Belfast Telegraph

Poll: Will Leicester City win the Premier League?

Jamie Vardy scores stunner in 2-0 Liverpool win

By Nick Mashiter

Jamie Vardy insisted he plans to stay at Leicester after his wonder goal inspired the Foxes to a 2-0 win over Liverpool - but can he help bring the Premier League title to the King Power stadium?

The forward is in talks over a bumper new deal and marked the discussions with a stunning opening strike before wrapping up a comfortable win with his 18th goal of the season.

His brace at the King Power Stadium, in front of watching England boss Roy Hodgson, kept the Foxes three points ahead of Manchester City at the top of the Premier League.

Vardy volleyed in from 30 yards and ran riot over Liverpool defender Dejan Lovren having regained top form following groin surgery.

Before the match it emerged that talks had begun over a deal until 2019, and Vardy said he intends to stay.

He said: "It's nothing people don't know, I'd like to be here for a long time.

"I don't (think I've scored better). I had been looking all game and he (Simon Mignolet) was quite far off his line.

"As soon as Riyad (Mahrez) played it through it bounced quite high and I had no support so I just took my chance and luckily it went over the top of him."

Boss Claudio Ranieri added: "It's incredible what Vardy did. He watched the ball, watched the opponent and watched the keeper. It's amazing, fantastic. This opened the match."

Leicester dominated for long spells and deserved their victory but Ranieri admitted they face a different test when they go to their top of the table clash at the Etihad at the weekend.

"On Saturday we have to run, run and run a lot," he said. "It's important to see my players fight and try to win. We know sooner or later we'll lose a match but it's important how we lose.

"If there is a great goal, well done, but we have to fight. If Manchester City fight more than us, well done to them."

England forward Vardy made it 2-0 on 72 minutes.

Liverpool's defence were sloppy to allow Shinji Okazaki to shoot and Lovren saw the striker's deflected effort run through to Vardy, who did the rest to keep Leicester's title bid on track.

In between, the Foxes wanted a penalty after Okazaki seemed to be felled by Alberto Moreno but they did not need the extra help.

In response to Vardy's opener, Reds boss Jurgen Klopp threw on Christian Benteke but the striker increasingly looks like a £32.5m misfit.

His latest anonymous outing from the bench further cast doubt over his suitability in Klopp's team.

The defeat left Liverpool floundering in eighth, six points behind fifth-placed Manchester United.

German Klopp felt his players could have taken something from the game but ultimately their decision making cost them.

"We had opportunities in the box but we didn't find the right decision often enough," he said.

"The longer the game was we didn't get cooler, the decisions didn't get better. We had the ball in their box and didn't shoot.

"One second later, Vardy shoots from 35 yards and the ball was in the net. This says most about the game. I don't feel too good."

But Klopp took time to acknowledge Vardy's brilliant opener.

He added: "It's nice to be in a stadium when Jamie Vardy scores the goal of the month but, in an ideal world, not when you're the manager of the other team.

"It ultimately made the difference."

LEICESTER: Schmeichel, Simpson, Morgan, Huth, Fuchs, Mahrez (Ulloa 90), Kante, Drinkwater, Albrighton (Gray 79), Okazaki (King 87), Vardy.

Goals: Vardy 60, 71

Subs not used: Dyer, Wasilewski, Chilwell, Schwarzer.

LIVERPOOL: Mignolet, Clyne, Lovren, Sakho, Moreno, Henderson (Benteke 66), Lucas, Can (Allen 75), Milner, Firmino (Teixeira 87), Lallana.

Goals: none

Subs not used: Toure, Ibe, Flanagan, Ward.

Man of the match: Vardy

Match rating: 7/10

Referee: Andre Marriner

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