Leicester City manager Claude Puel has attributed his team’s devastating 5-0 loss to Crystal Palace in Saturday’s Premier League clash to the injury sustained by Wilfred Ndidi and the red card received by Marc Albrighton, according to reports by Completesportsnigeria.com. The defeat at Selhurst Park left Puel’s side stunned and searching for answers.
Ndidi, the Super Eagles midfielder who has been a standout performer for the Foxes this season, was forced off the pitch in the 51st minute after suffering a knock. Puel claimed that Ndidi’s absence left the team “imbalanced,” as Aleksandr Dragovic came on as his replacement. Adding to their woes, Albrighton was shown a red card in the second half for a foul on Wilfred Zaha.
Palace secured their emphatic victory through goals from Zaha, James McArthur, Reuben Loftus-Cheek, Patrick Van Aaholt, and Christian Benteke.
Speaking during the post-match press conference, Puel expressed his frustration, stating, “At 2-0 we lost all the balance to the team and there wasn’t enough desire. We tried to change it tactically at half-time, but the injury to Ndidi and the red card made it really difficult.” Puel also defended Albrighton, claiming that the red card decision was harsh, as it was a battle between two players making contact. He emphasized the challenging circumstances faced by his team, with the injury to Ndidi leaving them severely imbalanced.
Ndidi has been a key figure for Leicester City this season, appearing in 33 league matches and providing four assists. Super Eagles head coach Gernot Rohr will be anxiously hoping for Ndidi’s swift recovery ahead of the 2018 FIFA World Cup, as he is a crucial member of the national squad.
Leicester City will now need to regroup and refocus as they look to bounce back from this heavy defeat. Puel and his players will be determined to finish the season on a positive note, with the hope of building momentum for the next campaign.