Leicester City hero James Maddison explained that manager Brendan Rodgers advised his socially-distant goal celebration in a 2-0 win over Southampton at the King Power Stadium on Saturday.
Maddison smashed a Youri Tielemans assist into the upper reaches of the goal, then pretended to high five and handshake his teammates.
The Premier League had asked its players to curb goal celebrations and all non-sporting contact in a bid to keep each other free from possible COVID-19 transmission. Maddison was happy to oblige his bosses.
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“If little things like that are what we need to keep football going then so be it,” he said. “We need to try and implement it to try and stop the gatherings of the people, and I turned it into a lighter bit of a joke … In football we try to get a lot of stick. I think the whole country wants football to continue so anything we can do.”
As for his goal, Maddison said the rocket shot from close range was his only option as Jack Stephens rode him hard on the left shoulder and Alex McCarthy stood tall between the sticks.
It reminded him of Andrei Arshavin’s first Premier League goal for Arsenal, scored against Blackburn from super-close range in the 2008-09 season.
“It was tough especially from the tight angle,” he said. “There’s one goal that sticks out, you might remember it, Arshavin scored it. When you’re from tight angles and near the byline, the only place you can score is the roof of the net because the keeper’s so big.”