Brendan Rodgers

Rodgers: Our Tempo Was Excellent

The speed at which Leicester City played against AEK Athens on Thursday proved to be a catalyst for their 2-0 UEFA Europa League Group G win, according to manager Brendan Rodgers.
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- Brendan Rodgers lauds Leicester City’s tempo following a 2-0 UEFA Europa League win over AEK Athens
- The Foxes finished top of Group G thanks to their fourth European win of 2020/21
- Wingers Cengiz Ünder and Harvey Barnes were both dealt praise by Rodgers after the triumph

A lightning-fast start to the clash on Filbert Way saw Cengiz Ünder volley home on 12 minutes before Harvey Barnes’ deflected strike found the net just two minutes later as City secured top spot in their pool.

Northern Irishman Rodgers felt it was important for the Foxes to round off their group campaign with a win, and explained why the pace at which they operated allowed them to do so.

“It was a scenario that was spoke about before the game,” Rodgers told LCFC TV. “We wanted to finish in first place and cap off a good competition so far. The players responded to that really, really well.

“We mentioned about making a quick start. We’ve been very strong in that opening sector of the game, and in the first 25 minutes, we played with a really good intensity and speed, and scored two quality goals with opportunities to score more.

“The only problems we caused were one or two ourselves, when we had rash clearances and gave them a couple of corners, but apart from that, our tempo was very good and the speed in our game was excellent.”

With both of City’s wingers on target in the win, Rodgers praised the way they exploited space while coming up against AEK Athens’ bolstered defence.

Cengo (Cengiz Ünder) has got incredible technique. He strikes the ball so hard and so clean. I’m delighted for him. He gets 90 minutes as well, which is important.

Brendan Rodgers LCFC TV

He explained: “Against that system, playing against a back five, you’ve really got to switch the game, so we were able to circulate the ball well and get it to them.

“We reinforced that at half-time. Those two boys (Cengiz Ünder and Harvey Barnes) were the threats in the game and when they picked the ball up, they were outstanding.

“Harvey’s goal was a great demonstration of running in behind and he finished really, really well. [There was] a slight deflection, but his run and movement was very good.

“Cengo (Cengiz Ünder) has got incredible technique. He strikes the ball so hard and so clean. I’m delighted for him. He gets 90 minutes as well, which is important.”

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