Femi Solaja with agency report
Nigerian international, Wilfred Ndidi, last night fired Leicester City to the top of the Premier League table and increased the pressure on struggling Chelsea Manager Frank Lampard with an impressive 2-0 victory at The King Power Stadium.
The Foxes knew a win of any sort would see them overhaul Manchester United to the summit of the English topflight.
And that exactly was what Ndidi set them on course doing just six minutes into the game when he fired a 20-yard cracker with his weak left leg to the inside of the far right post of Senegalese Chelsea goalkeeper, Edouard Mendy.
Ndidi had similarly scored against the Blues last season.
Chelsea rarely threatened, although they were denied a first-half penalty by VAR when Christian Pulisic went down under a challenge from Jonny Evans, only for the technology to confirm the offence took place just outside the area.
Coach Lampard’s misery was swiftly reinforced as Leicester City broke clear to add a second four minutes before the break when James Maddison swept a cool finish past Chelsea’s Mendy on the half-volley from Marc Albrighton’s pass.
Chelsea barely raised a gallop after the break and it was Leicester who created the better openings as James Justin headed wide when unmarked and Mendy saved from Youri Tielemans.
Leicester are now a point ahead of Manchester United having played a game more on 38 points from 19 matches while Chelsea are in eighth, five points off the Champions League places.
Earlier in the day, Leicester Manager, Brenda Rodgers had sang sweet words about his prized Nigerian holding midfielder Ndidi.
In an interview on Leicester website, Rodgers sounded a note of warning to top clubs aiming to sign Super Eagles’ midfield supremo, insisting that the Foxes will not let go their prized player for anything less than £150million.
Although the current market value of players have dropped considerably owing to the pandemic, Rodgers said in that interview that the AFCON 2019 bronze medal winner with Nigeria in Egypt remains one of the most valued midfielders in the world today.
“Ndidi could probably worth £150million and I’m happy he is having a good combination with Youri Tielemans because they complement each other and this has helped the club this season,” the former former Liverpool gaffer told the club’s website yesterday.
He noted that Ndidi has formed a productive partnership with the Belgian star despite their contrasting playing styles.
Their understanding has helped the King Power Stadium outfit win 12 Premier League games this season to ensure their climb to the top of the log.
Leicester also currently enjoy a seven-game unbeaten run, including their victory over Southampton last Saturday at the King Power Stadium.
“They (Ndidi and Tielemans) play different roles. This is the beauty of this league, there’s so much diversity in terms of styles you play against and systems too,” Rodgers remarked.
“You have to have flexibility, but those two really complement each other. Wilf (Ndidi) had a great game the other night in a high-intensity game with lots of duels, where you’ve got to win your headers, got to be strong, got to be aggressive, got to cover ground. Youri does that too but then (Ndidi) can pass it to Youri and he can play the forward passes.
The Nigeria international has been limited to 12 games across all competitions for the Foxes in the 2020-21 campaign due to injury problems.
Ndidi has been with the King Power Stadium outfit since the summer of 2017 when he teamed up with the side from Genk.
The 24-year-old has been a key performer for the Foxes and last season he featured prominently as the club clinched a Europa League ticket.