Brendan Rodgers

'We Just Couldn’t Quite Get That Winning Goal' – Rodgers Reflects On Spartak Draw

While pleased with Leicester City's chance creation in Thursday's 1-1 draw with Spartak Moscow in the UEFA Europa League, Brendan Rodgers says the Foxes' finishing could have been at a higher level.
More on this story...

- Brendan Rodgers reflects on Leicester City's 1-1 draw with Spartak Moscow
- Daniel Amartey levelled Victor Moses' opener for the Russian visitors
- City are third in Group C in the UEFA Europa League
- The manager also looks ahead to Leicester's next outings in Europe

City were dominant on Filbert Way, with 77 per cent possession, 13 attempts at goal and over 800 passes, but it was the Russian outfit who went ahead through Victor Moses' header. Daniel Amartey, however, levelled the scores seven minutes later with a nodded effort of his own.

Jamie Vardy had a penalty saved later on for the Foxes, while there were several moments where last-ditch defending, or harsh luck, conspired against Rodgers' men. It's a result which leaves Leicester third in Group C, two points adrift of leaders Napoli with two matches still to play.

"I was pleased with the performance," Rodgers told LCFC TV. "I thought we played well. We had a moment in the second half where we didn’t track the runs into the box and we got punished for it. It’s happened to us before, at the weekend, so it’s something we need to look at. We spoke about it.

"It’s the dirty side of the game you’ve got to do. You’ve got to sprint when the ball’s gone past you. We didn’t go that well enough and the gap opened up. Other than that, we created opportunities, playing against a team that’s really deep in the pitch, and I thought we managed that part of it really well.

We had to work and create opportunities and I think we did that. At times, the final pass let us down. We were still getting into some really good areas.

Brendan Rodgers LCFC TV

"We created chances, but we just couldn’t quite make our finishes."

Rodgers noted Spartak's different game plan in comparison to Leicester's 4-3 win in Moscow last month, with Rui Vitória's men playing far deeper in Leicester. It presented a different challenge for the Foxes and Rodgers was enthused by much of their attacking play, if not their finishing.

"Out there, when they’re at home, they want to come and try and win the game, but of course, with our speed, the space opened up and that gave us opportunities," the Northern Irishman added. "Tonight, they sat that little bit deeper and it was up to us then.

"We had to work and create opportunities and I think we did that. At times, the final pass let us down. We were still getting into some really good areas. We obviously had the penalty, Kiernan [Dewsbury-Hall] had an opportunity. We put him on to have an impact because he’s got a goal [in him].

"He can get in the box and I thought Kiernan did well when he came into the game. It’s a shame because he’s got that goal in him and it was a really good header which looked like it was going in.

"We got into the areas we would want to really, really well. We just couldn’t quite get that winning goal."

City host Legia Warsaw later this month before heading to Napoli in December and Rodgers has challenged his squad to win both games to ensure they progress to the knockout stages of the competition.

"It’s simple, we’ve got to win the two games," the 48-year-old explained. "The beauty is, if you win the two games, you win the group. We need to get the result in our next game here against Warsaw. That’s imperative. We need to win that and that sets it up for the final round. It’s pretty straight forward.

"If you don’t win your home games, it makes it really difficult for you. We haven’t done that, we did it last year, when we got to the points we wanted. That’s our responsibility, but we sill have a great chance. We have to win the next game.

"With European football and Premier League football, the games come really thick and fast. You’re trying to get that freshness, that energy. We’ll have some players back for the weekend (away at Leeds United), which will be really good, and we’ll get ready for a really tough away game."

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