Brendan Rodgers hails ‘top-class’ Leicester centurion Jamie Vardy
Brendan Rodgers saluted Jamie Vardy after he passed his century of goals for Leicester to help them ease past Fulham.
The forward’s late brace took his tally to 101 as the Foxes won 3-1 to condemn the Cottagers to a sixth straight defeat.
It has taken Vardy 262 games since netting his first against Torquay in the League Cup in 2012 to pass his century.
The 32-year-old also set up Monaco loanee Youri Tielemans to score his first Foxes goal after 21 minutes at the King Power Stadium.
They earned Rodgers his first victory as Leicester boss but the Northern Irishman reserved special praise for Vardy.
He said: “He is a wonderful striker and scored two very good goals. He is one of the best in this division if you get up the pitch and slide him in. He doesn’t need many chances to score.
“He’s a top-class striker. He’s is through on goal for his 100 goals and he squares it (for Tielemans). It tells you what a team player he is.
“I’m very happy he is here. He’s tactically very good and starts off the press well.”
Floyd Ayite’s deflected effort levelled six minutes into the second half after coming on at the break to give Fulham brief hope.
Kasper Schmeichel saved well from Aleksandar Mitrovic’s header before Vardy scored with 12 minutes left after James Maddison’s through ball.
He wrapped up victory by tapping in Harvey Barnes’ cross four minutes from time – his 12th of the season – as Leicester rose to 10th after just their fifth home league win this term.
Rodgers added: “What was pleasing were the ideas we’re trying to implement in term of our pressing and intensity.
“If we had a better last pass we could have had two more before half-time.”
Defeat left Fulham 13 points from safety and they face Manchester City and Liverpool in their next two games.
The second-bottom Cottagers have lost 10 of their last 11 games but caretaker boss Scott Parker insisted they will continue to fight.
He said: “It’s going to be really tough. I have a real realism. While it’s still mathematically possible we’re still not done. It’s been a tough year but the players have a lot to play for.
“Whether we’re down or whatever, every game will be a cup final.
“The individual errors have cost us and been a massive part of this year. The first half wasn’t us.
“We were a little naive in the way we played against a side under a new manager with a front four who were very aggressive in their pressing. We didn’t give ourselves a foundation.
“In the second half we were more grown up.”