Football

Pay bumps have Foxes down in the dumps

Keane says Leicester's struggles down to players getting 'too much money too soon'

GROUP G
PORTO LEICESTER
5 0
(Andre Silva 6, 64-pen, Jesus Corona 26, Yacine Brahimi 44, Diogo Jota 77)  

Roy Keane slammed Leicester City after the Premier League champions were humbled 5-0 by Porto in their final Champions League Group G match yesterday morning (Singapore time).

The former Manchester United and Republic of Ireland captain said the Foxes are in big trouble as the financial windfalls of last season's success have destroyed the club.

Having already won the group, Leicester manager Claudio Ranieri made 10 changes, but ended the match with the unwanted record of suffering a record defeat for an English team in the Champions League.

Porto ran riot at the Estadio do Dragao, thanks to a double from Andre Silva and fine strikes from Jesus Corona, Yacine Brahimi and Diogo Jota.

Ireland assistant manager Keane watched the game as a pundit for ITV, and said: "We've seen their players get rewarded with new contracts - financial rewards are fantastic - but that can destroy a club.

"Too much money too soon for these players - and they just take their eye off the ball. They're in big trouble.

"Now they have to dig in and see what they're really about...

"The basic fact is they've lost the hunger they had last year.

"But you look at their manager who seems a very placid man and he looks really frustrated there. He must be scratching his head."

Ranieri, meanwhile, urged his squad to stick together.

He said: "We have to stay together and think about the Premier League.

"We can lose, but not in this way. I have no regrets because I wanted to give an opportunity to all my players.

"When there is another difficult match on 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'.

"For this reason, I gave a chance to them. That's it. Then the result is my fault but they missed a great chance."

Porto, however, took their chance to put on a show, said midfield Oliver Torres.

He told Uefa's official website: "We wanted to be among the best 16 teams in Europe so we knew the importance of this game. I think that we put on a great exhibition."

His coach Nuno Espirito Santo added: "We should be proud we beat the Premier League champions. We should not take credit away from our players, but we know Leicester did not come with the best players they have."

- WIRE SERVICES

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