Martyn Waghorn’s superb double handed Leicester their first win in five matches, putting Leicester’s play-off bid back on track.
Andy King has put the Foxes ahead after just five minutes when he finished off Steve Howard’s knockdown, before Waghorn capitalised on QPR goalkeeper Carl Ikeme’s error to send City in two goals to the good at the break.
The on-loan Sunderland striker hit a wonderful second within just five minutes of the second half, before Howard wrapped up the scoring to hand Nigel Pearson’s men a comfortable victory.
Pearson recalled Wayne Brown, Jay Spearing and Paul Gallagher to the first team in place of Robbie Neilson, Matt Oakley and Lloyd Dyer from Friday’s defeat at West Brom.
Morrison — Hobbs — Brown — Berner
Spearing — Wellens — King — Gallagher
Waghorn — Howard
Leicester made a dream start to the match when Paul Gallagher’s cross was knocked down by Steve Howard to hand midfielder Andy King the simple task of steering home to hand the Foxes the lead.
But City were halted in their tracks for a second goal by the resilient R’s, who quickly went about their work to try and find an equaliser.
Adel Taraabt tested the water with a weak effort at goalkeeper Chris Weale, before superb defensive work from Wayne Brown stopped Lee Cook in his tracks after being sent through by on-loan Spurs midfielder Taraabt.
Despite all their possession QPR were lacking ideas in the final third, Weale rarely tested with anything of real malice. Leicester were poor on the ball in their bid for a second, rarely keeping hold of it long enough in order to put together any meaningful attacks.
QPR thought they may have found an equaliser through Mikele Leigertwood’s deflected effort from range, but the flag had been raised for offside against Jay Simpson well in advance.
Hogan Ephraim was faced with QPR’s best opportunity of the half when he was sent through by Taarabt, but could only scoop his effort over the bar with goalkeeper Weale stranded in no-man’s-land.
And on the stroke of half-time, well against the run of play, Leicester doubled their lead.
Wayne Brown’s long clearance upfield was chased down by on-loan Liverpool man Jay Spearing, who forced goalkeeper Carl Ikeme to slice his clearance straight into the path of Waghorn. The striker made no mistake of cooly finishing the ball with his weaker foot from 35-yards to give Pearson’s men a strong lead at the break.
It was a bitter blow for Neil Warnock’s side who had controlled much of the play in the first period, only halted by some weak finishing and strong Leicester defending.
Any doubts of the final result were soon put to bed quickly after the re-start. Richie Wellens produced some fine work to win the ball on the edge of his own penalty area before feeding the ball through to Waghorn, who cut inside before unleashing an unstoppable beauty off the upright to hand City an almost unassailable lead.
It was a fine strike for Leicester’s on-loan forward, who had his sights firmly set on the hat-trick. He almost found it when played through by Andy King, but pressure from the QPR backline told as the 20-year-old dragged his shot wide.
Rangers perhaps should have added to the scoreline at the other end when Simpson flicked the ball over his marker inside the area, only to be foiled by good work from Weale at the feet of the striker.
But Leicester came closer to a fourth immediately after. Steve Howard won a free-kick just on the edge of the area, from which Waghorn cracked the crossbar with a wonderful effort on the angle.
And the Sunderland loanee was at it once again when he produced a fine save from Ikeme with a ferocious volley from outside the box.
QPR once again fell short at the other end when Taarabt found the woodwork with a decent effort from range, signalling the fact it simply wasn’t their day at the Walkers.
And if it needed any confirmation, Leicester added a fourth soon after. Right-back Michael Morrison’s inch perfect cross was greeted by Howard, whose casually placed header found the bottom corner to cap off a fine afternoon for the Foxes.
Waghorn was brought off to a standing ovation with ten minutes remaining, another fine display from the youngster in the absence of Matty Fryatt up front for City.
James Vaughan and Nicky Adams were both introduced in the dying embers of the match as City played out the final ten minutes without fuss.
Despite a questionable first period of football Leicester got the luck they had deserved after a barren run of form, reigniting their promotion hopes along the way.
It was a vital three points with wins falling for Swansea, Blackpool and Middlesbrough on the day, DJ Campbell once again finding the net for Ian Holloway’s Seasiders.
Leicester look forward to a trip to now-relegated Peterborough on Saturday, surely a must-win match to keep the chasing pack at bay.