Jamie Vardy

Jamie Vardy
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Vardy celebrates end of goal drought, explains Reina confrontation

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Jamie Vardy scored his first goal in months and had a few choice words for Aston Villa goalkeeper Pepe Reina regarding the successful penalty kick at King Power Stadium.

“The keeper said I was going down the middle, and I was,” Vardy said. “He tried to call my bluff.”

The goal was the first of two for Vardy, who came off the bench to help Leicester City snap a four-match league winless run in a 4-0 demolition of sloppy Aston Villa on Monday.

[ MORE: Premier League schedule ]

Leicester had 65 percent possession and pretty much bossed the Villans. The Foxes boasted a 15-4 shots edge and took nine corner kicks to Villa’s zero.

It was a complete performance, something the Foxes have failed to produce for much of 2020.

Speaking of the calendar, Vardy’s league-best 18th and 19th goals of the Premier League season were his first since Dec. 21.

“We needed to first and foremost put in a performance we knew we were capable of,” Vardy said on NBCSN after the match. “The last few weeks it hasn’t been there. … I had gone through a little spell where I’d not score, but you need to carry on the training pitch and take it into games.”

Leicester boss Brendan Rodgers agreed with Vardy’s assessment of the match in its entirety.

“As the game went on we looked much more like how we’ve been for most of the season,” Rodgers said. “The resilience of the players and the effort was brilliant.”

The Foxes now own an eight-point advantage on fifth place. There’s a 10-point gap on sixth. The win likely will put them in the Champions League.

Vardy injury ‘not as serious as first thought,’ says Rodgers

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Everyone at Leicester City is breathing a huge sigh of relief after receiving the timetable for the injury suffered by star striker Jamie Vardy on Wednesday.

[ MORE: Report: Man United’s list of possible new strikers revealed ]

Manager Brendan Rodgers confirmed after the game that it wasn’t a hamstring injury, as originally feared, but rather a “twinge in his glute.” That was the first bit of “good news,” according to Rodgers.

Now comes the really good stuff for the Foxes: Vardy will be unavailable for Saturday’s FA Cup fourth round clash with EFL Championship side Brentford, but he could return to action for the second leg of the EFL Cup semifinals against Aston Villa on Tuesday — quotes from Sky Sports:

“He’s not available for the weekend and there will be a question mark for Tuesday, although it’s certainly not as serious as we first thought.

“It’s not his hamstring, it’s a glute, so we’re hopeful for Tuesday, but there’s a little bit of work to do. He’ll get some work in with the medical team. He’ll stay with them for the weekend.

“He’s much better than directly after the game, when he was tight and sore and struggling to move. But today he was much better.”

Throw in the fact that Leicester currently sit third in the Premier League and Champions League qualification is looking highly likely for next season (they hold a 14-point lead on fifth-place Manchester United with 14 games left to play), and they have truly dodged a bullet on this one.

Leicester City’s Rodgers: ‘Good news’ on Vardy injury

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Brendan Rodgers says there’s good news when it comes to the injury suffered by Jamie Vardy in Leicester City’s 4-1 blowout of West Ham United on Wednesday.

Vardy hurt his glute in the win, temporarily returning to the match after treatment from the trainer but ultimately subbing off before halftime.

[ MORE: Premier League schedule ] 

“It wasn’t his hamstring, so that’s good news for us,” Rodgers said, via The Leicester Mercury.

“He just felt a twinge in his glute, so we just have to wait and see on that in the next day or so. Thankfully his hamstring is okay and he just felt some pain in his glute, so we will have to assess that over the next few days.”

Vardy has a Premier League-best 17 goals, one more than Man City’s Sergio Aguero.

He was replaced by Kelechi Iheanacho, who assisted one of Ayoze Perez’s two goals on the day. Perez’s seven goals are second on Leicester, while James Maddison‘s six are third.

Iheanacho has six goals and three assists in 485 minutes and there’s reason to believe he can feast off Leicester’s playmaking if Vardy needs a match or two to heal.

Whether he can fill Vardy’s shoes in the long-term is a big question, especially as Leicester aims to return for the Champions League.

Leicester City’s Vardy limps off pitch versus West Ham

Jamie Vardy injury
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January is not being kind to English forwards.

