Leicester 3-0 West Brom: Ruthless Foxes see off West Brom

Leicester players celebrate

Leicester opened a four-point gap to fourth place in the Premier League with victory over relegation-bound West Brom at the King Power Stadium.

Three goals in 13 first-half minutes did the damage as striker Jamie Vardy scored one and assisted another.

Vardy was teed up by Timothy Castagne for the opener, before he set up Kelechi Iheanacho after a driving run down the left for Leicester’s third.

Centre-back Jonny Evans had nodded in a deflected corner to make it 2-0.

In a game that had several goalscoring opportunities, Castagne and West Brom’s Matheus Pereira also hit the woodwork in the first half.

Victory means Leicester are now four points clear of Chelsea, who occupy the final Champions League qualification spot with six games remaining. The two sides meet in the league – as well as the FA Cup final – next month.

“I am not thinking about the other teams. We have to think about ourselves. We can only control ourselves,” said Leicester boss Brendan Rodgers.

“This group will sometimes lose games but they are so honest and they want to be better. When you have that it is the dream ticket. It is all you can ask for as a coach.”

West Brom are on the brink of relegation as they remain nine points from safety and have a far inferior goal difference than 17th-placed Burnley.

Manager Sam Allardyce said his side “couldn’t cope” with Leicester, who he added are “only behind Manchester City on that performance”.

“You can see why Leicester are where they are in the league and why they are in the FA Cup final,” he added. “Leicester are a lot better than Southampton and far better than Chelsea. They are as good as the top boys.”

Relentless Leicester round off memorable week

Kelechi Iheanacho

After booking their place in the FA Cup final on Sunday , Leicester could not have finished the week in better fashion.

They looked eager to get on the front foot from the off – carving West Brom’s defence apart with through balls from Youri Tielemans and driving runs from Vardy and Castagne.

Iheanacho and James Maddison both had chances in the opening 10 minutes, before Tielemans eventually played in Castagne and he put it on a plate for Vardy to thump in.

West Brom defender Dara O’Shea’s last-ditch tackle on Iheanacho prevented an immediate second for Leicester but the reprieve was short-lived as Evans then nodded to make it 2-0 within three minutes of Vardy’s opener.

Striker Vardy turned provider when he skipped past his opponent and teed up Iheanacho for Leicester’s third.

That goal came after West Brom’s Pereira and Leicester’s Castagne had both hit the woodwork, and there could have been another goal for Iheanacho before the break but he lashed it over from six yards out.

The relentlessness of Leicester’s attack in the first half did the damage, and they still enjoyed plenty of space in the second half – Iheanacho seeing a shot blocked by O’Shea in the box and a free-kick palmed away by goalkeeper Sam Johnstone, while Vardy’s long-range chip sailed wide.

Rodgers was also able to bring off Maddison, Vardy and Wesley Fofana with Monday’s game against Crystal Palace in mind.

Baggies’ ‘great escape’ all but over

West Brom players react

Back-to-back victories against Chelsea and Southampton had given West Brom a glimmer of hope in their fight for safety during a week when Sheffield United’s relegation was confirmed.

Allardyce named the same side that beat Southampton, but the contrast in performance was stark.

Leicester overwhelmed West Brom from the opening minute and they were unable to recover from a first half that could have seen more goals going the hosts’ way.

Pereira’s corner skimmed the crossbar, Mbaye Diagne completely fluffed a chance on the edge of the box and Matt Phillips’ strike was straight at the goalkeeper in a game of few chances for West Brom.

Substitutes Semi Ajayi, Hal Robson-Kanu and Karlan Grant also failed to make an impact in the second half and Leicester coasted to victory.

It means any chance of a great escape for West Brom is all but over – they have 18 points to play for but they have only picked up 24 so far this season.

‘Leicester tore our defence apart’ – what they said

Leicester manager Brendan Rodgers to BBC Sport: “In the first half I wasn’t happy at all. We weren’t precise enough with our passing. In the second half we controlled the game.

“Overall, I’m really pleased as a win in the Premier League is always huge. We were good but we can be much better. It was always going to be a big test. We have to control ourselves and our own performance.”

West Brom manager Sam Allardyce to BT Sport: “Leicester were far too good for us, in the first half particularly. We tried to look after their front two and one of the main reasons for our recent results has been our defensive solidarity. Leicester tore it apart. We couldn’t cope with them.

“It was a respectable second half but we didn’t get much at the other end. In the end we thoroughly deserved to get beat. You have to get the basics right and those basics deserted us. We need to win five out of six to have a sniff [at staying in the Premier League]. We’ll give it our best shot.”

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