EPL

Rodgers feels Leicester were denied 'clear penalty' in Man City defeat

By Sports Desk February 22, 2020

Leicester City boss Brendan Rodgers insisted his side were denied a "clear penalty" in Saturday's 1-0 defeat to Manchester City at the King Power Stadium.

The hosts had a couple of appeals turned down in the first half for Ederson's challenge on Kelechi Iheanacho and a possible handball against Kevin De Bruyne.

Whereas De Bruyne got away with blocking James Maddison's free-kick with his arm, the officials pointed to the spot at the other end for a similar incident involving Dennis Praet.

Rodgers agreed referee Paul Tierney was right to award the visitors a penalty, which Sergio Aguero failed to convert, but felt Leicester should also have been given one of their own.

"[Praet] has gone to block it and it's a penalty - we accept that. But you hope you get them for you as well," he told Sky Sports.

"But we're disappointed we didn't get a penalty - it's so clear. I felt it was the reason VAR was brought in. 

"The ball was going towards the goal, the corner, and Kevin De Bruyne stops it. He's lifted his arms up. 

"If you look at the reaction of the other players in the wall, their hands were down. It's handball."

Kasper Schmeichel kept the champions at bay for large parts of the game by producing a string of fine saves, including a penalty save to frustrate Aguero.

City have now missed their last four top-flight penalties, each by a different player, but they were rescued by substitute Gabriel Jesus' late strike three minutes after he was introduced.

"They are incredibly quick with Jamie Vardy, Harvey Barnes and Kelechi," Guardiola said at his post-match news conference.

"It was an incredible test for us. I'm so pleased for the victory."

Guardiola's side face Real Madrid on Wednesday for the first leg of their Champions League last-16 tie and the Catalan coach has been handed a big fitness boost.

Raheem Sterling has missed City's last two games with a hamstring injury, while Aymeric Laporte left the field early in the second half against Leicester, but both men could feature in Madrid.

"[Laporte] asked me to be substituted, but he's not injured," Guardiola said.

"He's been four months, five months injured, we can't forget that. He had to run a lot. It was different against West Ham, we could control it easier. But he's okay.

"Raheem is also much, much, much better. I think he'll be ready."

Related items

  • Pogba a doddle to play against, claims Souness Pogba a doddle to play against, claims Souness

    Paul Pogba would be "an absolute doddle to play against" because of his poor work ethic, according to Graeme Souness.

    The Liverpool legend is a long-time critic of the Manchester United midfielder and reckons he would easily get the better of the Frenchman.

    While Souness lauded Pogba's technical and physical attributes, he blasted the 27-year-old's attitude. 

    Writing in his column in The Times, Souness responded to a reader's question about his supposed "disdain" for Pogba.

    "Pogba has absolutely everything to be a top player — great athleticism, super technique — but his attitude to the game is the polar opposite of mine," wrote the Scot, who won the top flight five times as a Liverpool player.

    "He goes out with one thought in his mind: 'I'm going to show everyone how clever I am today and be the star of the show'.

    "My attitude, the way I was taught, was: 'Go out and work harder than the guy you're in against and see where that takes you'.

    "He'd be an absolute doddle to play against."

    Pogba has been largely inconsistent since returning to Old Trafford, where his contract is set to expire next year.

    United have an option to extend his stay for a further 12 months, although the France star has been frequently linked with Real Madrid amid an injury-ruined season.

  • Coronavirus: Stunned ex-Barca star Song vows to fight Sion sacking Coronavirus: Stunned ex-Barca star Song vows to fight Sion sacking

    Former Barcelona and Arsenal midfielder Alex Song has expressed dismay at being sacked by FC Sion, and says he will raise a complaint with FIFA.

    The 32-year-old Cameroonian was one of nine players to lose his job when the Swiss side offered a reduced wage package as an emergency coronavirus measure.

    According to Sion, Song and eight team-mates refused the new terms and were dismissed with immediate effect.

    With income severely hit, given the Swiss Super League is suspended, Sion president Christian Constantin is confident the club were acting responsibly in proposing the new wage measures.

    Yet Song, 32, is far from happy with the situation and intends to take legal action, with the Swiss players' union also indicating its support for the footballers in the past week.

    "My lawyer will take care of it, it's gone to FIFA. We're going to defend our right," Song told French broadcaster RMC.

    He explained: "We played a friendly on Friday and we were supposed to meet with the president on Monday, then Tuesday. We had no news. We received a WhatsApp message on Tuesday afternoon to tell us that everyone had to sign a paper saying that we'd reduce our salaries, that we'd be paid around 12,000 euros.

    "We had to return the paper by 12pm the next day. We received this document without an explanation."

    Song said that without speaking to the club, it would not have been right to sign up to the new arrangement.

    "We decided together to not sign this document," he said. "We wanted to discuss it."

    Sion, for their part, said players were invited by the club's accounting department to participate in a video call, but that few took up the opportunity.

    Former Camp Nou and Emirates Stadium star Song remains bewildered by Sion's swift move to cull players who did not immediately fall into line.

    "I've not committed any professional mistake," he said. "Every club talks to their players to reach solutions. I don't understand what's happened. Nobody can understand it."

  • Coronavirus: Lahm says footballers are in the spotlight and must prove 'role model' status Coronavirus: Lahm says footballers are in the spotlight and must prove 'role model' status

    Ex-Germany captain Philipp Lahm has warned football is in an "existential crisis" and players' behaviour will face intense public scrutiny during the coronavirus crisis.

    The 2014 World Cup-winning skipper says German football in particular must protect its core strengths during the leagues' lockdown.

    With no prospect of a swift resumption, the Bundesliga season has been suspended until April 30, although that is also likely to be set back.

    Lahm, in an interview with German newspaper Welt am Sonntag, has urged footballers to show a social conscience during the COVID-19 pandemic.

    Many of the game's stars have given large donations to charity, while clubs, suddenly hit by a financial crisis, have sought for players to accept significant pay cuts until they can return to work.

    The willingness to make sacrifices is one that 36-year-old former Bayern Munich great Lahm believes will be closely watched by fans.

    "Football can even emerge stronger from the crisis under one condition: if players and officials act as role models in public through their social behaviour," Lahm said.

    "The fundraisers of coaches and players show they have a sense of responsibility. It's a good time to give something back to the society that carries our sport and the people who love football."

    Bayern striker Robert Lewandowski and his wife Anna have made a €1million donation to a coronavirus-fighting fund, with a number of team-mates also contributing major sums.

    Lahm, who retired from playing in 2017, said: "Football is just at the moment in an existential crisis, so solidarity is needed."

    He spoke in the interview of the need to "maintain structures that characterise German football", including its youth development, stadiums, training set-ups and public approval.

    Like everyone, Lahm is waiting for the day football can safely resume.

    "Football will recover quickly," he added, "as soon as the risk of transmission is contained by an appropriate vaccine."

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.