Fair play to Brendan Rodgers for his post-match comments after Leicester 0 Newcastle 1
After four wins in a row, Brendan Rodgers was brought back down to earth on Friday night.
The recently installed Leicester boss had seen his side score 11 times in those four games but he was forced to admit after the final whistle: ‘We couldn’t break down their defence.’
After proving second best to Rafa’s Newcastle United, Brendan Rodgers declared: ‘It will be good for our learning going forward.’
Fair play though to the former Liverpool manager, as rather than make excuses or lazily accuse Newcastle of negative tactics, he simply pointed out what his players didn’t do so well and what the visitor did do well.
Leicester may well have had a lot more possession (72%) but the overall stats (see below) show that this was anything but an all out defensive display with Newcastle having more corners (3 v 2), the same number of efforts on target (5) and only one less shot (11 v 12).
It was a case of Rafa Benitez getting his tactics exactly right at both ends of the pitch, much as happened last April. Newcastle far the better team when winning 2-1 here last season and having the better chances.
Brendan Rodgers talking to LCFC TV:
“We found it difficult to break them down.
“I think it’s been a problem this season from what I’m led to believe.
“You can see why on evenings like that, whenever a team is camped in.
“We just didn’t quite move the ball quick enough through the thirds and like I say, the passing needs to be a bit cleaner to break through. The players gave everything.
“We had a couple of opportunities. Jamie [Vardy] had one where he makes a great run and just clips it over the bar.
“We got into some good areas at times but I think tonight was just one of them ones where we just didn’t quite make the final pass.
“We’ll analyse the goal because I think we can do better with that.
“The players gave everything and it was just one of those evenings for us.
“It [Newcastle’s winner] was from a goal-kick.
“We need to be better in terms of competing for the second and third ball in that moment.
“We won the first header and we won the second ball and like I say, they get onto the next ball, play it through and then they’re away.
“It was a good header by the player [Ayoze Perez], who comes across Wes [Morgan] and gets the header…We can be better in that.
“I thought he [Marc Albrighton] was excellent, I thought he came on and had no hesitation in getting his crosses in.
“When you play against that deep lying defence then you need players that can cross the ball and I thought when he came on, he was very good, so it was nice to get him back on the field again.
“It’s difficult to break down a team like that. It’s an area we will get better at.
“There wasn’t a lot in the game, our final pass just wasn’t there but we gave everything. We couldn’t break down their defence.
“We will learn from it; this is why I am here.
“In games like that, you have to stay patient and have tactical discipline. The players have been first class since I came here but if you’re not quite on it, a result like this can happen.
“The speed of our passing in particular can be much better. We let them get into shape too early. It needs to come quicker.
“We changed it around a few times but it was one of those evenings. It will be good for our learning going forward.”
Stats from BBC Sport:
Leicester 0 Newcastle 1
Possession was Leicester 72% Newcastle 28%
Total shots were Leicester 12 Newcastle 11
Shots on target were Leicester 5 Newcastle 5
Corners were Leicester 2 Newcastle 3
Referee: Chris Kavanagh
Dubravka, Yedlin, Lascelles, Schar, Dummett, Ritchie, Hayden, Ki (Diame 82), Almiron (Atsu 78), Perez, Rondon
Darlow, Shelvey, Fernandez, Muto, Yedlin
Crowd: 32,108 (3,000 Newcastle)
(Reaction from Newcastle fans/writers to the 1-0 win at Leicester HERE)
(Great response from Alan Shearer to NUFC victory at Leicester HERE)
(Excellent footage of Newcastle fans singing/celebrating at full-time HERE)
(Gary Neville and Jamie Carragher discuss the state of Newcastle United HERE)
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