Leicester 1-2 Newcastle: Three wins in a row for visitors to move 10 clear of drop zone
By Pete Hall
Last Updated: 07/04/18 5:37pm
A goal in each half was enough to earn Newcastle a 2-1 victory at Leicester, moving Rafa Benitez's men 10 points clear of the relegation zone.
Newcastle were by far the better side in the first half, and deservedly took the lead 18 minutes in through Jonjo Shelvey - his first Premier League goal for Newcastle.
With Leicester pressing for an equaliser, Newcastle caught the hosts cold on the counter with Ayoze Perez making it two, with a helping hand from Leicester's defenders, in the 75th minute.
Jamie Vardy's goal - with Leicester's first and only shot on target in the match - six minutes from time made for a nervy ending, but Newcastle held on to record their third win in a row, with the three points taking them up to 10th in the Premier League table and within touching distance of safety. Leicester stay eighth.
Leicester: Schmeichel (6) Simpson (6), Morgan (6), Maguire (6), Chilwell (6), Albrighton (6), Diabate (5), Silva (6), Mahrez (5), Iborra (5), Vardy (6).
Subs: Okazaki (6), Gray (6), Choudhury (6)
Newcastle: Dubravka (7), Yedlin (6), Lascelles (8), Lejeune (8), Dummett (6), Ritchie (7), Shelvey (7), Diame (8), Kenedy (7), Gayle (6), Perez (7).
Subs: Atsu (6), Joselu (6), Hayden (6)
Man of the match: Jamaal Lascelles
Newcastle started with plenty of confidence, and were the better team in the opening exchanges. Perez almost found the net as early as the fourth minute, but his header was well saved by Kasper Schmeichel in the home goal.
The visitors continued to press and deservedly took the lead 18 minutes in. Perez pulled the ball back for Shelvey, who threw the dummy to put two Leicester defenders on the deck, before guiding the ball into the bottom corner.
Leicester were poor in the first half, and offered no threat whatsoever to the Newcastle goal as the visitors cruised into the interval, with the only worry coming when the hosts had strong penalty appeals waved away late in the half after Riyad Mahrez appeared to be felled.
Rafa Benitez named the same starting XI that beat Huddersfield 1-0 last weekend. Two changes from the Leicester side who beat Brighton last time out. Fousseni Diabate came in for the suspended Wilfred Ndidi, while Adrien Silva started in place of Shinji Okazaki.
Newcastle continued to look in control in the second half, as Leicester remained little threat in attack.
Out of nowhere, Perez netted a sublime second to put the visitors further in command with 15 minutes left. Perez simply latched onto a long, hopeful punt forward, Harry Maguire and Wes Morgan both allowed the ball to bounce, neither challenged for it, Schmeichel came racing out of his goal but immediately turned back, allowing the Newcastle forward the opportunity to loft the ball into the empty net, which he executed perfectly.
Leicester did get one back through Vardy, who stole in at the back post to fire home after Shinji Okazaki had knocked the ball down, but Newcastle remained comfortable in seeing out another crucial victory.
Despite Jamie Vardy getting on the scoresheet late on – his fourth goal in as many games in all competitions – the England striker was otherwise very ineffective, making only 25 touches in the match – the fewest of any outfield player to have started the match. Harry Maguire’s afternoon was not overly impressive either, as his indecision was a major factor in Newcastle going two in front.Jonjo Shelvey did his chances of earning a surprise World Cup call-up a great deal of good with his fine goal.
Newcastle recorded their first victory at the King Power Stadium in all competitions, having previously lost three and drawn two.
Leicester lost for the first time in seven home Premier League games, since a 0-3 defeat to Crystal Palace in December (W2 D4).
Newcastle have won three consecutive Premier League games or the first time since September.
Ayoze Perez both scored and assisted in a single Premier League game for just the third time in his career and first time since October 2015 vs Norwich
Man of the match - Jamaal Lascelles
The Newcastle captain again led by example, and did not put a front wrong all match. He kept Vardy very quiet for the majority of the contest and kept things simple, making a colossal 11 clearances in the match, compared to the next highest amount - four from Florian Lejeune. Sometimes, such simplicity can make all the difference.
Leicester travel to Burnley next weekend, while Newcastle welcome Arsenal to the north east next Sunday, live on Sky Sports.