Ranieri: I’ll decide if Mahrez is kept on penalty duty

Date published: Sunday 17th January 2016 10:49

Claudio Ranieri: Looking to buy new striker in January

Claudio Ranieri: Looking to buy new striker in January

Leicester manager Claudio Ranieri says he will speak to Riyad Mahrez to decide whether to take him off penalty duties. 

The Algeria international saw his second spot-kick in a row saved in the Foxes’s 1-1 draw at Aston Villa on Saturday.

After Villa defender Aly Cossokho’s handball in the box gifted the Foxes a penalty, goalkeeper Mark Bunn denied Mahrez from 12 yards after his poor penalty had neither power or placement.

Mahrez has now missed his last two penalties as Bournemouth’s Artur Boruc also saved his penalty in a 0-0 draw earlier this month.

Leicester regained the Barclays Premier League lead by a point despite the miss, but could be knocked off top spot when Arsenal face Stoke.

But Ranieri says he will talk to Mahrez about penalty duty, with Premier League top scorer Jamie Vardy next in line to take over.

“Now is not important if I change the penalty man,” said the Italian. “I’ll speak with him and then I’ll choose.

“From the bench it was difficult to see if it was handball but if it’s a penalty, it’s a red card.

“We are very sad but also I say to the players ‘if we make the performance the result is not important’.

“The performance was good because we played well in the first half. It’s one point, it’s okay, it’s a derby – but we are disappointed.”

Shinji Okazaki opened the scoring only for Rudy Gestede to level with 15 minutes left to deny the Foxes the chance to go three points clear at the top of the Premier League.

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