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Ranieri: Man City win means nothing in title race

Claudio Ranieri feels Leicester City’s magnificent 3-1 win at Manchester City means “nothing” in terms of their bid for a sensational Premier League title triumph.

Surprise leaders Leicester stretched their advantage over their opponents to six points with 13 matches remaining thanks to a goal in each half from Robert Huth, either side of Riyad Mahrez’s 14th league strike of a phenomenal campaign.

Leicester travel to another team with title aspirations, Arsenal, next weekend, while Manchester City will seek to bounce back against second-placed Tottenham.

Ahead of a set of fixtures that could radically alter the complexion of the top four again, former Chelsea boss Ranieri is making no predictions in a “crazy” and “strange” league.

“[It means] Nothing, I’m sorry,” he said. “We know it is a crazy league and then we have to try in this crazy league.

“There are some big teams who have to win. We now will enjoy, of course. We don’t leave anything but we want to fight – without pressure.

“For us it is important to play and continue in this way because it is a strange league.”

Playing without pressure as Manchester City crumbled under the intensity of a top-of-the-table clash was key to Leicester’s triumph, according to Ranieri, who again lauded his players’ team spirit

“It was a good performance for us, difficult because when you play against a team like City with players of fantastic quality it is not easy,” Ranieri said.

“But we were very, very concentrated. We want to try to win without pressure, just enjoy the match and try to do our best.

“The first goal was very good for our confidence and then we closed all the space because we played in a very concentrated and determined way through all the match.

“I said from the first moment here at Leicester there is a fantastic dressing room.

“On the pitch they help each other, they fight for each other and that is fantastic spirit.

“We are 11 on the pitch and that is important. We play every time with 11. It is not easy.

“It is the best spirit I remember in my career, as well when I was a footballer.”

Even if Ranieri was unwilling to accept his team’s new-found status as betting favourites to win the league – enjoying a joke at the expense of bookmakers who expected him to be the first Premier League manager sacked this season – he urged Leicester’s delirious supporters to revel in the moment.

“Yes, it is fantastic for them,” he added. “They must continue to dream.”

Sat 6 Feb, 2016
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