Inefficiency with the ball, switching off for key moments, and tiredness caused by the international break were three key factors in Leicester City’s defeat to Manchester City, according to manager Brendan Rodgers. City’s four-game unbeaten run came to an end at the hands of the Premier League leaders, who dominated possession and territory and eventually broke the home resistance on the hour, Benjamin Mendy an unlikely scorer. Gabriel Jesus scored the second and the champions-elect ran out comfortable winners. Diagnosing his side’s problems, Rodgers said they were not as clinical in their passing as they had been during the 5-2 win at the Etihad Stadium, where they counter-attacked with speed and precision, but said the shortened week, with a number of international players not returning to training until Friday, was a factor in that. However, that is not to excuse the two goals they conceded, with Rodgers particularly disappointed with the second, which started from a throw-in, an area he had spoken with his players about before the match.
Q: What’s your reaction?
Brendan Rodgers said “The first hour we were defensively solid and strong and didn’t give away so much, we certainly weren’t as efficient with the ball but defensively we were ok. In the moments we did play through we could have been a threat, and then it looked like we had maybe made a breakthrough at the end of the first half with Jamie’s effort. We’re disappointed with two goals. We could have been better with those, we just got a bit disorganised and left De Bruyne the opportunity to turn 25 yards from goal and they get in, and then the second goal comes from a throw-in, which we’d spoken about beforehand. We lost to the better team. The players kept going and kept fighting. We had some good chances in the game. Madders had a good chance, Youri’s made a great run to get up there. But we can have no complaints, we weren’t as efficient as we’d like to have been.”
Q: How hard is it to be efficient when Man City are so quick to restrict space?
Brendan Rodgers said “It was us as well. We didn’t make the better decisions with the ball either. Our idea was to exploit the sides and at times we were bringing it in central too too early. They’re a fantastic team, you see the likes of Raheem coming into the game, he’s a world-class player, and the changes they can make. There’s no shame, we played them twice, we won a great game up at their place, we lost today. We’ll look at it. For 24 hours, we’ll be disappointed, but then we’ll have a good week next week. We’ll have all the players back from international duty. The likes of Wilf and Kelechi, they were back late Thursday night from Nigeria. There was a lot of travel, a lot of the international players playing lots of games, and we probably weren’t as sharp as what we were in our last game here against Manchester United. That’s the way it goes, we’ll go again.”
Q: What would you like your players to learn from the game?
Brendan Rodgers said “We’ve got to switch on to certain moments. In that period when we conceded the goal, we started to chase the game a little bit and this is a team where if you open your spaces, they have that massive quality to hurt you. But also, that bit more quality with the ball. We weren’t as technically strong as what we’ve been in a lot of our games. Even though they put the pressure, we can still be better and play that bit quicker in our combination play. That’s being super critical.”
Q: Did De Bruyne’s pass and the second goal kill the game?
Brendan Rodgers said “We were disappointed with the first goal, but you’re always in it. We’d made a few moments breaking through and looking like we could create something. He’s so gifted. Technically, he’s arguably the world’s best midfield player. Everything he does is with huge quality. It’s a brilliant pass that sets up the goal.”
Q: If Vardy’s goal had counted, it would have been a different game?
Brendan Rodgers said “We defended well and we weren’t as good with the ball, but we certainly had a number of moments in the first half and that was a moment where we arrived into a good area, and unfortunately we were just offside. He finished it really well without knowing he was off. If you can get in front, that can help, but it wasn’t to be.”
#PLStories – Bruno Lage jokes Adama Traore goal makes him more valuable in transfer market #WolvesFC
Bruno Lage has joked Adama Traore’s suitors will have to pay the price for...
#PLStories – Bruno Lage reveals admiration of Toti Gomes after Wolves debut against Southampton #WolvesFC
Bruno Lage could start Toti Gomes at Brentford next week and admits Wolverhampton Wanderers...
#PLStories – Michail Antonio reveals his hope to get testimonial and shares the sweet deal from West Ham #WHUFC
Michail Antonio has set his sights on scoring 100 Premier League goals and retiring...
#PLStories – Bruno Fernandes reveals frustration after admitting performance was better than result #MUFC
Manchester United attacking-midfielder Bruno Fernandes has paid credit to the club’s travelling army of...
/ 2 days ago
#PLStories – Ralph Hasenhuttl gives Southampton transfer insight and why its not about splashing money #SaintsFC
RALPH Hasenhuttl has reiterated that Saints are ready to pull the trigger on January...