Jamie Vardy’s second-half double inspired Leicester to a 3-0 victory over relegated Norwich at the King Power Stadium, ending a seven-game winless run.
With Norwich’s fate already sealed and European qualification out of Leicester’s reach, Wednesday’s encounter had the feel of an end-of-season game with little on the line.
Goalkeepers Kasper Schmeichel and Angus Gunn stole the show in the first half, with Norwich striker Teemu Pukki striking the post in stoppage-time.
It took the returning Vardy, making his first Premier League start since March, to break the deadlock, scoring twice in quick succession (54, 62) to seal the win for Leicester, before James Maddison made it 3-0 (70) against his former side.
Norwich remain rooted to the bottom of the table, while Leicester move up to 10th after their first Premier League win for a month.
How Vardy gave the Foxes their bite back
Leicester boss Brendan Rodgers, who is planning on a summer shake-up of his squad, told his players to put a marker down for next season against Norwich, but it was a tricky start for the Foxes as the visitors continued to trouble them on the break in the first 45 minutes.
Leicester dominated possession in what was an open first half, but Gunn produced a double save after 11 minutes, denying Maddison from range, before getting up quickly to keep out Vardy on the rebound.
He was on hand again minutes later to save another Maddison effort, this time at an angle on the overlap, but Norwich continued to pose a threat on the break.
Less than five minutes later, it was Schmeichel’s turn. The Leicester goalkeeper rushing off his line to deny teenager Tony Springett on his Premier League debut, before reacting quickly to stop Teemu Pukki’s follow-up.
There was no let-up for Schmeichel, as he was called back into action when Dimitris Giannoulis delivered a well-struck effort from the edge of the area, but the Danish international was equal to it.
Gunn had to be at full stretch to keep out Ademola Lookman just inside half an hour after a cut-back from Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall, pulling off a David de Gea-esque save with his legs.
There was a late chance for Pukki – after a neat through ball by Springett – but he struck the post when one on one with Schmeichel as the sides went in level at the break.
Leicester boss Rodgers freshened things up at half-time, bringing on Nampalys Mendy for Ademola Lookman, and the hosts looked like a different side.
It took a cruel deflection for Gunn to be beaten, as Vardy’s effort from inside the area bounced off Scotland international defender Grant Hanley before dipping in over the head of the Norwich goalkeeper.
Norwich, who remained competitive for the first 45 minutes, struggled to recover, with Vardy – again being fed through by Harvey Barnes – delivering a ruthless finish to make it 2-0 eight minutes later.
Maddison piled the misery on his former side, when he fired in Leicester’s third after Dewsbury-Hall’s cross was parried by Gunn only as far as the midfielder on the penalty spot.
Leicester are back in action at Watford on Sunday; kick-off at 2pm. Brendan Rodgers then takes his side to Chelsea next Thursday; kick-off at 8pm.
Norwich head to Molineux on Sunday to face Wolves; kick-off at 2pm. The Canaries then host Tottenham the following Sunday on the final day of the season as Antonio Conte’s side continue their chase for a top-four finish; kick-off at 3pm.
Source : Sky Sports