Claudio Ranieri may change taker after costly penalty miss

Aston Villa 1 Leicester 1: Leicester boss Claudio Ranieri will speak to Riyad Mahrez to decide whether the winger will keep his penalty duties.

The Algeria international saw his second straight spot-kick saved in the Foxes’ 1-1 draw at Aston Villa on Saturday.

Goalkeeper Mark Bunn denied Mahrez following Aly Cissokho’s handball after Bournemouth’s Artur Boruc also saved his penalty in a 0-0 draw earlier this month. But Ranieri hasn’t yet decided if Jamie Vardy will take over from 12 yards.

“Now is not important if I change the penalty man,” said the Italian. “I’ll speak with him and then I’ll choose. From the bench it was difficult to see if it was handball but if it’s a penalty, it’s a red card.

“We are very sad but also I say to the players ‘if we make the performance, the result is not important’.

“The performance was good because we played well in the first half. It’s one point, it’s okay, it’s a derby — but we are disappointed.”

Shinji Okazaki opened the scoring only for Rudy Gestede to level with 15 minutes left to deny the Foxes the chance to go three points clear at the top.

Villa boss Remi Garde has been pleased with Bunn’s impact since replacing Brad Guzan. “If you look at the previous week, Mark did well.

“I feel Mark gives a little bit more confidence to the team and what he did was good as well.

“If he had not saved the penalty, probably 2-0 down would have been too difficult.

“He kept us in the game.”

Villa are still nine points from safety after collecting four points from their last two matches, but Remi Garde believes it could have been even better had Robert Huth been penalised for striking Libor Kozak in the face.

The Frenchman says it “definitely” should have been a second-half penalty and remains confident Villa’s new-found belief can give them a shot of an unlikely escape.

“If you look at the two games we’ve played we can be pleased about the spirit,” Garde said.

“These players have the right attitude to try to save the club from relegation.

“Sometimes it takes time.

“If there is pre-season it’s because it’s useful and when you don’t have pre-season to work with your team it’s more difficult.

“I didn’t have this time and when I arrived the team had lost seven games in a row. I know my face was new in the dressing room — my language as well — but it doesn’t take hours to put it right.”

ASTON VILLA:

Bunn, Bacuna, Okore, Lescott, Cissokho, Veretout, Gana, Westwood, Gil (Gestede 67), Kozak, Ayew (Sinclair 90).

Subs not used:

Guzan, Richards, Clark, Richardson, Lyden.

LEICESTER:

Schmeichel, Simpson, Morgan, Huth, Fuchs, Mahrez (Ulloa 69), Kante, Drinkwater, Albrighton (Gray 85), Okazaki (De Laet 59), Vardy.

Subs not used:

King, Wasilewski, Schwarzer, Inler.

Referee:

Roger East.


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