International Champions Cup, Celtic Park
Leicester City vs Celtic
(1-1, Leicester wins 6-5 on penalties)
Leicester City won their second pre-season game in a row after defeating Celtic 6-5 on penalties.
The Premier League champions were victorious as Riyad Mahrez opened the scoreboard with a solo run that he finished with a curling shot. Celtic’s Eoghan O’Connell then equalized with another curling goal from 25 yards to complete the first 90 minutes at 1-1.
Kasper Schemichel then saved a James Forrest penalty in the shootout for Leicester to win 6-5 on penalties.
Celtic, who recently signed on Liverpool defender Kolo Toure, will have to prepare for another four Champions League qualifying matches, beginning with a 3,000-mile trip to Astana, in Kazakhstan, this week.
However, club coach Brendan Rodgers had fielded a strong side against Leicester.
On the other hand, Leicester is still having troubles keeping their star players such as the match goalscorer Mahrez. France international N’Golo Kante, a breakout star for the Foxes in their title-winning season, had joined Chelsea in a £30m deal earlier this month.
Manager Claudio Ranieri has admitted that the club was left ‘crying’ over the change. However, he insisted that Mahrez, who was continuously linked with big clubs across Europe, will not be changing jerseys anytime soon.
“Last season we lost Esteban Cambiasso and everybody was crying,” said Ranieri. “Now we are crying because we lost Kante.”
“Did you see how Riyad is happy?” he asked. “He played so well, worked so hard for the team, he scored a goal and he stays with us.”
“It is very important (to keep him); he is one of our stars. Other teams maybe have more stars and maybe he doesn’t play at the same level, because maybe is on the bench so it is much better he stays with me.”
In the meantime, Leicester will face European giants Barcelona and French Ligue champions Paris Saint-Germain in the remaining fixtures of the International Champions Cup.