Brendan Rodgers says ‘uncharacteristic mistakes’ cost Leicester in their 4-2 home defeat at the hands of Newcastle.
The Foxes lost centre-back Jonny Evans in the warm-up and his absence told as they were swept aside in the Premier League.
Caglar Soyuncu turned into Joe Willock for the 22nd-minute opener.
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The in-form Englishman raced into the box and finished past Kasper Schmeichel for his fourth goal in as many games.
Newcastle’s first-half dominance continued through Paul Dummett, who made it 2-0 not long afterwards.
He rose above Wesley Fofana at a corner to head home from close range.
After a much-needed break, Leicester still failed to control the game in the second half.
Callum Wilson caught Leicester on the counter-attack and rounded Schmeichel before finishing into an open net. He scored again nine minutes later to all but end the affair.
Late goals from Marc Albrighton and Kelechi Iheanacho, both great finishes, weren’t enough to inspire a comeback.
Speaking after the defeat, Rodgers said: “It’s very easy to analyse. It was a game in which we made so many mistakes and you can’t afford to do that.
“It was uncharacteristic. It’s a period of the season where we need to be super concentrated, you are very close to achieving what you want to achieve. We lacked concentration and if you do that against good teams and good players they punish you.
“They kept going and over the course of 90 minutes we could have had four or five goals ourselves but there were too many mistakes.
“It’s young players. You can see the first goal is a poor mistake. You don’t have that time to relax and Cruyff [turn] out of the situation. There were other mistakes as well. It happens.”
When asked about Evans’ injury, Rodgers continued: “He is the brain in our defensive line. He is a great talker. Caglar [Soyuncu] and Wesley [Fofana] are both individuals. They are fantastic talents but he is the brain who organises. It was big blow for us.”
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Speaking about their top-four hopes, he added: “We are still in a really good position and everything is still in our hands.”
The result leaves the Foxes on 63 points from 35 matches. They can be overtaken by Chelsea if Thomas Tuchel‘s men overcome Man City on Saturday.
Fifth-placed West Ham can move within two points of Leicester if they beat Everton on Sunday.