Rodgers makes uncharacteristic complaint, but praises Leicester ‘spirit’

Brendan Rodgers was pleased with Leicester’s defensive resilience in the first leg of their Europa League clash with Slavia Prague.

However, he was less impressed with the refereeing on display in the 0-0 draw in the Czech Republic.

Leicester came away with a clean sheet but no away goals from the first match of the Round of 32 tie. They will be hoping to break the deadlock at the King Power Stadium next week.

Rodgers believes they have given themselves a solid base from which to build.

He told BT Sport: “I was really pleased from a defensive perspective. We kept them reasonably quiet.

“They had one opportunity at the back post in the first half but our goalkeeper and back four were strong. The pitch was heavy and it was a little bit of man-marking.

“I was delighted with the spirit and we were solid away from home. Hopefully it will be the case next week [we score goals at home].

“Jamie Vardy isn’t always involved a great deal. He’s a special player that relies on our midfield and wide players to get on the ball as he plays on the last line.

“He just needs those chances and that’s why he’s such a great striker. He got a good hour in his legs and will be fresh for the weekend.”

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Rodgers criticises officials

The Leicester boss continued: “I thought the officials were very poor, I have to say.

“I don’t comment on them much as it’s a very difficult job but some of the decisions… It was clear it wasn’t [an elbow from Kelechi Iheanacho for the yellow card]. They were challenging for the ball.

“Overall, I didn’t think it was a good night for them to be honest.

“When you come away it’s important you defend well. You have to stay strong and be aggressive. We kept a clean sheet and we will look to the second leg.

“Now we have had a feel for them we can go away and look at where we can get through to the next round.”

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