Leicester City boss Brendan Rodgers was overjoyed to see Kelechi Iheancho again repay his faith as the striker hit his first hat-trick for the club to keep their top-four bid on course.
Rodgers selected Iheanacho for a fourth straight Premier League game, the striker’s longest run in the team since 2018, and he took his tally to five goals in three games with a brilliant treble against bottom side Sheffield United.
Those finishes have contributed to seven points in three games for City, who will have at least a five-point cushion inside the Champions League places going into the international break.
Iheanacho could not have done it without Jamie Vardy though, the talisman setting up the first two of his goals, and Rodgers also praised the combination between the pair.
“I’m delighted,” Rodgers said. “I’ve always said you can see the improvements in him day on day. He trains so hard.
“He works well up there with Jamie, the combination is really good. The two finishes, the first one is a bit closer, but you’ve got to get there, and off his weaker foot it’s a nice cushioned finish. It’s the same with the second one a bit further out.
“The third one is a wonderful strike. He’s clever, he’s dropped into the space we wanted him to, turns and fires in.
“Tactically he had a job to do when he was defending. He did that very well. His overall game was very good.”
Rodgers was also very pleased his side did not fall foul of complacency against the Premier League strugglers.
With the Blades arriving at the King Power Stadium wounded after Chris Wilder’s departure, there may have been a tendency to think it would be an easy win, even though none of United’s games have been as such this season.
“If you look at their record, even though they’ve lost a number of games, they have all been fairly tight,” Rodgers said. “You know you have to work them to break through their defensive line.
“I really enjoyed watching the team. We were aggressive. Pushed the team up the pitch. Some of our football with the creativity and speed in our game was very good. We played well.”