Leicester manager Brendan Rodgers was a happy man after watching his side beat Aston Villa 2-1 and reserved special praise for Harvey Barnes.
Barnes scored the Foxes second goal on 23 minutes after James Maddison had opened the scoring four minutes earlier. The East Midlanders were dominant throughout the first period as Dean Smith’s side failed to get going.
And Rodgers could barely find fault with his charges after watching them move second in the table.
“I was absolutely delighted. I thought some of our football and the speed of our game was really really good,” he told Sky Sports. “We didn’t have too many concerns defensively.
“We gave away a cheap goal, and when you do that in the second half it gives the opponents a bit of momentum for the next 15-20 minutes. Once we weathered that I thought we still had chances in the second half.”
And the former Liverpool chief was especially pleased that his side were able to cope with a tough week.
“After midweek travel and a European game, the players really have to show their spirit and quality. I was so pleased and very proud of the team,” he added. “Our energy was good and the quality of our football was excellent. Some of our attacking play was very good.”
Southgate with options in midfield
The duo have one Three Lions cap each, and will hope to be part of England’s Euro 2020 squad. Rodgers praised both men but was particularly bullish about Barnes and his ability around the box.
“Harvey I thought was incredible. His finish looked easy but it wasn’t. Both those boys are improving constantly,” he added. “When you’re a young player it’s about adjusting and adapting. His confidence and finishing is much better. He looks like he’s going to score in every game he plays. He’s a great learner and a big talent.”
On Leicester’s top-four hopes, he continued: “There’s a greater calmness. We’re playing some great football, but at times you have to dig in and have spirit, and we were able to do that.”
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