Manager Brendan Rodgers revealed what Leicester must do if they are to emerge from Thursday’s Europa League draw with Napoli a better side.
The Foxes drew 2-2 with the Italian outfit as they set out on a second consecutive campaign in Europe’s second-tier competition. Ayoze Perez gave the East Midlanders a half-time lead with a volley after just nine minutes. And Harvey Barnes doubled the home side’s advantage after 64 minutes.
But Victor Osimhen reduced the deficit in the 69th minute before breaking Leicester hearts right at the death. He bagged his and the Italian side’s second with three minutes to go.
There was still time for things to get worse for the Premier League outfit as Wilfred Ndidi was sent off in stoppage time. The 24-year-old Nigerian international was given his marching orders for two yellow cards.
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It was a tough result for Rodgers to take but the Northern Irishman preferred to look at the positives.
“Disappointed with the end result but some exciting and good moments – the two goals are outstanding and one disallowed that was tight,” he told BT Sport.
“Maybe we tired a bit, some players were getting minutes in their legs. There are things for us to improve on – keeping the ball better for longer periods, if we did that we wouldn’t tire so quickly.
“The effort and mentality was good, it is a shame we couldn’t close it out. I don’t think they created too many chances, we had good possession. You have to do all the unglorified stuff, the last goal we just couldn’t quite get there to stop the cross.”
Rodgers urges Leicester to box clever Napoli finished fifth in the Italian top-flight last term. It shows how far Leicester have come that they might consider drawing with the Partenopei a disappointing result.
Rodgers refused to blame his charges for the way things turned out at King Power Stadium. But he does want them to recognise what now must happen to ensure it is not repeated.
“The crime isn’t giving away the two goals, the crime is if you don’t learn from it. I’m sure that is something this young team will do,” he added. “The support was amazing, the noise, how they tried to lift the team, they gave us everything.”
Next up for the Foxes is a trip to the south coast and Sunday’s clash with Graham Potter’s Brighton.
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