Antoine Griezmann has pledged his immediate future to AtlÃ©tico Madrid, saying it'd be a dirty move to depart the club after their transfer ban was upheld. Ultimately, though, the joy of reaching the semi-finals belonged to the side. The only team to have got the better of AtlÃ©tico in this competition throughout that time is perhaps in hindsight Leicester and Real Madrid will reflect it was a mistake to operate with much restraint in the first leg. The France had been linked with a potential world-record transfer to Manchester United, but any such move is off subsequent to the court of arbitration for sport upheld a ban on the club. The greatest compliment which can be paid to Leicester City is that it earned this kind of ovation and was dibuifficult to remember. It's been an epic run, they've had some great fun along the way and the memories will be cherished by them but ultimately the applause in the last whistle was for the end of the adventure. For Leicester City it was a long, gruelling night but they did at least emerge with a glimmer of hope. They've been here before, needing to overturn a firstâleg deficit against a team that's given them a chasing, as well as on the last occasion against Sevilla it didn't end too badly. Now they're going to need to show all that courage that is competitive for another feat of escapology. Englandâs last representatives in this competition couldn't manage just one shot on target through the evening and it was difficult, indeed, to think of any noteworthy efforts whatsoever. AtlÃ©ticoâs possession reached a high of at one point. All the gameâs statistics pointed to the fact that Leicester were second-best. It's hypothetical now but what a difference it may have made if they'd conjured up an away goal in the Estadio Vicente CalderÃ³n. They couldn't manage a solitary attempt on target or in the instance of Vardy a single pass as well as their failure to score in Madrid left them vulnerable to the possibility which their opponents might get one in the return leg.
All of which meant SaÃºlâs expertly taken goal, minutes in, put Leicester in the unenviable position of knowing they'd need to score three. And no side have done that against AtlÃ©tico in this competition since they lost in September at Olympiakos a run matches. The goal left AtlÃ©tico in a position of strength although Leicester needed something special. They gave everything Leicester reminded us of all their better qualities, they could and, if nothing else throughout that period of concerted second-half pressure when they seemed to believe themselves capable of pulling off an implausible feat of escapology. Speaking during the French television programme Telefoot morning on Sunday, Griezmann said: The ruling of the CAS has come through. AtlÃ©tico cannot recruit. Eric Olhats, with my sporting adviser, we decided to stay. Itâs a hard time for the club. It'd be a dirty move to leave. We talked to the leaders and we'll be back for next season. The difference this time is they don't have an away goal and, defensively, they are going to need to make do without Robert Huth due to his second-half booking. Shakespeare responded at half-time by bringing in place of Shinji Okazaki and Yohan Benalouane on Leonardo Ulloa and Ben Chilwell and becoming the latest Premier League manager to experiment using a three-man defence. The new system was both bold and necessary and AtlÃ©tico, streetwise though they're, seemed taken aback by the refusal of their opponents to accept their fate. If that had gone in, Leicester would have had all the momentum to go for another one.
To put it in context, if one is scored by AtlÃ©tico, three will be needed by Leicester and that doesn't happen against the team from Estadio Vicente CalderÃ³n. It was managed by Las Palmas in the Copa del Rey. That, of course, is the way that they like it. Over both legs there was at the similar time that the side that is better got through. Leicester put in a commendable effort once their situation became desperate but they'd not have scored highly if points were awarded for creativity, wit or refinement. Too many passes were misplaced and in the first half there were brief flashes of danger from Mahrez and Vardy. His neck muscles were strained, the cross thudded back off his forehead as it bounced past Kasper Schmeichel as well as the ball was still picking up speed. It might have been executed stylishly as headers go. They are able to however, reflect on a relatively satisfying nightâs work even if they'll surely need to operate with more adventure on their own ground. Yohan Benalouane played as though affronted by the suggestion he might be a weak link and it was another night to reveal the renewed sense of togetherness that Leicester, post-Ranieri, are back on an upward curve. Wes Morgan eventually succumbed to a hamstring injury and stoppage time was spent by Schmeichel in the opposition half. Leicester had four minutes and needed two goals. Yet they went looking for that final, elusive glory.
Scored goals in appearances for AtlÃ©tico this past season. The problem for Leicester was that they needed three goals at that point due to the header from SaÃºl ÃÃguez that gave AtlÃ©tico a first-half lead, on aggregate as well as the considerable advantage of an away goal. SaÃºl eluded Albrighton and Christian Fuchs before making the connection that was decisive. Leicester fought to the end and at the last whistle there was something symbolic regarding the way Simeone made it his business shake his hand and to approach every single player in blue.