(Reuters) – Leicester City’s inability to defend corners proved costly on Thursday as they were eliminated from the Europa Conference League semi-finals by AS Roma and manager Brendan Rodgers conceded his side were not physical enough.
Tammy Abraham headed home from Lorenzo Pellegrini’s delivery in the first half as Roma won 1-0 on the night and 2-1 on aggregate to set up a meeting with Dutch side Feyenoord in the final.
“The corner has been an Achilles heel for us all season to be perfectly honest, so to concede the goal in that manner was hugely disappointing,” said Rodgers.
“We clearly lack physicality. The courage is there for the players, but clearly, within the team, especially with Wilf (Ndidi) missing, we don’t have the physicality in the team.”
While disappointed to miss out on a place in the inaugural Europa Conference League final, Rodgers said the experience of playing at the Stadio Olimpico would help his players develop.
“It’s a young team and learning all the time, this is a level a lot of them have never been to. It’s only natural but the guys will learn and it’s another experience,” he said.
“It’s been a great journey for us. The players will learn and gain a lot of experience from it. Nights like tonight will stay with them and give them that motivation going forward.”
Leicester, 11th in the Premier League, host Everton on Sunday.
(Reporting by Dhruv Munjal in Bengaluru; Editing by Peter Rutherford)