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Brendan Rodgers confident despite Leicester’s first-leg draw with PSV

Leicester go to Eindhoven next week after a 0-0 Europa Conference League draw at home on Thursday.


Brendan Rodgers’ side were held to a goalless draw (Barrington Coombs/PA)

Brendan Rodgers’ side were held to a goalless draw (Barrington Coombs/PA)

Brendan Rodgers’ side were held to a goalless draw (Barrington Coombs/PA)

Brendan Rodgers remains confident Leicester can reach the Europa Conference League semi-finals despite a first-leg stalemate with PSV.

The frustrated Foxes failed to gain an advantage ahead of next week’s quarter-final second leg in Holland.

Harvey Barnes hit the bar and Kelechi Iheanacho chipped wide when clean through in the first half.

PSV had their own moments and Kasper Schmeichel saved well from Mario Gotze before the Foxes escaped without punishment when Ricardo Pereira clipped Cody Gakpo in the area. Referee Ivan Kruzliak ignored the visitors’ penalty claims, with no VAR available.

But, while Leicester were left frustrated, Rodgers still believes his side have what it takes to progress.

“We have shown enough and seen enough to know we can go there and win,” he said.

“However it was going to be, it was always going to be tight. You’d love to win it, but it wasn’t to be.

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“We showed our resilience defensively and we’ll go there with enough hope that they’ll probably open up a bit more, which will give us a bit more space.

“It’s finely balanced, I thought it was a good game. PSV were a little bit more closed than normal, so the space was limited, but apart from their chance early on we defended quite well.

“We had the two best chances in the game. There weren’t too many chances but it’s what you expect at this time in the competition.

“With a little bit more finesse and precision in our passing then we might have been able to open the scoring. We’re still in a good place.”

Leicester survived after two minutes when Gotze escaped a napping defence and Schmeichel denied him.

The Foxes slowly worked their way into the game and Iheanacho should have given them the lead when he fired wide with just Yvon Mvogo to beat after Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall won the ball in midfield.

The chance gave Leicester encouragement, but Timothy Castagne failed to get enough on his shot to trouble Mvogo.

Barnes then came closest a minute before the break when he crashed a shot off the underside of the bar after swapping passes with Iheanacho.

It was the nearest the Foxes came and they struggled to create after the break, with Iheanacho’s drive from distance their best offering.

PSV wanted a penalty when Pereira slipped and clipped Gakpo early in the second half but, without VAR, their protests were waved away.

Boss Roger Schmidt said: “I’ve seen it, it was a clear penalty. I’m not a big fan of the VAR so I can’t complain. It was a penalty, but it’s part of football where referees make wrong decisions.

“We accept it and we have to focus on next week. We played a really good game. We had to suffer sometimes, but we played against a really good opponent.

“In total, I’m very happy with the performance. In the first half we had good ball wins, but in the transitions we weren’t quick enough to be available for forward passes.”

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