SKY

Claude Puel says that Leicester’s 3-0 defeat to Crystal Palace was “not a good game for us” and their opponents deserved to win.

The Foxes had won their previous four games heading into the match at the King Power Stadium, but were outdone by goals from Christian Benteke, Wilfried Zaha and Bakary Sako as well as having Wilfried Ndidi sent off.

But Puel admits that his side were not at their best on Saturday, and praised the performance of Palace, who picked up their first away Premier League win of the season.

“It was not a good game for us and Crystal Palace deserved this result. They played with desire and quality and we didn’t deserve a win today,” he told Sky Sports.

“I think our play was too slow against a good team with a strong defensive unit. We needed to have more quickness, more quality in the play and it was not possible today.

“I don’t know if it is the tiredness or something but we tried to come back in the second half but I think the red card prevented us from trying other things and to get back in the game.”

Ndidi’s red card came on his 21st birthday, with a dive in the box seeing him receive a second booking from referee Martin Atkinson in the 61st minute.

“I think it is always difficult and harsh because he is a valuable player for us,” Puel added of the incident.

“Without Ndidi, it was difficult to work with the ball and to continue to put this team under pressure. But I didn’t see the two fouls, I think he didn’t make a lot of fouls in the game. It is difficult when he was sent off. It was not our day.

“We know we have to play a lot of games and we have short space to recover. I think it is important to use this game like a lesson and to come back with a strong spirit for the next games.”

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