Barnes hits bar as Leicester held by PSV
Leicester and PSV played out an entertaining goalless draw at the King Power Stadium to leave their Europa Conference League quarter-final finely poised ahead of next week’s second leg.
Harvey Barnes hit the bar with a thunderous drive in the first half in what was Leicester’s best opportunity of the match, but Brendan Rodgers’ side could not find the breakthrough ahead of Thursday’s return trip to the Netherlands.
PSV, featuring 2014 World Cup winner Mario Gotze, started brightly and went closest when the German was played through on goal after beating the offside trap in just the second minute, only to see his effort thwarted by the outstretched Kasper Schmeichel.
Leicester team news
Leicester manager Brendan Rodgers made two changes to the side that began the 1-1 draw with Manchester United in the Premier League last weekend.
Ricardo Pereira and Marc Albrighton replaced James Justin and Nampalys Mendy in the starting line-up.
Leicester then grew into the game and had a guilt-edged chance of their own to go in front, but Kelechi Iheanacho placed his effort wide in the 20th minute with just PSV goalkeeper Yvon Mvogo to beat.
Barnes then struck the bar for the hosts just before the interval when he played a quick one-two with Iheanacho in the penalty area before seeing his powerful strike cannon back off the crossbar.
Five minutes into the second half, huge appeals from PSV supporters were ignored by referee Ivan Kruzliak when Cody Gakpo appeared to have been caught by Ricardo Pereira but with no VAR in operation, the game remained goalless.
Leicester struggled to create any clear-cut opportunities after the break and the match fizzled out, with both sides perhaps wary of staying in the tie ahead of next Thursday’s second leg at the Philips Stadion. The winner will face Roma or Bodo/Glimt in the last four.
- Leicester City have lost just one of their last 16 matches in European competition (W10 D5), keeping eight clean sheets in the process.
- PSV are winless in their last four European matches against English sides (D3 L1), with three of these coming away from home, and the Dutch side scoring just once across these three games.
- Leicester have failed to score in European competition for the first time in nine games. The Foxes averaged 2.5 goals per game in their previous eight such fixtures, netting 20 in total.
- PSV haven’t won any of their last 23 matches at the quarter-final stage of a major UEFA European competition (D12 L11) since a 4-2 win over 1. FC Magdeburg in March 1978. Their last first-leg win at this stage came back in March 1971 versus Vorwärts Berlin in the Cup Winners’ Cup.
- Despite coming off in the 67th minute, Leicester’s Kelechi Iheanacho attempted twice as many shots (4) as any other player in the match, with only Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall (3) creating more chances than the Nigerian (2).
- Leicester had 24 touches in the opposition box against PSV, their most in a single European home match (excluding qualifiers) without scoring since their Champions League debut in 2016-17.
Leicester return to Premier League action on Sunday when they host Crystal Palace; kick-off at 2pm. The Europa Conference League quarter-final second leg against PSV takes place on April 14; kick-off at 5.45pm.
Brendan Rodgers’ side then travel to Newcastle three days later on Super Sunday, live on Sky Sports Premier League; kick-off at 2.15pm.