Thursday, October 19, 2017

Leicester spirit pleases Ranieri

SoccerNews in English Premier League 22 Aug 2015

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Leicester City manager Claudio Ranieri felt a 1-1 scoreline was fair as his team maintained their unbeaten start to the Premier League season against Tottenham.

Riyad Mahrez continued his phenomenal opening to the campaign with a fourth goal in three games to peg Tottenham back in the 82nd minute – just 90 seconds after Dele Alli broke the deadlock for Mauricio Pochettino’s visitors.

Leicester’s spirit in battling back from behind pleased Ranieri, particularly after he observed that sweltering conditions at the King Power Stadium – which saw the teams take water breaks midway through both halves – did not suit their pressing game.

“I think it was right, the draw between us and Tottenham,” he said.

“I wanted to see the gap between us and a team who is building to reach the Champions League because Tottenham have achieved qualification for the Europa League five times in the last six years.

“The quality of the Tottenham players is very high.

“I think the weather didn’t help us because our qualities are different from the Tottenham qualities.

“But it is okay – the draw was right; they had two great chances, also Leicester had two great chances to score a goal.

“I appreciate a lot the spirit of the team when we conceded a goal – after 25 seconds we score for a draw.

“We played very well tactically and I’m very, very satisfied.”

The impressive Mahrez had strong appeals for a penalty rejected by referee Martin Atkinson when he was challenged by Jan Vertonghen shortly before half-time, but Ranieri refused to be drawn on the incident.

“From the bench it is very difficult to see,” he added.

“There is a referee. I look at my players and I do not look at the referee.”

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