Rodgers starts Leicester reign with 2-1 defeat at Watford
WATFORD, England (AP) — Brendan Rodgers saw Leicester concede a goal in the opening five minutes of his first match in charge before letting in an injury-time goal to lose 2-1 to Watford in the Premier League on Sunday.
Rodgers is back in England’s top flight for the first time since October 2015 — when he was fired by Liverpool — following his appointment from Scottish champion Celtic as Claude Puel’s replacement earlier this week.
And it looked like being a respectable start to his Foxes reign as Jamie Vardy’s 10th goal of the season canceled out Troy Deeney’s early header.
But the game ended in the same way as it started as Andre Gray struck in the closing moments to inflict an opening defeat on Rodgers and deliver a fourth win from five for the eighth-placed Hornets.
Rodgers, who opted to leave Celtic despite going for a third straight treble, could not have envisaged a worse start to his tenure when Deeney headed home Gerard Deulofeu’s free-kick from close range for the Watford striker’s eighth goal of the season.
Leicester almost gained from an outrageous piece of luck in the 75th minute as Wilfred Ndidi’s wayward cross got caught in the wind and sailed over Ben Foster and onto the crossbar.
And a minute later Leicester was level. Vardy positioned himself between the two centerbacks and Youri Tielemans’ through-ball was perfect for the former England striker to race on to and clip a smart first-time finish past Foster.
There was a sting in the tail for Rodgers as the club where he started his managerial career in 2008 won it in injury time.
A poor clearance found its way to Deeney, who hooked the ball to Gray to run onto and fire through Kasper Schmeichel’s legs.