Brendan Rodgers declares ‘We could have had 5 goals’ v Newcastle and points to missing star
Brendan Rodgers insists he took a lot of satisfaction from the fact that his team kept going until the very end.
With Newcastle 4-0 up after 73 minutes, Leicester could easily have folded.
However, the Foxes scored in the 80th and 87th minutes and if not for a blinding save by Dubvravka from Perez with a couple of minutes of normal time left, the final five or six minutes would have been very uncomfortable for the visitors.
Maybe the biggest surprise in the match was that there weren’t even goals, as in total there were 39 shots (Leicester 25 and Newcastle 14) and 15 on target (Leicester 9 and Newcastle 6). Brendan Rodgers declaring: ‘We scored two goals and we could have had five goals ourselves tonight.’
Dubravka the better and busier keeper on the night but Schmeichel matched the Newcastle keeper’s save from Perez with a blinding one of his own in the first half when deflecting ASM’s effort past the post.
Whilst there was drama late in the game, Brendan Rodgers thought the damage was done in the minutes before kick-off.
Jonny Evans named in the team but a heel problem forcing him out of the side and onto crutches, Brendan Rodgers ruing his bad luck as the key defender ends up missing at the worst possible time of the season: ‘I’ve always said he’s the brain in our defence. Whether we play a back four or a back three, he’s the one that keeps the line up. He pulls the other two guys together. They’re young players.’
Leicester had more chances but on the night Newcastle had the better finishers and goalkeeper.
Brendan Rodgers talking to LCFC TV:
“It’s a very disappointing result.
“A key item for me was our concentration from a defensive perspective. We conceded poor goals. We made errors for the goals.
“This is a stage of the season where you have to be really concentrated in the game.
“For that, we got punished.
“They’ve got top players who can hurt you. That was the biggest disappointment.
“We kept going until the very end. I was proud of the team in terms of the fact that we didn’t sink. Sometimes at 3-0 or 4-0 down, the team can stop running, stop working, but they showed their spirit.
“We scored two goals and we could have had five goals ourselves tonight.
“The (Newcastle) goalkeeper made a few great saves, but you’re never going to win a game if you defend like that and make those mistakes and, unfortunately, that punished us.
“Everything’s still in our hands.
“We have made it difficult for ourselves with the last two results. It’s disappointing, especially tonight, but we have to go away now and recover for a massive game on Tuesday (Man Utd away). It’s all still in our hands.
“We’ve been absolutely brilliant up until this point and we’re still in with a great opportunity to achieve everything we want to.
“We have to learn from tonight and realise if you make mistakes, you’re not going to win games and, if you don’t win games, you’re not going to arrive where you want to arrive.
“That’s what we need to reflect on and take into our next performances.”
On the absence of Jonny Evans (named in Leicester team but was forced to withdraw before kick-off due to a heel problem):
“We were managing a problem with his heel for the last two weeks.
“It’s something which he’s been having injections for and got through okay. Just before he finished the warm-up, he was in a lot of discomfort when he came in just before kick-off.
“He tried to stretch it out in the changing room but he was suffering. We’ll just have to wait and see. He’s on crutches at the moment, so that was a massive blow for us.
“I’ve always said he’s the brain in our defence. Whether we play a back four or a back three, he’s the one that keeps the line up.
“He pulls the other two guys together. They’re young players.
“I thought Wesley Fofana was outstanding this evening. He got done for a corner, but apart from that, he was aggressive, his concentration was very good. He was excellent, but Jonny’s a huge miss when he’s not playing for us.”
Stats from BBC Sport:
Leicester 2 Newcastle 4 – Friday 7 May 8pm
Willock 22, Dummett 34, Wilson 64, 73
80 Albrighton, 87 Iheanacho
(Half-time stats in brackets)
Possession was Leicester 69% (67%) Newcastle 31% (33%)
Total shots were Leicester 25 (7) Newcastle 14 (9)
Shots on target were Leicester 9 (4) Newcastle 6 (3)
Corners were Leicester 9 (2) Newcastle 6 (5)
Referee: Darren England
Dubravka, Murphy, Fernandez, Krafth, Dummett, Ritchie, Shelvey, Willock (Sean Longstaff 77), Almiron (Hendrick 88), Wilson, Saint-Maximin (Joelinton 84)
Gillespie, Lewis, Manquillo, Carroll, Clark, Gayle
(Leicester 2 Newcastle 4 – Match ratings and comments on all the NUFC players – Read HERE)
(Leicester 2 Newcastle 4 – What have I just watched??? – Read HERE)
Leicester 2 Newcastle 4 – Instant NUFC fan/writer reaction to Friday’s 6 goal thriller – Read HERE)
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