James Justin & Brendan Rodgers

Rodgers: A Very Good Performance

Leicester City's 2-0 UEFA Europa Conference League Round of 16 first leg victory over Rennes is a testament to the players' hard work, says Brendan Rodgers.
More on this story...

- Manager Brendan Rodgers reacts to Leicester City's 2-0 win over Rennes
- It's a result which means the Foxes lead after the first leg in the UEFA Europa Conference League
- Marc Albrighton's magnificent strike was added to by Kelechi Iheanacho late on
- Rodgers says City will have to show 'endurance' in Brittany during the second leg

At the half-way stage of the tie, with a place in the inaugural competition's quarter-finals at stake, the Foxes hold the advantage. A magnificent hit from Marc Albrighton got them up and running on Filbert Way in the first half, before Kelechi Iheanacho pounced in added time.

The French visitors, currently fourth in Ligue 1, started well in the East Midlands, but it was City who played more dominantly over the entire 90 minutes. Rodgers was proud of his players for quelling that early pressure from Bruno Génésio's side to establish a two-goal cushion to take to Brittany.

"I’m very pleased, it was a very good performance," he told LCFC TV. "They started the game well, bright. They are a good team and you can see why they’ve scored lots of goals. We grew into the game once we started to secure the ball and look after the ball.

"The first goal then gave us a lot of confidence in the game. It was a brilliant goal. It’s a great pass by Çağs (Çağlar Söyüncü), Barnesy (Harvey Barnes') touch and his ability to beat their full-back, who’s their captain and a good player was great… he squares it to Marc and then what a finish!

Defensively, we were strong. We had to be because they’re a good team, but then we looked a threat and the subs came in as well and did very well.

Brendan Rodgers LCFC TV

"It was just an outstanding goal. We had to work in the game, but a team who have scored 53 goals, only second to Paris Saint-Germain on 56 in their league, for us to restrict them to only one shot on target really shows you how hard the players have been working. Defensively, we were strong.

"We had to be because they’re a good team, but then we looked a threat and the subs came in as well and did very well."

Rodgers is pleased with how the tie looks at the half-way point, but highlighted a recent example of why two-goal leads are not at all insurmountable. 

"It puts is in a really good position in the tie, but I said to the players, look at the Real Madrid vs. Paris Saint-Germain game last night," the Northern Irishman explained. "PSG, with 30 minutes to go, were 2-0 up. I always feel 2-0 is a scoreline of endurance.

"You have to be ready to endure the other team throwing everything because they’ve got nothing to lose. You have to be able to take that suffering and you can’t become complacent and think the game’s won. We’ll have to endure some difficult moments, I’m pretty sure, in the second leg.

"We’ve also seen tonight that the space will hopefully open up for us away from home a little more. We know we have the quality to score goals as well. When you watch them, they move the ball well. They’ve got good technical players. They are a threat.

"Their positioning on the field is good. We’ll have to work equally as hard over there."

Before the second leg in France next Thursday, it's a trip to north London on Sunday to tackle top-four chasing Arsenal at Emirates Stadium (4:30pm GMT kick-off). The Leicester manager's mind is already on doing everything possible to leave the capital with a positive result.

He said: "They’ll be happy as we played tonight and they’ve had a free week, but we’ve shown already this season... we played Man City on a Sunday and played Liverpool and won on a Tuesday. For us, we’ve never tried to use fatigue as an excuse, even though there’s every reason for the players.

"The squad’s so tight, but we’ll recover now and look forward. It’s a great stadium and the pitch is great so hopefully we can go and put on a good performance."




Leicester City Crest





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