Leicester City striker Jamie Vardy limped off the pitch at King Power Stadium on Wednesday, an apparent upper leg injury the cause.

It was a non-contact injury, as Vardy pulled up lame after clearing the ball.

[ MORE: Premier League schedule ] 

Kelechi Iheanacho replaced Vardy, who leads the Premier League Golden Boot race by one goal over Sergio Aguero.

Chelsea’s Tammy Abraham was injured in Tuesday’s 2-2 draw with Arsenal, while Tottenham’s Harry Kane and Manchester United’s Marcus Rashford are all nursing long-term injuries.

That had led many to infer that England manager Gareth Southgate might ask Vardy to reconsider his international retirement, but here we are.

Leicester City is in the thick of a Top Four chase in the hopes of returning to the UEFA Champions League, and losing Vardy would be a monumental blow.

Burnley snaps losing skid with scrappy win over Leicester

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Burnley snapped a four-match Premier League losing streak with a 2-1 win over Leicester City at Turf Moor on Sunday.

Jamie Vardy missed a penalty for the Foxes, who are 2-2-2 in their last six matches. Leicester’s 45 points are three back of second place Man City.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

Burnley climbs to 27 points on goals from Ashley Westwood and Chris Wood, with Pope’s save of Vardy the moment of the match. The point total is good enough for 14th on the table, five points ahead of the drop zone.


Three things we learned

1. Barnes roasts Mee twice, but Pope offers clemency: Burnley goalkeeper Nick Pope had a strong day between the sticks, and the performance was required stuff as center back Ben Mee opened the door twice. Pope could do nothing about Barnes’ first goal, which came with Mee far too slow to react to a dribble. The second came when Mee hauled down Barnes, and Jamie Vardy came to the spot for what looked to be a surefire penalty winner. No, sir, as Pope guessed correctly to stop one of the better penalty takers in the leader.

Mee also could’ve conceded a penalty (see our third thing) on an uncharacteristically poor day.

2. Burnley as pesky as ever: The Clarets play scrappy football. They don’t care much for the ball and manager Sean Dyche demands fight in the air and on the ground. Burnley has let him down with poor defending this season, but the players remain feisty when following his plan of finding his forwards on the counter and through set pieces. The problem? Those opportunities are conditional, and the Clarets have not been finding them enough.

Of course, they did that twice on Sunday. Ashley Westwood’s long corner did not find Kasper Schmeichel at his best, and Westwood then scored when Jonny Evans also made an uncharacteristic error.

3. Leicester’s luck leaves them: The Foxes probably should’ve had a penalty. As far as we know, VAR did not have a closer look at Mee jutting his elbow out to block a shot late in the second half. Replays begged a penalty, but no review was signalled via television or referee.

Moments later the Foxes cringed as Evans, a decent enough defender, made a careless error to allow Westwood to thump home from close range.

Not only that, but Praet appeared to be fouled in the build-up to the opening goal. VAR didn’t find anything.

Man of the Match: Pope. He was fantastic, left for dead on Barnes’ opener but able to stop Vardy from the spot and then again point blank in the 78th minute.


Harvey Barnes fired a shot to Nick Pope from 10 yards within 35 seconds of the opening kickoff.

It was predictably all Leicester early, the Clarets again content to hemorrhage possesion in favor of counter attacking danger.

Barnes put the Foxes in front with a run down the gut of the Burnley back line, Ben Mee barely presenting an obstacle on the route to Pope’s doorstep.

It remained 1-0 into the break.

[ MORE: Premier League stats ] 

Pope made a great save on Dennis Praet within two minutes of restart, then collecting a stray through ball before Jamie Vardy could reach it.

Wood leveled it with a typical Burnley goal, Mee nodding down a corner into the six for the Kiwi to prod over the line.

Mee was in the mix again as Leicester City took control back. Barnes roasted the center back to draw a penalty. Vardy doesn’t miss many of those, but Pope was there to stop the Premier League’s leading goal scorer from the spot.

Mee’s awful day should’ve gotten worse when he leaned to block a shot with his arm, but VAR didn’t see an error and the Clarets raced down the pitch to score soon after.r

It was Westwood, one of the league’s unsung contributors, who pounced on a Jonny Evans error in the 79th minute.