Leicester close in on safety with win over Stoke City
Leicester 2 - 0 Stoke City

Leicester close in on safety with win over Stoke City

Leicester edged closer to certain Premier League safety as boss Craig Shakespeare entered the record books after a routine win over Stoke.

Wilfred Ndidi and Jamie Vardy handed the Foxes a 2-0 victory over a subdued Stoke side who rarely threatened to upset the home side's momentum.

It was Leicester's fifth straight win in all competitions since Claudio Ranieri was sacked and meant Shakespeare became the first English manager to win his first four Premier League games.

He joined Guus Hiddink, Jose Mourinho, Pep Guardiola and Carlo Ancelotti in having a 100 per cent record after four outings.

Shakespeare has now guided last season's shock champions nine points clear of the relegation zone and into the Champions League quarter-finals.

He also has them back to their vibrant best with hapless Stoke, who remain ninth, unable to cope and the Foxes now sit just three points behind them.

Leicester set an early tone when Yohan Benalouane - in his first league appearance at the King Power Stadium since the opening day of last season - dragged wide.

The Foxes bossed possession with the visitors trying to remain compact but Stoke were indebted to Erik Pieters after 18 minutes.

Ryan Shawcross poleaxed Demarai Gray and, from Christian Fuchs' free-kick, Pieters nodded Robert Huth's goalbound header away and Vardy missed the follow-up.

Gray then drilled wide but the Foxes got the goal their early domination deserved after 25 minutes with Ndidi's first Premier League strike.

The midfielder collected Danny Simpson's simple pass before advancing and unleashing an unstoppable 25-yard drive into the top corner.

As an attacking force Stoke were non-existent and going behind left them with a mountain to climb, with Saido Berahino anonymous and Marko Arnautovic nullified.

Gray, a constant danger, forced Glen Johnson to deflect his effort over before Lee Grant turned Mahrez's shot wide nine minutes before the break.

In between, Berahino finally reminded everyone he was on the pitch but his scuffed shot was gathered by the under-worked Kasper Schmeichel.

And Leicester extinguished any hopes of a second-half Stoke revival just 76 seconds after the re-start.

Again, it was too easy for the Foxes as Simpson collected his second assist of the afternoon, swinging in a deep cross which Vardy met with a clinical volley past Grant.

It was the striker's fifth goal in his last six club games, with the 30-year-old revitalised since February's exit of former manager Claudio Ranieri.

Shinji Okazaki tested Grant before the goalkeeper produced a fine block to prevent Mahrez making it 3-0 after 64 minutes.

There was no sign of a comeback from Stoke, with Leicester afforded the luxury of taking Vardy off early, even if Peter Crouch side-footed wide with 24 minutes left.

Mahrez nearly added a third but shot wide and Gray almost capped an excellent display when Grant tipped his late effort around the post.

Crouch then headed wide with a minute left and was denied by Schmeichel in stoppage time.

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22/10/2017
07:00 | MotoGP - Australian Grand Prix
11:00 | WTA Finals - Singapore
11:00 | Karolina Pliskova v Venus Williams - WTA Finals - Singapore
12:00 | Villarreal - Las Palmas
13:00 | Damir Dzumhur v Ricardas Berankis - ATP 250 - Kremlin Cup Final
13:30 | Garbine Muguruza v Jelena Ostapenko - WTA Finals - Singapore
14:30 | Everton - Arsenal
15:00 | Grigor Dimitrov v Juan Martin Del Potro - ATP 250 - Stockholm Open Final
15:00 | Nice - Strasbourg
15:00 | Torino - Roma
15:00 | Milan - Genoa
16:15 | Celta Vigo - Atletico Madrid
16:15 | Diego Schwartzman v Jo-Wilfried Tsonga - ATP 250 - European Open - Antwerp Final
17:00 | Troyes - Olympique Lyon
17:00 | Tottenham Hotspur - Liverpool
18:00 | Wolfsburg - Hoffenheim
18:00 | Udinese - Juventus
20:45 | Lazio - Cagliari
20:45 | Real Madrid - Eibar
21:00 | Olympique Marseille - PSG
21:00 | Formula 1 - United States Grand Prix
23/10/2017
11:00 | ATP 500 - Vienna Open
11:00 | ATP 500 - Swiss Indoors Basel
11:00 | WTA Finals - Singapore
24/10/2017
11:00 | ATP 500 - Vienna Open
11:00 | ATP 500 - Swiss Indoors Basel
11:00 | WTA Finals - Singapore
18:30 | Wehen Wiesbaden - Schalke 04
18:30 | Bayer Leverkusen - Union Berlin
18:30 | Magdeburg - Borussia Dortmund
20:45 | Swansea City - Manchester United
20:45 | Inter Milan - Sampdoria
20:45 | Arsenal - Norwich City
20:45 | Leicester City - Leeds United
20:45 | Manchester City - Wolverhampton
25/10/2017
11:00 | ATP 500 - Vienna Open
11:00 | ATP 500 - Swiss Indoors Basel
11:00 | WTA Finals - Singapore
20:45 | Tottenham Hotspur - West Ham United
20:45 | Bologna - Lazio
20:45 | Fiorentina - Torino
20:45 | Chelsea - Everton
20:45 | Chievo - Milan
20:45 | Genoa - Napoli
20:45 | Roma - Crotone
20:45 | RB Leipzig - Bayern Munich
20:45 | Juventus - SPAL
20:45 | FC Cartagena - Sevilla
20:45 | Elche - Atletico Madrid
20:45 | Real Murcia - Barcelona
20:45 | Fuenlabrada - Real Madrid
20:45 | Ponferradina - Villarreal
20:45 | Real Zaragoza - Valencia
DERBY OF THE WEEK
Tottenham Hotspur - Liverpool
Derby of the week

22/10/2017
Derby of the week
W 2.15    
   W 3.20
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