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Ranieri: Leicester’s Mahrez woken up by Champions League music

Leicester City manager Claudio Ranieri says the Champions League anthem must have inspired Riyad Mahrez following the midfielder’s brace in the 3-0 victory over Club Brugge. Mahrez, 25, scored twice in the Foxes’ first ever Champions League game on Wednesday with a well-taken free kick and a converted penalty.

The Algeria international and Leicester have not had the best of starts to the new Premier League season, but Ranieri says he has a theory as to why his player burst into life against Brugge.

“Maybe the [Champions League] music woke up him!” Ranieri is quoted as saying by The Guardian. 

“Maybe he’s tired of dilly ding, dilly dong and the Champions League music woke him. I liked his [performance], he worked very hard.”


Mahrez stepped up to take the penalty in Belgium despite having missed three of his previous four penalties.

Ranieri said after the game that he had wanted new signing Islam Slimani on spot-kick duties, only for Mahrez to take over.

“If he [Mahrez] hadn’t scored, I’d take his neck and crush his neck!” Ranieri said. 

“He took the responsibility. I tried to say Slimani because he’s a penalty scorer. But he took the responsibility and scored. He was a lucky man!”

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