Jamie Vardy wonder-strike sums up Leicester title push
Foxes cannot be written off after thrilling victory over Liverpool keeps them top of the Premier League
Leicester City 2 Liverpool 0
Leicester City underlined their now undeniable title credentials with a performance against Liverpool that featured a goal-of-the-season contender from the player-of-the-season so far, Jamie Vardy, in a passage of play that would win move-of-the-season were such an award to exist.
The Foxes yet again proved the doubters wrong as they overcame Liverpool, one of only two sides to have beaten them this season, with Vardy striking twice in the second half to take his season's tally to 18
Victory at the King Power stadium keeps Claudio Ranieri's team three points clear of second-place Manchester City. The two sides will face each other in a genuine title showdown at the Etihad on Saturday lunchtime and if Leicester can avoid defeat, it could be time to install them as favourites.
The win takes Leicester five points clear of third and fourth-placed Tottenham Hotspur and Arsenal, while they also have a better goal difference than the Gunners. They are ten points ahead of Man United in fifth, meaning it would take a dramatic collapse for them to finish outside the top four, and astonishingly, they are 16 points above Liverpool and 22 clear of Chelsea.
Key to their incredible Roy-of-the-Rovers story has been the partnership between Vardy and midfielder Riyad Mahrez, who has blossomed in his second Premier League campaign. Their opening goal was a product of that understanding and illustrated the way their season has panned out.
The Foxes battled gamely for the first hour of the match and enjoyed the better of the play while surviving a few scares of their own. But when another Liverpool foray into the Leicester half broke down, they struck.
Mahrez took possession midway, inside his own half, and launched what looked like an agricultural clearance over the Liverpool defence that turned out to be a perfectly weighted pass for the onrushing Vardy. With the Reds' Dejan Lovren on his heels and goalkeeper Simon Mignolet scrambling to get back into position, Vardy did not dwell on ceremony and struck a sweet first-time volley which flew over the stranded keeper from 30 yards.
It was a spectacular goal and, like the Foxes, it came from nowhere.
Leicester did not let the momentum slip as their delirious fans celebrated and made it two ten minutes later, when Vardy reacted quickest to a deflection in the box to slide the ball home.
In between the two goals, the Foxes' midfield combined for the kind of quick-footed passing move on the edge of the Liverpool box that, had it involved Barcelona's Messi, Neymar and Suarez, would have racked up several million YouTube hits by now. Liverpool somehow survived that, but could not live with the Foxes.