Football

Time for Foxes to fix EPL form

Ranieri wants Foxes to transfer European form to the league

GROUP G

LEICESTER CITY 2

(Shinji Okazaki 5, Riyad Mahrez 30-pen)

CLUB BRUGGE 1

(Jose Izquierdo 52)

Leicester boss Claudio Ranieri has turned his attention to the English Premier League after they reached the Champions League knockout stages yesterday morning (Singapore time).

The Foxes qualified for the last 16 of European football's top club competition after Shinji Okazaki's early strike and Riyad Mahrez's penalty secured a 2-1 victory over Club Brugge and top spot in Group G with a game to spare.

Porto's 0-0 draw in Copenhagen means Leicester go to Estadio do Dragao next month with their future settled. The Portuguese side need a win to ensure qualification.

The Foxes, last season's shock Premier League winners, had never played in the Champions League before, but are unbeaten after five games and five points clear at the top.

Ranieri insists the Foxes will produce another fairy tale in the Champions League, but their immediate priority is to improve the league form.

They are just two points above the relegation zone.

"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 fairy tale, win or lose," said Ranieri.

"I don't know which team we'll play, but it'll be a fantastic team.

"It's unbelievable, top of the group. 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.

"It's very important to top the group, now our minds must go on the Premier League.

"I want to push my players to think about the Premier League now our job is done.

SAME LEVEL

"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."

Leicester defender Danny Simpson insisted that the Foxes will quickly turn their attentions to the Premier League after "enjoying their moment" in Europe.

The 29-year-old told Sky Sports News: "It's a massive achievement for the players and the club, especially with a game to spare.

"Everyone is delighted but we have a big game (against Middlesbrough) on Saturday. We need to enjoy this moment now but come tomorrow, we need to get ready for Saturday."

- Wire Services.


BY THE NUMBERS

40/1 Leicester's odds to win the Champions League. Or, for the more pessimistic, you can get 16/1 on Claudio Ranieri's men to be relegated from the Premier League this season.

Champions LeagueLeicester City