The five key quotes from Brendan Rodgers as a depleted Leicester City slump to defeat against Arsenal
Brendan Rodgers saw his side fall to a 3-1 defeat to Arsenal on Sunday afternoon | Photo: Getty/ Plumb Images

After the disappointment of getting knocked out of the Europa League by Slavia Prague in the week, Leicester City failed to bounce back after they succumbed to a 3-1 defeat at the hands of Arsenal.

The Foxes got off to the perfect start as Youri Tielemans put them ahead with less than ten minutes on the clock, but a David Luiz header and an Alexandre Lacazette penalty turned the game on its head at the end of the first half.

Things would get worse for the home side in the second half with an early goal conceded to Nicolas Pepe shortly after seeing Harvey Barnes leaving the field on a stretcher.

Jonny Evans was also withdrawn due to injury later in the match as the score remained 3-1 to the away side.

Brendan Rodgers faced the media following the game and here are some of the highlights.

On the performance

“I thought we didn’t play well in the first half. We didn’t have the ball enough. I expected us to pressure them more. We were too static; I thought we looked a little tired to be honest.

“In the second half we showed more spirit but we were unlucky with the third goal. Credit to our players, they kept working and gave everything. We just lost to the better team today."

Depsite Leicester taking the lead in the match, it was clear that Rodgers' side were struggling with energy levels. Arsenal grew in stature as the match drew on while Leicester faded and became sloppy in their defending and decision making, encapsulated by Wilfred Ndidi conceding a penalty late in the first half by blocking the ball with a raised arm.

Due to the size of the squad, Rodgers has been unable to effectively rotate the squad due to the lack of numbers and the sheer amount of injuries, meaning that the players he has to rely on every game will be feeling the strain, as it showed throughout the match.

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On Harvey Barnes

"It's not good news. He needs an operation. He'll be out for a minumum of six weeks. Part of the bone in his knee has come off, so he'll need it repaired.

"He’s had niggles with it. We tried to recover him on Thursday but it’s a bad one for him and a huge blow for us. It’s been irritable and today it’s made it worse. The consolation is it’s not as long as it looked like. I’ll know more tomorrow."

The injury issues for Leicester do not seem to be slowing down as they have lost yet another key player in Harvey Barnes.

The winger has enjoyed an outstanding season for his side, registering 13 goals and four assists in all competitions, providing support for Jamie Vardy in the goal scoring department.

The loss of Barnes will no doubt be a huge blow to Leicester as the season reaches its final third, with the Foxes trying to right the wrongs of last season and qualify for the Champions League

Coupled with James Maddison currently being unavailable, the Foxes have lost the majority of their creativity on the pitch, meaning that Vardy is at threat of being starved of any service and the likes of Marc AlbrightonCengiz Under and Kelechi Iheanacho will have a lot of responsibilty on their shoulders to fill that void.

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On other injuries 

Evans was substituted in the second half after losing Barnes, with Rodgers stating: “He’s had this dead calf for a few weeks and he’s aggravated it. He had a shooting pain up through his calf. He’ll have a scan to see where he’s at.”

On top of this, Vardy seemed to have been struggling at times in the match and was not moving smoothly, though Rodgers was more optimistic about his situation, stating: “He had an action in the first half and he twisted it. He felt it, but he’s been okay.”

Both Vardy and Evans have missed games this season due to respective minor injuries and with the squad suffering in the way that it is, Rodgers will be hoping that he does not lose two more key players as the season shows no signs of slowing down.

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On the effect that injuries have had 

"We're down to the bare bones, we've carried it all season and the players have been great. It's absolutely fair enough. My players to this point have been brilliant, but when you're missing the influential players and can't change, it makes it difficult."

Leicester have struggled with injuries even before the season began, but the sheer amount of absentees that they have had throughout has been unprecedented.

This season, they have been without the likes of Vardy, Maddison, Caglar Soyuncu, Evans, Ricardo Pereira, Timothy Castagne, Wesley Fofana, James Justin, Dennis Praet, Daniel Amartey, Ndidi, Ayoze Perez, Wes Morgan and now Barnes. 

There has not been a point in the season that Leicester have had not had an injury in a crucial area, so the fact that the side still find themselves in the top four at this point of the season is really commendable. However, the amount of injuries, coupled with the sheer amount of games they have played, are at risk of catching up with them.

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On his promise to the fans

"The one thing I can promise is we’ll do our best. I can’t control injuries, but the players have always been positive and we’ve got through to here in a great position. We have to dig deep. We’ll do our best with what’s available."

With the Europa League dream ending and the injury woes mounting, the Foxes fans will be hoping that this is not the start of another slide that sees them lose out on the Champions League for a consecutive season.

Outside factors are clearly going against the East Midlands side, with Rodgers acknowledging that he cannot control the injury situation but his message will give them something to cling onto as Leicester look to fight to keep their season in their own hands.

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