Rodgers wants title bid after Leicester go top

·3 min read
Leicester striker Jamie Vardy scores from the penalty spot
Leicester striker Jamie Vardy scores from the penalty spot

Brendan Rodgers challenged Leicester to maintain their title challenge after Jamie Vardy's penalty clinched a 1-0 win against Wolves that put them top of the Premier League on Sunday.

Vardy netted from the spot in the first half at the King Power Stadium and, although the striker had a second spot-kick saved by Rui Patricio, the hosts held on for their third successive Premier League victory.

Rodgers' side, who have won six in a row in all competitions, are one point clear of second-placed Tottenham, who had gone top with a win at West Bromwich Albion earlier on Sunday.

Leicester have shrugged off the pain of missing out on Champions League qualification on the final day of last season and look capable of competing for a top-four finish again.

Rodgers has his sights set even higher and told his players not to rule out a bid for the club's second title in five years.

"It's been an incredible start, I'm so happy for the players. I have always said failure is learning and if anyone says us not getting into the Champions League last season was failing then, OK. For us it was about learning and developing," Rodgers said.

"It's going to be tough to sustain that with the injuries we've had but we have played 12 games and won nine in all competitions. It has been an incredible focus. Our idea is to sustain that but I can't promise.

"We had to show a different side to the team. The first half we were very good without the football and in the second half we had to show real resilience.

"We have seen that this season, the players are developing and to show that mentality and desire is so pleasing."

- Penalty duel -

Vardy was recalled after being rested for Thursday's Europa League win over Braga. 

Suitably refreshed, Vardy needed just 15 minutes to get on the scoresheet.

Dennis Praet's cross hit Max Kilman on the hand in the Wolves area and referee Anthony Taylor awarded a penalty after consulting the pitchside monitor.

Vardy stepped up to calmly send Rui Patricio the wrong way from the spot for his ninth goal of the season.

It was the 33-year-old's fourth goal in his last four appearances.

Leicester had only lost one of their previous 45 Premier League games when scoring the first goal at the King Power Stadium.

Vardy should have doubled the lead in the 39th minute when Wolves defender Rayan Ait-Nouri took a heavy touch in the area and tripped James Justin in a panicked attempt to clear the danger.

Vardy drove his effort down the middle, but Rui Patricio saved and the rebound hit the striker before bouncing just wide.

Marc Albrighton came on for the Foxes at half-time and the winger's first contribution nearly brought a goal as Youri Tielemans headed narrowly wide from his cross.

Vardy's fierce strike forced a superb tip-over from Rui Patricio before Wolves finally threatened when Pedro Neto's shot was saved by Kasper Schmeichel.

Leicester's James Maddison had a deflected effort that almost crept in, but Wolves substitute Adama Traore nearly set up Raul Jimenez for an equaliser in a frantic finale.

Schmeichel preserved Leicester's lead with a brilliant save after Ruben Neves unleashed a blistering shot from the edge of the area.

Neto passed up a golden opportunity to equalise when he side-footed wide from close range in the final minutes.