Wednesday 13 November 2019

Leicester boss Claudio Ranieri vows to keep pizza promise after Palace shut out

Leicester manager Claudio Ranieri celebrates at full time with their players
Leicester manager Claudio Ranieri celebrates at full time with their players

Sean Taylor

Claudio Ranieri will deliver on his promise to get the pizzas in after Leicester's first clean sheet of the season, with the biggest share reserved for in-form striker Jamie Vardy.

The City manager last month promised to treat his players when they kept out the opposition - and at the 12th time of asking the Foxes finally did it.

Vardy scored in the 1-0 win against Crystal Palace, creating his own little piece of history in the process by becoming only the eighth player to score in seven successive Barclays Premier League matches.

The busy striker added his name to an elite list to have achieved the feat, which includes Ruud van Nistelrooy, Daniel Sturridge, Mark Stein, Ian Wright, Alan Shearer, Thierry Henry and Emmanuel Adebayor.

Asked if the pizzas had been ordered, Ranieri said: "No, not yet. But I did say to the players on the pitch 'come on, pizza now!'

"I am pleased for Jamie Vardy. It is a big achievement for him, for us, the fans - for everybody. Maybe he gets a bigger piece of pizza - one and a half for him."

Vardy struck his 10th goal of the season after 59 minutes at the King Power Stadium.

After a loose defensive header, Brede Hangeland mis-hit a clearance straight to Riyad Mahrez, who sent Vardy racing through on goal for a lovely lofted finish over Wayne Hennessey.

However, the England striker had to make sure the ball reached the net, blasting it home from inside the six-yard box.

"It is a big achievement for him - for us all," Ranieri said of Vardy's achievement.

"He is in great form but it is also important that if he doesn't score he stays calm and continues to fight.

"Not only does he come alive in a dangerous area but he believes that every ball could be good for him, every ball suddenly something good could happen for him.

"That makes him so dangerous for the opponent."

The chance that Vardy took was one of very few in the game, which Ranieri likened more to a Serie A match back in his homeland.

"I am very glad because it was a difficult match because the Crystal Palace players are very tall and big and strong," the Italian said.

"But we fight and battle and it was a more Italian match than an English match, very tactical. Only the last 10 minutes was end to end like an English match.

"Without their mistake I think the match was 0-0."

Palace manager Alan Pardew agreed, adding that his team were masters of their own downfall.

"I thought we did a pretty good job but we've made one mistake and it's been costly," he said.

"We were disciplined, organised and comfortable really, and chances in the game were fleeting.

"I was disappointed we didn't follow up on breakaways and we surrendered territory a little too easily. That was our biggest problem.

"But we got better in the second half and it was a tight game. Leicester weren't really going anywhere and it was a mistake that cost us the game.

"I can't fault our commitment and effort but that little bit of flair we needed was missing and we couldn't find it."

PA Media

The Left Wing: Champions Cup preview, the World Cup hangover and Joe Schmidt's next team

Editor's Choice

Also in Sport