Brendan Rodgers hails immediate impact of Tete as Leicester see off Aston Villa
Brendan Rodgers hailed the immediate impact of Tete after the winger marked his Leicester debut with a goal in a thrilling Premier League win at Aston Villa.
The Foxes kicked off at Villa Park with only goal difference keeping them outside of the relegation zone but Shakhtar Donetsk loanee Tete shone in a 4-2 victory which saw Leicester twice battle back from behind.
An Ollie Watkins strike and an own goal from Harry Souttar – also on his debut – twice had Unai Emery’s Villa ahead, but they were pegged back by James Maddison and Kelechi Iheanacho.
Tete put the visitors in front at the break before substitute Dennis Praet wrapped up the win.
The three points give Leicester a buffer back to the bottom three and Rodgers heaped praise on the eye-catching display of his new Brazilian forward.
“Tete was what I have been talking about for 18 months – a right-winger that can take the ball, pass the ball, look after it, make runs and work,” he said.
“What a debut for him. It was really good and because of that, you have balance, it allows Kelechi to play in the spaces in front of that.
“He knows football, he knows the type of game we were trying to play, his touch is immaculate.
“He has a good weight of pass but can run in behind. His finish was absolutely brilliant. He loves football off the pitch and he is super professional.
“I’ve never seen more Brazilian flags (in the away end). I haven’t seen more since I was in Rio.”
Leicester’s season has failed to ignite but Rodgers was pleased with the “freshness” of his two debutants – as well as fellow newcomer Victor Kristiansen.
“It was a top performance,” he said of his team.
“I think everyone was clear on Aston Villa’s form and how they have been since Unai (Emery) came in but I thought the players were brilliant today, really creative. It felt like a team of mine – being offensive and aggressive.
“We were unfortunate for the first couple of goals. There are areas we can be better but overall I think we defended with a calmness but offensively we were excellent.”
The defeat was just a second in the league for Villa since Emery was appointed as Steven Gerrard’s successor in November.
Having led the game on two occasions, the Spaniard was unhappy with the lack of control his team showed.
“I am really frustrated and disappointed,” said Emery.
“We were trying since the beginning to recover a better position in the table. The next step is to play better at home and try to control the game better.
“In some moments we were playing really well but we conceded too many chances.”
All four of Leicester’s goals stemmed from Villa mistakes but Emery insisted he would keep asking his team to play out from the back.
“We have to learn to break their (opposition’s) pressing,” he added.
“We can play long ball, long ball but I don’t want to do it. I want to do it and continue building up and trying to play with our goalkeeper as well but we have to mix sometimes.
“We have to create our idea and style – I want players with personality to keep improving.”