Rodgers favourite to be new Leicester City boss
Brendan Rodgers is the favourite to become the new manager of Leicester City (pic: SNS Group)
Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers is the favourite to become the new boss of Leicester City following the sacking of Claude Puel.
The 46-year-old is understood to be the Foxes’ No. 1 target, with reports suggesting the English Premier League club would have to fork out £5 million in compensation to lure him away from Parkhead.
Puel was dismissed after a fourth consecutive home defeat, prompting fevered speculation linking the former Liverpool chief with the vacant post.
David Moyes has already been tipped as possible successor to Rodgers should he leave.
Rodgers, on course for an historic treble treble, watched his side maintain its eight-point lead at the top of the Premiership with a 4-1 win over Motherwell yesterday.
Scott Sinclair and Odsonne Edouard had the home side 2-0 up at the break. Motherwell came back into the match with a controversial Gboly Ariyibi after they refused to give the ball back to Celtic after the Hoops had kicked it out of play to allow treatment for Ryan Christie.
Liam Grimshaw threw the ball back into the Celtic half towards Kieran Tierney but James Scott ran on to the ball before shooting at Scott Bain. The keeper saved the effort only for Ariyibi to net the rebound to spark heated protests from the home side.
Although late goals from Edouard and Oliver Burke completed a ninth straight league win for Celtic, Rodgers was not happy with the conduct of the visitors.
He said: “We don’t see something like that hardly at all now in the game but we focused and ended up scoring two top-class goals after that. It’s a huge credit to the players for the victory.
“I think the right-back, in fairness to him, has tried to throw it back into the space for Kieran to run into, but the young striker has taken it and attacked the goal. Everyone had sort of stopped.
“I think Motherwell had an opportunity then to do something in the spirit of the game but chose not to and went on to press for an equaliser. That’s where the credit comes in for my players. It was a real injustice in the game.
“We’re obviously disappointed with the action. But I’m so proud of the players with the way they did react and got the win.”
Second-placed Rangers had earlier cut the lead at the top with an emphatic 5-0 win at Hamilton.
Ryan Jack, Jermain Defoe, Scott Arfield, James Tavernier (pen) and Kyle Lafferty were all on the scoresheet for the Ibrox side.
Elsewhere, Hearts struggled against St Mirren with the relegation-threatened Buddies taking a well-deserved point back to Paisley. Aberdeen consolidated third place with a 2-0 win over St Johnstone in Perth, while Livingston earned a surprise win at home to Kilmarnock thanks to Chris Erskine’s strike on the stroke of half-time.
The Friday night action saw new Hibs boss Paul Heckingbottom register his second win in a row as the Hibees beat Dundee 4-2 at Dens Park.
Scores: Celtic 4 Motherwell 1, Hamilton 0 Rangers 5, Hearts 1 St Mirren 1, St Johnstone 0 Aberdeen 2, Livingston 1 Kilmarnock 0, Dundee 2 Hibs 4.
City spot-on to retain cup
Manchester City beat Chelsea in a penalty shoot-out to win the League Cup at Wembley.
The match finished goalless after 120 minutes with Pep Guardiola’s side winning 4-3 on spot-kicks.
A forgettable affair will be remembered for Chelsea keeper Kepa Arrizabalaga refusing to be substituted by under-pressure manager Maurizio Sarri.
Chelsea’s club record signing – the Spaniard cost £71 million – had been struggling with cramp towards the end of the extra period with Sarri wanting to bring on Willy Caballero from the bench.
Arrizabalaga refused to come off leaving Sarri in a rage on the touchline.
Although he managed to save a Leroy Sane penalty, the keeper was beaten on four other occasions with Raheem Sterling netting the decisive one.
The English Premier League’s match of the day also failed to live up to expectations with Manchester United drawing 0-0 with Liverpool at Old Trafford.