Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 27 February 2020

Leicester City thrash West Ham to cement third as Brendan Rodgers eases fears over Jamie Vardy injury

A 4-1 win at the King Power moves the former champions eight points clear of fourth-placed Chelsea

Ricardo Pereira celebrates scoring Leicester City's second goal against West Ham with Youri Tielemans and Kelechi Iheanacho. Reuters
Ricardo Pereira celebrates scoring Leicester City's second goal against West Ham with Youri Tielemans and Kelechi Iheanacho. Reuters

Leicester City cemented third place in the Premier League table with a 4-1 thrashing of West Ham United on Wednesday night, as manager Brendan Rodgers eased fears over the injury sustained by Jamie Vardy.

Goals from Harvey Barnes, Ricardo Pereira and a late double from Ayoze Perez - the first a penalty - ensured a comfortable night for the hosts at the King Power Stadium. West Ham captain Mark Noble pulled one back from the penalty spot to make it 2-1, before Perez's brace took the game away from the visitors.

However, there was some concern regarding the fitness of star striker Vardy, who was hurt while chasing a pass in the first half.

He was treated for several minutes before trying to resume playing, a move which lasted just seconds before he again fell to the turf clutching his leg.

The 33-year-old forward was forced to come off as Kelechi Iheanacho replaced him in a game where Leicester were leading 2-0 at half-time.

Vardy is the Premier League's top scorer with 17 goals and would be huge miss if he is out for an extended period.

But, speaking after the match, Rodgers allayed fears and believes Vardy will only be a short-term absentee.

"It is not his hamstring which is good. Hopefully over the next couple of days it will ease off and he will be fit," Rodgers said. "Jamie is a real talisman for the team but if we are going to have success it is about the team.

"He hasn't played for us in a number of games and the team has still played well but of course we want him fit and well. He is such a good player and we hope it is not too serious."

The victory opened up an eight-point cushion over fourth-paced Chelsea as Leicester bid to qualify for next season's Champions League via a top four finish.

While Vardy has retired from international duty, his fine form had prompted suggestions England manager Gareth Southgate might try to tempt him back into the fold ahead of Euro 2020.

Southgate has been hit by injuries to strikers Harry Kane and Marcus Rashford in recent weeks.

Updated: January 23, 2020 08:43 AM

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