Craig Shakespeare

Shakespeare Looks For Positives In Defeat

Leicester City manager Craig Shakespeare couldn’t hide his frustration after his team came away empty handed from an eventful 4-3 defeat to Arsenal in the Premier League curtain raiser at Emirates Stadium.
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- Craig Shakespeare reflects on a dramatic 4-3 defeat to Arsenal at Emirates Stadium in the 2017/18 Premier League opener
- The Foxes led 2-1 and 3-2 during the match but two late Arsenal goals snatched victory
- Shinji Okazaki levelled after Arsenal took an early lead while Jamie Vardy added another two
- The manager says there are plenty of positives to take despite the frustrating result on the night

After going 1-0 down in just the second minute, strikes from Shinji Okazaki and Jamie Vardy had the Foxes ahead, until Danny Welbeck levelled on the stroke of half-time to cap a thrilling first 45 minutes.

Shakespeare’s resilient Foxes again took the lead midway through the second half when Vardy headed in a second from a Riyad Mahrez corner, but with the clock ticking down, Arsenal struck twice from set plays with Aaron Ramsey and Olivier Giroud to snatch all three points.

There were plenty of positives for the Foxes to take however – not least the excellent goal scoring form of Vardy – but the manager will take time to reflect on an evening in London that saw his team just minutes away from a famous victory.

It was a disciplined performance, we counter attacked well and for a first game, individual performances were very good, but more importantly as a team we showed our resilience and created chances when we could.

Craig Shakespeare

“When you get a defeat, the natural reaction is to be disappointed with the overall result but you have to take some positives,” said Shakespeare. “I always look for the positives. At the moment sitting here, of course I have a dejected dressing room but to come here and score three has to be pleasing in some respects, but it doesn’t feel like it at the moment.

“We’ll go back to the training ground and reflect on the type of goals we scored and the game plan. We tried to hit Arsenal on the counter attack and I thought that worked well. In terms of the effort of the players, we saw it through for 83 minutes, and to concede two late set plays in the manner we did, is hard to take.

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Shinji Okazaki
Shinji Okazaki

Okazaki heads in early on at Emirates Stadium.

“It was a disciplined performance, we counter attacked well and for a first game, individual performances were very good, but more importantly as a team we showed our resilience and created chances when we could.”

Okazaki’s instinctive header was certainly a positive for the Foxes to take, as well as the goals from Vardy, who put in an excellent display that came close to helping to earn his side some deserved points.

Shakespeare added: “I thought all pre-season he’s (Jamie Vardy) looked sharp and fit. We all know what Jamie Vardy’s attributes are we encourage him to do that. We encourage our midfield players to play the ball in behind because he’ll be a threat, and he got the goals his performance deserved.”

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