Win against Palace showcased ‘real’ Leicester, says Ranieri
Leicester City’s emphatic 3-1 victory against Crystal Palace on Saturday was reminiscent of the performances that propelled them to the title in May, manager Claudio Ranieri has said.
Champions Leicester’s faltering domestic form this season finally found some spark as Ahmed Musa scored his first goal for the club and Shinji Okazaki and Christian Fuchs struck after the break to stretch the Foxes’ unbeaten home run to 20 games.
“Everyone played well, everyone understood the movement and helped each other,” Ranieri told British media.
“There was this type of performance last season. (Against Palace) we saw the real Leicester.
“For me, the more important thing is to see my Leicester. When we fight, the result is another thing.
“Realistically we have to be safe this season, because everyone now is thinking we are the champions, but the last campaign we have to forget. It was not real, it was magic.”
Ranieri left striker Jamie Vardy on the bench for the clash against Palace, but the Italian suggested that the move was also indicative of Leicester strength in depth.
“Always it is in my mind and he (Vardy) is our goalscorer, but he knows when there are so many players a little rotation doesn’t matter,” Ranieri added.
“If I don’t have Islam Slimani or Leonardo Ulloa, Vardy would have to play, but we have some good players so it was right to give him a rest.”
Leicester are also on the brink of qualifying for the Champions League knockout rounds after three group stage wins, and Ranieri wants to build a team that will be a threat in Europe.
“We have to build to bring this team in Europe. I think it is difficult this season because there are so many teams who spend a lot of money,” Ranieri added.
“For me it is important to maintain these players and improve our squad.”
Leicester, who are 12th in the league, travel to Tottenham Hotspur on Saturday.