Leicester City vs Southampton: Claudio Ranieri admits misfiring team deserved to lose

Italian manager pleased to escape with a point after seeing his team out-played by Southampton at the King Power Stadium on Sunday afternoon

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The Independent Football

Claudio Ranieri admitted that Leicester City are still adjusting to their status as champions after Southampton got the better of a 0-0 draw at the King Power Stadium this afternoon. Leicester have only won two of the seven Premier League games so far this season, having found it difficult to beat teams who have prepared for their counter-attacking style of play.

Southampton were well set-up for Leicester on Sunday afternoon, and Ranieri conceded in his post-match press conference that he needs to work to find a way to beat teams who have neutered his best tactic. “Of course teams are very worried with our counter-attack, and try to stop us every time,” Ranieri said. “We have to find the solution.”

Ranieri was honest enough to admit that he was pleased to escape with a point after being out-played by Southampton, who created far more chances than they did. 

“I’m very happy because I recognise Southampton played better than us and they deserved to win,” Ranieri said. “We created some good chances but  they created more than us. Kasper Schmeichel made some two or three great saves, they hit the post. They made mistakes, fortunately. But for us it’s ok: one point and clean sheet.”

Ranieri suggested that Leicester had to re-evaluate their expectations given the demanding calendar of Champions League and Premier League football. “Maybe it is harder to think about, when we play every three days,” Ranieri said. “Maybe at the end of the 22 days, was much better to give some rest to some players.”

The international break starts tomorrow but Ranieri said it was a challenge to keep his players fresh when the club season resumes. “How many players stay and rest with me: five, six or seven? The others  go on international games and then come back two or three days before Chelsea. And then we have Champions League. I have to think very, very well.”

Claude Puel said it showed how well Southampton had played, given that he was frustrated with a 0-0 draw. “When you finish a drawn game away against Leicester with a little disappointment, it's a good thing,” Puel said. “It shows you had a very good game. We created many chances and had good actions, It is a shame we didn't score. Perhaps we should have had at least one goal. But overall we can see a good performance from my players.”