EPL: Leicester cement title chances with win over Southampton
Wes Morgan scored his first goal of the season to hand Leicester City a priceless win in the title race. The Foxes have now extended their lead over Tottenham Hotspur to seven points with this win and require only 12 points more to win the title.
With the King Power stadium in typically full volume, Leicester City started the game much like Premier League leaders, swarming all over a Southampton defence with 3 at the back. Jamie Vardy and Shinji Okazaki went close for the Foxes early on, but a combination of last ditch defending and Frazer Forster kept the Foxes at bay.
The flashpoint of the first half came on the hour mark, as Sadio Mane ran behind the Leicester defence and looked set to score after rounding Kasper Schmeichel and chipping the ball over him. However, Danny Simpson got a block in to clear the shot, although replays showed the ball struck his raised arm, which ought to have resulted in a penalty and a red card.
Southampton’s misery was compouned by conceding minutes later. Leicester City captain Wes Morgan found himself at the top end of the pitch, and the veteran defender made the most of his uncertain surroundings, overpowering the dimunitive Jordi Clasie to head home a bullet header at the near post from Christian Fuchs’s cross on the left, thus giving Leicester the lead in the 37th minute.
As the first half whistle blew, Leicester City walked off to the chant ‘We’re going to win the league!’ echoing around the stadium.
The Saints were extremely lucky to not suffer further damage at the start of the second half, as Jamie Vardy pounced on a poor touch from Victor Wanyama and looked set to go clean through on goal, but Wanyama got back to elbow Vardy and was fortunate to escape with a yellow card.
It was the Frazer Forster show after that, as the Saints keeper kept the score at 1-0 with a couple of great saves. As Jose Fonte backpedalled and saw his clearance from a Drinwater cross loop up and head towards goal, Forster made a stunning save to prevent the score worsening.
The Foxes should have made it two in the 70th minute, as Vardy did extremely well to wrong-foot his marker and squeeze a toe-poked cut-back from the left byline across a gaping goal. With Forster stranded, all Danny Simpson had to do was tap the ball into the net, but the Englishman shot straight at Forster, with Ronald Koeman heaving a sigh of relief on the touchline.
Forster made a save from Jamie Vardy late on, denying the English striker from making it 2-0 when he had charged through at the near post and shot from a narrow angle. It did not matter as the final whistle blew, however, as Leicester extended their lead over Tottenham to 7 points, which means they only need 12 points to win the title.