There was a particularly nice moment in the Premier League on Sunday from a Portuguese perspective, as Seleção full-back Ricardo Pereira scored for the first time in two years for Leicester City in their 2-2 draw with West Ham United.

Pereira suffered a serious knee injury in March 2020 and has struggled to regain full form and fitness ever since, having made a sensational initial impact in English football. The former Porto man has started just nine of Leicester’s 26 league games so far this season, with Sunday’s against West Ham being his first since the turn of the year.

Pereira acquitted himself superbly during the ninety minutes and his goal – a diving header in the second half – looked set to give the Foxes all three points. Pereira’s celebration of pure joy would have made a fitting story had it been the winner, but Hammers defender Craig Dawson snatched a point in stoppage time.

Nevertheless, a clearly buoyed Pereira spoke to the club’s in-house media after the match and admitted the goal was a special moment. “It was very good to have this feeling again after everything, and to help the team which is most important,” he said. “I think it’s my third header of my career, so it’s not the first time [laughs].”

Leicester boss Brendan Rodgers, who welcomed Pereira back after two months out with a fractured fibula, added: “Ricardo is an attacking full-back. We want to get him in there to score. It was a great header, a great ball in by Barnesy.”

Pereira’s return is timely for Leicester, who resume action in the Europa League this week with a tie against Randers of Denmark.

By Sean Gillen

@SeanGillen9

Comments (1)

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With such class at the fullback position (Semedo, Cancelo, Guerreiro, Pereira, Mario Rui, Cedric) its such an obvious switch to a 3-5-2 or some combo of a back 3. Such a waste to have such talent so deep.

Ricardo P, Rafael G and Cancelo...

With such class at the fullback position (Semedo, Cancelo, Guerreiro, Pereira, Mario Rui, Cedric) its such an obvious switch to a 3-5-2 or some combo of a back 3. Such a waste to have such talent so deep.

Ricardo P, Rafael G and Cancelo especially would dominate a wingbacl role in comparison to a traditional left or right back.

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