Leicester City boss Claudio Ranieri tried to explain the poor performance and bad defeat against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge today, admitting he left Riyad Mahrez out with Champions League in mind:
“I prefer to preserve Slimani and Mahrez because the Champions League is now. In or out, in or out, in two months or four matches.
“The Premier League is a long way to get 40 points.”
Leicester’s miserable start to the defence of their unexpected title continued, having now conceded a league-high five goals from corners this term.
Ranieri continued: “We have to do something.
“It’s not a name, it’s not who’s playing or not, it’s the concentration. Now too many times we concede a goal from set-plays.
“The first half the performance wasn’t good. We conceded two strange goals. The first corner, (he) was alone. It’s not me alone (it was) Costa. It’s not easy to leave him.
“The second was a ricochet. It was unbelievable what happened this season.”
Leicester collected only 8 points in 8 games, in a similar situation to ‘s one of last season, but Ranieri is focused on working to respond.
“I’m not worried. I know my job,” he claimed.
“It’s difficult to say what happened this season. You see it’s a different Leicester.
“Also me and my players – we see it’s a different Leicester. Now it’s important to understand why.”