BRENDAN RODGERS partied wildly in the East Midlands Derby – aka El Sackico.
And the contrast with Steve Cooper couldn’t have been greater, as the dour-looking forest manager looked like someone who knew trouble was at hand.
Ominously, Leicester owner and chairman Aiyawatt ‘Top’ Srivaddhanaprabha jetted in to watch his struggling side win by two goals thanks to a brilliant performance from James Maddison.
And in their place at the foot of the Premier League is Forest, who have just four points from eight games.
Curiously, this is the exact same record Forest had when Cooper joined the club 13 months ago.
Forest owner Evangelos Marinakis has never been known for patience with his other cause, Olympiacos.
And the Greek is likely to be even angrier as he has already dropped £150m at 23 players. Forest looks in big trouble.
In contrast, that easy win saw confidence pour back into a beleaguered Leicester side who will now be hoping to continue from their shocking start.
A rare plus this season was Maddison’s form and he was once again by far the best player on the pitch.
Maddison was involved in all of Leicester’s goals.
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He scored the first goal with the help of a powerful deflection, played a role in Harvey Barnes’ second, scored his 50th Leicester goal with a brilliant 25-yard free-kick and then set up Patson Daka for the fourth.
But while that performance will fuel calls for a World Cup call-up for Maddison, don’t hold your breath.
The fact that Maddison has only played for Gareth Southgate once – in November 2019 against Montenegro – gives you a good idea of his chances of playing in Qatar.
The only thing that could see him called up is injury and England would certainly get a player who oozes confidence and isn’t afraid to take risks, something the senior team lack.
Leicester had dropped 11 points from winning positions this season but for once they couldn’t shake things up.
Although it helps when the opponents are as bad as Forest.
This was the first league game between these two since February 2014 and they had not met in the top division since 1999.
Outside of the East Midlands it is probably not widely recognized just how much these two clubs struggle against each other, although this was illustrated by the large number of police officers placed on either side of the away team.
Those Forest fans should have celebrated the opening goal when Morgan Gibbs-White threaded a pass past home defender Wout Faes, but Taiwo Awonyi hit the post as he came through clean.
That missed chance felt even more painful shortly after when Maddison put Leicester ahead with a shot that evilly deflected Scott McKenna.
It was unfortunate for Forest, but Jesse Lingard was partly to blame as his lazy attempt to clear Harvey Barnes’ cross fell squarely on Maddison, who had already created chances for Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall and Jamie Vardy.
Maddison was then involved in the second two minutes later when he selected Vardy.
The former England striker, who has yet to score this season, delivered the ball to Barnes and he dodged Neco Williams far too easily before firing a superb shot past Henderson.
That’s when Rodgers let his emotions out in front of a shocked Cooper.
Maddison made it 3-0 with less than 35 minutes on the clock, his 25-yard free kick rolling around the wall and over the post into the net.
Cooper made three changes at the break, bringing in Serge Aurier, Remo Freuler and Ryan Yates, but they made little difference.
Forest striker Awonyi missed another good chance and then, 11 minutes after replacing Vardy, striker Daka made it 4-0 with an outrageous flick after starting the play by playing the ball wide to Maddison.
Leicester still have work to do but this team is too good to be in a relegation battle.
As for Forest, their supporters are now realizing that playing in the Premier League isn’t always that fun after promotion from the Championship.
https://www.the-sun.com/sport/6359057/leicester-nottingham-forest-james-maddison-brendan-rodgers/ Leicester 4 Forest 0: The inspired Maddison hits a stunning one-two to save Rodgers’ bacon… and get Cooper in big trouble