Brendan Rodgers praised Wesley Fofana’s mentality, following his goal to put Leicester City through to the Europa Conference League quarter-finals.
Leicester lost 2-1 on the night, but Fofana’s goal upon his return put Leicester through 3-2 on aggregate.
The 21-year-old Frenchman has not played since breaking his leg in pre-season, but his goal to separate the teams on aggregate quickly adapted to a tense European atmosphere.
Rodgers highlighted it was the mark of a top player.
Rodgers told BT Sport post-match:
“He’s a fantastic player. That’s what top players do.
“He’s only been back in training a few weeks, but they want to go and head it and show that determination. That’s what we’ve missed for a lot of the season.
“That’s a top player’s mentality. He’s such a top prospect. Now he’s just got to try and build his fitness up. He was exceptional on the night.”
With Lovro Majer back in the Rennes starting XI for the second leg, it was an unsurprisingly fast start, and Benjamin Bourigeaud put them up after only eight minutes.
Fofana equalised on 51 minutes, handing Rennes a sizeable task to eventually turn the tie around. Rodgers was still critical of his side’s performance, but we are secured relieved progression, given the opposition.
“I think with the ball, we were poor,” he said.
“Our football in the game, especially in the first half, was nowhere near what I would expect. However, we did show tonight a real character, especially with the players missing and lots of young players tasting this level for the first time. It’s character building for them.
“We had to show resilience. You can see they’re a good side, Rennes, so to get through is a fantastic feeling. We knew they would make a fast start and come after us.
“They got the early goal, but we showed a good mentality and a good concentration level.”
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