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Iheanacho’s Quality Was Never in Doubt – Rodgers

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By Olamide Osho

Leicester City manager, Brendan Rodgers has said that he never doubted the qualities of Nigerian striker, Kelechi Ịheanachọ, when he joined the club as a Manager.

The in-form Ịheanachọ has since scored 14 goals in his last 14 appearances for the Foxes in all competitions, repaying the manager’s faith in him, week in, week out.

His goals this season has helped propel Leicester into their first FA Cup final in 52 years, and a shot at next season’s UEFA Champions League, after scoring a spectacular late winner in their 2-1 win over Crystal Palace on Monday.

Rodgers said on Kelechi: “I remember coming here and he wasn’t playing so much, there were doubts about whether he could play to the level, but I think that was because he hadn’t played regularly. But he was always confident. When he did play with Jamie, he showed they could play together,” Rodgers said at the club’s pre-match press conference.

“It was never about ability, it was about his resilience to keep going until he got that chance. We all love him here, he comes in with a smile. You see how courageous he is. He does a lot of finishing exercises. He wants to get better and the coaches are great with him.”

Commenting on the partnership between Ịheanachọ and Vardy, the manager said that the attackers’ styles of play complements their games which is good for the team’s objectives.

“The two (Iheanacho and Vardy) together, their strengths complement each other. Both can threaten in behind. They have a synchronised way of playing. Jamie hasn’t scored the goals but his movement has created space and that’s helped Kels.

“My only worry with him is that he is running out of celebrations. Hopefully he can keep scoring and keep celebrating”, he added.

“Seniorman”, as he is fondly called by Wilfred Ndidi, his compatriot in the club will look to increase his tally for the season on Friday night against Southampton at the Saint Mary’s Stadium as the Foxes continue their push for a Champions League place.

Nigerian Players

Nigerian Players Scorecard: Iheanacho, Onuachu And Osimhen On Target Again

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Nigerian Players Scorecard

 

Hope Ejairu

Nigerian players across Europe have been showing their mettle since the beginning of the 2020/2021 season and there was no exception over the weekend, Sportivatiom.com.ng reports.

The action started in the Premier League on Friday with the duo of Kelechi Iheanacho and Wilfred Ndidi starting for Leicester City. Iheanacho scored the Foxes’ second goal after they went four goals down. He has now amassed 11 goals in the league this season.

READ MORE: Oshoala Inspired Me To Pursue A Career In Football, Says Olawale

Ndidi played for 63 minutes before being replaced by Ayoze Perez. Their performance was not at the optimum level as Brendan Rodgers’ side lost 4-2 to Newcastle at the King Power Stadium.

Prolific goalscorer Paul Onuachu continued in his blistering form as he opened the scoring for Genk in the 57th minutes against Club Brugge in the Belgium Jupiler League. He was subbed off for his compatriot Cyriel Dessers and the tie ended 3-0 in favour of Club Brugge.

READ MORE: Chukwueze Doubtful For Europa League Final

Victor Osimhen contributed to three goals in Napoli’s 4-1 victory over Spezia away from home. Osimhen scored a brace in the 23rd and 44th minutes respectively, and also set up Hirving Petagna for the fourth goal in the 79th minutes. He came off for Andrea Petagna in the 83rd minute. The former Lille striker has now registered 10 goals so far in the Serie A this season.

Isaac Success was in action for Watford in his first start of the season against Swansea City. Success increased his side’s tally by scoring the second goal via an assist from Marc Navarro. The game ended in a comfortable 2-0 win for Watford. Meanwhile, William Troost-Ekong was an unused substitute.

READ MORE: NWFL Premiership Play-Off: Dreamstar Ladies FC fined 2.5million Naira

Former Chelsea midfielder John Obi Mikel played the entire minutes for Stoke City in their game against AFC Bournemouth. Mikel was solid and contributed immensely to Stoke City’s 2-0 win away from home.

Skillful winger Moses Simon was outstanding for Nantes as they dispatched Bordeaux 3-0 at home. Simon created the assist for Randal Kolo Muani to score the third goal in the 70th minutes. He was later substituted for Marcus Regis Coco in the 81st minutes.

