Claudio Ranieri refused to comment on referee Jon Moss’ performance after Leicester’s dramatic 2-2 draw with West Ham was riddled with contentious decisions.
Leicester extended their lead at the top of the Premier League to eight points with a last-gasp point thanks to Leonardo Ulloa’s 95th-minute penalty at the King Power Stadium on Sunday.
The Foxes had been on course for victory after Jamie Vardy’s notched his 22nd goal of the season after 18 minutes, but the game turned on its head when referee Moss sent the England striker off for two bookings, the second of which being for simulation.
Events transpired against the hosts further when West Ham were awarded a dubious penalty when Wes Morgan was penalised for tugging Winston Reid on 83 minutes, with Andy Carroll converting from 12 yards a minute later.
“I judge my players and not the referee,” Ranieri told Sky Sports when asked for his opinion on the decision. “The referee watched this, it’s OK.
“If some players don’t play well or make mistakes, I speak with them and we try to improve their performance. The referee is not my matter.”
Despite admitting Vardy’s dismissal changed his team’s approach, the Leicester boss was equally as dismissive when pressed on incident, adding: “Nothing. If you want to know something about Jamie, ask Jamie.
“Why do I have to say something (about the incident) if you have already watched the game?
“The sending off changed all of our match.”Having been pegged back by Carroll’s penalty, Leicester title hopes took another blow when Aaron Cresswell rifled home a stunning effort on 86 minutes to complete the Hammers turnaround.
But the Foxes showcased their title credentials when, after another questionable by the referee, Ulloa scored from the penalty spot with virtually the last kick of the game.
And Ranieri highlighted the importance of the Argentine’s stoppage-time equaliser, and his side’s fightback against a strong West Ham side, which preserved their buffer from second-placed Tottenham.
“(My team were) fantastic, fantastic,” Ranieri said. “We play every match with our soul – blood, heart and soul and it was magnificent.
“I said thank you to the players and to the fans, we must believe every time. This point is very important psychologically.”To come back in the last minute after going down to 2-1 is very important. To produce something, that was important.
“I know that West Ham are a good team with good players. I said previously that they move the ball very well, they have three good strikers, they can change everything and they can deliver the ball well.