Sampaoli rues Schmeichel heroics

Sevilla had been cruising at the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan thanks to efforts from Pablo Sarabia and Joaquin Correa, before Jamie Vardy scored a potentially vital away goal 17 minutes from time for the Foxes.

The goal came against the run of play after Sevilla had dominated proceedings right from the start, but Sampaoli's men were not clinical enough.

Schmeichel made a number of strong saves and kept out a tame Correa penalty in the first half, leading Sampaoli to highlight his performance as the main stumbling block between Sevilla and a more comfortable result.

Ranieri hails Leicester's 'big heart' in Sevilla loss

Goals from Pablo Sarabia and Joaquin Correa had put the hosts in control at the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan as Leicester were insipid - typical for much of this season - for 70 minutes.

However, Vardy's first Champions League goal - breaking a drought of over two months - backed up Kasper Schmeichel's early penalty save from Correa to give the Foxes a fighting chance of making the quarter-finals.

Sevilla 2 Leicester City 1: Vardy's strike tees up second leg after Schmeichel heroics

This continental trip offered the Foxes distraction from domestic dismay that lurched from slipping into a Premier League relegation fight to FA Cup elimination at the hands of Millwall on Saturday.

Given their woeful form, a trip to the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan was the last thing Claudio Ranieri needed and Sevilla - without the suspended Jorge Sampaoli on the touchline - routinely found gaps in a porous and passive defence.

Leicester can't afford to live in the past, warns Sampaoli

The Foxes earned a place in the Champions League by defying the odds to claim the title in 2015-16, before progressing to the knockout stages of Europe's elite club competition at the first attempt.

Their defence of the domestic crown is verging on the disastrous, though, with Leicester sitting 17th, one point clear of the relegation zone, prompting speculation over the future of manager Claudio Ranieri, just nine months after earning pride of place in the club's folklore. 

Ranieri: Sevilla game can be a turning point for Leicester

Having won the Premier League title last term, Leicester have endured a tough domestic campaign as they find themselves in a relegation battle, just one point and one place above the bottom three.

However, their European form has been impressive - they won their Champions League group ahead of Porto - and Ranieri is determined that another big result on Wednesday could be crucial for Leicester's fortunes at home and abroad.

Ronaldo out of Madrid squad for Sevilla clash

Ronaldo also missed the first leg of the round of 16 tie, with Madrid cruising to a 3-0 win at the Santiago Bernabeu without their star attacker.

He then returned to the starting XI for the 5-0 win over Granada at the weekend, but will be allowed to sit out Thursday's clash again.

Modric, meanwhile, has featured for the full 90 minutes in Madrid's first two games of 2017, but Zidane does not need the Croatia international at the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan.

Barca president Bartomeu could miss Copa final as protest

Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu could miss the Copa del Rey final in protest against the banning of Catalan flags at the event, according to vice-president Carles Vilarrubi.

Barca will be looking to complete a domestic double when they take on Europa League winners Sevilla at the Vicente Calderon in Madrid on Sunday.

UEFA handed the Camp Nou club a fine following the appearance of Catalan flags in last season's Copa final and Madrid governor Concepcion Dancausa confirmed they would be banned from this weekend's match.

La Liga: 5 things you didn't know...

Barcelona scored more goals than any team in the top five European leagues this season.

Barcelona win La Liga title

The defending champions made light work of the home side courtesyt of a hat-trick from Luis Suarez, who claims the Pichichi prize for top scorer after finishing on 40 for the season.

Suarez struck twice in the first half against a Granada side who had little to play for, after they secured their survival with a 4-1 win over Sevilla last week.

Moreno seeking extra inspiration from Liverpool heroes

Liverpool left-back Alberto Moreno has been using the club's incredible 2005 Champions League triumph in Istanbul as motivation for his club's upcoming Europa League final against his old side Sevilla.

The Spanish winger-turned-full-back said he was watching footage of the game, in which Liverpool recovered from a 3-0 half-time deficit to lift the Champions League trophy after penalties, in the build up to his first European final with the club.