Leicester City's Jamie Vardy celebrates scoring his side's third goal goal during the English Premier League match against Liverpool at the King Power Stadium.
Leicester City's Jamie Vardy celebrates scoring his side's third goal goal during the English Premier League match against Liverpool at the King Power Stadium. Nick Potts

Foxes bounce back from Ranieri sacking to stun Liverpool

WHERE has that been all season?

Leicester City came firing out of the blocks against Liverpool in its first English Premier League game since Claudio Ranieri was ruthlessly dismissed.

And they played like champions.

Funny that.

The fallen Premier League winners played nothing like the relegation battlers they have become to blitz to a 2-0 first-half lead against Liverpool, playing with all the intensity and pace that defined their 2015-2016 campaign.

Jamie Vardy said after the 3-1 win: "We've come under a lot of unfair stick from stuff in the press and online.

"The lads wanted to put in a reaction.

"Now it's up to us to consistently do that."

When asked where that's been all season, he added: "To be honest with you I couldn't put my finger on it. We've been working hard for everything ... tonight, it clicked."

On his own performance, he explained: "I've been very frustrated with the amount of goals I've got this season, I hope that pushes us along."

While there were tributes to Ranieri in the terraces, the fans rebounded from the turbulent weekend to back their side, with a rocking atmosphere at King Power Stadium.

Fittingly, Vardy opened the scoring, finding his scoring touch for the first time since December 10 against Manchester City.

His goal, to go 1-0 up, was Leicester's first in all of 2017.

It was vintage Leicester, getting the ball to its striker quickly from midfield, with the England marksman running in behind before nailing the chance.

When it rains, it pours. Vardy, one of the heroes last season who has had to defend the players and distance them from speculation that they knifed Ranieri, went on to snare a brace with a supreme header in the 60th minute.

Before that, Danny Drinkwater found his mojo just before the interval with a scintillating strike to double the advantage.

Sacking managers often sparks a reaction from a playing group.

Rarely, however, does a sacking polarise as much as axing the architect of one of sport's great miracles.

Drinkwater said that they returned to what worked previously: "We kind of make our game on the basics: talking, moving, pressure, high intensity.

"It's going back to basics, forcing mistakes, press them high up the pitch, cause them problems and that helps us.

"Got the three points, that's what we needed."

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