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Brendan Rodgers was once again left to bemoan his side’s inability to defend set pieces, and admitted Leicester have tried everything to solve their issue.
Leicester were edged out in Rome to see their hopes of advancing to their maiden European final end in disappointment. A 1-1 draw in the first leg teed up a tantalising return match in Italy. However, the bane of their season once again came back to haunt the Foxes.
Defending set pieces has been a question Rodgers and his side have been unable to answer this season. The dead ball was once again their downfall tonight.
Tammy Abraham leapt high into the sky to thunder home his header. Surprisingly, he was being marked by Ricardo Pereira, who is approximately six inches shorter.
Leicester regained their composure and saw plenty of the ball. But puncturing Roma’s well-drilled defence proved difficult from first minute to last.
In the end, it was a Jose Mourinho masterclass with their lead built early and expertly protected over the next 85 minutes.
Speaking to BT Sport after the match Rodgers said: “Of course when you lose a second leg of a semi-final it’s disappointing.
“I thought the atmosphere was absolutely fantastic from both sets of supporters. It was a great arena to come and play in.
“In the second half we were much better. We imposed ourselves and made changes. In the first half it wasn’t aggressive enough. The players kept going until the very end but we couldn’t find that big chance. There wasn’t many in the game for both teams.
Brendan Rodgers admits Leicester lack physicality
“The corner… It’s been our problem all season. We have tried every structure in the box – man-marking and zonal – but clearly we lack physicality in the team to deal with certain situations consistently and that has cost us tonight.
“We really dominated the first leg and had opportunities so we always had it in the back of the mind that we might need to change it and get an extra body through the middle. The players responded really well second half.
“It’s been a great journey for us in Europe in the last couple of years. We have a lot of young players that are finding their way and this was a great experience for them.
“That will provide motivation for them next season. We just missed out so we’re disappointed but we need to finish the season strongly now and look to progress in the summer for next season.”
Jonny Evans sums up facing Mourinho
Leicester defender Jonny Evans also spoke to the press, telling BT Sport: “Going behind to a Jose Mourinho team… We knew they would be hard to break down anyway.
“Losing that goal in the first half on a set-piece was a problem for us. We didn’t really find a way back in. We had a lot of possession but found it hard to break them down.
“They probably gave us more options on the ball in the second half and we played the majority of the second half in their half.
“They are a good team, big and strong and we found them hard to break down.”
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