The English media expect an interesting return between PSV and Leicester City. The first quarterfinal in the Conference League ended in a 0-0 draw, so everything is still open. This is what the English newspapers write.
PSV and Leicester met in the King Power Stadium and were equal in phases of the match. The neutral spectator will have gotten his money’s worth, although there were no goals. “A competition that may have been mocked earlier in the season now offers Leicester City one of the biggest games of the season,” writes Leicester Mercury. ‘Because of victories over Randers and Rennes, City are in the quarter-finals of the Europa Conference League. While it may not be the tournament it would have hoped to reach the last eight in advance, it is taken very seriously by players and supporters.”
The local newspaper knows PSV’s background. “There couldn’t be a greater difference in the club’s European history. While City hopes to reach the first-ever European semi-final in its sixth European campaign, PSV, winner of the European Cup in 1988, is competing in Europe for the 48th year in a row.’
The Conference League has slowly gained popularity, but UEFA does not yet take it so seriously that a VAR must be present at every game. PSV was robbed in the second half because it didn’t get a penalty. “This burgeoning tournament has no VAR and no history of UEFA’s other two club competitions. It doesn’t even have its own theme music, but these teams were of a high level and tactically well-matched,” writes The Telegraph.
‘PSV’s new young star’
‘PSV is a challenger for the Eredivisie title, while Rodgers (Brendan, manager Leicester, ed.) has this competition as his only route for silverware. (…) Mario Götze, one of the two PSV players who refused to kneel before kick-off, fluttered across the field, trying to get into spaces left by the visitors, pushing the German to both flanks and behind the Leicester defense in the first few minutes. PSV also tasted the success in the Conference League. Their newest young star is Cody Gakpo, who is likely to go to the Premier League and show a glimpse of his potential on the left wing.”
“PSV is more experienced internationally,” according to The Guardian. Roger Schmidt’s team is second in the Eredivisie, four points behind leader Ajax and is playing in their third European competition of the season. They were eliminated from the Champions League play-offs, finished third in the Europa League group stage, before entering this newly formed competition. And Leicester will be optimistic ahead of next week, knowing that PSV have lost nine of their last ten quarter-finals in Europe. This was Leicester’s first European quarter-final in five years (at the time in the Champions League against Atlético Madrid, ed.). While it’s not the league of choice, Rogers emphasized that it has no intention of turning a blind eye to a prize.”
At PSV, in addition to Gakpo, Noni Madueke was also one of the eye-catchers. “A player who is followed by Leicester, he saw a shot change direction and PSV’s pace caused problems for the home side. He had four blue shirts in his sights in the first half,” the BBC wrote.
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