Rodgers lauds ‘one of the biggest talents in the country’
James Maddison’s thrilling performance in Leicester’s 3-0 defeat of Brighton earned him the praise of his manager.
The 24-year-old midfielder capped an eye-catching display on Sunday night with two goals as Brendan Rodgers’ side moved up to third in the Premier League table, a point behind both Tottenham and Liverpool.
Maddison’s second goal was a spectacular effort just before half-time, twisting and turning just inside the penalty area before creating a yard of space for himself to bend a shot with his weaker left foot into the far top corner of the net.
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“He’s got immense quality. You saw his right foot at Manchester City, he has that technique with both feet. That was a sensational strike tonight,” said Foxes boss Rodgers.
“We left him out in midweek with a grumble in his knee but he has showed a desire to play and he showed his quality again tonight.
“He’s a great player with such talent who cares about his progression and he has had a difficult week in terms of his injury. He’s one of the biggest talents in the country and you saw that tonight.”
Jamie Vardy scored Leicester’s other goal as he celebrated another club landmark by getting his name on the scoresheet.
The striker played his 222nd Premier League game for the Foxes on Sunday night, moving level with the number of times Muzzy Izzet represented the club in the competition.
He scored his 12th goal of the season in between Maddison’s double as Rodgers’ team produced a rampant first-half display to put Brighton to the sword with three goals.
Asked if his side were thinking about another title challenge this season, Rodgers played down the suggestion.
“No, not really,” said Rodgers. “It is not something we are thinking about, we are just enjoying our football. We will move up and down the league, I think. The league is changing all the time and we are just thinking about ourselves and performing well.
“We won’t always be at our best but we are always honest and the players have given absolutely everything tonight and I am delighted with the result.”
The only dampener on the night was a fifth yellow card of the campaign for Jonny Evans which will see the defender miss the home game against Everton on Wednesday night through suspension.
“It’s a huge blow when he doesn’t play, it’s a shame and we will miss him. But we will have to cope without him, as we have done with other players this season,” said Rodgers.
Brighton finished the night two points above the bottom three after the defeat at the King Power Stadium. However, it could have been a different story after an open start to the match saw good chances at both ends.
Leicester goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel did well to block Alireza Jahanbakhsh’s effort before then making another fine save with his leg when Danny Welbeck was through one-on-one.
Albion boss Graham Potter said: “It was frustrating. We started quite well and had a couple of really good chances. We didn’t take our chances and they took theirs. Whether the first goal took the wind out of us too quickly or too easily, I don’t know.
“That’s life in the Premier League. If you’re not at it and the opposition are, you get punished. Over the 90 minutes, we have not got a problem with the result.
“Leicester have some very good players and they were a little bit too good for us.”
Tariq Lamptey was absent from the squad but Potter hopes the defender will be available again at Fulham in midweek.
“We will see how he is, but we are hopeful,” said Potter. “This one probably came a bit too soon for him, he was feeling a sensation in his hamstring and we just erred on the side of caution.”