Tuesday, May 21, 2024
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Leicester thrash Southampton to close on Premier League return

LEICESTER (AFP) Abdul Fatawu scored a hat-trick as Leicester thrashed Southampton 5-0 to move to the brink of promotion back to the Premier League on Tuesday.

Wilfred Ndidi and Jamie Vardy were also on target for the Foxes, who need just one more win from their remaining two games to guarantee a place in the Championship’s top two.

A chastening defeat ends Southampton’s chances of automatic promotion as they now must recover in time for the playoffs.

Leicester moved four points clear of Leeds with both sides having two matches remaining.

Third-placed Ipswich are now five points behind the leaders but have three games still to play.

After streaking clear at the start of the season, Leicester have wobbled in recent weeks but appear to have righted the ship in time.

Abdul Fatawu of Leicester City celebrates with Jamie Vardy after scoring his team’s first goal. PHOTO: Anna Gowthorpe/REX/Shutterstock

Victory away at Preston on Monday or home to Blackburn on the final day of the campaign will secure a much-needed return to the riches of the Premier League given the club’s financial troubles.

Fatawu broke the deadlock on 25 minutes when he raced onto Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall’s pass to slot home.

Ndidi doubled the home side’s advantage when he headed in just after the hour mark.

Fatawu secured the points in style when he cut inside from the right and unleashed an unstoppable shot across and beyond Alex McCarthy.

Vardy showed he can still finish at 37 by clipping first-time past McCarthy with Fatawu this time the supplier.

The Ghanaian then rounded off the scoring and claimed the match ball as Vardy returned the favour with an assist nine minutes from time.

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