Leicester City extended its lead at the top of the Premier League to seven points after today's win at the King Power Stadium against a well-disciplined Southampton side. A win for the Foxes would give them some breathing room at the top of the table after closest title rivals Tottenham Hotspur, who dropped two crucial points in yesterday's match to Liverpool at Anfield.
The Foxes smelled blood from the kickoff and dismantled a Southampton side that's been largely hit or miss for the majority of the season, with relative ease.
The first half was primarily a one-sided affair, with Leicester passing well and creating the odd chance to go along with it. In the opening thirty minutes Southampton struggled to get the ball anywhere near the goal, thanks large in part to the defensive prowess of N'Golo Kanté and Danny Drinkwater.
As the half went on the Saints managed to get more than their fair share of crosses in, pinning the home side in their own box for a few tense moments. The visitor's best chance of the match came in the 32nd minute, with Sadio Mané being fed in beautifully by Graziano Pellè, Skillfully rounding Kasper Schmeichel, Mané only for Danny Simpson to heroically block his shot at the open goal. After a brilliant save from Schmeichel on long-range effort from José Fonte, the Foxes were able to clear their lines and quickly break on the counter.
Later in the 38th minute, some nice interplay in the midfield, the ball was swung out to Christian Fuchs near the edge of the box. The Austrian put in an absolute beauty of a cross that captain Wes Morgan was able to pounce on with a header, scoring his first goal of the season to give the Foxes the lead.
The second half started with some pressure from Southampton, but the visitors were unable to create anything out of it. The Leicester City back four dominated in their own box, claiming almost any cross that entered. With Southampton getting more than its fair share of possession, the Foxes were able to catch them on the break with an excellent effort from Jamie Vardy, a near own goal from Fonte and a missed sitter from Danny Simpson being saved by some heroic Fraser Forster goalkeeping.
Overall, the Foxes put in a rather convincing performance that leaves them seven points clear at the top of the Barclay's Premier League, needing only twelve points from their remaining six games to lift the title.
- From the early stages Vardy proved to be a thorn in Southampton's side, using his pace and unbelievable work ethic to make life difficult for the Saints defense, winning the majority of first and second balls in the opposing half and providing a wide range of distribution to the likes of Marc Albrighton, Danny Drinkwater, Shinji Okazaki, and Kanté.
- Morgan led by example, controlling his own box and providing the Foxes with a dominant attacking threat on set pieces. He tends to be one of the players in the side who's extremely underrated, but today he kept the back line in check, controlling the air with a sense of dominance that hasn't been highlighted enough in recent weeks. He kept a strong Southampton attack that's been coming back into form in recent weeks relatively quiet for the vast majority of the game.
- Danny Simpson probably played the best I've ever seen him play in a Leicester shirt today. He won nearly every ball that came his way against a rather large Southampton foreword line and provided that goal saving block on Mane. Aside from Morgan he was the Man of the Match in my opinion.
- If we play like that in our remaining six games I honestly don't see us losing again this season. Next weekends match-up at the Stadium of Light versus Sunderland should prove to be easier if the club continues playing this way.