Puel enjoys Maguire winner
CLAUDE PUEL last night insisted his bullish pitch-invasion celebrations after Leicester’s last-ditch win had nothing to do with his Southampton sacking.
The Foxes manager stormed the pitch with some energetic double fist-pumping when Harry Maguire’s low drive handed his side a late victory.
Puel could have been forgiven for relishing a revenge victory over former employers Southampton, who sacked him in 2017 after guiding the club to an eighth-place Premier League finish and the League Cup final.
Ryan Bertrand’s thunderbolt had Saints ahead, only for Demarai Gray to level four minutes later. Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg was sent off late on for a second booking and then Maguire bagged the winner in added time.
Asked if his out-of-character celebration was motivated by his Saints sacking, Puel replied: “No, no, no: nothing about this. Because I have a lot of respect for all the people working at Southampton.
“It was just about the circumstance of the game, and it was a tough game, difficult to play against this team and we have had good desire and a good reaction to keep our calm and to play the second part of the game and to win this time is a fantastic feeling. I’m happy for my players, for the fans, to get something. It’s justice.”
Southampton have now won just three of their last 28 Premier League games at St Mary’s and are yet to claim a victory this term. Boss Mark Hughes insisted he felt his side deserved to win the game — and that he was even happy to see Maguire shoot on goal, until the ball crossed the goal-line that is. “We didn’t deserve that, I thought it was a really strong performance by us,” said Hughes.