Analysis: Jamie Vardy’s performance v Atletico Madrid

Date published: Tuesday 18th April 2017 10:03

Diego Godin this week said Jamie Vardy would get into the Atletico Madrid XI and on Tuesday night he almost sent the La Liga side packing.

The England man started up front as Leicester attempted to overturn a 1-0 deficit against Atletico in the second leg of their Champions League quarter-final.

Vardy got on the scoresheet to take his tally to nine goals in his last 13 matches in all competitions, but it was not enough to prevent Leicester going out after losing 2-1 on aggregate.

Here, PA Sport takes a look at the impact of the England forward at the King Power Stadium.

INFLUENCE

Had little change out of uncompromising Atletico centre-back Diego Godin in the first half, especially when the Foxes employed the aerial route, but looked much more of a threat with the ball at his feet.

Should have been put through on goal by Riyad Mahrez in the 24th minute but the Algerian dwelt on the ball too long and Vardy ended up drifting offside, with the England man visibly frustrated not to have received a pass earlier.

The Leicester number nine’s influence on the match grew in the second half, though, and he was involved in many of the Foxes’ most dangerous attacks.

GOAL THREAT

Vardy had not had a genuine sniff of goal in the first hour as Atletico’s well-oiled defensive machine kept Leicester largely at arm’s length, but he made no mistake with his first opportunity in the 60th minute.

The ball fell kindly to him eight yards out and he coolly side-footed past a host of players and into the roof of the net to give his side a lifeline.

Vardy had another great opening eight minutes later as the ball reached him near the penalty spot. His connection was not the cleanest but the shot was possibly going in until it was blocked by a visiting defender.

Vardy then drew a save out of Jan Oblak with a clever back-heeled flick as Leicester pushed for a second goal.

LINK-UP WORK

Looked to get involved as often as he could and came deep to pick up possession, as well as regularly offering an outlet down the left.

Helped set up two of Leicester’s better chances for Shinji Okazaki and Ben Chilwell – one via a cut-back and the other a flicked-on header – but neither player could hit the target.

Vardy’s pace caused the Atletico defence problems on other occasions but he was unable to find a final ball.

OVERALL 

Led the Leicester attack well and did as much as anyone to try and get the Foxes back into the tie. His fine finish set up a thrilling final half-hour and who knows what might have happened had either of his two attempts soon afterwards gone in.

But in the end Atletico had enough in the bank thanks to goals in either leg from Antoine Griezmann and Saul Niguez, leaving Vardy and Leicester’s European adventure at an end.

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