Leicester returned to winning ways in emphatic fashion, boosting their top-four hopes with a 4-1 victory against West Ham at the King Power Stadium.
Brendan Rodgers' side came into the game on the back of successive defeats in the Premier League, but there was no sign of a lack of confidence as the hosts roared into a two-goal lead in the first half, despite losing Jamie Vardy and Nampalys Mendy to injury.
- Brendan Rodgers plays down Jamie Vardy injury fears
- Premier League Table | Fixtures | Top scorers
- How the teams lined up
West Ham showed signs of life in the second half and they were handed a lifeline when Mark Noble scored from the penalty spot after substitute Wilfred Ndidi brought down Sebastien Haller just inside the penalty area.
The Hammers severely tested Leicester's resolve as they searched for an equaliser, but Rodgers' men held firm and their class shone through in the end as Ayoze Perez's double in the final 10 minutes ended the challenge of David Moyes' side.
Victory sees Leicester, who moved eight points clear of fourth-placed Chelsea and 14 points ahead of Manchester United in fifth, consolidate third place in the league, while relegation-threatened West Ham stay 17th but level on points with Bournemouth and Watford in 18th and 19th respectively.
How Leicester returned to winning ways…
Despite dominating possession in the opening stages, Leicester struggled to create any clear-cut openings as West Ham kept their defensive shape.
Leicester: Schmeichel (6), Pereira (8), Soyuncu (7), Evans (7), Chilwell (7), Barnes (8), Mendy (6), Tielemans (7), Maddison (8), Perez (8), Vardy (6).
Subs: Antonio (7), Fornals (6).
West Ham: Randolph (7), Zabaleta (6), Diop (6), Ogbonna (5), Cresswell (7), Masuaku (6), Rice (6), Noble (6), Snodgrass (6), Lanzini (6), Haller (5).
Subs: Ndidi (5), Iheanacho (6), Morgan (n/a).
Man of the match: Ricardo Pereira.
Vardy shot straight at Darren Randolph, while Pereira sliced a half volley high and wide, but the pressure eventually told in the 23rd minute.
Barnes slid the ball through for Pereira, whose low shot appeared to be heading narrowly wide of the far post until the former's intervention saw him score his third goal in four games.
It wasn't all plain sailing for the hosts as first Mendy hobbled off in the 32nd minute, before Vardy followed suit 12 minutes later after initially trying to play on with a left hamstring problem.
There was a hush around the King Power as the Premier League's top goalscorer headed straight down the tunnel, but they were soon on their feet again as their side's free-flowing football carved open the Hammers deep into added time.
Barnes played another inch-perfect ball into the path of Pereira, who let rip with a powerful strike from 15-yards for his third goal of the season.
There appeared no way back for the visitors until VAR concurred with referee David Coote's decision to award a 48th-minute penalty for a soft shoulder-to-shoulder challenge on Sebastian Haller from Wilfrid Ndidi, on as a sub for Mendy and after less than two weeks out after undergoing knee surgery.
It was left to Noble to send the 27th Premier League spot-kick of his career straight down the middle to hand Moyes' side a lifeline.
Leicester boss Brendan Rodgers restored Ben Chilwell to his starting line-up for the clash with West Ham at the King Power Stadium. Chilwell and midfielder Hamza Choudhury were dropped from the squad for Sunday's 2-1 defeat at Burnley after missing a training session last week. There was still no place in the 18 for Choudhury, however, with Wilfred Ndidi preferred on the bench after recovering from a minor operation in under two weeks.
With Chilwell replacing Christian Fuchs in defence, Rodgers' only other change saw Youri Tielemans preferred in midfield to Dennis Praet. The Hammers showed one change from Saturday's 1-1 home draw with Everton, with Arthur Masuaka in for the benched Pablo Fornals.
Randolph then produced two fine saves, the second world-class, in denying first Perez after he had met a low right-wing cross from Ricardo, before tipping over from underneath his crossbar a dipping 22-yard curler from James Maddison.
Ten minutes from time though, Coote awarded his second penalty as Angelo Ogbonna clumsily bundled over Vardy replacement Kelechi Iheanacho, allowing Perez to emphatically slot home from the spot.
Two minutes from time Leicester put a flourish on the scoreline as Perez drilled home a stunning angled shot across Randolph from 16 yards for his seventh goal of the season.
What the managers said…
Leicester boss Brendan Rodgers on Vardy's injury: "It wasn't his hamstring, so that's good news for us. He just felt a twinge in his glute, so we will wait and see on that one in the next day or so, but thankfully his hamstring is fine, and we'll assess things over the next couple of days."
And on Leicester's performance, he added: "Overall, I thought the performance was very, very good. From the first whistle we played with a high tempo, the speed in our game was good, the creativity was good. We thoroughly deserved it, so really pleased."
West Ham boss David Moyes: "The first half was really poor. I was hoping to have scraped through to half-time at 1-0 and then done something about it. We did improve, we rallied and the introduction of Michail Antonio (at the interval) helped us.
"But our problems were more to do with our defending in the second half as we started to be too open, we were chasing and being picked off easy. I would have preferred for us to have bided our time and pick them off.
We also gave up opportunities tonight. In the main we've not been giving up too many opportunities. But we have to be honest, Leicester City were far better, played better and they deserved it, we didn't, on that performance."
Man of the match - Ricardo Pereira
It was another impressive performance from Pereira, who has now had a direct hand in 13 goals in the Premier League since the start of last season (five goals and eight assists).
The only two defenders who have more in this period are Liverpool pair Trent Alexander-Arnold (24) and Andrew Robertson (18).
The 26-year-old was a constant thorn in the side of West Ham down the right. He was a threat in attack and tenacious in defence, showing exactly why he's a key component of Rodgers' high-flying side.
Opta stats - Goals continue to flow for Leicester
- Leicester have now scored 52 goals in the Premier League this season; their most after 24 games of a top-flight campaign since 1930-31 (52).
- This was West Ham manager David Moyes' 50th Premier League away game against a side starting the day in the top four - the Scotsman has won just one of these 50 games (D15 L34), with that lone victory coming in December 2010 (Man City 1-2 Everton).
- Since the start of October 2019, no team have gained fewer points (11) or lost more games (11) in the Premier League than West Ham.
Leicester are in FA Cup action on Saturday when they travel to Brentford in the fourth round; kick-off 12.45pm. They then face Aston Villa in the Carabao Cup semi-final second leg on January 28 (kick-off 7.45pm), live on Sky Sports Football, before facing Chelsea in the Premier League on February 1; kick-off 12.30pm.
Live EFL Cup
West Ham are also in FA Cup fourth-round action. They face West Brom at the London Stadium on Saturday; kick-off 3pm. Their next Premier League fixture is on Wednesday, January 29 against Liverpool at the London Stadium; kick-off 7.45pm.