Leicester City boss Claude Puel heaped praise on centre-back Harry Maguire after his late winner gave the club an important win over Southampton. A goal from Ryan Bertrand just 7 minutes into the second half put Southampton ahead. However, young winger Demarai Gray equalized just four minutes later. The match was set for a draw before Maguire scored the winner in stoppage time. This was Leicester’s second successive league win at St. Mary’s, thrashing Southampton in 4-1 last December.
Following the match, Claude Puel was all praise for Maguire. He said, “It is a fantastic feeling for him and the rest of the team [to win so late]. He has good feet. He stays behind at the end of training to try and score set pieces, to work on his free-kicks. He has a good shot and he tries and tries. It was a complete game for him and this team-mates. All the squad defended well in the first half, it was tough to play against Southampton.”
Puel expressed his delight over the team’s ability to come back in the match just four minutes after conceding. He said, “We showed our character and personality. When they scored, we came back with a desire to get back into the game. We were losing away from home, against a good team, but we showed great quality to come back into the game without panicking and remaining calm to win this game.”
Puel’s celebration after the winner led many to believe that it implied a vengeance win over Southampton. Puel was the Southampton manager before joining Leicester but the club sacked him at the end of last season.
When asked if his celebration was motivated by the Southampton sacking, Puel said, “No, no, no: nothing about this, because I have a lot of respect for all the people working at Southampton. It was just about the circumstance of the game, and it was a tough game, difficult to play against this team and we have had good desire and a good reaction to keep our calm and to play the second part of the game and to win this time is a fantastic feeling.”
The Foxes are currently 7th in the table and next face Fleetwood Town in a League Cup match. After this, they have a daunting task ahead as their next league game is against Liverpool next Saturday. Liverpool registered their third successive win of the Premier League by beating Brighton and Hove Albion 1-0. They are now at the top of the table above Manchester City