Gary Lineker makes Europa Conference League claim after his beloved Leicester reach semis

Man Utd 1 Leicester 1: Match in pictures

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Gary Lineker says he has always loved the Europa Conference League after his beloved Leicester City progressed to the last four of the competition courtesy of a quarter-final second leg victory over PSV on Thursday night. The Foxes are now just two matches away from reaching the final, which is set to be held in Albania next month.

Leicester were held to a goalless draw by PSV in the first leg at the King Power Stadium and were up against it at the start of the second leg in the Netherlands. And Brendan Rodgers’ men went behind after 27 minutes as Eran Zahavi took advantage of a mistake by Youri Tielemans to open the scoring.

The visitors were then frustrated for large spells of the match as they looked set to exit the competition. But James Maddison equalised with 13 minutes remaining as he slotted Ayoze Perez’s cutback into the top corner, before Ricardo Pereira fired home a late winner for the Premier League giants.

And Lineker took to social media to celebrate the side’s triumph. “Yesssss,” wrote the Match of the Day presenter on Twitter. “I love the Europa Conference League…. Always have.” And the former England striker followed that up with a second tweet. “A first ever European semifinal in @LCFC’s long history,” he penned. “What a wonderful few years we’ve had. Amazing.”

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Leicester famously defied odds of 5000/1 to win the Premier League title in 2016 – just one season after avoiding relegation to the Championship by the finest of margins. The club went on to play in the Champions League the following season, where they reached the quarter-finals before succumbing to Atletico Madrid.

And last season the Foxes lifted the FA Cup for the first time in their history after they stunned Chelsea 1-0 in the final at Wembley. But the team have struggled this season and are ninth in the Premier League table after winning just 11 top flight games.

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The prospect of securing European silverware now appears to be a distinct possibility, with the side set to face the winner of the showdown between Roma and Bodo/Glimt. The Norwegian side hold the advantage after winning the first leg 2-1 last week.

And former Leicester star Matt Elliott believes the Foxes deserve their place in the last four. “The pre-match talk from Brendan Rodgers would have focused on making history – and they have done that,” Elliott said after Thursday’s match. “Leicester had that edge in the general flow of the game – they deserved to go through.”

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