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Knockaert says sorry to Leicester City fans for penalty miss


Anthony Knockaert has apologised to the Leicester City fans for his late penalty miss.

The Frenchman was inconsolable at the final whistle as City's promotion dream was ended at Watford.

Hornets keeper Manuel Almunia stopped his added-time penalty, which would have secured City's place in the play-off final.

To rub salt into the wounds, Watford raced away and Troy Deeney scored to dump City out of the play-offs – just 20 seconds after Knockaert had failed from the spot.

The 19-year-old was in tears and had to be helped from the Vicarage Road pitch by his team-mates, but he later tweeted his appreciation for the support he received from City's travelling fans.

"I'm really sorry for the fans of Leicester. I'm very sad for everyone," he said.

"Thank you very for your support all the season. I love Leicester."

Manager Nigel Pearson said the events of the last 20 seconds were cruel on his players, although he admitted the award of the spot-kick in the fifth minute of added time after a challenge on Knockaert by Marco Cassetti was a generous one by referee Michael Oliver.

"Anthony is distraught, as you would expect him to be," he said.

"You just hope he scores it. What happens after that compounds the misery of missing the penalty.

"That is unfortunately the nature of the beast. It can be a very cruel game. For the players to have experienced that is very tough.

"I would be the first to admit it was quite a generous decision, the penalty. There was marginal contact I thought.

"But to then concede after the double save from the penalty is very tough for the players to take."

Two strikes from Matej Vydra had wiped out City's advantage from the first leg, despite David Nugent's riposte, and Pearson also admitted he thought Watford had outplayed his side in the second half.

"I thought Watford were the better side in the second half," he added.

"They created a lot of chances but it is fine margins. It has been a good tie over the two legs.

"We created quite a lot of pressure with set-plays. They created some decent chances in the second half.

"In the first half, I didn't think they were particularly dangerous from open play. However, they scored an excellent goal.

"It was always going to be tight. In the second half, they dominated possession and we didn't manage the ball as well.

"But ultimately for it to be decided in a cruel twist like that is very difficult for everyone associated with Leicester City."

Loan players Michael Keane and Harry Kane have now returned to their parent clubs Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur after City's play-off exit.

Related content: • Article: It will take a long while to get over heartbreak – Leicester City boss Pearson • Article: Watford 3 City 1: Replay live, interactive coverage• Article: Watford's Gianfranco Zola shows respect for Leicester City's Nigel Pearson • Article: We were one inch from Wembley - Rob Tanner's verdict on Watford v Leicester City• Article: Last-gasp winner and the reactions! (Video and Pics) • Article: Play-off ecstasy then agony for Leicester City fans• Pictures: Watford 3 City 1 - Leicester fans at the match • Pictures: Watford 3 City 1 - agony for Leicester fans • Pictures: Watford 3 Leicester City 1 (Agg 3-2)

Knockaert says sorry to Leicester City fans for penalty miss

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