The top two teams in the English Premier League registered victories yesterday – Leicester strolling to a 2-0 win over Liverpool thanks to a Jamie Vardy brace, and a Sergio Aguero goal enough for Manchester City to down a battling home side at Sunderland.
As the season continues the charming Claudio Ranieri insists that only the fans can dream of winning the league, and his players must live for the next game and work hard without thoughts too far in the future. He must look back at the way in which he was treated at Chelsea in 2004, and down the table at his former employer and wonder where it all went right. Manchester City boss Manuel Pellegrini insists he is not looking ahead either, but for a different reason – he is leaving the club at the end of the season, to be replaced by Pep Guardiola. “I’m just thinking about having a good season. We’re not thinking about the future; we’re living in the present,” he told the BBC after last night’s game.
Pellegrini will undoubtedly be looking at least as far as this weekend’s fixture though, as City host Leicester. Ranieri certainly is. “The team is in good condition,” he said. “Now it is important to recover the energy because we have to run a lot against Manchester City. We are free of pressure. The players have a good feeling.” Ominously, the Italian believes top-scoring Vardy is only just hitting peak form after a groin operation last month. “Now it is one month more or less since he restarted training. Before that he didn’t train. He played matches without training and that’s not easy.”
Leicester will go into Saturday’s game full of confidence after easing past the inconsistent Liverpool – City were given a sterner test at the Stadium of Light last night, with Pellegrini bemoaning a packed fixture list. If Leicester win at the City of Manchester Stadium, will Ranieri still maintain that dreams of lifting the trophy are the preserve of the fans?