Leicester thump sloppy Saints to move to within one win of promotion

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Leicester thump sloppy Saints to move to within one win of promotion

Leicester hammered Southampton 5-0 to move within one win of promotion back to the Premier League.

A hat-trick from Abdul Fatawu alongside goals from Wilfried Ndidi and Jamie Vardy proved more than enough to see off a poor Saints at the King Power Stadium.

Leicester now know that a win at Preston next Monday night – live on Sky Sports Football ­­- will be enough to guarantee their return to the Premier League.

For the Saints, the defeat all-but condemns them to the play-offs. They are six points behind Leeds in second with a significantly inferior goal difference and just two games to play.

As it stands at the top

Key weekend fixtures, all live on Sky Sports:

  • QPR vs Leeds (Fri 8pm)
  • Hull vs Ipswich (Sat 8pm)
  • Preston vs Leicester (Mon 8pm) – Victory for Leicester now guarantees promotion whatever happens elsewhere beforehand.

Fatawu stars as Leicester cruise at the King Power

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Abdul Fatawu grabs a second for Leicester in stunning fashion.

The breakthrough for Leicester came on 25 minutes. Wout Faes won the ball back from Che Adams and Harry Winks sprang the ball forward to Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall, who fed Fatawu with a pinpoint pass in the box, and he slid the ball calmly past Alex McCarthy.

Southampton boss Russell Martin wasn’t happy, believing Adams was fouled in the build-up and then Fatawu was offside, but the goal was given.

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Jamie Vardy and Abdul Fatuwu cap off a rampant performance for Leicester.

The Saints came out strongly after half-time, but it was Leicester who struck next. Just after the hour mark they won the ball high up the pitch and Stephy Mavididi crossed for Ndidi to head in.

Fatawu then got his second with a brilliant effort from the edge of the box, cutting in from the right and then bending one past McCarthy. He then teed up Vardy for Leicester’s fourth, as his low cross was met by the striker, who swept in at the near post.

And the night’s scoring was completed with aplomb by Fatawu, who turned in Vardy’s cross after a swift counter-attack had cut Southampton open.

Maresca: I never doubted us

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Leicester City manager Enzo Maresca says the team won’t get ahead of themselves as they need just one more win to secure promotion to the Premier League.

Leicester’s Enzo Maresca:

“I said that since we started they have been fantastic in how they’ve been open-minded in learning different ideas.

“We are nearly there, we need one win to be 100 per cent sure, so we enjoy tonight and have two days off and then we start to prepare for Preston.

“I said many times I didn’t have any doubt we’d finish [the season] the right way. Sometimes you can drop points like has happened with us. But even when we have dropped points the performances were always there.

“I always said the noise was more from the outside. Inside the club I was supporting the team and the team were supporting me. We always continued the same way.”

Martin: Madness that game ended up 5-0 | ‘Defending was pathetic’

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Southampton boss Russell Martin rues his team’s ‘pathetic’ defending as they fell 5-0 Leicester City.

Southampton’s Russell Martin:

“It was crazy that it ends 5-0. For so long in the game I thought we were really good.

“But we’re not ruthless and they are. It can’t descend into what it descended to after [the second goal]. For it to end 5-0 is madness really.

“It was offside, but it’s not the reason we lose 5-0. Of course it gives them the advantage in the game. The foul was really simple for a referee. He came through the back of Che to take the ball. But sometimes they get given sometimes they don’t.

“We started the second half well but we defended pathetically after we went two goals down.

“The players that want to fight and care the most and run the most will play.”

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