- Leicester City were defeated by Liverpool at King Power Stadium
- Dean Smith gave his verdict on Monday evening’s 3-0 reverse
- The Foxes are two points from safety with two games to go
A Curtis Jones double had the Reds two goals ahead at half-time on Filbert Way and Trent Alexander-Arnold added a third from a second-half free-kick. There was no way back for the Foxes, who remain 19th in the Premier League standings.
“It was a very tough night,” Smith admitted in his post-match interview with LCFC TV. “The best team won. They’re a very good team with talented footballers. But on top of that, they are top athletes as well. I thought we matched them for 30 minutes until that first goal.
“Our game plan was to keep the ball in front of us and I thought we did that really well but, after 30 minutes, the goalkeeper has put a big ball over the back four and they score from that.
“The manner of the goals that we’ve given away, certainly just in the six games that I’ve had, have been disappointing. There’s things that we can do about it. Unfortunately, we go behind and we get a bit frantic after that. Obviously, the opposition upped their game a little bit as well and score a second.
“We gave them the second almost straight from the kick-off. That’s the disappointing thing that we weren’t thinking clearly under pressure there. That let us down at times.”
Leicester looked for a route back into the game after the interval but the visitors always looked in control and extended their winning run to seven Premier League games in the process.
“[In the] second half, they had some big chances,” City’s manager reflected. “I don’t think the third should be given. It’s never a free-kick. Jonny Evans has won the tackle and you need things like that to go with you. Both of the other goals were marginally onside. Both have gone for VAR and looking back at the stills they are very close. But we have to trust that process.
“We felt we were in the game, even at 2-0. If we get one back, it’s a game changer. That’s why it’s so frustrating with the third. It just gives them the opportunity for a free shot on the edge of the box and that takes the game totally away from you.
“I’ve been frustrated with our reactions to goals and the second one, the way we gave them a chance, is something we have to learn from.”
Unfortunately, we got beat by the better team tonight. We create chances against most teams but we’ve got to keep a clean sheet in the last two just to give us a chance.Dean Smith LCFC TV
Two points from safety with two games remaining, it’s Newcastle United up next at St. James’ Park on Monday. It’s a game that City simply must pick up points in.
The 52-year-old added: “We haven’t got long to go; we’ve got two games and we know we have to go and win them. We play again Monday and we’ll have a better idea after the weekend games of what we need to do, but we have to get lifted.
“They are Premier League footballers and as I’ve said – these players care. You can’t say there wasn’t fight out on the pitch. There was effort, they put the running numbers in, but unfortunately, we got beat by the better team tonight.
“We create chances against most teams but we’ve got to keep a clean sheet in the last two just to give us a chance.”
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