David Nugent scores his 50th goal for the Foxes as Leicester return to winning ways
Leicester City returned to winning ways with a comfortable win over Ipswich Town at the King Power Stadium this afternoon.
Jamie Vardy put the Foxes ahead after nineteen minutes with a cool finish from a tight angle, before David Nugent added a second just after the half-hour mark – his fourteenth goal in thirteen games against the Tractor Boys, and his 50th as a Leicester City player.
The pace of the game slowed after the interval, but substitute Chris Wood scored Leicester’s third in the closing stages to put the game out of reach for Mick McCarthy`s side.
It was Leicester’s 22nd league win of the season, and one which maintains their thirteen-game unbeaten run and ten-point cushion at the top of the Championship.
But more importantly, it was a confident and professional display against a team challenging for the play-offs, and another indication that Nigel Pearson’s men have no intention of letting up or losing focus until their aim of reaching the Premier League as champions has been reached.
The one enforced change from Wednesday night`s 2-2 draw at Nottingham Forest was Jeff Schlupp, who stepped in for the suspended Paul Konchesky, while Riyad Mahrez, who scored Leicester`s equaliser in mid-week, was kept out of the starting XI by Lloyd Dyer.
The Foxes were on top in the opening stages of the first-half, and came close after just four minutes when Wes Morgan`s header hit the target from a corner, but Dean Gerken did well to push the ball away.
At the other end, Cole Skuse could have given the visitors an early advantage when a mix-up at the back for the Foxes gifted the Ipswich midfielder an opportunity to test Kasper Schmeichel, but his shot flew just wide of the right post.
Aaron Cresswell then forced a save with a dangerous cross which needed to be tipped over the bar by the Danish international for an Ipswich corner.
But it wasn’t long afterwards that Leicester were ahead, when Jamie Vardy gambled on a poor back-pass from Jay Tabb, before rounding Dean Gerken and finding the net from a tight angle for his twelfth goal of the season.
It was a neat finish by Vardy, who continues to established himself as a fan-favourite amongst Leicester supporters, and indicative of the strides he has made to becoming a staple in Nigel Pearson’s starting line-up since his arrival at the King Power Stadium a little over eighteen months ago.
Leicester then began to take control of the game, as they have done so successfully for most of this season, with Matty James and Danny Drinkwater enjoying the lion’s share of possession in midfield.
And Foxes fans only had to wait until the half-hour mark to see their side double their advantage when Ritchie De Laet played a pinpoint ball through to Jamie Vardy, whose return pass to the Belgian full-back provided a crossing opportunity, and while the first attempt was blocked, De Laet’s second ball into the box found David Nugent lurking at the back post who finished from close range.
It was a well-worked goal by Leicester City and David Nugent’s 50th goal since joining the Foxes in 2011.
It was also Nugent’s fourteenth goal in thirteen games against Ipswich, as the one-time England international continues his quest to seemingly torment the Tractor Boys.
Leicester were now in control, and could have added a third before half-time through an Anthony Knockaert free-kick from twenty yards, but the Frenchman’s effort flew just wide of the right post.
Marcin Wasilewski then headed just over the bar from close range as the first-half came to a close, much to the relief of the Ipswich Town backline who had struggled to cope with Jamie Vardy’s pace in the opening 45 minutes.
The Foxes began the second-half as they had finished the first, with Lloyd Dyer breaking through on goal, but the visitors were able to clear the danger to keep the score at 2-0.
Anthony Knockaert then fired wide for the home side following an extended period of Leicester pressure, which was created as a result of another surging run from Jamie Vardy.
Meanwhile, Tommy Smith could have given Ipswich a lifeline just before the hour mark, but his header at the back post was high and wide.
Jeff Schlupp tested Dean Gerken with a powerful strike down the goalkeeper’s throat from a tight angle, while, at the other end, substitute Paul Taylor`s header was blocked inside the penalty area as time continued to run out for Mick McCarthy’s men.
With two minutes of normal time remaining, Chris Wood put the game out of sight after latching on to Matty James’ through ball before slotting the ball past Dean Gerken to make it 3-0.
It was a deserved third goal for Leicester, with substitute Kevin Phillips also involved in the build-up, and just a reminder to Nigel Pearson that he has options in attack should they be required during the home stretch of the 2013-14 season.
The final whistle confirmed Leicester’s twelfth win in sixteen league fixtures at the King Power Stadium, and maintained their unbeaten run in the Championship dating back to 14 December 2013, as the Foxes continue to look strong favourites for promotion to the Premier League this year.
Man of the Match – Jamie Vardy