Ranieri hails Leicester's 'big heart' in Sevilla loss

By Matthew Scott 22 February 2017
Ranieri hails Leicester's 'big heart' in Sevilla loss

Claudio Ranieri was heartened by Leicester City's show of spirit after Jamie Vardy's away goal gave them hope in a 2-1 defeat to Sevilla in the first leg of their Champions League last-16 tie.

Goals from Pablo Sarabia and Joaquin Correa had put the hosts in control at the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan as Leicester were insipid - typical for much of this season - for 70 minutes.

However, Vardy's first Champions League goal - breaking a drought of over two months - backed up Kasper Schmeichel's early penalty save from Correa to give the Foxes a fighting chance of making the quarter-finals.

An embattled Ranieri has seen his job security called into question as the Premier League champions have fallen into a relegation fight before they were knocked out of the FA Cup by Millwall at the weekend.

Having spoken of the tie's possible restorative effect on his team's campaign, Ranieri was similarly positive after the final whistle.

"We knew they are better than us with high quality," he told BT Sport. "They keep possession of the ball, but we suffered.

"They showed their quality. We showed our big heart, big organisation and belief, we never gave up and I'm very satisfied.

"At the end, if we are a little more calm we can do something more on the counter-attack but it was very important for the match at home and everything is open.

"We suffered but we are ready to do battle.

"For us it is important to continue to show our performance, to show our football.

"They can score in every moment, but now we know what we have and we can play better maybe."

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