Rodgers and Barnes lament poor start as Leicester lose to Arsenal

Leicester City Brendan Rodgers

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Leicester City manager Brendan Rodgers and winger Harvey Barnes have singled out the side’s poor start as the reason for their 2-0 loss to Arsenal in front of their home fans.

Two goals in the first 20 minutes saw the Foxes’ five-game unbeaten streak come to an end, despite finding their way into the game later on.

Gabriel Magalhaes and Emile Smith-Rowe took advantage of a sluggish opening from Leicester and helped Arsenal to take control of the fixture early on.

“A poor start cost us,” Rodgers told LCFC TV. “It’s a lack of concentration and then you’re chasing the game against a good side.

“We’ve been able to do it in a few games recently where we’ve not bad a great start and come back, but you can’t give teams a 2-0 start, especially a good team like Arsenal.

“We had to make changes to shift the dynamic of the game, but we got punished for that opening 20 minutes.

“We were too passive, so it is a concern. When you have players finding the level and the constant mentality, if you don’t start the game well, then it can cost you and today it cost us. In the second half, we can’t have any complaints. I thought we were excellent.

“We had to make changes to shift the dynamic of the game, but we got punished for that opening 20 minutes. Both [Harvey Barnes and Ademola Lookman] were excellent.

“They gave us that pressure higher up the pitch. We could condense the game up there and we were much better.”

Harvey Barnes spoke of his disappointment after the side’s defeat to the North London team: “It’s a disappointing one for us. Obviously, the first half, as a team, we weren’t good enough and we gave ourselves a big task going into the second half.

“We performed a bit better in the second half, but we couldn’t get the goal to get us back in the game. It’s a disappointing day.”

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