Vardy at the double
LEICESTER, England (AP):
Leicester began life without manager Claudio Ranieri by easing their English Premier League relegation fears after a stirring 3-1 home victory over Liverpool yesterday.
In their first game since Ranieri was sacked last Thursday by the club's Thai owners, Jamie Vardy scored twice for last season's struggling champion.
Danny Drinkwater also netted with a superb long-range strike. It helped propel Leicester out of the relegation places and up to 15th, two points above the drop zone with 12 games remaining.
Vardy scored 24 league goals last season but the England international's strikes in either half were just his sixth and seventh of this campaign.
"We've come in for a lot of unfair stick with things that have been in the press, but you've seen that the lads wanted to react," Vardy said.
Liverpool, who were out of sorts despite a warm-weather training break in Spain, could not match Leicester's energy, intensity and commitment. They remain in fifth place.
Ranieri was dismissed nine months after masterminding one of the biggest sporting shocks of all time by leading the 5,000-1 outsiders to league glory.