LEICESTER, England (Reuters) – Just like his father nearly two decades ago, Kasper Schmeichel proved a formidable last line of defence on Tuesday with a crucial penalty save against Sevilla to help Leicester City through to the Champions League quarter-finals.
A performance reminiscent of his those given by his dad Peter, Manchester United’s 1999 Champions league winner, reached a crescendo when the junior Schmeichel dived to his left to smother Steven N’Zonzi’s 80th-minute penalty.
It was the second time in the tie 30-year-old Schmeichel had saved a penalty, having also denied Joaquin Correa from the spot in the first leg when he almost single-handedly kept a dominant Sevilla side down to a slender 2-1 advantage.
Goals by Wes Morgan and Marc Albrighton on Tuesday had rattled the Spaniards, who had Samir Nasri red-carded 14 minutes from time, but Leicester still needed their keeper who seven years ago was playing for Notts County in England’s fourth-tier.
Schmeichel senior, now 53, joined in the celebrations as Leicester’s fans returned to dreamland in scenes reminiscent of last season’s improbable Premier League title triumph.
“It is a great feeling to help the team progress. It is about confidence,” Schmeichel, who joined Leicester from Leeds United in 2011, said after the 3-2 aggregate win.
“But that is what I’m there for. We have gone out and played more like we did last season and we are reaping the rewards of it now. It was a fantastic night.”
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Publish date : 15 March 2017 | 8:32 am