summaryLeicester City and PSV have not scored in the first leg in the quarter-finals of the Conference League: 0-0. The decision will be made in Eindhoven next Thursday. PSV got away with a shot on the crossbar shortly before the break, but should have been awarded a penalty shortly after the break for a foul on Cody Gakpo.
To compensate for the difference in individual qualities, PSV had to play at the top of its game as a team, predicted coach Roger Schmidt. As expected, the German opted for Yvon Mvogo under the bar, Joël Drommel was placed on the bench after his lousy performance against FC Twente. The Swiss was sharp, especially with a few high balls.
As the whole of PSV already started the match sharply. The pleasant atmosphere in the sold-out King Power Stadium helped with that: after just two minutes, Joey Veerman gave Mario Götze a stab at Mario Götze, who avoided the offside and hit keeper Kasper Schmeichel from close range.
Then it was up to Leicester, which first handed out a few pinpricks and became really dangerous in the 20th minute after Veerman lost the ball: Kelehi Iheanacho only just missed Mvogo’s goal. The Foxes are already putting a lot of pressure on PSV, which could hardly come up with an answer. The spaces were there, but finesse on the ball was lacking.
Leicester City did better, the number ten in the Premier League was very close to 1-0 on the stroke of half-time, but Harvey Barnes hit the bar after a flashy combination.
PSV held their ground and shortly after the break the team even had a chance for more: after 52 minutes Cody Gakpo was knocked down in the sixteen, a clean penalty kick, but the Slovakian referee waved it off. Because there was no VAR, the game continued. Much to Schmidt’s horror.
After that penalty moment, little else happened initially, Leicester City insisted a little more, but did not become really dangerous anymore. Also because PSV regularly slowed down. So it remained at 0-0 and PSV still has every chance to continue next week.
Gakpo: ‘I think it was a penalty’
Cody Gakpo looked back with a reasonably good feeling on the first quarterfinal of PSV in the Conference League against Leicester City. “We are playing a draw in an away game against not a bad team. We can be satisfied,” the captain told Veronica after the 0-0. “They played good football and forced us back. We didn’t really get a grip on it,” said Gakpo, who was more satisfied about the second half. “Then we did better.”
Gakpo was slid in the 52nd minute by Portuguese defender Ricardo Pereira. ,,He didn’t hit the ball and I did. So I think it was a penalty. It is a pity that we do not have a video referee in the Conference League, but it is what it is,” said the Orange international, who is hopeful about next week’s return in Eindhoven. “We know what to expect. Then we can bring it in.”
Goalkeeper Yvon Mvogo was the basic player again for the first time in a long time. The Swiss was preferred over Joël Drommel, who did not make a good impression in the league match against FC Twente (3-3) on Saturday. “It’s always nice for a goalkeeper to keep a clean sheet and we succeeded,” Mvogo told ESPN. The keeper had expected to get a little more to do. ,,You play against a good team from a strong competition, then you don’t always have the ball. I expected some shots on target. I really have to thank my teammates because they did a good job. It was very nice to be here.”
PSV coach Roger Schmidt was satisfied. “I think we did well. We played compact,” he said. “Sometimes we could have done a little better in the transition.”
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