Two first-half goals helped Leicester ease to a 2-0 win against a lacklustre Fulham at Craven Cottage.
The Foxes broke the deadlock after 17 minutes as the imperious James Maddison whipped a brilliant ball in front of the hosts’ backline and Kelechi Iheanacho could hardly miss with a bullet header from close range.
The Cottagers stayed tight to Leicester and almost found a leveller through Tosin Adarabioyo, but Kasper Schmeichel pulled off a brilliant save to tip his header over the bar.
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And moments later it was Maddison again who found a way through the Fulham defence after bamboozling two defenders inside the box before sliding in for Justin. The full-back rounded Alphonse Areola before tapping into an empty net to double Leicester’s lead.
Scott Parker made two attacking changes at half-time but Fulham failed to threaten the Leicester defence as the Foxes limited the Cottagers to shots from distance and hopeful balls over the top.
Ricardo – back playing in the Premier League for the first time since March – thought he had a third for Leicester after neat one-two with Harvey Barnes but his celebration was cut short with the latter a yard offside.
As Leicester coasted to the final whistle, Fulham dominated possession but created little to no chances as the game drew to a close.
Fulham, still seven points adrift of safety, face a mammoth challenge to maintain Premier League status for next season, while Leicester bounce back from their 3-1 defeat to Leeds with three points to stay third.
MAN OF THE MATCH
James Maddison (Leicester). Leicester always looked one Maddison pass away from scoring, and his two assists inside the first half set Leicester on their way. Unplayable in the middle on this kind of form.
Fulham cut adrift. It’s grim reading for Fulham. They’re seven points adrift of safety while relegation rivals Sheffield United have started to win games.
Not only are they in real danger of the drop, but they could end up finishing in last place too.
They really need to start turning some fine midfield possession into goals. They fall apart in the final third and look bereft of confidence in front of goal. It’s not good enough for the Premier League and Scott Parker needs to turn it around fast to pull off a great escape.
Leicester goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel
Image credit: Getty Images
Fulham: Areola 6, Tete 5, Aina 6, Andersen 6, Adarabioyo 6, Robinson 7, Reed 6, Anguissa 6, Lookman 6, Mitrovic 5, Loftus-Cheek 5. Subs. Lemina 4, Cavaleiro 6. Decordova-Reid 6.
Leicester: Schmeichel 7, Pereira 6, Soyuncu 7, Evans 7, Justin 7, Choudhury 8, Tielemans 7, Maddison 8, Perez 6, Barnes 6, Iheanacho 7. Subs. Mendy 6, Albrighton 6, Amartey n/a.
17’ - GOAL! FULHAM 0 LEICESTER 1 (Iheanacho). Leicester lead! Maddison whips in a devastating cross that bends ahead of the Leicester defence and on to the head of Iheanacho who makes no mistake from close range. But what a ball that was from Maddison.
43’ - WHAT A SAVE! Tosin has a free header from the corner and Schmeichel does brilliantly to tip over.
44’ - FULHAM 0 LEICESTER 2 (Justin). Game over? It's a brilliant move. Iheanacho bursts through midfield before finding Maddison who does so well in the box to bamboozle two Fulham defenders before sliding in Justin. Justin rounds Areola and taps into an open net. Really nice football.
64’ - DISALLOWED GOAL! Ricardo plays alovely one-two with Barnes before smashing past Areola. The two celebrate together and everything but it's all cut short as the linesman's flag was up for an offside on Barnes.
Leicester have won at craven Cottage for the first time in 38 years. Last time, Gary Lineker was in the team.
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