Ranieri: Arsenal defeat showed me title was possible

24 December 2016 21:00

Leicester City only suffered three defeats en route to last season’s Premier League title.

But it was one of those losses – a heart-breaking stoppage-time reverse to title rivals Arsenal in February – which made Claudio Ranieri believe a shock title win was really possible.

Ranieri, who played down Leicester’s chances for much of 2015-16, revealed he finally felt title glory was possible after the 2-1 defeat at Emirates Stadium – even though the loss moved Arsenal just two points behind them.

Danny Welbeck’s winner, which came five minutes into added time after the Foxes had played for most of the second half with 10 men following Danny Simpson’s sending off, only served to leave Ranieri more confident.

“Myself, when we played against Manchester City, Arsenal and Liverpool,” Ranieri told Sky Sports when asked when he started to believe.

“The whole world is waiting for us to lose the matches, and we are finished. But we won at City. And I say, ‘Oh! What a performance’. And we won against Liverpool. And we lost at Arsenal.

“But Arsenal, 11 against 10, and they need 95 minutes to beat us. I said to myself then, ‘Oh! Maybe we will go very high’.”

An emotional moment after Leicester’s title success had been confirmed saw Andrea Bocelli sing alongside Ranieri at the King Power Stadium prior to them being presented with the Premier League trophy.

The Leicester boss says he is yet to truly appreciate the special moment because he would become too emotional.

“At that moment – it is not Claudio – it is another person going there, staying with Bocelli,” he said.

“Great atmosphere, but I am out. There is my body there, but not my mind because if I have my mind there, I cry.

“I didn’t yet see the moment. Maybe in two or three years I go back and watch it because I want to feel something in the future, but not now. I am too involved.”

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