Southampton 0:3 Leicester City
Claudio Ranieri admitted that he got his tactics wrong as City’s worst performance of the season saw a 3-0 defeat at Southampton on Sunday…
Ranieri made three changes to his side with Fuchs, Gray and Okazaki starting, and introduced a midfield diamond that plainly didn’t work.
The Saints soon took control of the game and created some early chances.
Redmond got his head to a Tadic but found the top of the net, and then Hojbjerg lofted one over the bar from inside the area.
A side-footer from Redmond was then heading for the bottom right hand corner before Schmeichel managed to tip it round the post.
From the resulting corner, City broke upfield and should have gone ahead.
Gray ran 70 yards up the field accompanied by Okazaki and Vardy, but he opted to shoot straight at Forster when he could easily have picked out an unmarked Vardy to his right.
Instead, it was the home side who took a 26th minute lead. Cedric set up Ward-Prowse, who sent a curling effort across Schmeichel. Although it was within the City keeper’s reach it span under his palm and into the net.
Saints continued to press forward, although Gray wasted another chance for City, firing in another shot when Vardy was better placed again.
Southampton doubled their lead in the 39th minute. Ward-Prowse delivered a free kick into the area which Huth half cleared, but Rodriguez latched onto the loose ball and blasted it past Schmeichel from close in.
It was difficult to see a way back for City now. Gray loosed another shot off but it missed the target just before the break.
Ranieri made a change at the break, with Albrighton replacing Mendy and the diamond binned.
Saints had the first effort on goal when Hojbjerg sent a rocket just wide.
In a scrappy period, Van Dijk had to go off after a late challenge from Vardy; Albrighton hared around trying to haul City back in it, but didn’t test Forster from 30 yards; and Fuchs set up Hojbjerg with a wayward pass, but he hit it wide as Schmeichel came out to meet him.
City should have pulled one back in the 72nd minute to test the nerve of a side who had lost their last four games. From a Musa cross Huth got his header wrong when well placed and Morgan hit the loose ball over the bar from close in. Both centre-halves had a chance within a second and both had missed. It was that sort of day.
Morgan did find the net at the other end with a header three minutes later, but was relieved to see an offside flag raised against Yoshida.
Saints wrapped things up in the 86th minute from the penalty spot. Substitute Long outpaced Morgan on the left and the City skipper bundled him over. Tadic gave Schmeichel no chance from 12 yards and that was that.
City had never really been in it, and came second in every department. It was a worryingly bad performance with a tough run of games coming up.
Claudio Ranieri admitted: “I tried to help my players in the last two matches and I changed our normal shape. Against Chelsea I played with three defenders at the back. Today I played with a diamond in the midfield, and this provoked some misunderstanding. I made mistakes – it’s my fault.”
Southampton: Forster, Soares, Yoshida, Rodriguez (Long 80), Tadic, Romeu, Ward-Prowse, Van Dijk (Stephens 55), Bertrand, Redmond, Højbjerg (Clasie 73). Subs Not Used: Taylor, Martina, Sims, McQueen.
Leicester: Schmeichel, Simpson, Morgan, Huth, Fuchs, Ndidi, Mendy (Albrighton 46), Drinkwater, Gray, Okazaki (Musa 63), Vardy. Subs Not Used: Chilwell, King, Kapustka, Zieler, Benalouane.
Referee: M Oliver. Attendance: 30,548.
PHOTOS: Simon Kimber
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