Ranieri golden praise for Vardy as Leicester win at Norwich
LEICESTER boss Claudio Ranieri says everything Jamie Vardy touches is turning to gold after the England striker continued his impressive goalscoring streak at Norwich on Saturday.
Vardy has now scored in five successive Barclays Premier League games after he won and converted a penalty in the first half for the visitors in their 2-1 victory.
Jeffrey Schlupp doubled Leicester's advantage moments after the interval before Norwich substitute Dieumerci Mbokani pulled one back for the hosts with a little over 20 minutes remaining. But Leicester survived six minutes of injury time, and substitute Nathan Redmond hitting Kasper Schmeichel's upright, to claim all three points and move up to fourth in the table.
Vardy, partnered in attack by Shinji Okazaki after Riyad Mahrez was named only on the bench, also survived an injury scare in the second half after he appeared to twist his knee. But after Ranieri had used all three of his substitutes, Vardy played through the pain barrier to help Leicester secure their fourth victory of the campaign.
"When I saw him on the ground I said 'Oh my God it is a bad injury' because James never stays down - I asked the physio, but he was very stable and he continued to play," Ranieri said.
"He is in a great moment and the the strikers live for this kind of moment - now everything he does is gold. It is not only important scoring goals, his performance is important, how he and Okazaki pressed during all the match. This kind of pressing recharges their team-mates behind them and that is important."
Vardy was bundled over in the penalty area by Sebastien Bassong after 26 minutes and referee Mark Clattenburg had no hesitation in pointing to the spot. Vardy dusted himself down to step up and convert his seventh goal of the campaign - the same number Liverpool have scored so far this term.
For Norwich manager Alex Neil, whose side were unbeaten in their last three outings heading into Saturday's match, there were no complaints.
"I am disappointed for the players today because I thought they let themselves down in the first 45 minutes and did not play anywhere near their standards," he said.
"If I am being honest, I don't think it was too much about Leicester - I thought they played their part really well for them - but we did not look as sharp as we have been.
"The front guys were starved of possession. We did not move the ball quickly enough and if you have too many of your players not playing the way they can then that is going to cause you issues, and that certainly happened in the first half."