Substitute Leonardo Ulloa scored an 89th-minute winner as Leicester City breathed fresh life into their improbable Premier League title challenge by edging Norwich City 1-0 on Saturday.
The Argentine’s goal, only his third of the season, puts the pressure on Leicester’s closest rivals Tottenham Hotspur and Arsenal, who host Swansea City and visit Manchester United respectively on Sunday.
“It was a difficult match,” Ranieri told the BBC. “Norwich played well and closed the space, but we believed until the end. This victory was very important to restart after the Arsenal defeat.
“The conclusion I have drawn from this is that my players believe until the end. That, for me, is very important.”
Norwich’s approach at the King Power Stadium gave Leicester an indication of the puzzles likely to await them over the final 11 matches of a dizzying campaign.
Alex Neil’s visitors lined up with a back three and sat deep, forcing Leicester, who had previously averaged just 44 percent of possession in their home league games, to take the initiative.
Marc Albrighton went close for Leicester with a free-kick from wide on the left, but the best chance of the first half fell to Norwich’s Cameron Jerome, who headed inches wide from Robbie Brady’s corner.
Encouraged by Riyad Mahrez, Leicester took hold of the game in the second period, with visiting goalkeeper John Ruddy saving from Jamie Vardy and Albrighton.
Nathan Redmond went close to snatching victory for Norwich when he flashed a shot wide, but the hosts had the last word when Ulloa ghosted in at the back post to apply the finishing touch to Albrighton’s right-wing cross.