The Warm Down: Rodgers earns his first three points as Leicester manager
Brendan Rodgers celebrates his first win as Leicester City manager | Photo: Getty/ Ross Kinnaird

The Warm Down: Rodgers earns his first three points as Leicester manager

Leicester boss Brendan Rodgers gains his first points as Foxes boss after victory against Fulham

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Cristian Bratu

Jamie Vardy's brace sent Leicester City on their way as Brendan Rodgers earned his first win as manager.

The Foxes took the lead in a dominant first half performance as Vardy unselfishly squared the ball to Youri Tielemans, who slotted home for his first goal for the club with 21 minutes played.

Half-time substitute Floyd Ayite scored early in the second half and got Fulham back in the game, only for the Cottagers to go from strength to strength.

Vardy scored his first goal of the game in the 78th minute after he was played in by a perfectly weighted James Maddison through-ball to regain the lead for his side against the run of play.

The victory was then sealed by Vardy after Harvey Barnes squared the ball for the English striker to stroke home into the bottom corner, notching his 100th goal for the club.

The rise in intensity 

Rodgers promised fast football, high pressing and a greater intensity and for long periods of the match, that is what supporters saw.

For much of the first half, Leicester's front four pressed high and harried the opposition, forcing them into mistakes. As Rodgers put it in his first press conference at the club, he wants his side to speed up the game for the opposition when they have the ball, and that worked brilliantly.

However, when the second half rolled around, you could sense that the high press took its toll on the team as the side sat back and invited pressure as opposed to pressing and winning the ball high up the pitch. Fulham grew in the game and the home side struggled for much of the second half until Vardy scored at the other end. The goal both put the side back in the league and reinvigorated the players, returning to the intensity that fared them so well in the first half.

More work still needs to be done as Leicester still struggle to maintain performance levels throughout the 90 minutes, but the Foxes are certainly heading in the right direction.

Vardy the centurion 

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Jamie Vardy became the first Leicester player since Gary Lineker to score 100 competitive goals for the club and despite being 32-years-old, he is still very much the main man for the Foxes.

Rodgers' philosophy of fast, attacking football will certainly work to the striker's favour as players will be looking to pass forward play him in more often. Under Claude Puel, Vardy was continually making runs in behind the defence, but more often than not he wasn't picked out.

During the match Fulham, the former non-league striker had a hand in all three goals thanks to the likes of Maddison and Tielemans in particular playing him through.

The movement of the forward players became a real problem for the Fulham defence and the through-balls played through to Vardy were weighted to perfection.

The striker was clinical and ruthless in front of goal, showing the exact reason why he has reached a century of goals for the club.​​​​

Rodgers was full of praise for the former England striker as he told Sky Sports after the match: "He's one of the top strikers in this division, and he produced two wonderful finishes."

Now the striker has reached the milestone, the next question will be how many more can he score for the club.

The Foxes need to sign Tielemans permanently

The impact of Youri Tielemans in the centre of the park has been immediate and the young Belgian is quickly becoming a firm fan favourite.

The midfielder has recorded a goal and two assists in his first five games for the club and his passing range resembles Danny Drinkwater during the title winning season.

Leicester were lacking creativity before Tielemans joined the club and the usual pairing of ​​​​​​​Wilfred N'Didi and Nampalys Mendy in midfield struggled to contribute effectively in terms of attacking, either through misplaced passes or being to cautious in possession. There was too much of a burden on Maddison to be the team's sole creative asset opponents recognised this and changed tactically to neutralise the threat. 

With the inclusion of Tielemans, the East Midlands side possess an attacking threat in the centre of midfield who is more than capable of defence splitting pass and his long range shooting has allowed him to score some incredible goals during his young career.

Despite his tender age, Tielemans has a wealth of experience he has been playing professionally since the age of 16, and his knowledge of the game has become invaluable for the ​​​​​​​Foxes.

The national papers including the Telegraph and the Daily Mail​​​​​​​ have reported that Leicester will have to break their transfer record if they want to sign Tielemans permanently, with the midfielder being priced at £40 million.

Everton and West Ham have both spent in and around that amount on players, signing Richarlison and Felipe Anderson ​​​​​​​respectively, so it would not be a surprise if Leicester meet the price tag as they try to compete with these teams for the European places.

Fans certainly want the club to invest, chanting "sign him up" in the last two games and it would be a real coup for the Foxes if they were able to secure his services ahead of the likes of Tottenham Hotspur​​​​​​​ who have been linked.

 

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