Brendan Rodgers believes Jamie Vardy can give Leicester the lead after he and James Maddison came on off the bench to inspire the Foxes in a 2-0 win over Burnley.
It is no coincidence that Leicester have not won a Premier League game since beating Liverpool 1-0 on December 28 – Vardy has been missing since that day with a hamstring injury.
But the 35-year-old returned for the final 18 minutes of this game and that was all he needed to set up a substitute Maddison’s 82nd-minute opener and then make his own. I scored the second.
“It tells you everything,” says Rodgers. “I am delighted that he was able to participate.
“Thinking more that it would be Leeds (on Saturday) but over the last couple of days he has looked really bright, really sharp and he wants to come and help the team even though it’s only for 15- 20 minutes, and that tells you everything about his attitude.
“Then there’s his energy, he’s the real catalyst for us. You see his movement behind, his linked play and then he is always in position to score. It was a great introduction to him and it’s a pleasure to have him back.”
Vardy’s last-minute strike was his 94th Premier League goal since turning 30 – breaking the record previously held by Ian Wright.
And the energy he infuses has shown just how important he can be in turning around what has been a tumultuous season for Leicester so far.
“He was very hungry,” Rodgers added. “It was frustrating when he had to go out and watch the team. Hopefully we can keep him healthy now and with one or two other players back it will be huge over the next few months. ”
Leicester started the match with the excuse that the defeat would leave them with only 3 points ahead of a Burnley who is fighting relegation all season. But instead, they returned to the mid-table and celebrated their first clean sheet away from home in this campaign.
“Keeping a clean sheet is of course very important but you just want to win games,” said Rodgers. “I thought tonight was a real test, both physically and mentally. To get to Burnley, you know you have to stay strong.
“To get two goals and keep a clean sheet shows that when we have the right concentration we can do it. There were other games like Wolves where we played well but didn’t get the results, we made mistakes and made the wrong decisions. We didn’t give too much tonight, nor did Kasper have much to do.”
Burnley may have escaped the bottom three for the first time since November with a win, but instead the momentum that has brought seven points from the last three faltered.
Maxwell Cornet had a goal ruled out for offside but they tried to intimidate Leicester, and resorted to four brilliant saves from Nick Pope to keep the game away from them sooner.
Sean Dyche said: “Tonight we weren’t quite at the level we used to be. “There were back passes, poor decisions, not a lack of energy but just our lack of clarity.
“I mentioned it in the first half and thought we were a bit stronger in the second half without doing as well as we did.
“I thought we could have won a draw and even with a 1-0 I thought we could do it – we almost did it from a set piece – but that’s it. just one thing that took us away from our performance.”
https://www.independent.ie/sport/soccer/super-hungry-jamie-vardy-can-fire-leicester-up-league-table-brendan-rodgers-41401193.html ‘Super hungry’ Jamie Vardy can shoot Leicester up the rankings – Brendan Rodgers