| 17.6°C Belfast

Top-four dream still in Foxes' hands, says Rodgers

Everton 2 Leicester City 1

Close

Sore point: Wilfred Ndidi (back) is adjudged to have handled the ball. Photo: 2020 Pool

Sore point: Wilfred Ndidi (back) is adjudged to have handled the ball. Photo: 2020 Pool

2020 Pool

Sore point: Wilfred Ndidi (back) is adjudged to have handled the ball. Photo: 2020 Pool

Brendan Rodgers insisted Leicester were still well placed to make their Champions League dreams a reality despite their slump continuing with defeat at Everton.

The Foxes have now collected just two points from their three Premier League games since the competition resumed after losing 2-1 at Everton.

Rodgers' side were third going into the game but their grip on a Champions League place is loosening with the chasing pack closing in.

The Leicester manager said: "How we have performed for the best part of this season has got us into a strong position.

"Our form hasn't been the best for a period now but we still have it in our hands to achieve what would be a dream for us, getting into the top four. But we can only get that if the performance is right."

Leicester were stung early on by a 10th-minute strike from Richarlison and fell further behind six minutes later to a Gylfi Sigurdsson penalty.

The visitors rallied after the break and replied through Kelechi Iheanacho but could not convert their late pressure into an equaliser.

Ulsterman Rodgers said: "We were much, much better in the second half and that makes it equally frustrating because we set out to start with that tempo.

"That is something that has crept back into our game - we haven't started quickly enough.

"After controlling possession we found ourselves a goal behind but it was early, we could get ourselves back into the game. But I thought the penalty was harsh and in this environment it can be difficult to come back from 2-0 down."

Rodgers was unhappy with the penalty, awarded for handball against Wilfred Ndidi after a lengthy VAR check.

He said: "I think it was so harsh but we have had a few of those we haven't got. It was certainly not clear and obvious."

Everton are looking upwards after a second successive win. With six games remaining, the Europa League places are firmly in reach.

Manager Carlo Ancelotti said: "That is what we wanted from this game - three points.

"I think the first half was good for us but then they changed their shape and we had more difficulty with (James) Maddison. The second half was difficult.

"We were a little worried and didn't play as well as we did in the first half but in the end the points give us the possibility to continue the dream."

• Phillip Cocu has spoken of Derby's shock at Andre Wisdom being injured in a stabbing incident and revealed they received a visit from him at the team hotel ahead of yesterday's 1-0 Championship win at Preston.

Rams defender Wisdom had been recovering in hospital after being stabbed during an unprovoked assault and robbery in Toxteth over the weekend.

Derby boss Cocu, who saw Wayne Rooney hit the winner, said: "I spoke with him today when we had our meal in the hotel before the game.

"He came to see us, see the players and that was a big boost for the team. Everybody was so happy to see him."

 

Belfast Telegraph