Puel rates James in Hod­dle’s class

Irish Sunday Mirror - - FOOTBALL - By JOHN WRAGG at the King Power Sta­dium

HOPE you all en­joyed it on telly last night. It’s worth watch­ing again and again be­cause James Mad­di­son scored the goal of this sea­son. Maybe of any sea­son.

Gazza’s up-over-and-vol­ley for Eng­land against Scot­land 22 years ago is a con­tender for one of the best of all time, but how many votes would Mad­di­son get for this?

Paul Gas­coigne took a Dar­ren An­der­ton pass and lifted the ball over Colin Hendry and smashed in his shot. Sen­sa­tional.

But wait a minute. Mad­di­son started this one him­self, play­ing a ball to Jamie Vardy, then it went out wide right to Marc Al­brighton and back to Mad­di­son. That’s where ge­nius took over. Le­ices­ter boss Claude Puel (above) went for Glenn Hod­dle as the only player he has known score goals better than the one Mad­di­son came up with.

Puel played with Hod­dle at Monaco and said: “With Glenn Hod­dle it was fan­tas­tic goals all the time. He had great abil­ity to cre­ate and to score.

“What I would like to say about Maddy’s goal is that he has the tal­ent, but be­fore the tal­ent comes the hard work. He works hard for our team.

“He is a young player and if he con­tin­ues to lis­ten and to im­prove he will have a fan­tas­tic fu­ture.

“There is a com­par­i­son be­tween Hod­dle and Mad­di­son, but Maddy has only been play­ing at this level since the be­gin­ning of this sea­son. He can im­prove to score more.”

Al­brighton has al­ways been able to pin­point a cross but it wasn’t so much his ac­cu­racy this time, it’s what Mad­di­son did with it in the 23rd minute.

There were three Wat­ford play­ers around him. Mad­di­son, who cost the Foxes £20mil­lion from Nor­wich in the sum­mer, took the ball on the out­side of his right foot, off his chest, off his knee and then volleyed the ball in.

At no point did the ball touch the ground.

Last week Mad­di­son, who has only just turned 22, was apol­o­gis­ing for div­ing to get him­self a penalty at Brighton.

It was his sec­ond yellow card and he was sent off. If this goal was an ex­ten­sion of that apol­ogy then all is for­given. Vardy had put Le­ices­ter ahead 11 min­utes ear­lier with a penalty. By com­ing out the way he did and sliding into Vardy, Wat­ford goal­keeper Ben Foster helped referee Gra­ham Scott make his de­ci­sion.

Vardy duly despatched a right-foot shot that blasted past the keeper. De­marai

Gray could have got a third for the hosts but hit the post.

Wat­ford re­gained con­fi­dence af­ter Mad­di­son’s won­der goal and were on the verge of get­ting back into the game when sub­sti­tute An­dre Gray missed a chance. Eti­enne Capoue was sent off for his lung­ing tackle on Kelechi Iheana­cho in the fi­nal min­utes.

Wat­ford boss Javi Gra­cia (left) is ap­peal­ing the red card, claim­ing Iheana­cho said Capoue didn’t touch him, and the Hor­nets boss also dis­puted the penalty.

“I won’t talk about the penalty be­cause it will sound like an ex­cuse,” said Gra­cia. “What we must do is score from the pos­ses­sion and chances we have. We are not ef­fi­cient.”

WON­DER GOAL James Mad­di­son lets fly for the strike which brought the King Power fans to their feet

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