Ranieri says Vardy is still the main top man for Le­ices­ter

The Star (Kenya) - - Sports International -

First Wayne Rooney, then Ser­gio Aguero, now Jamie Vardy. This is be­com­ing the sea­son where the Pre­mier League hit­men dis­cover they are no longer im­mune from the per­ils of ro­ta­tion.

Af­ter eight games with­out a goal, Vardy was taken out of the fir­ing line by Le­ices­ter man­ager Clau­dio Ranieri and al­lowed a rest dur­ing this highly im­pres­sive vic­tory.

His re­place­ment, the ex­cel­lent Shinji Okazaki, scored one and £16mil­lion sum­mer sign­ing Ahmed Musa re­placed Marc Al­brighton and struck his first goal for the club in a 3-1 win over Crys­tal Palace.

Of Vardy, Ranieri said, “Al­ways he is my man, our goalscorer. He knows when there are so many good play­ers, a lit­tle ro­ta­tion doesn’t mat­ter.”

Okazaki was re­lent­less, link­ing play between the mid­field and for­ward Is­lam Sli­mani. Re­mark­ably, it was only the third time he has played the full 90 min­utes in the league since join­ing Le­ices­ter in July 2015.

Okazaki was one of the head­line acts dur­ing Le­ices­ter’s ti­tle-win­ning cam­paign and although his role has been re­duced this sea­son, he en­joys hero sta­tus in his native Ja­pan.

“I usu­ally get mobbed, but it is good,” he said. “Le­ices­ter now are a big team in Ja­pan and I am proud of that.”

In this game, Le­ices­ter took the lead through Musa’s pow­er­ful strike from the edge of the box be­fore Okazaki put the fin­ish­ing touch to a breath­less move.

Chris­tian Fuchs added gloss to the score­line with one of the sea­son’s most mem­o­rable strikes so far, cut­ting across the ball on the half-vol­ley to ri­fle in his first goal for the club. The only blot was a late Yo­han Cabaye con­so­la­tion to re­duce the ar­rears.

“When there is this kind of per­for­mance I think about last sea­son,” Ranieri said.

/REUTERS

Vardy was taken out of the fir­ing line by Le­ices­ter man­ager Clau­dio Ranieri.

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