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Leicester 2-1 West Brom: Foxes survive Albion onslaught to close in on promotion

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Leicester City took a huge step towards the Premier League as goals from Wilfried Ndidi and Jamie Vardy handed them a nervy 2-1 win over a wasteful West Bromwich Albion side on Saturday.

Enzo Maresca’s Foxes knew there was no margin for error at the King Power Stadium after seeing a series of slip-ups go unpunished by promotion rivals Ipswich Town and Leeds United in recent weeks.

Ndidi put them ahead against the run of play midway through the first half, with Hamza Choudhury keeping West Brom at bay with three remarkable goal-line clearances either side of that opener.

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Vardy won and missed a first-half penalty before atoning with a close-range header early in the second half, though Jed Wallace soon dragged Carlos Corberan’s men back within one.

However, West Brom appeared to run out of steam as Leicester navigated a tense finish to go four points clear of third-placed Leeds, and two wins from their final three games will now be enough to seal promotion.

Leicester made a nervous start and were incredibly fortunate not to fall behind early on, with Okay Yokuslu blazing over the crossbar before Choudhury made a heroic clearance to deny Mikey Johnston.

The hosts then went ahead against the run of play 22 minutes in, as Ndidi reacted quickest to fire home after Vardy’s glancing header was saved by Alex Palmer.

The momentum briefly swung in Leicester’s favour, and they had a golden opportunity to go 2-0 up when Vardy was felled by Yokuslu just inside the penalty area. So often reliable from the spot, Vardy fluffed his lines from 12 yards this time around, striking the base of the left-hand post.

Leicester were again indebted to Choudhury five minutes into the second half, with the midfielder getting back on his goal line to deny Yann M’Vila and Grady Diangana with an astonishing double block.

West Brom again went close from the resulting corner, with Kyle Bartley’s header deflecting against the underside of the bar and bouncing to safety as Leicester’s luck held.

Diangana then side-footed wide with the goal gaping, and West Brom were punished for their wastefulness with 65 minutes played, Vardy heading home after Abdul Fatawu lifted in a cross from the right flank.

However, the visitors got themselves back in the game 11 minutes later, Wallace tucking into the bottom-right corner after being released on goal by a fine Cedric Kipre pass.

West Brom penned their hosts back late on, but John Swift’s long-range attempt was as close as they came to levelling as Leicester moved closer to an immediate top-flight return.

Harry Carr
Harry Carr
Harry is a freelance sports journalist with experience of working for the Racing Post, Stats Perform, Opta Analyst and more, covering major events across all sports but holding a particular love for the beautiful game.

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