Wednesday 22 January 2020

Vardy showing signs of past heroics

Leicester 2-1 Swansea

Jamie Vardy turned down a move to Arsenal
Jamie Vardy turned down a move to Arsenal

Samuel Stevens

There is a hypnotic quality to the Leicester City counter-attack which seems to anaesthetise defenders and enthral onlookers in equal measure. It was there again on Saturday as Jamie Vardy scored his 30th Premier League goal, a first of this fledgling campaign, to kick-start the champions' title defence.

Not even a thunderous summer downpour could rain on the Leicester roadrunner's parade as he latched on to Danny Drinkwater's pass to cheer a drenched Claudio Ranieri on the King Power sideline.

Francesco Guidolin, the Italian's opposite number, could only tip his hat to the England striker's talents.

"He is a complete player," the 60-year-old said. "Not only fast, but technically, tactically, he is a very, very important player."

Guidolin's Swans were mere bystanders as Leicester secured a routine win that deserved a more convincing scoreline.

Wes Morgan's second-half volley gave Leicester a lead which would be narrowed by Leroy Fer's 80th-minute header.

Swansea City midfielder Leroy Fer (L) scores from a header. Photo: Getty
Swansea City midfielder Leroy Fer (L) scores from a header. Photo: Getty

Ranieri has been anxious to lessen the burden on Vardy's shoulders this summer. A joyless opening weekend trip to Hull, followed by the stalemate with Arsenal, exposed Leicester's reliance on the man who scored 24 of their 68 goals last term.

The Foxes' fortunes tend to fluctuate in symmetry with Vardy's form. Ahmed Musa, the Nigerian striker procured from CSKA Moscow for a club record £16.6 million, was signed with that in mind.

Riyad Mahrez is another cardinal outlet within Ranieri's squad, but he was denied by Lukasz Fabianski from 12 yards to mark his fourth such failure in a Leicester shirt. The PFA Player of the Year was stripped of penalty-taking duties last season after two misses in a month.

"We complicated our life a little bit," his manager said. "It was a difficult match, the rain was unbelievable. It was like water polo! He and Vardy are our penalty scorers and he wanted to shoot. If Riyad doesn't feel (he should take them), then it's Jamie next. I don't know, let me think."

Independent News Service

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