Ranieri ‘happy’ with second half, praises Schmeichel

Date published: Wednesday 2nd November 2016 10:47

Claudio Ranieri: Gives instructions on touchline

Claudio Ranieri: Gives instructions on touchline

Claudio Ranieri was “happy” that he saw improvement from his Leicester side in the 0-0 against FC Copenhagen in the Champions League.

The Foxes just need a point from their final two games against Club Brugge and Porto to reach the last 16, although saw their lead at the top of Group G cut to three points after Porto beat Brugge 1-0.

Leicester are the first debutant team in Champions League history to not concede in their opening four games.

Copenhagen-born Schmeichel has made two crucial late saves to thwart Cornelius, having also denied him in Leicester’s home 1-0 win last month, and Ranieri believes the Denmark international is one of the top goalkeepers.

He said: “I love my players and it’s difficult for me to say no. I always say yes, yes, yes. My players are the best.

“It was a very good save, if they score they win the match.

“Kasper is fantastic, I have coached a lot of big champions in goal, Kasper is one of these. He has had two perfect seasons.

“Kasper, this is my second year, has always made good performances. I am very calm when Kasper is in goal. He is strong, assured and commands the defensive line. He is a very good goalkeeper.”

Schmeichel’s save allowed the lacklustre Foxes to claim a point as they failed to create much going forward, leaving Jamie Vardy goalless in his last 12 games.

The Foxes now host Brugge on November 22, having already won 3-0 in Belgium, and go to Porto in December to wrap up the group stage.

They will be expected to seal qualification at the King Power Stadium against Brugge and Ranieri wants to finish the job later this month.

He said: “It’s good, now our minds in the Champions League are about Brugge. Porto are three points behind with seven points and now there is a big challenge between Copenhagen and Porto.

“We have to win against Brugge, it’s not easy. Yes they are down but they want to do something. For us it’s important to achieve three points and go to Porto very calm and try to be first in the group.”

Copenhagen fell two points behind Porto in what looks like a race for second despite dominating possession at the Parken Stadium.

They failed to turn their effort into goals and boss Stale Solbakken was philosophical after extending their unbeaten home run to 31 games.

“It was no robbery, we were the team closest to it but I don’t go home and say we were robbed,” said the former Wolves manager.

“I am proud of my team, we have played 180 minutes against Leicester and they have created two chances.

“Schmeichel has made two good saves in the dying minutes in both games, that is why he is standing there. He is one of the reasons why they won the title last season.”

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