Leicester City manager Brendan Rodgers was quick to defend Unai Emery and his passing out from the back approach after Aston Villa were defeated 4-2 at Villa Park this afternoon. Gifting the visitors many - if not all - of their goals, the Villans made some calamitous errors defensively, much of which came from the excessive patience of passing in their own half.
The Foxes’ first, a 12th-minute equaliser to respond to Ollie Watkins’ speedy opener, came directly from a Villa mistake as Emi Martinez played a short free kick to Boubacar Kamara, who was slow on the ball and dispossessed easily in his own area. Some quick thinking and responsiveness from Kelechi Iheanacho led to a ball played to James Maddison, who took the gift and ran to the bank with it.
All the other goals had errors, too, as Tyrone Mings failed to clear a cross and then left Iheanacho unmarked for his header at 2-2, Kamara lost possession again to allow a quick counter for new Leicester signing Tete to finish off for 3-2, and Alex Moreno was unable to deal with a long ball to Dennis Praet for the Foxes’ fourth.
Despite so many calamitous errors, Rodgers urged Villa fans not to blame Emery’s tactics, as he claims a balance needs to be struck in modern football. “Listen, it can sometimes happen, so don’t be blaming them,” Rodgers said. “It’s just something that happens in football - we’ll build the game, and they’ll build the game.
“Sometimes it just doesn’t work out on the day. I was pleased with the way we tactically set up to put pressure on Kamara and we won it back to score. We could’ve sat off and let them play with their feet, but it’s the modern game.
“People will be looking at it as a mistake [from Villa], but there are so many times that they and other times will build and create goals, which isn’t picked up on. It’s just one of those things you take as a coach, and from our side it was great for our pressing,” Rodgers said.
Regardless of whether it was a good approach or not - as many are debating after the manner in which Villa conceded today - it seems as if it will continue, as it is very much part of Emery’s game. Two tough games follow today’s defeat for the Lions, as they take on Manchester City away from home next up and then welcome Arsenal to Villa Park in two weeks’ time.