Claudio Ranieri took full responsibility and accepted the blame for Wednesday night’s Champions League result after Porto thrash Leicester City 5-0.
The Italian boss, who made 10 changes to the side that had already secured qualification to the next round as group winners, said some fringe players missed an opportunity to impress him.
“I decided to change the team – the result is my fault,” said Ranieri.
“My players lost a very great chance to show me their best. I have no regrets because I wanted to give an opportunity to all my players.”
Leicester City has been struggling to recapture their dominant form from last season in the Premier League. They find themselves dangling just above the relegation zone at 16th after 13 games.
The Foxes had however managed to perform better in the Champions League hoping to replicate their European form in the domestic league up until last night’s display.
Donning an unfamiliar red strip, Leicester City went behind within six minutes from a Jesus Corona corner headed home by Andre Silva.
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Corona got Porto’s second before Yacine Brahimi backheeled the ball into the post to make it 3-0 as the halftime whistle blew.
In the 65th minute, Danny Drinkwater committed a foul on Andre Silva in the area, giving the referee an easy decision to award a penalty which was calmly converted.
The fifth goal came in the 77th minute through Diogo Jota who advanced into the area and shot under the goalkeeper.
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This was now the heaviest defeat suffered by an English team in the competition’s history.
“If I needed to win or draw, I would bring all my first team to fight,” said Ranieri.
“But when you know there is another difficult match Saturday against Manchester City and you are top of the group, why not give a chance to players who say ‘why don’t I play? We are losing in the Premier League, give me a chance’.”
Leicester City will be hosting Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City on Saturday and would need a positive result to vindicate Claudio Ranieri’s decision.