Leeds United were far from their best as they fell to a 2-0 defeat against Leicester City at the King Power Stadium on Thursday night.
Harvey Barnes scored his sixth goal in six games against Leeds to help Leicester to a 2-0 victory.
He added to Robin Koch’s early own goal. The Foxes are now a point away from the safety positions ahead of this weekend’s game against Wolves.
While they remain in the bottom three, victory lifted Leicester off the foot of the table and gives Rodgers time in a week which has the potential to shape the Foxes’ season.
Defeat extended Leeds’ winless run to seven and they are now just a point above the Foxes and only out of the drop zone on goal difference.
Jesse Marsch has seen his side slowly slip down the table and he faced the wrath of a furious travelling support following what was, ultimately, a meek surrender.
Needing a result, Rodgers recalled Jamie Vardy for just his second start since the beginning of September.
The striker, without a goal this season, is in his worst barren spell for six years but the Foxes did not have to wait long for the opener, which arrived after 16 minutes.
Leeds were arguably the brighter side but Leicester seized on some sloppy defending when Dennis Praet robbed Marc Roca.
Referee Peter Bankes played a good advantage after Vardy was clobbered, allowing Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall to send Praet down the right. His low cross was intended for the unmarked Barnes but Koch slid in and only succeeded in poking the ball beyond the stranded Illan Meslier.
The visitors responded well and when Youri Tielemans’ shot was charged down Luis Sinisterra launched a quick break with the Foxes’ defenders in desperate pursuit.
The forward appeared to lose the ball on the edge of the area but it fell kindly for him to curl onto the top of the bar.
A minute later Crysencio Summerville curled wide and Leicester briefly looked ragged until Barnes made it 2-0 10 minutes before the break.
Excellent work from Praet won the ball, which rolled for Vardy to backheel to Dewsbury-Hall on the edge of the area. He found the unmarked Barnes and the winger steered his third goal of the season under an exposed Meslier.
Despite the lead, Leicester failed to totally convince during a first half where Leeds had squandered their chances and Danny Ward needed to block Liam Cooper’s effort seven minutes after the restart.
Rasmus Kristensen shot over but Leeds’ response quickly faded and they never seriously troubled Leicester, who had rediscovered their resolve.
Praet curled over but a third was never needed with the Foxes, and Rodgers, clinching a much-needed victory.
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