

Foul by Federico Santander (FC København).

Robert Huth (Leicester City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Attempt missed. Daniel Amartey (Leicester City) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the left. Assisted by Christian Fuchs.

Corner, FC København. Conceded by Robert Huth.

Article source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/37839386