'An Outstanding Display' – Rodgers On Villa Success
- Leicester City secure stunning 4-2 success over Aston Villa at Villa Park
- James Maddison, Kelechi Iheanacho, Tetê and Dennis Praet all score
- The whole performance impressed manager Brendan Rodgers
- City move up to 13th in the Premier League table
During a thrilling first half, Villa twice edged in front, via Ollie Watkins and a Harry Souttar own goal, but Leicester were up to the task of responding on both occasions, as James Maddison notched his first goal since the FIFA World Cup and Kelechi Iheanacho scored his second in as many games.
Debutant Tetê soon sent City into the break with a 3-2 advantage, while Dennis Praet was on hand to emerge off the bench and seal a satisfying first win of 2023 late on in the second half, much to Rodgers’ delight.
City’s manager told LCFC TV after full-time: “You look at the form Aston Villa have been in since Unai [Emery] has come in, a team that is full of confidence, especially at home, but I thought we were outstanding today. It was a really good level.
“Offensively [we were] very good; we were a real threat when we had the ball and caused many problems. Defensively, there’s still things for us to get right in terms of the balance with the new guys coming in, but you can’t take anything away from the players today.
“Going behind twice and coming back… the spirit in the team and the quality to get in front at half-time and then, in the second half, we were calm and saw the game through and could have had more goals. I’m very, very pleased.”
The confidence running within the side was clear to see, as full Premier League debutants Tetê, Souttar and Victor Kristiansen all impressed.
The Northern Irishman continued: “We’ve had a very good week’s training with things that we worked on leading into the game, which you saw today. The runs in behind, the penetration, some of the link-up play. That was very good.
He’s an absolutely outstanding footballing ability, runs in behind, passes in behind and some great quality on his passing and also a winger that will really work up and down the field.Brendan Rodgers on Tetê LCFC TV
“Harry at centre-back was excellent. He was unlucky with the own goal, but he gives us a presence, he can attack the ball and he was very good for us.
“Victor was just full of enthusiasm, he’s good on the ball, he wants to defend and he gets forward. We just had to take him off to be mindful that he’s really only at the early stages of his pre-season, so I thought he was excellent for 80 minutes.
“Tetê was the right-sided left-footed player that I’ve been looking for. He has absolutely outstanding footballing ability, runs in behind, passes in behind and has some great quality on his passing. He's also a winger that will really work up and down the field. I thought he was very good.”
Bold, aggressive and on the front foot from the first whistle, Leicester displayed all the aspects of the type of performance Rodgers has been searching for in recent weeks, bouncing back from first-half adversity and then soaking up pressure once ahead.
Celebrating Kelechi Iheanacho's goal in front of the Blue Army.
The 50-year-old explained: “I said to the players before the game, we wanted to take control of the game and in order to do that, you’ve got to give pressure when you have the ball and when you haven’t got the ball. I’m disappointed with the goals conceded.
“We’re unfortunate on the first one because we have Youri [Tielemans] down and then they get a shot in from the edge of the box where he would have been. On the second one, we can recover quicker back into our space, but they get a bit of luck from the deflection.
“But apart from that, we defended well. We were strong, concentrated and what you know is that in any Premier League game, especially away from home, you’ve going to come under pressure. And when you know it’s going to happen, you should stay calm. The players did that, in particular in the second half.
“We didn’t give away so much and we closed the game out really well. What we showed today is our threat and our ability when we have the ball, it’s exciting.
“If we can match that intensity and physicality when we haven’t got it then we can have a really good second half to the season. I’m delighted for all the players.”
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