Leicester City interim manager Craig Shakespeare admitted his team must be bolder and more adventurous to reach the Champions League semifinals after suffering a 1-0 quarterfinal first-leg defeat against Atletico Madrid in the Spanish capital.
Antoine Griezmann’s first-half penalty — awarded by referee Jonas Eriksson despite the fact the Frenchman appeared to have been fouled outside the area by Marc Albrighton — secured a narrow advantage for Diego Simeone’s team ahead of next Tuesday’s second-leg.
The defeat came at an extra cost for Leicester due to centre-back Robert Huth receiving a booking that will see him suspended for the return game at the King Power Stadium.
But after sending his team out to soak up Atletico pressure in the Estadio Vicente Calderon, Shakespeare insists Leicester will be more attack-minded next week.
“We know we have to be more open because we need a goal and one of Atletico’s pluses is their ability on the counterattack,” Shakespeare said. “But we are still alive and we want to stay in the competition.
“I have seen enough throughout the squad. We know what we are about at the King Power and know what we need to do. But we have to create more chances and attack more than we did tonight.
“Atletico are a very good team, their work ethic is exceptional. We are aware of that, but we are still in this tie. We still have a challenge ahead against a very good team, but we are aware of what we need to do for the second-leg. We know it is a going to be a very difficult return match, but we have very good record at the King Power.”
Leicester were on the wrong end of a series of refereeing decisions, with Huth’s booking and Atletico’s penalty both appearing harsh. And the loss of Huth means that, with captain Wes Morgan struggling to overcome a back injury, Leicester could be without their two first-choice centre-halves for the return leg.
“It’s a blow to lose Robert,” Shakespeare said. “We have a few on yellows and we knew it was a tightrope. Robert is a very committed player. There is some hope with Morgan, though. He has been out on the grass for the last few days and we hope he will be all right. But honestly, it is touch and go and we’ll have to look at team shape over the next few days.”
Goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel, who captained the Foxes at the Vicente Calderon, said of the penalty decision on BT Sport 2: “It was plain and obvious to see, it has ruined our game plan. It is a decision that is tough to take when it is so clear and obvious. We should have had something from this but we have to accept it.
“We made a challenge outside of the box. They might have scored from that free kick but obviously there is a much better chance of scoring from the penalty. But it was never a penalty.”
Shakespeare, meanwhile, declined to comment fully on prematch incidents in Madrid which resulted in the arrest of eight Leicester supporters following violence in the city centre. “I’m aware of it, but I haven’t seen anything,” he said. “So until the club makes a statement, it’s best I stick to the football.”
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