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Leicester manager Claudio Ranieri was magnanimous in defeat, conceding that the better team won as Hull beat the Foxes 2-1.

Robert Snodgrass’ strike in the 57th minute grabbed all three points for the Tigers despite having only 13 fit senior players for the game and meant Leicester became the first Premier League champions to lose the opening game of their title defence.

Adama Diomande put Hull in front just before the break but Riyad Mahrez’s penalty drew the Foxes level in the opening moments of the second half.

“We made a big effort but it was individual effort, not like a team,” said Ranieri. “Our strength is when everyone is connected to each other.

“Against Manchester United [in the Community Shield] we played as a team, today it was big effort but not together. This is the key of the match.

“I can say thank you to my players, their effort was amazing, but they must understand the team is stronger than individual players.”

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Ranieri did not comment on Jeffrey Schlupp’s mooted move to West Brom, despite the fact the winger did not travel with the squad. “I choose the first XI. He, of course, wants to play but I can’t say that you play every match,” offered the Italian.

Caretaker manager Mike Phelan was indebted to his Hull players as they overcame off-field matters and an injury-hit squad to beat the reigning Premier League champions.

“I thought the players had it in them to produce something but all credit to the football players because they showed a lot of the determination,” Phelan told Sky Sports. “They played the way I asked them to play. At this level, you have to master the ball, you have to take the ball and play with confidence, character and courage and I thought everything came out today.

“But it’s one game and we roll on to the next one.”

Asked what the future now held for him and the team, Phelan added: “The situation has not changed – I was asked to take pre-season and I’ve done that, I was asked if I would take the game today and I have done that now.

“Next week could be a big week because we still need to find players. We had a list, those players have gone but players may want to come to this club now — results, performances and attitudes change things.”

 

Culled from ESPN

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