Leicester romped past Southampton as they cruised to a 4-1 victory at St Mary’s.
It took just 21 seconds for Jamie Vardy to fire the Foxes in front, while some further poor defending from Southampton saw Kasey McAteer double their lead before the midway mark in the first half.
Samuel Edozie then pulled one back for the Saints, but Wilfried Ndidi restored the two-goal lead in first-half stoppage time, before Stephy Mavididi made sure of the result on 67 minutes.
It was another frustrating night for Southampton, who finished with 10 players after a late red card for Kamaldeen Sulemana. Leicester, meanwhile, return to the top of the Championship for at least 24 hours.
Leicester tear through terrible Southampton
Southampton had endured two weeks of dwell time following that 5-0 defeat at Sunderland, but you were left to wonder what they were doing during the international break, when Vardy fired Leicester ahead following some smart combination play with Mavididi.
More awful defending followed from the Saints on 18 minutes. Again, they shot themselves in the foot as they gave it away deep in their own half, allowing for Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall to fire a pass into McAteer, who beat Gavin Bazunu.
Leicester then gifted out a lifeline of their own, as Callum Doyle’s sloppy play at the back allowed Che Adams to find Edozie, who dinked one in on 25 minutes.
But before the break the two-goal advantage was restored after Mavididi turned well and found Ndidi, who sidestepped Taylor Harwood-Bellis and then shot through Bazunu.
With a quarter of the game to go it was a fourth for Leicester. A swift break saw Mavididi with the freedom of Southampton’s half, and he raced forward before slipping the ball past Bazunu.
A miserable night was made even worse as Sulemana, who gave the ball away for Leicester’s fourth, saw red for a rash late lunge on James Justin.
Southampton’s Russell Martin:
“I asked the players to go toe-to-toe with a really good team. I thought it was a really good game with two good teams. We made it really difficult for ourselves in conceding two early goals. We got back into it brilliantly and the third goal just before half-time was a real killer.
“We don’t score our chances and they do. They were really clinical and we weren’t people will talk about the scoreline and read what they want into it, but if we were clinical tonight it’s a much closer game than the scoreline suggests.”
Leicester’s Enzo Maresca:
“I’m very happy. First of all with the result and the performance. Players like James Justin who haven’t been involved much until today, and the players that came off the bench, we saw how it work. Because we’re going to need 25 players until the end [of the season].
“Jamie is not a played I discovered! His history speaks for itself. He’s a huge player, probably the most important player we have. But we also have Kelechi Iheanacho and Patson Daka, so we have to try and manage those players up front. But I’m happy he scored because for a striker that’s the most important thing. I’m also happy with his performance for the team.”
Southampton are back in Championship action on Tuesday night as they host Ipswich in a 7.45pm kick-off live on Sky Sports Football Red Button. Leicester visit Norwich on Wednesday night in an 8pm clash live on Sky Sports Football.