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Leicester cruise through to the round of 16

A fantastic early goal from Shinji Okazaki set the Foxes on course for a win that confirms the debutants' place in the knockout stage as Group G winners.

Matchday 5 highlights: See how Leicester secured last-16 spot

Leicester City's dream UEFA Champions League debut goes on after they beat Club Brugge to book a place in the last 16 as Group G winners with a game to spare.

A lovely finish from Shinji Okazaki set Claudio Ranieri's side on their way after just five minutes, and when Riyad Mahrez doubled the lead from the penalty spot – his fourth goal in five UEFA Champions League matches – the writing was on the wall for the point-less visitors.

To their credit, Club Brugge dug in and seven minutes after the break José Izquierdo did what no other team had managed to do before: score against the Foxes in this competition. In some style, too, thumping in after a solo run.

There were a few late scares for the English title holders too, but belying their domestic struggles this term, they held on for a victory that consigns Club Brugge to bottom spot.

Fuchs: It's a dream come true for Leicester
Fuchs: It's a dream come true for Leicester

Key player: Christian Fuchs
This was a match for some of Leicester's unsung heroes to shine, not least their athletic full-back. Fuchs had excelled in Leicester's matchday four draw in Copenhagen when asked to play in two different defensive positions and here we saw his attacking side as he surged forward and swung in a brilliant ball for Okazaki's opener. Jamie Vardy had a goal ruled offside following another terrific cross. Fuchs also provides a threat from long throws as well as bringing crucial UEFA Champions League experience.

Front two set the tone
Okazaki's partnership with Vardy was so important in Leicester's championship charge last season. Tonight they were back in tandem – for the first time in the UEFA Champions League – and together they set the tone for a fine Leicester first-half performance, never giving the Club Brugge back line time to settle in the early stages as Leicester seized control. A tireless worker, Okazaki is known for his selfless team play, but he showed he can finish too with that brilliant first-time strike.

Reporters' views

Mahrez makes it 2-0 from the spot
Mahrez makes it 2-0 from the spot©Getty Images

Simon Hart, Leicester (@UEFAcomSimonH)
There was a moment in the first half when the Brugge fans chanted "Once in your lifetime" at the home supporters. Only time will tell if that proves the case but no Leicester player or fan is complaining right now. For all their wobbles in the Premier League they are doing just about everything right in the UEFA Champions League, finding that extra gear, taking their chances and riding their luck at times. This was another example as they flew out of the blocks, built an advantage and then hung on in the closing stages (as with the two previous home wins).

Berend Scholten, Club Brugge (@UEFAcomBerendS)
Michel Preud'homme opted for an untried defensive line, with Brandon Mechele making his first appearance in six months and Laurens De Bock returning from six weeks on the sidelines. It led to a one-sided first half but what a difference the second period made: Izquierdo's goal was a thing of beauty and the improved showing means the Belgian club can exit with heads held high. Now domestic football takes over.

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