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Leicester's Ranieri admits he got it wrong as tired Foxes struggle to hold Southampton


Blame: Claudio Ranieri says he should have made big changes

Blame: Claudio Ranieri says he should have made big changes

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So close: Shane Long is unable to net past Kasper Schmeichel

So close: Shane Long is unable to net past Kasper Schmeichel

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Blame: Claudio Ranieri says he should have made big changes

Leicester City boss Claudio Ranieri confessed he got his selection wrong as they struggled to a draw against Southampton.

The Saints claimed a deserved point after holding the champions 0-0 at the King Power Stadium to leave the Foxes 10 points behind Premier League leaders Manchester City.

Charlie Austin hit the post and missed a golden second-half chance when his chip failed to beat the exposed Kasper Schmeichel with Ranieri conceding his side should have lost.

Both teams played in Europe last week as Leicester beat Porto 1-0 in the Champions League while Southampton drew 0-0 with Hapoel Be'er Sheva in the Europa League and Saints boss Claude Puel made seven changes.

Ranieri made just one, replacing Luis Hernandez with Danny Simpson, and with the game marking the end of seven matches in 22 days for the Foxes, Ranieri admitted he could have rotated more.

"I have to think when we play every three days and maybe it was much better to give a rest to some players," he said, after substituting Jamie Vardy and Marc Albrighton in the second half.

"Southampton played a couple of days after us but changed seven players and I changed just one, it's not enough but I'm happy with a point for this reason.

"The international break is here but how many players will rest with me? Six? Seven? The others go for their international matches and come back two or three days before Chelsea. Then after that we have the Champions League (against Copenhagen). I have to think about it."

Leicester have at least kept two clean sheets in the Champions League and Premier League since last week's 4-1 defeat at Manchester United and stretched their unbeaten home league run to 19 games.

But they have only won two of their opening seven league games and a second shock title already looks unlikely.

Ranieri added: "I recognise Southampton played better than us and they deserved to win. We created some chances but they created more than us. Kasper Schmeichel made two or three great saves, they hit the post and for us one point is okay."

Puel refused to blame Austin for not scoring but admitted he was frustrated. He said: "It's easy to see the solution from the bench but he chose another. I believe it was okay but it's a shame because there was a situation to finish and take three points."

LEICESTER: Schmeichel, Simpson, Huth, Morgan, Fuchs, Amartey, Drinkwater, Mahrez, Albrighton (Gray, 66 mins), Vardy (Okazaki, 66 mins), Slimani (Ulloa, 78 mins). Unused subs: Zieler, Hernández, Schlupp, King

SOUTHAMPTON: Forster, Cedric (Martina, 27 mins), Fonte, Davis, Austin (Ward-Prowse, 83 mins), Tadic (Long, 71 mins), Romeu, Van Dijk, Bertrand, Redmond, Hojbjerg. Unused subs: Yoshida, Clasie, McCarthy, Olomola

Referee: Martin Atkinson

Man of the match: Oriol Romeu

Match rating: 5/10

Belfast Telegraph