Brendan Rodgers explains how Leicester kept Cristiano Ronaldo at bay in victory over Manchester United ,Brendan Rodgers explains how Leicester kept Cristiano Ronaldo at bay in victory over Manchester United ,Brendan Rodgers explains how Leicester kept Cristiano Ronaldo at bay in victory over Manchester United
Leicester boss Brendan Rodgers has praised his players for refusing to get caught up in the hype and hysteria surrounding Cristiano Ronaldo during their 4-2 victory over Manchester United, with the opposition boasting ‘huge talent’ all over the pitch.
Mason Greenwood broke the deadlock with a thunderous long-range strike but Youri Tielemans soon equalised and United unravelled in the final 20 minutes at the King Power Stadium, with Caglar Soyuncu, Jamie Vardy and Patson Daka all getting on the scoresheet.
Marcus Rashford scored on his return to give the Red Devils a glimmer of hope in the 82nd minute but the Foxes held firm to consign the visitors to a fourth defeat in eight games.
The result piles yet more pressure on Ole Gunnar Solskjaer with United sitting fifth place in the table, five points adrift of Premier League leaders Chelsea.
Solskjaer will have been desperate for some last-gasp heroics from Ronaldo as was the case in United’s Champions League victory over Villarreal last month, but the Portuguese rarely threatened and cut a frustrated figure at the full-time whistle.
Asked how Leicester successfully kept Ronaldo at bay, Rodgers explained: ‘The awareness to your defenders is you’ve got to be concentrated all the way through.
‘There’s a moment right at the end where it looked like he was getting in.
‘Cristiano’s game has changed over the last number of years, from being a dribbler to being this incredible goalscorer where most of his goals come from inside the box, so that’s how it’s going to be for him at times in the game.
‘You’ve got to worry about more than him, because you’ve got Bruno Fernandes on the back of scoring in midweek, Cristiano with a hat-trick, Mason you see his goal, what a strike and what a young player he is, then you’ve got guys like Jadon Sancho and Marcus to come into the game.
‘They have huge talent, overall as a team you have to be so synchronised in your press to try and stop the ball getting to them. When they do arrive in there, which they will do at times, you have to be so concentrated and thankfully we’ve done a good job of that.’
Rodgers described Ronaldo as a ‘remarkable role model has no doubt the veteran froward will prove a threat for opposition teams throughout the season despite his underwhelming performance at Leicester.
‘He’s a remarkable role model for all players,’ the Northern Irishman added.
‘What an advocate for every player, young and old, how to look after yourself, how to devote your life to your career, to have that hunger, that ambition, that drive, that willpower to win and succeed.
‘He’s a player that will always be a danger and you see it from his numbers already, he scores goals.’
United will hope to return to winning ways on Wednesday night when they play host to Serie A outfit Atalanta in the Champions League.
Atalanta are top of Group F after two games, while the Red Devils sit third following their dramatic win over Villarreal.
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