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Leicester are held by PSV in the Europa Conference League quarter-final first leg

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Leicester missed a chance to take over the Europa Conference League quarter-finals after a 0-0 draw with PSV.

The Foxes travel to Eindhoven next week without a valuable advantage after a balanced and hard-fought first leg at the King Power Stadium.

Harvey Barnes hit the bar and Kelechi Iheanacho missed a golden chance in the first half to give Leicester crucial respite.

Ultimately, the Foxes were frustrated in a fighting encounter, although they needed Kasper Schmeichel to save them early as he saved from Mario Gozte.

Leicester’s last European quarter-final was the 2017 Champions League game against Atletico Madrid. Then, after two courageous performances, they gallantly said goodbye with 2:1 in the overall standings and this time they travel to Eindhoven with a balanced draw.

They defied football’s elite five years ago and after a disappointing early exit from the Europa League in December, the Foxes are three games away from their first European final.

They meet an Eredivisie runners-up but outgoing PSV manager Roger Schmidt, who will be replaced by Ruud Van Nistelrooy in the summer, insisted before the game his side could not match Leicester’s individual talent.

He argued they needed to use their collective skills and the visitors almost stunned the hosts after just two minutes.

The Foxes were caught napping on a through ball and Götze only had to smash Schmeichel, but the goalkeeper – one of just two survivors from the starting XI against Atletico – made a good save.

Initially, Leicester were struggling to settle down, with the bubbly Noni Madueke at the center of PSV’s early threat, but they gradually began to see more of the ball and struggled for a measure of control.

And they should have taken the lead after 20 minutes just for Iheanacho to squander his chance.

Joey Veerman was closed by Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall and he blocked his pass to send Iheanacho clear after passing Andre Ramalho.

The striker was only left to beat Yvon Mvogo but he dinked the ball wide.

It at least proved the opportunities were there for Leicester and Timothy Castagne was the next to threaten but he couldn’t cause any problems for Mvogo.

The foxes found the space they needed and were only millimeters away from going into the front break.

Again Dewsbury-Hall was the instigator as he charged left and cut the ball back for Barnes to trade passes with Iheanacho and smash an angled drive from 12 yards off the underside of the bar.

The Foxes were the aggressors and PSV lacked the imagination to unlock Leicester since Schmeichel’s early duel with Götze.

However, the visitors called for a penalty early in the second half when Ricardo Pereira slipped and Cody Gakpo appeared to foul, but referee Ivan Kruzliak remained unmoved and there was no VAR to check.

Iheanacho shot wide just after the hour and as the game progressed, PSV were visibly happy to take the draw to the Philips Stadion.

They took the sting out of the game and now Leicester have to go the hard way in Holland.

https://www.independent.ie/sport/soccer/leicester-held-by-psv-in-europa-conference-league-quarter-final-first-leg-41531868.html Leicester are held by PSV in the Europa Conference League quarter-final first leg

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