Terem Moffi was involved in Lorient’s 4-1 defeat to Lyon. Moffi’s attacking prowess did not yield much as he fired blank. He came off for Pierre-Yves Hamel in the 72nd minutes.

READ MORE: NNL: Oluyole Warriors Tame Lions Of Naija In Lagos

In the Eredivisie, Tyronne Ebuehi featured all through the game for FC Twente against Heracles. Ebuehi’s defensive input coupled with his contribution going forward earned his side a point as the game ended one all.

Still, in the same championship, Maduka Okoye was in between the sticks for Sparta Rotterdam. Okoye kept a clean sheet as Sparta Rotterdam put three unreplied goals past Vitesse at home.

Chidozie Awaziem was solid in defence for Boavista in their home game against Tondela in the Portuguese Primeira Liga. Awaziem held his own all through the encounter, though his team conceded a goal as the tie ended 1-1.

It was a bad day in the office for Simy Nwankwo. His team, Crotone were whitewashed 5-0 by AS Roma.

READ MORE: JUST IN: Super Eagles Defender Suffers Relegation

Semi Ajayi’s impact was not enough to muster a point for West Bromwich Albion as they lost 3-1 to Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium.

Kingsley Ehizibue tasted a bit of action for FC Koln as he was subbed on for Salih Oezcan in the 76th minutes. His late introduction into the game could not alter the scoreline as they were defeated 4-1 by Freiburg.

Henry Onyekuru had 63rd minute under his belt for Galatasary. Onyekuru dazzled through the Besiktas defence a couple of times before being replaced by Muhammed Akturkoglu. Galatasary clinched a 3-1 victory over Besiktas at home.

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EPL

JUST IN: Super Eagles Defender Suffers Relegation

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Super Eagles

 

It was a sad evening for Super Eagles defender, Oluwasemilogo Ajayi when his English Premier League Club, West Brom relegated to the English Championship after losing 3-1 to Arsenal, Sportivation.com.ng reports.

The Hawthorns have been involved in a relegation dogfight all season which led to the appointment of Sam Allardyce, who is famed for masterminding miraculous escape from relegation in December.

READ MORE: Chukwueze Doubtful For Europa League Final

Emile Smith Rowe opened the scoring for Arsenal in the 29th minute before Nicolas Pepe added the second with a sublime strike six minutes later.

Mattheus Perreira reduced the deficit for the visitors just after the hour-mark with a stunning individual goal.

READ MORE: Premier League: Foxes And Saints Share The Spoils

Willian sealed the win for Arsenal with a sensational free-kick in the closing moments of the game to condemn West Brom to their 31st Premier League loss of the season and a swift return to the Championship.

READ MORE: NNL: Oluyole Warriors Tame Lions Of Naija In Lagos

Semi Ajayi was in action for the duration of the game as he made his 30th appearance in the league, he has scored two goals for West Brom this season.

He was part of the Super Eagles team that finished third at the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations in Egypt.

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EPL

Premier League: Foxes And Saints Share The Spoils

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By Taiwo Ibrahim

Southampton and Leicester City played out a 1-1 draw in a Premier League encounter on Friday night, Sportivation.com.ng reports.

The hosts played over 80 minutes with a man down when Jannick Vestergaard was sent off just ten minutes into the match after his tackle was adjudged to have denied Vardy a goal-scoring opportunity.

READ MORE: Europa League: Chukwueze Named In Team Of The Week

James Ward-Prowse opened the scoring for Southampton from the spot after Kelechi Iheanacho handled the ball in the 18-yard box.

The Super Eagles striker went from a villain to a hero by assisting Jonny Evans to restore parity for the Foxes.

READ MORE: Ndidi Asks Iheanacho To ‘Cut Soap’ For Him After Scoring Against Southampton (Video

Southampton Goalkeeper Alex McCarthy made a brilliant save to deny Vardy with ten minutes to go as they held on to earn a valuable point.

Leicester City are now five points clear of Chelsea having played a game more.

The Blues will be action against Fulham on Saturday, a win against their neighbors will reduce the gap to two points.

The Saints are 10 points clear of the relegation zone.

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