Rodgers sees 'good signs' despite Foxes' last-gasp loss

Watford substitute Andre Gray celebrates scoring his team's winner in added time to spoil Leicester manager Brendan Rodgers' first game in charge.
Watford substitute Andre Gray celebrates scoring his team's winner in added time to spoil Leicester manager Brendan Rodgers' first game in charge.PHOTO: REUTERS

LONDON • Nobody said Brendan Rodgers had taken the easy option in swopping Celtic for Leicester.

His new charges seemed to have done enough to earn a draw against a dynamic Watford team who led for much of yesterday's Premier League game after Troy Deeney's fifth-minute opener.

They clawed their way back through Jamie Vardy in the 75th minute, but Watford substitute Andre Gray scored in added time to undo their hard work and send Javi Gracia's side level on points with seventh-placed Wolves.

Rodgers was announced over the public address system as the former Watford manager before the start, but the boos that followed rang more of duty than spite.

Watford roared out of the blocks and Deeney's faintest of flicks from Gerard Deulofeu's free kick carried the ball past Kasper Schmeichel.

Leicester responded to the goal with flickers of promise, but their first half was one of nearly moments rather than clear chances.

After the break, it was more of the same and Wilfred Ndidi's 74th-minute cross, which clipped the crossbar, was as close as the Foxes had come to a goal.

But their equaliser arrived within moments after as Youri Tielemans slid in Vardy, who nudged past the onrushing Ben Foster with the outside of his boot.

A draw seemed fair but, in added time, Gray ran on to Deeney's reverse pass after a Leicester clearance had been headed back towards the danger zone and finished coolly to spark wild celebrations in the stands.

Afterwards, Rodgers told BBC Sport he saw "some good points today" despite the heartbreaking manner of their 2-1 defeat.

He said: "The goal at the end is a case of managing the game. It is something that will get better as we work together. I was pleased with the spirit of the team.

"There were a lot of good signs. I was pleased despite not getting the result.

"It has been a great week working with the players. I said whatever the result, for me, I only wanted to see spirit and intensity and I saw that. It gives us a great opportunity to go forward."

THE GUARDIAN

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 04, 2019, with the headline 'Rodgers sees 'good signs' despite Foxes' last-gasp loss'. Print Edition | Subscribe