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Leicester win to reach Champions League knockout stage

Shinji Okazaki celebrates scoring for Leicester City against Club Brugge

Shinji Okazaki is the sixth Japanese player to score a Champions League goal and the first since Keisuke Honda in November 2013

Leicester City’s remarkable debut Champions League campaign continued as they reached the knockout stages with one game to spare by beating Club Brugge.

The Foxes needed a point to make the last 16, yet secured three to ensure they will finish top of Group G.

A smart finish into the top corner by Shinji Okazaki, after a fine cross by Christian Fuchs, set Claudio Ranieri’s side on their way.

Riyad Mahrez doubled the lead from the penalty spot – for his fourth goal in five Champions League games – after Marc Albrighton was fouled by Dion Cools before Jose Izquierdo hit a wonderful consolation after a 40-yard run.

Leicester were unrecognisable from the side who have struggled in the Premier League this season.

They are the second English team, after Arsenal, to secure a place in the draw for the knockout stages on 12 December.

  • Reaction as Leicester qualify for the Champions League knockout stages

From domestic troubles to European delight

The Foxes sit just two points above the Premier League’s relegation zone after back-to-back defeats.

Yet Claudio Ranieri’s team cannot stop winning in Europe.

While they have lost to, among others, Hull City, West Bromwich Albion and Watford in the league, Leicester have beaten Brugge twice – as well as Porto and FC Copenhagen – on the continental stage.

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There will be disappointment that their run of four successive Champions League clean sheets is over.

Izquierdo’s thumping finish, following a terrific solo run, sparked a late Brugge surge and ensured a nervous finish, yet the Belgians could not force an equaliser.

What next?

With their place in the Champions League knockout stages sealed, Leicester will attempt to improve their Premier League form. They have three top-flight games before the draw for the last 16 – starting at home to Middlesbrough on Saturday.

More to follow.

Live Text

Match ends, Leicester City 2, Club Brugge 1.

Second Half ends, Leicester City 2, Club Brugge 1.

Corner, Leicester City. Conceded by Ludovic Butelle.

Attempt saved. Demarai Gray (Leicester City) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Daniel Drinkwater.

Foul by Daniel Amartey (Leicester City).

Anthony Limbombe (Club Brugge) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Ron-Robert Zieler (Leicester City) is shown the yellow card.

Attempt missed. Jelle Vossen (Club Brugge) right footed shot from the right side of the box is close, but misses to the right. Assisted by Ricardo van Rhijn.

Attempt saved. Demarai Gray (Leicester City) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Jamie Vardy with a headed pass.

Daniel Drinkwater (Leicester City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Wesley (Club Brugge).

Corner, Club Brugge. Conceded by Robert Huth.

Corner, Club Brugge. Conceded by Robert Huth.

Foul by Andy King (Leicester City).

Jelle Vossen (Club Brugge) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Substitution, Club Brugge. Wesley replaces Claudemir.

Corner, Club Brugge. Conceded by Jeffrey Schlupp.

Attempt missed. Daniel Amartey (Leicester City) right footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the right.

Corner, Club Brugge. Conceded by Wes Morgan.

Substitution, Leicester City. Daniel Amartey replaces Marc Albrighton.

Attempt missed. Ricardo van Rhijn (Club Brugge) right footed shot from long range on the right is too high. Assisted by Jelle Vossen.

Attempt blocked. Timmy Simons (Club Brugge) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Ricardo van Rhijn.

Offside, Club Brugge. Ricardo van Rhijn tries a through ball, but Claudemir is caught offside.

Foul by Daniel Drinkwater (Leicester City).

Hans Vanaken (Club Brugge) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Attempt missed. Ricardo van Rhijn (Club Brugge) right footed shot from the right side of the box is too high following a corner.

Substitution, Club Brugge. Ricardo van Rhijn replaces Laurens De Bock.

Corner, Club Brugge. Conceded by Christian Fuchs.

Corner, Club Brugge. Conceded by Wes Morgan.

Attempt saved. Jeffrey Schlupp (Leicester City) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the centre of the goal.

Substitution, Leicester City. Demarai Gray replaces Shinji Okazaki.

Substitution, Leicester City. Jeffrey Schlupp replaces Riyad Mahrez.

Riyad Mahrez (Leicester City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Claudemir (Club Brugge).

Foul by Jamie Vardy (Leicester City).

Brandon Mechele (Club Brugge) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Offside, Club Brugge. José Heriberto Izquierdo tries a through ball, but Dion Cools is caught offside.

Attempt missed. Anthony Limbombe (Club Brugge) right footed shot from the right side of the box misses to the right. Assisted by Hans Vanaken.

Substitution, Club Brugge. Anthony Limbombe replaces Tomás Pina.

Offside, Club Brugge. Hans Vanaken tries a through ball, but Claudemir is caught offside.

Article source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/38054997