Leicester City “achieved the impossible again” according to captain Wes Morgan, after a stunning win over Sevilla sent them into the Champions League quarter-finals.
The Foxes won 2-0 at the King Power Stadium on Tuesday to progress 3-2 on aggregate.
It continues a fairytale 12 months for Leicester following their Premier League triumph last season.
“I’m not sure if it will happen again but we did it,” Morgan told BT Sport.
“We proved a lot of people wrong and pulled off the impossible again.”
|Who’s through to the last eight?|
|Atletico Madrid/Bayer Leverkusen||Barcelona|
|Bayern Munich||Borussia Dortmund|
|Manchester City/Monaco||Real Madrid|
Leicester, who are still battling for survival in the Premier League despite successive wins under new boss Craig Shakespeare, now go into Friday’s quarter-final draw.
Barcelona, Bayern Munich, Real Madrid and Juventus are among the teams they could play for a place in the last four.
Juventus goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon said after his side sealed their place in the last eight by beating Porto on Tuesday that Leicester are the team to avoid in the next round.
“We will take whoever comes,” added Morgan.
“It is a fantastic night for Leicester. We still need to concentrate on the league but we will enjoy this moment.”
‘We could be the surprise team’
Victory continued Leicester’s impressive resurgence under Shakespeare.
The 53-year-old Englishman stepped up from his role as Claudio Ranieri’s assistant following the Italian’s sacking on 23 February – after the first leg of this tie – and has now led the Foxes to three straight wins.
Shakespeare, who has been made permanent Leicester manager until the end of the season, believes the win ranks alongside the biggest in the club’s history.
“It has to stand up there with all the achievements, because of the quality of the opposition,” he said.
“We know there’s going to be some terrific teams, as there were in the previous round. We’re in there on merit. Make no mistake about that.
“It will be memorable for everyone at the football club. We might just be the surprise team.”
Shakespeare was keen to highlight Ranieri’s part in the club’s success in Europe.
“Claudio will always be fondly remembered by everyone at this football club for what he achieved and helped us achieve,” he added.
“The performance in the first leg when Claudio was in charge, that gave us the springboard for the result tonight.”
From League Two to Champions League quarter-finals
Almost seven years ago to the day, goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel was playing in League Two for Notts County as they drew with Bournemouth.
On Tuesday, he played a crucial role in securing Leicester’s place in the Champions League last eight, saving Steven N’Zonzi’s late penalty that could have taken the game to extra time.
“It is a great feeling to help the team progress,” said Schmeichel.
“We have gone out and played more like we did last season and we are reaping the rewards of it now.
“A lot of us have come a long way. I’ve been all the way down in League Two and to be standing here in the Champions League quarter-finals is incredible.”
Foxes midfielder Marc Albrighton, who scored his side’s second, added: “I’m a bit lost for words.
“I think we thoroughly deserved the victory. We pressed them from the first whistle to the last and rode our luck at times, defended triumphantly, and to get the two goals against such a good team and keep a clean sheet is fantastic for us.”
Like Leicester of old – analysis
Former Leeds United and Manchester City defender Danny Mills told BBC Radio 5 live: “It’s just a different Leicester from what we have seen so far this season.
“All those fans who thought it was a disgrace that Ranieri was sacked, they have got to eat some humble pie.
“There had to be something wrong there.”
Ex-Leicester manager David Pleat: “They looked so fluid and had such amazing passion and determination. It has been such a fantastic time for them over the past few years, which is why we love the game.
“You have to beat your opponents over the course of 180 minutes, which makes the win even more impressive.
“Who would have thought they would win the title last year so whoever they face, who knows? I don’t think they would want either Real Madrid or Barcelona in the quarter-final. Perhaps Monaco if they make it through against Manchester City tomorrow.”
Sunday Times football correspondent Jonathan Northcroft added: “It reminded me of last season so much. It just had that epic quality. Everything was the same as last year tonight, except the man in the dugout.
“But you have got to be honest, this is not the set-up Ranieri would have chosen – they would have had different instructions.
“This was back to basics for Leicester tonight and that is what the players wanted – that’s what got them success last year. It’s a pretty simple blueprint but they do it so well.”
What the papers said