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ALREADY QUALIFIED LEICESTER CITY MET THEIR WATERLOO LAST NIGHT AGAINST PORTO

6 months from now  tobi   Sport News

Already qualified Leicester City suffered the worst defeat by an English team in the Champions League as Porto recorded an overwhelming victory to join the Foxes in the last 16. Leicester were already assured of progressing as Group G winners before the game and boss Claudio Ranieri made 10 changes to his starting XI. Porto needed to win to guarantee their place in the knockout stage and made the ideal start when Andre Silva headed home. The Portuguese side dominated throughout, with Leicester rarely making it out of their own half, and added a deserved second through Jesus Corona's stunning volley. Yacine Brahimi then scored a brilliant third just before half-time, backheeling Maxi Pereira's cross beyond goalkeeper Ben Hamer, before Silva converted a second-half penalty following Danny Drinkwater's foul.
Diogo Jota rounded off the scoring late on, slotting home after being put through on goal. The result took some of the shine off Leicester's previous performances in the Champions League this season, but they can now look forward to the draw for the last 16, which takes place on Monday at around 11:00 GMT. Passage to the knockout stage might have been secured before Wednesday's game but Ranieri will still have felt the need for a good performance and result. While they have exceeded expectations in the Champions League, the Foxes' Premier League title defence has been disappointing and they sit just two points above the relegation zone.
Jamie Vardy and Riyad Mahrez have so far been unable to recapture their form of last season and were two of the frontline players not to travel to Portugal. Instead, it was left to Leicester's bit-part players to put on a show. That, unfortunately, did not happen. The Foxes had let in just one goal in their five previous Champions League games but looked capable of conceding from every Porto attack. Their defence was disjointed, with Silva allowed to rise too easily for the hosts' first while Corona was left unmarked for the second.
In attack, Shinji Okazaki and Ahmed Musa offered little, with the latter replaced by Leonardo Ulloa at half-time. The change did nothing to improve Leicester's attacking threat as they finished the game without a shot on target, although Ulloa did hit the crossbar late on. Ranieri would have liked to have seen his fringe players stake a claim for a regular place in his starting XI, but instead their performance may have left the Italian concerned about his side's strength in depth. Ranieri made sweeping changes for this game to give his key players a rest, but the Italian does appear to be struggling to find his strongest XI. The Italian has not named an unchanged side for two consecutive games since 10 September - 14 games ago.
It may be that a lack of consistency is affecting the Leicester players but Ranieri will be forced to rethink his starting line-up once again for this weekend's game against Manchester City. Drinkwater - a crucial player for Leicester in their title-winning season - was substituted with a knee injury towards the end of the second half and an extended absence would be a blow for the Foxes, although Ranieri said after the game that he did not believe the injury to be serious. Leicester return to Premier League action this weekend as they look to start their climb up the table. They host Manchester City on Saturday before travelling to Bournemouth on Tuesday, 13 December.



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