Leicester boss Brendan Rodgers felt his side’s second-half performance against Burnley was a fitting tribute to the club’s late chairman Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha.
The Foxes came from behind to take all three points on a day when Khun Vichai was remembered at the King Power Stadium.
October 27 will be the one-year anniversary of the Thai billionaire’s tragic death in a helicopter crash, which also killed four others.
The Blue Army have been on their feet singing Khun Vichai's name loudly in 61st minute at King Power Stadium as we remember our late Chairman 💙 pic.twitter.com/eoH8zVaC77— Leicester City (@LCFC) October 19, 2019
Youri Tielemans’ second-half strike sealed a 2-1 victory after Jamie Vardy had cancelled out an opening goal for the visitors by former Foxes striker Chris Wood.
Rodgers felt the emotion of the occasion might have affected his players during the first half but thought the “fight and spirit” they displayed after the break embodied the values of Khun Vichai.
“We tried to prepare the players, with that time of the year coming up,” said Rodgers. “I’ve been in the situation before where that sombre environment is created and then sometimes the game and the performance isn’t to the level you would want it to be, which is natural of course.
“And we started a bit like that, we were too passive and weren’t aggressive enough and Burnley deserved to go in front.
“We had to be forceful with the players at half-time in terms of how we play, because we were tip-toeing around. But I thought the reaction in the second half was absolutely brilliant.
“To get the three points and to give the supporters that feeling and for Khun Topp (Vichai’s son) as well, it was really, really nice.
“I saw Khun Topp before and we wanted this to be a celebration today, and there was a lot of emotion around the stadium.
“‘Fight’ and ‘spirit’ are key words that I have heard a lot about his father since I came into the club and I think our players showed that today in the second half and they deserve a huge amount of credit because emotionally it wasn’t easy.
Your always in our hearts boss. 3 points that we had to fight for today when not at our best just how you wanted us to play. Grit, fight and that never say die attitude. Hope we’re doing you proud Vichai💙 #LCFCfamilypic.twitter.com/ZCnvzS8Ga2— James Maddison (@Madders10) October 19, 2019
“To get the three points against a good side with everything that surrounded the game today – it was really pleasing.”
Wood thought he had spoiled the occasion for a second time late on but his goal was ruled out by VAR for a trip on Jonny Evans, who was attempting to get back to try and clear the ball.
Burnley boss Sean Dyche felt it was the wrong decision not to allow the equaliser to stand.
“First of all, for the record, I’m going to say it again, I am a big fan of VAR and I do think it’s needed in the game,” said Dyche.
“However, it has got to be used more wisely than that. Chris Wood has not changed his running gait and he only has eyes on the ball – and Jonny Evans is not getting back to make the clearance in a million years.
“These glitches are things that will hopefully be streamlined, but the other thing is the referee made quite a big deal today of coming into our dressing room before the game and telling us that if he had to look at something on the screen then we would have to tolerate the time that takes. But he didn’t even go over and use the screen.
“There is contact definitely but there’s a difference between deliberate contact and non-deliberate contact.
“The players are incredibly frustrated. I’m incredibly frustrated. But I remain a fan of VAR. However, it needs streamlining.”
Rodgers sympathised with Dyche, saying: “I can see where Sean is coming from. If you get it against you then you’re feeling hard done by.
“For Burnley, and it being so late in the game, it’s hard to take. It’s one of those than can go either way, but we’ll take it.”
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