Foxes goalie 'one of Europe's best'

COPENHAGEN • Leicester City manager Claudio Ranieri hailed Kasper Schmeichel as one of the best goalkeepers in Europe, after the Foxes clung on for a 0-0 draw with Copenhagen in the Champions League.

But the Premier League side will have to do without the 29-year-old for an extended spell after he fractured his hand on Wednesday.

The Denmark international picked up the injury in the first half but played on and clawed away a 90th-minute header from striker Andreas Cornelius.

That ensured Leicester became the first debutants in Champions League history to not concede in their opening four games. More importantly, Ranieri's men need just a point from their final two games against Club Brugge and Porto to reach the last 16.

"Kasper is fantastic. I coached a lot of big champions in goal, Kasper is one of these," said Ranieri, who has worked with the likes of Italy No. 1 Gianluigi Buffon during his time in Juventus. "Very, very good. Two perfect seasons."

Leicester lead Group G on 10 points, with Porto second on seven and Copenhagen third on five with two games left. Brugge have not yet scored a point.

"Another clean sheet, I am very satisfied," added Ranieri. "It's good, now our mind in Champions League is about Brugge... For us it's important to achieve three points and go to Porto very calm, and be first in the group."

Copenhagen's only previous loss in 27 competitive games was a 1-0 reverse to Leicester in their clash two weeks ago. And manager Stale Solbakken said he could not have asked for much more. "After 180 minutes against Leicester, the only thing missed was that we did not score a goal," he told TV3+.

Leicester's second-choice goalkeeper Ron-Robert Zieler, signed from Bundesliga side Hannover in the close season, is likely to start in goal against West Bromwich Albion in the league on Sunday.

REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 04, 2016, with the headline 'Foxes goalie 'one of Europe's best''. Print Edition | Subscribe