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Dublin: 11°C Monday 17 May 2021

'I don’t know where they go, Dubai maybe?' Ranieri rewards Leicester despite loss

The Foxes fell to a 2-1 defeat to their title rivals at the weekend.

Claudio Ranieri has guided Leicester to the top of the Premier League.
Claudio Ranieri has guided Leicester to the top of the Premier League.

CLAUDIO RANIERI WILL give his Leicester City players a week off to recharge for their Premier League title push after their last-gasp 2-1 defeat to Arsenal on Sunday.

Leicester had their lead at the top of the table cut to two points at the Emirates Stadium as Danny Welbeck netted a late headed winner, with third-placed Tottenham the same distance behind after beating Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium.

Welbeck’s winner deep into stoppage time punctured the rapidly building excitement around Leciester’s unlikely bid for glory that was bolstered by impressive triumphs against Liverpool and fourth-placed City.

Ranieri made a deal with his players that nine points from their recent run of matches would earn them some time away, with Leicester not involved in the fifth round of the FA Cup next weekend, and the Italian coach is still willing to uphold his bargain, despite the Foxes only collecting six points.

“We make a little gamble with my players and they say to me, ‘If we make nine points will you give us one week away?’,” he revealed.

“Now we make just six points but in my mind I said, ‘Okay’. I was happy with one point from City and one point today, only two points, and we achieved three.

“I said, ‘Okay, it’s the same as if you won the match. Go home and we will see you next Monday.’ They deserve it. They made a fantastic performance today.”

He added: “I don’t know where they go, Dubai maybe? They go wherever they want. [I will spend] one day in London and then I go to Rome.”

Leicester took the lead in north London through Jamie Vardy’s penalty but saw their momentum halted as Theo Walcott equalised prior to Welbeck’s winner.

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