Schmeichel will be fine: Ranieri

Leicester City's Ron-Robert Zieler (left) coming on to replace Kasper Schmeichel, who limped off during the second half of their 2-1 Premier League victory over Swansea City on Saturday.
Leicester City's Ron-Robert Zieler (left) coming on to replace Kasper Schmeichel, who limped off during the second half of their 2-1 Premier League victory over Swansea City on Saturday.PHOTO: REUTERS

Leicester boss confident his No. 1 will be back less than a week after surgery on hernia today

LONDON • Leicester City manager Claudio Ranieri played down fears over the fitness of Kasper Schmeichel, after the goalkeeper was injured during the English Premier League champions' 2-1 win over Swansea City on Saturday.

Ranieri's side secured their first league win of the season as Jamie Vardy ended his wait for a first goal of the campaign.

In an added bonus, the Italian manager allayed concerns about Schmeichel.

The Leicester 'keeper limped off in the second half, prompting concerns that he could miss the club's first-ever foray into the Champions League, which starts next month with a trip to Club Brugge.

However, Ranieri believes the Dane will be back well before that historic game, and probably in time to face Liverpool at Anfield in Leicester's next Premier League fixture on Sept 10, with surgery planned for today on a hernia.

DEEPLY SUBMERGED 3 POINTS

It was tough. The rain was unbelievable. It was like water polo. But three points is good from the first victory. I'm very, very happy.

CLAUDIO RANIERI, Leicester manager, on beating Swansea 2-1 in pouring rain on Saturday.

"Kasper played in the last month with a little hernia," said Ranieri, who saw Schmeichel signal to the touchline that his game was over after diving bravely at the feet of Fernando Llorente.

"On Monday he will have an operation. Four or five days later he will be ready for the next match.

"It was scheduled for Monday. He wanted to play today of course and he felt something, so it changed."

Schmeichel's likely speedy recovery left a missed penalty from Riyad Mahrez - his third in four attempts in the Premier League - as the only reason for regret at the King Power Stadium.

But the sight of Vardy back in scoring groove was the undoubted highlight of a pleasing day for Leicester, whose first-half performance warranted more than the 1-0 lead they took into half-time.

Vardy, who scored 24 times in last season's title triumph, had started the new campaign slowly but looked like his old self being a constant thorn in the side of the Swans.

"A goal-scorer always scores goals," Ranieri said.

"Of course some seasons it is a little more, some seasons a little less, but never does the goal-scorer forget the way to goal.

"Of course it's important to score a goal for strikers because it's their life. But I think the first half was outstanding for us and we had to score more than one goal.

"At the beginning of the second half it was good but after we missed a penalty maybe the opponent got more confident and we complicated our life a little.

"It was tough. The rain was unbelievable. It was like water polo. But three points is good from the first victory. I'm very, very happy."

Swansea manager Francesco Guidolin admitted his side were second best, even though they pulled a goal back through Leroy Fer after Vardy had opened the scoring and Wes Morgan had doubled Leicester's advantage.

"The result was correct because Leicester played very well and played better than us overall," Guidolin said.

"In the first half they played very, very well. They were strong like last season. I saw a team play good football with intensity and aggression.

"In the second half something changed after a little meeting in the dressing room and, although they scored another goal, we began to play with more aggression and intensity.

"At the end we had the possibility to draw the game but Leicester deserved to win."

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 29, 2016, with the headline 'Schmeichel will be fine: Ranieri'. Print Edition | Subscribe