Foxes have much to learn

Paris Saint-Germain's Jonathan Ikone scoring the second goal against Leicester City in the International Champions Cup. The French league champions won the match 4-0.
Paris Saint-Germain's Jonathan Ikone scoring the second goal against Leicester City in the International Champions Cup. The French league champions won the match 4-0.PHOTO: REUTERS

Ranieri admits his side can improve after PSG rout ahead of first Champions League season

LOS ANGELES • English Premier League champions Leicester City tasted their first loss of the pre-season on Saturday, when they were hammered 4-0 by Paris Saint-Germain in Los Angeles.

A French team that featured former Premier League players Angel di Maria and David Luiz ran out comfortable winners courtesy of goals from Edinson Cavani, Jonathan Ikone, Lucas Moura and Odsonne Edouard in the International Champions Cup (ICC).

Leicester's previous pre-season victories came against Oxford United, Nuneaton Town and Celtic in the same competition, but Claudio Ranieri's side were blown away by superior opposition in California.

It will serve as a timely reminder of what may be ahead for the unlikely Premier League winners as they prepare to embark on their maiden Champions League voyage.

Leicester's European credentials will be further tested on Wednesday when they face Barcelona, the Spanish champions, in their final ICC fixture, four days before playing Manchester United in the Community Shield.

Claudio Ranieri admitted after the match that lessons had to be learnt.

"A bad result, but I think we can improve from this defeat," the Leicester manager said.

"The lesson is to be calm, have respect and restart with the same mentality as well as last season."

PSG, under the stewardship of Unai Emery, who replaced Laurent Blanc earlier in the close season, attacked relentlessly, playing neat triangles in midfield and looking to play mercurial Uruguayan striker Cavani in through the channels, while Javier Pastore whipped in dangerous crosses.

The French side got the breakthrough in the 26th minute when Daniel Amartey clumsily brought down Ikone in the area and Cavani sent Kasper Schmeichel the wrong way from the spot. From then on, Leicester were largely outclassed.

Striker Jamie Vardy did not play, but later explained that rejecting a move to Premier League rivals Arsenal was an easy decision because he has "unfinished business" with the champions.

"It's not been put out there that I have always said the boys, the close-knit brotherhood, is unbelievable and for me, there's a lot of unfinished business here," he said.

"I feel that the club is only going forward, that's why I want to be a part of it. It wasn't that big (the decision) when I think about it. It was quite easy and this is where I want to be."

THE TIMES, LONDON, REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 01, 2016, with the headline 'Foxes have much to learn'. Print Edition | Subscribe