Ranieri unhappy with Fellaini and Rooney calls

Date published: Sunday 1st May 2016 5:26

Claudio Ranieri felt that a draw between Leicester and Manchester United was fair, but the hosts escaped punishment twice.

The Foxes would have been crowned Premier League champions with victory over United at Old Trafford, but must now wait for a first-ever top-flight title.

Leicester will win the league if Tottenham cannot beat Chelsea on Monday, and if the north London side prevail, the Foxes require just two points from their final two fixtures to finish top.

The visitors fell behind at Old Trafford through a goal from Anthony Martial, but equalised with a Wes Morgan header.

Neither side could find a second goal, and Danny Drinkwater was sent off late on for Ranieri’s side. The Italian felt Wayne Rooney and Marouane Fellaini were fortunate to escape punishment from referee Michael Oliver during the game.

“We didn’t come here to win the title, we came here to make a performance because we knew it was a difficult match,” Ranieri told Sky Sports. “At the start United was better than us and we didn’t find a solution to give the ball without Jamie Vardy and when we wanted to restart they maintained the ball and it was difficult for us.

“We scored in the right moment and then we got more confidence. I’m very satisfied, I am always satisfied when I see my players play as well as today. After that, you can get a result.

“The performance was good after the first 15 minutes, when we were a little scared,” Ranieri added to BBC Sport. “United started very well and it was difficult for us to restart. After the goal we played better and I think the draw is the right result.

“I wasn’t worried because we have very good heart and I knew we would react. The goal maybe gave us more confidence slowly – without Jamie Vardy, it’s difficult for us.

“For us it was important to show our mentality – the beginning wasn’t good but after that I appreciated our performance. I’d like to watch the Tottenham match but I’m on a flight back from Italy so I might not know the result until I land. For us it’s important to continue to work. I met Louis van Gaal in 1994 – he said to me good luck.”

Drinkwater was sent off for a second bookable offence after a foul on Memphis Depay, although Rooney escaped a second yellow after a similar foul on Demarai Gray.

Ranieri said: “It wasn’t [a red card for Drinkwater] in my opinion, but I accept the referee’s decision. And when Rooney stopped Demarai Gray on the edge of the box, it was a [second] yellow card.”

On Fellaini, who elbowed Robert Huth during a first-half altercation, Ranieri said: “Marouane Fellaini kicked Robert Huth and it wasn’t a good show from him.”

Opposing manager Louis van Gaal pulled a reporter’s hair in defence of Fellaini, who he insisted was only reacting to provocation from Huth.

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