English Premiership

Leicester win a reaction to bad press - Vardy

2017-02-28 07:19
Jamie Vardy (Getty)

Leicester - Leicester City striker Jamie Vardy said his side's 3-1 victory over Liverpool on Monday had been a reaction to negative media reports over the dismissal of manager Claudio Ranieri.

Ranieri was sacked on Thursday, less than 10 months on from Leicester's 5,000-1 title triumph, after a run of five straight defeats plunged the club into a relegation battle.

Reports suggested Ranieri had lost the confidence of Leicester's players, but Vardy, who scored twice, said the criticism had been unjustified.

"We've come in for a lot of unfair stick with things that have been in the press, but you've seen that the lads wanted to react," Vardy told Sky Sports at the King Power Stadium.

"The performance did that and we want to do it consistently. I couldn't put my finger on why we haven't been doing that regularly.

"We've been working hard and it's just not been happening."

Vardy struck either side of a glorious Danny Drinkwater effort as Leicester ended a run of five straight league defeats to climb to 15th place in the table, two points above the bottom three.

"You can call it a reaction," Drinkwater said. "We've come in for a bit of stick."

Leicester's fans held banners and wore masks in support of Ranieri prior to the game and illuminated their smartphones during a standing ovation in the 65-year-old's honour in the 65th minute.

"I thought it was a lovely touch," said Leicester's caretaker manager Craig Shakespeare, Ranieri's former assistant.

"I thought they got the balance right. They got behind their own team from the word go, but it was a lovely touch in the 65th minute. The players commented about it after the game."

Many fans wore Ranieri face masks and several banners expressed thanks to the popular Italian, with one reading: "Thank you Ranieri for making our dreams come true!"

"Dilly ding, dilly dong/We're sad Claudio's gone," read one banner, a nod to the Ranieri catchphrase that became the slogan of last season's fairytale title tilt.

Another banner held up by a female fan laid the blame for Ranieri's departure partly at the players' door: "RANIERI!! YOUR PLAYERS AND OWNERS LET YOU DOWN!"

Shakespeare wrote in the match programme that press reports of a player rebellion against Ranieri were "unfair" and "unfounded".

Vice-chairman Aiyawatt Srivaddhanaprabha wrote that the players had "supported Claudio fiercely", but accepted some supporters had been left "angry" by the club's decision to sack him.

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Saturday, 22 September 2018
Fulham v Watford, Craven Cottage 13:30
Liverpool v Southampton, Anfield 16:00
Cardiff City v Manchester City, Cardiff City Stadium 16:00
Leicester City v Huddersfield Town, King Power Stadium 16:00
Manchester United v Wolverhampton Wanderers, Old Trafford 16:00
Crystal Palace v Newcastle United, Selhurst Park 16:00
Burnley v AFC Bournemouth, Turf Moor 16:00
Brighton & Hove Albion v Tottenham Hotspur, The American Express Community Stadium 18:30
Sunday, 23 September 2018
West Ham United v Chelsea, London Stadium 14:30
Arsenal v Everton, Emirates Stadium 17:00
Saturday, 29 September 2018
West Ham United v Manchester United, London Stadium 13:30
Arsenal v Watford, Emirates Stadium 16:00
Manchester City v Brighton & Hove Albion, Etihad Stadium 16:00
Everton v Fulham, Goodison Park 16:00
Wolverhampton Wanderers v Southampton, Molineux Stadium 16:00
Newcastle United v Leicester City, St. James' Park 16:00
Huddersfield Town v Tottenham Hotspur, The John Smith's Stadium 16:00
Chelsea v Liverpool, Stamford Bridge 18:30
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