Ranieri: They Made It Difficult For Us
- A Shinji Okazaki brace put Leicester ahead before Chelsea pulled it back to 2-2
- After Marcin Wasilewski was sent off, two goals from Cesc Fabregas made it 4-2
- Ranieri praises the qualities of Shinji Okazaki after his goals
Leicester City manager Claudio Ranieri was frustrated to see his side beaten in extra-time of a thrilling EFL Cup Third Round clash against Chelsea on Tuesday night.
The Foxes raced into a two-goal lead at King Power Stadium before Chelsea pegged them back to 2-2 going into the closing stages in front of almost 30,000 fans.
But after a red card for Marcin Wasilewski, a brace of goals from Chelsea midfielder Cesc Fabregas put the visitors into an unassailable 4-2 lead that booked them a spot in round four after 120 minutes.
Shinji Okazaki scored both of City’s early goals to provide the Foxes with some positives going into their weekend clash with Manchester United but the manager conceded that it was always going to be tough after going down to 10 men.
“I am happy with our performance until 2-0,” said Ranieri. “We started very well, put them under pressure and we were in control of the match.
“Chelsea had more possession, which was normal, but we were very smart and clever to score twice through Shinji Okazaki. He anticipated twice, one with David Luiz and the other the goalkeeper.
“I think the key was when we conceded a goal from the last corner of the first half. We lost two dangerous men, Luiz on the first post and Gary Cahill at the back post. From that point something changed because I put so many new players and they don’t have 90 minutes.
“The second key was when Wasilewski was sent off. At that point they scored again and it was difficult for us. I hoped to keep it to 2-2 in extra time until the end. I told the players to stay together and close the space. But Fabregas scored twice again and it was very difficult for us.”
On his two-goal striker, who showed great anticipated to take his first goals of the campaign, Ranieri added: “Shinji was very determined. It is good because between Shinji and Ulloa they want to fight to have a chance.
“For us that is good. And also I watched Jeffrey Schlupp come back after his injury, Ben Chilwell, Demarai Gray and Ahmed Musa must understand much better the Premier League, but it is okay. For me it is important to develop all the squad and not just the 14 players. We have a chance to go through to the next round but it wasn’t possible, but it is okay.
“Of course now we have to work more and more to give them 90 minutes because when I need them they must be fit 100 percent.”
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