Saturday 24 August 2019

Vardy's record delights Ranieri

Newcastle United 0-3 Leicester City

Leonardo Ulloa celebrates his team's second goal with Jamie Vardy
Leonardo Ulloa celebrates his team's second goal with Jamie Vardy
Newcastle United's Paul Dummett (R) challenges Riyad Mahrez
Claudio Ranieri Manager of Leicester City celebrates

Liam Blackburn

Claudio Ranieri admitted Jamie Vardy's form was keeping the smile on his face after the striker scored for a record-equalling 10th game in a row. Vardy moved alongside Ruud van Nistelrooy by firing home in first-half stoppage-time.

Leonardo Ulloa and sub Shinji Okazaki were also on target, but it was Vardy's feat that garnered the most attention. "I'm very, very happy," Ranieri said. "I want to say, 'Well done and thank you!' I hope he can beat it next match."

The admiration for Vardy was evident at St James' Park too as Newcastle fans applauded him at the interval and when he was substituted. Ranieri likened it to the response opposing fans used to give ex-Chelsea forward Gianfranco Zola.

"It's fantastic," Ranieri added. "That was the same when I managed Zola. I want to also say thank you to the fans."

Vardy helped Leicester win for the fourth time in five games and took them to 28 points - 12 shy of the 40-point mark teams bid to hit to dodge the drop.

"It's important for us because 12 (more) and we achieve our goal," the Leicester manager said.

While Newcastle fans may have admired Vardy's efforts, they were left deflated by their team's performance. A 71st-minute header from Georginio Wijnaldum that was cleared off the line was their only attempt on target in the entire game, and boss Steve McClaren pulled no punches in his assessment.

"I think that's our worst performance of the season," he said. "Granted, I thought the opponents were excellent. It shows the example of a team that a year ago were near the bottom of the league and are now at the top of the league. That's how quickly it can change."

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