Claudio Ranieri hails Leicester's "amazing" comeback to earn 2-2 draw at Stoke City

Claudio Ranieri hails Leicester's "amazing" comeback to earn 2-2 draw at Stoke City

Leicester City manager Claudio Ranieri praised the "amazing" fightback of his side to come from 2-0 down with just 10 men in the final 15 minutes to earn a point at the Bet365 Stadium on Saturday afternoon.

charlie-malam
Charlie Malam

Claudio Ranieri lauded his Leicester City side's "amazing" comeback to earn a point away at Stoke City and praised their reaction at half-time.

The Foxes went into the break 2-0 down after Bojan's penalty and Joe Allen's tap-in gave the Potters the advantage, but also having picked up four yellow cards in the final five minutes of the first-half with Jamie Vardy already sent off for a two-footed challenge - a decision Ranieri disagreed with.

But upon introducing Demarai Gray and Leonardo Ulloa on 74 minutes, the reigning Premier League champions launched a stirring fightback.

The striker headed home from the winger's cross less than two minutes later to give the visitors hope of an unlikely point, and Daniel Amartey's 88th minute header rescued exactly that for only a second point from an available 27 on the road this term.

Yet the manner of the result, having been down to 10 men and two goals down led it feel like more than just a single point for Leicester - as Ranieri acknowledged.

Leicester boss salutes 'amazing' two-goal comeback

On how their fightback seemed barely believable at half-time, Ranieri told his post-match press conference: "Yes. Amazing. Amazing. I want to say thank you to my players and to our fans for supporting us from the beginning, when we were 2-0 down.

"It was a very good performance. But also from the beginning we started well. Of course, Stoke did also.

"Schmeichel made a very good save in the first-half but we had two or three chances to score a goal. The match changed when Jimmy was sent off.

"My players were so nervous. Then after the penalty, we lost our calm, our shape, everything.

"Fortunately in the dressing room, we started to think what was best for the match. They showed a very fantastic performance.

Ranieri: We will see if Vardy red card appeal is possible

Ranieri was quizzed as to whether he thought Vardy's red card was the correct decision by Craig Pawson and admitted he may appeal the decision but refused to criticse the ref.

He continued: "If you listen to me, I say no [it's not a red card]. If you listen to Mark [Hughes], he'd say yes [it is].

"The decision is the referee's and he gave a red card. It's okay. Maybe for me, there was a big challenge between [Glen] Johnson and Vardy.

"Johnson pushes Vardy when he wants to get the ball. He touches the ball. Maybe it was a yellow. The referee made the red. It's okay.

On appealing the red card, the Italian said: "I don't know. Let me think. I'll speak with the club. We'll see if it's possible.

"If it is possible, yes because he wanted to challenge and get the ball. Not make a foul.

"Every match is different. Every decision could be different. We must respect the referee every time."

I wanted fans to focus on supporting us, says Italian

The manager took to the pitch after the half-time whistle to help escort his players down the tunnel as tempers began to fray.

The Leicester team and the away end were visibly angry with referee Pawson for his decisions, but Ranieri insists he only remonstrated with the travelling supporters to back them after the break.

He added: "No, [I said] nothing [to the referee]. I wanted to show our fans and players that I was there but that remains between me and him. Nothing more.

"I said keep going, stay with us, we need your support. I said support us on the pitch when we come back on the pitch at half-time."

Ranieri also revealed how his half-time team talk helped calm Leicester down as their frustrations began to get the better of them.

Acknowledging the amount of red cards the away side picked up before the break, he said: "For this reason, we talked about staying calm because we have so many yellow cards.

"[At half-time I said] It's important we don't make unnecessary fouls, stay calm, try to play football, maintain our shape because we can come back like last season. 

"It was fantastic. The second-half, but also the first-half. We spoke, everybody, about being focused on what we tried to do in the next half."

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