Rodgers stresses Leicester star’s importance after another blank; pundits deliver damning verdicts

Leicester City manager Brendan Rodgers applauding his players 2021

Leicester manager Brendan Rodgers reiterated the importance of James Maddison despite another outing without tangible returns, while two pundits delivered damning verdicts on their 1-0 defeat to Legia Warsaw.

Leicester fell to a surprise defeat in Poland when falling 1-0 to Legia Warsaw. The Foxes dominated both the possession and shots stakes, though a much-changed line-up failed to find a breakthrough.

Mahir Emreli had the home fans in raptures when notching on the half-hour mark. Shrugging off Daniel Amartey, the Azerbaijan striker fired in off the post with Kasper Schmeichel rooted to the spot.

Leicester upped the tempo in the second half and crafted a series of chances but the equaliser was not forthcoming. The defeat leaves them bottom of Group C, surprisingly level on points with Napoli after they fell to Spartak Moscow in Naples.

Speaking in his post-match press conference (via Leicestershire Live), Rodgers said: “Disappointed with the result.

“We were too passive in the game in the first half. Then we had a couple of really good chances. We didn’t concede too much, we dominated the second half, and were much more active. Had opportunities to get something from the game.

“It’s very open [Group C]. There are four games to go. Legia have made a good start. But our aim is to qualify. We still have work to do. We’ve got one point from two games but there is enough time to do that.

“It’s very important for us [playing in the Europa League]. We’ve worked hard to get to this point. I’ve made the changes, but it doesn’t take away the importance from it. We have four more games to qualify. As a football club, we’re new to the level.”

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On Vestergaard’s golden opportunity from close range, Rodgers added: “It was a great ball in. He’ll be disappointed he hasn’t scored. Ayo [Perez] had two in the first half. We created enough in the game to get something.

“The reaction was good in the second half. We’ve got to be more active. It was the same against Burnley. We’ve got to start games well. That’s my responsibility to fix that.”

On the out of form James Maddison who is yet to register a goal or assist this season, the Foxes boss said: “I think he’s a fantastic player. Like any player when you lose form, you have to work hard.

“He was much more like himself, he was very creative. I was happy with James. You go through a little spell but he’s still very important for us.”

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Savage, Heskey deliver damning Leicester verdicts

Former Leicester forward Emile Heskey said in his role as a BT Sport pundit: “Bitterly disappointed. Going into the tournament and you’re joint favourites [for the group] and you end up five points behind, sitting at the bottom and you have not really played that well.

“I think it is the not playing well that is the most disappointing part of it. They had 60% possession but can say they really created clear-cut chances?

“It was half chances for Leicester. The best one was Jannik Vestergaard where he has seen the ball coming on to his header and he has managed to connect with his shoulder. You are still expecting to see it go in.

“They will regroup. They have got Palace at the weekend and they need points in the Premier League as well.”

Former Foxes midfielder Robbie Savage also weighed in on BT, saying: “Brendan Rodgers will be disappointed with the goal. He [Amartey] was wrong side. He could be much stronger and then they allowed Legia to get the shot off.

“When Leicester were pressing Legia had two massive chances on the counter and I think they deserved it overall.”

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