The most important win – Enzo Maresca talks up Leicester’s victory at Blackburn

Enzo Maresca’s side are top of the table (Richard Sellers/PA)
Enzo Maresca’s side are top of the table (Richard Sellers/PA)

Leicester manager Enzo Maresca described the 4-1 win at Blackburn as his side’s “most important” this season.

The Foxes returned to the Championship summit after a hard-fought victory, during which Maresca’s men were given a stern examination from their high-pressing opponents.

Wout Faes headed Leicester into a fourth-minute lead but Blackburn’s pressing yielded rewards five minutes later as they forced a mistake that Sammie Szmodics punished from close range.

Jamie Vardy’s clinical finish restored the lead and the Foxes pulled away from Blackburn late on, as Kelechi Iheanacho’s penalty and Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall’s exquisite strike put the gloss on an impressive performance to move Leicester two points clear at the top following a fifth consecutive away league win.

Maresca praised Blackburn’s style of play and his side’s “personality”.

He said: “Probably the most important win today since we started. I was a bit worried because of the opponent.

“They are very good, probably in terms of the way they play, the best team we have played to date.

“A complicated opponent because sometimes the winger is outside, sometimes inside, full back sometimes outside, inside. It’s difficult to have a game plan off the ball, the way you want to press because they move a lot.

“As I said, probably the best win since we started. Probably, off the ball the last half an hour, we were much better.

“The first 10 minutes of the second half, we dropped, then we started again in the way we prepared the game. On the ball, we had some good moments, but probably the goal we conceded, we lost a bit of confidence. We need to learn and keep it going.

“Very happy for the personality we showed.”

Jon Dahl Tomasson felt the result was harsh on Blackburn, but lamented conceding “soft goals”.

He said: “We are extremely disappointed with the result. It doesn’t reflect the game. We knew it was going to be tough against a Premier League side with a lot of good players.

“I think we caused them plenty of problems in the first half, with great football, great movement, rotations. We gave two soft goals away in the first half.

“Second half, we were in the game, on top of the opponent when we got a big chance to score a goal. I think they only had four shots on target.

“Then in the end with the penalty of course, which by the way I think it’s a very soft penalty. You can give it, but you’d give 10 penalties in each game.

“Then the game was over. It is tough with the result. Great effort from the lads but of course gave some unnecessary goals away. We’re learning on the job.”