Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Ranieri urges focus ahead of Champions League bow

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 10 Sep 2016


Leicester City manager Claudio Ranieri urged his side to bounce back from a 4-1 thrashing at the hands of a rampant Liverpool on Saturday ahead of their Champions League debut.

Jamie Vardy’s fortuitous goal just before half-time, gifted to the England striker by a loose Lucas pass, was bookended by a Roberto Firmino double and strikes from Sadio Mane and Adam Lallana.

The defeat is the second of the season for the reigning Premier League champions, leaving them in 15th place with just four points from their opening four games. 

Ranieri’s men now travel to play Club Brugge in their first ever Champions League game on Wednesday, and the Italian says the competition offers his side an opportunity to bounce back and show greater strength. 

“We have to clear our minds for the next match. When we have lost in the past, we have always had a good reaction,” Ranieri told BBC Sport.

Danny Simpson was forced to withdraw in the first half through injury, and Ranieri said he will find out tomorrow if the defender will be fit enough to line up against the Belgian side. 

And the Italian accepted Jurgen Klopp’s men were worthy winners after a dominant display at Anfield. 

“Liverpool deserved to win. It was their first match at home. We were waiting for this kind of football, very aggressive and with great spirit,” he told BT Sport.

“We were OK for the first ten minutes until they scored a goal but after that we lost everything.

“We are always compact, reactive, but we lost the first ball, the second ball. They were unstoppable today.”


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