In Depth

Leicester City fans need to wake up after Porto thrashing

Foxes suffer 'another kick in the teeth' as they lose 5-0 in Europe – but do the fans have a right to complain?

So far this season, the Champions League has been something of an escape from the harsh realities of the Premier League for champions Leicester City. But the malaise that has affected them at home has now spread to Europe and against Porto Claudio Ranieri's team suffered the worst-ever defeat inflicted on an English team in the competition.

Having already qualified for the last 16 as group winners, Leicester fielded a second string team against the Portuguese side, but they did little to enhance their reputations as the Foxes were hunted down and beaten 5-0 by Porto.

"On an evening that was supposed to mean nothing, progress as Group G winners having long since been established, this was another kick in the teeth," says Paul Joyce of The Times. Having slumped to 13th in the Premier League, Leicester's "reputation is in danger of taking a battering".

With confidence already low "City's lack of squad depth was cruelly exposed", says James Nursey in the Daily Mirror.

"If Ranieri was hoping to see his fringe men shine to create competition for places, he will be sorely disappointed... The chastening defeat must add urgency to the club's quest for new signings next month."

It is all too much for some fans, notes the Daily Star. Supporters had "high hopes" for the season after their extraordinary league triumph last season, but "some fans are less than happy" with the team's performances this season. The fans have been making their voices heard on football phone-in shows.

But writing in the Daily Telegraph, Luke Edwards says disgruntled Leicester fans are suffering from "bigclubitis" and have "clearly lost the plot".

"The same fans who wildly celebrated promotion to the Premier League in 2014, the same supporters who were thrilled at avoiding relegation the following year, are now incensed by the thought of another relegation battle," he says.

"For Leicester to win the Premier League last season was miraculous. It was one of the greatest achievements in the history of, not just English football, but the world game... The thing is, Leicester are not struggling this season, they are simply performing at their normal level. 

"Leicester allowed every supporter to dream again, but it time for them to wake up. It is time for their supporters to start living in the real world rather than a fairytale one."

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