Craig Shakespeare

Shakespeare: Big Moments Going Against Us

Manager Craig Shakespeare was pleased with his Leicester City side’s commitment despite a 2-1 Premier League defeat at the hands of champions Chelsea on Saturday afternoon.
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- Leicester City defeated 2-1 by Chelsea in the Premier League at King Power Stadium
- Goals from Álvaro Morata and N’Golo Kanté either side of half-time gave Chelsea a 2-0 lead
- Jamie Vardy pulled a goal back from the penalty spot just after the hour mark
- Manager Craig Shakespeare was pleased with the commitment and attitude of his team as they pushed Chelsea all the way 

The Foxes were bright and dangerous but fell 2-0 behind to goals from Álvaro Morata and N’Golo Kanté either side of half-time as the key moments in the match were capitalised on by the visitors.

Leicester were persistent though and Jamie Vardy pulled a goal back from the penalty spot on the hour mark after he was brought down by Thiabout Courtois inside the area, but despite late pressure, Chelsea’s defence held out.

The manager was pleased with the efforts of his players as he reflected on the performance afterwards, but underlined the importance of not dwelling on the game with another test away to Huddersfield Town on the horizon next weekend.

"The big moments are going against us at the moment,” said Shakespeare. “We had a chance and a minute later they go down the other end and score.

"We are disappointed and had to change our shape. The players applied themselves magnificently in the second half, on another day it might have gone our way.

"We said the first six games would be a challenge. We go again and have to dust ourselves down. We have a very important game against Huddersfield next week.

“Performance-wise, I thought it was okay in terms of going to the end of a game. I thought the commitment and the endeavour, because when we went 2-0 down, I think my experiences tell me against a team like Chelsea it’s very hard to get back in it and sometimes past history tells you Chelsea might go on and win three or four.

“But I thought that we showed a lot of character, a lot of resilience and actually when we got back to 2-1 I thought the crowd really gave the players a lift and recognised that possibly the momentum was with us.

“We couldn't quite find that breakthrough in the final third once we got the penalty and of course I just think at the moment probably the big moments aren't going our way and I refer to the counter attack before their first goal.”

With the Foxes 1-0 down at the break, Shakespeare shuffled the pack in the second half with the additions of Andy King and Demarai Gray in a 4-3-3 formation, which caused the visitors problems.

Chelsea managed to add a second to take the wind out of City’s sails, but they soon imposed themselves on the game once more and despite the loss, Shakespeare was pleased with the attitude of his team.

He added: “I decided to change it at half-time really to try and get our dribblers, Demarai Gray and Riyad Mahrez, on the ball to try and cause their back three or back five a problem.

“But of course you concede again then within not long and it’s really after a case of digging in which I thought credit to them, to a man, we did that.

“Of course we have to stay positive as a group because we knew that the first six games were going to be difficult, of which playing the top four in that and reigning champions today we knew it was going to be difficult, but in terms of the effort and commitment we actually pushed them to the end.”

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