Ranieri: Important To React
- After a solid start, Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Zlatan Ibrahimović scored in the 42nd and 44th minutes to put United 2-0 up
- Juan Mata scored four minutes after half time to put the game out of City’s reach
- The manager says his team will fight until the end
Claudio Ranieri was frustrated to see his side concede twice just before half time during a disappointing 3-0 defeat to Manchester United at King Power Stadium on Sunday night.
The Foxes went toe-to-toe with their opponents in a promising opening 40 minutes until Henrikh Mkhitaryan fired in the opener just before the break – a frustration compounded when Zlatan Ibrahimović made it 2-0 moments later to put United in command.
They came out with purpose in the second half but when United added a third just four minutes into the second half through Juan Mata, the task was too big for the Foxes to recover from.
Afterwards, the manager pointed to the timing of Manchester United’s goals as part of the reason for City’s downfall, but again underlined the importance of the reaction from his team.
“I thought we started very well and pressed high,” said Ranieri. “We closed the space and it was a good match. But suddenly we conceded two goals in two minutes and it was very, very hard. In the dressing room we spoke about the opportunity to get back [into the game]. We wanted to start faster and stronger but they scored a third and from there it’s very difficult to get back.
“They slowed down the tempo and it was too easy for them. For us it was hard to press because they moved the ball too quickly with one or two touches and it was very difficult.
“Of course when you don’t score you can’t win but I’m very confident with my strikers. We have Slimani to come back, he’s another option, so that’s good.
“Every time we speak about trying to be solid. We did a good performance [in the first half] but then conceded two in two minutes. From there it’s difficult to go back.
“We are very sad but it’s important to react. We remain ready to fight until the end.”
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