Rodgers beams over Leicester star’s return; provides Soyuncu injury update

Caglar Soyuncu

Brendan Rodgers was happy to see Ricardo Pereira finally return from injury on Thursday and was pleased enough with his much-changed side despite their defeat.

Rodgers made nine changes and switched his formation for the clash in Zaporizhzhia. PereiraCaglar Soyuncu and Wilfred Ndidi started for the first time since their injury set-backs.

But Soyuncu lasted just 16 minutes before he suffered a groin injury and was replaced by Wesley Fofana.

In the end, a late strike by Allahyar Sayyadmanesh gave Zorya a 1-0 Europa League victory in Ukraine.

When asked about Soyuncu’s injury, Rodgers was refusing to say too much at this stage.

“We have to wait and see tomorrow,” he said. “It’s a recurrence of the groin injury, he overstretched it.

“It’s frustrating overall. I didn’t think the players deserved to lose that at all. Ricardo got some game time. The young guys did well.

“As the second half went on, we looked like the only team going to win. The players put so much into it. There were difficult conditions.”

Asked what pleased him most, Rodgers insisted he was happy with his side’s display. He was also happy with the performance of Cengiz Under, while the return of Pereira was also very pleasing.


“I thought the first half we were good tactically, limiting them to few chances and having some ourselves. Cengiz Under was excellent,” he commented. “The second half looked like the team were always on the offensive.

“It was a great game to get gametime into legs. Ricky [Pereira] was excellent in the first half. I thought Kelechi [Iheanacho] was very good. Front three were excellent. Lots of positives from the game despite losing.”

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Pereira delighted with return

Portuguese full-back Pereira was delighted to get a run out after being out since March with an ACL injury.

“Very good. It’s been a long journey for me. I’m very happy to be back playing with the guys,” he said.

“We talked about getting some minutes, we were not sure how many. 45 is good to build some gametime. It’s another step.

“I hope only good things will happen from here.”

The Foxes return to action with a trip to face Sheffield United this weekend.

REPORT: Wasteful Leicester suffer first Europa defeat but top spot still up for grabs