English Premiership

Rodgers hails Iheanacho after vital strike

Kelechi Iheanacho (Getty Images)
Kelechi Iheanacho (Getty Images)

Cape Town - Brendan Rodgers has praised the talent of striker Kelechi Iheanacho after he scored the equaliser for Leicester City against Aston Villa.

Since arriving from Manchester City in the summer of 2017 in a £25 million deal, the striker has failed to justify his price-tag and has been the subject of criticism from some quarters.

However, this season Iheanacho has six goals in eight appearances, the latest of which came on Wednesday night after he stepped off the bench to earn Leicester a 1-1 draw in their Carabao Cup semi-final first leg.

It was the 23-year-old's third goal in the competition and Rodgers is pleased to see Iheanacho reaping the reward for his hard work.

"He's a big talent," Rodgers said. "He didn't play a lot of football at Manchester City and it takes a bit of time to adapt.

"But since I've come in his confidence has grown and grown and we believe in him and believe in his talent and this season he has really come to the fore.

"He works so hard every day. He's either making a goal or scoring a goal now and he works so hard in his pressing game. He was a threat when he came on tonight and I'm delighted for him.

"It was a great finish. He's been so important for us. You see his confidence all the time whether he starts or comes into the game, and that's the beauty of him now - he is making an impact in games."

Iheanacho's second-half goal cancelled out Frederic Guilbert's 28th-minute opener and left the second leg at Villa Park on January 28 delicately poised.

Rodgers said: "Their goalkeeper made some great saves, Tyrone Mings made some very good blocks, but we eventually got the goal - which is what we deserved.

"It is perfectly set up for the second leg and we have the confidence of going there and playing well before, so we look forward to it."

- TeamTalk Media