London (AFP) – Brendan Rodgers hailed Jamie Vardy’s “incredible view of football” after the Leicester talisman scored a hat-trick for the Premier League pacesetters in their 5-2 victory against Manchester City.
The 33-year-old former England international converted two penalties and scored one from open play as the 2016 champions came from 1-0 down at the Etihad on Sunday.
It is the first time in 686 games as a manager that Pep Guardiola has seen his side concede five goals.
The victory gave Leicester maximum points from their first three games in the English top-flight for the first time in their history.
Rodgers praised Vardy’s overall awareness of the game.
“He’s a phenomenal player,” said the Leicester boss. “He’s tactically so good. You see his goals and runs but he has an incredible view of football. He understands the game.
“With that, along with his running ability, he’s sensational.”
Rodgers side faded badly when the 2019/20 season resumed after the coronavirus shutdown, eventually finishing fifth, but have shrugged off that disappointment.
The former Celtic and Liverpool manager said what cheered him most in Manchester was his team’s all-round display.
“I think you could say 100 percent this was a team performance,” he said. “You can’t come here (to Manchester City) unless the team is as one and synchronised.
“If ever there’s a team man of the match then this is it.”
Rodgers said the Foxes’ performance was the best since he took over at the club in February 2019.
“We are normally a high-pressing team but against a team of this quality we wanted to deny them the space and we knew we had the players to break out and exploit the spaces,” he said.
“To go behind so early, we showed calmness.
“We didn’t panic and had good moments in the first half. To go in at 1-1 we were happy but knew we could push on again in the second half.”
200+ Channels With Sports & News
- Starting price: $33/mo. for fubo Latino Package
- Watch Premier League, Women’s World Cup, Euro 2024 & Gold Cup
The New Home of MLS
- Price: $14.99/mo. for MLS Season Pass
- Watch every MLS game including playoffs & Leagues Cup
Many Sports & ESPN Originals
- Price: $9.99/mo. (or get ESPN+, Hulu & Disney+ for $12.99/mo.)
- Features Bundesliga, LaLiga, Championship, & FA Cup
2,000+ soccer games per year
- Price: $5.99/mo
- Features Champions League, Serie A, Europa League & Brasileirāo