With a 2-0 victory over Southampton at the King Power Stadium, goals from James Maddison and Harvey Barnes helped Leicester reach second in the Premier League.
The seventh goal of the season by Maddison gave the Foxes a half-time advantage (37) as he turned away from Jack Stephens to gather the pass of Youri Tielemans before shooting high into the net beyond Alex McCarthy.
After his long-range effort hit the crossbar, Stuart Armstrong came nearest to saving a point for Southampton, though Jamie Vardy wasted a magnificent opportunity to bring the game to rest when McCarthy saved his close-range shot before he hobbled off late on.
In the fifth minute of stoppage time, Barnes just sealed Leicester’s fourth home league victory of the season when he gathered another Tielemans pass before comfortably stroking his shot beyond McCarthy.
The outcome pushes Leicester live on Sky Sports over Manchester City and Liverpool, who face Manchester United on Sunday at Anfield. After 18 rounds, Southampton remain in eighth on 29 points.
Last January, when Southampton emerged triumphant thanks to goals from Stuart Armstrong and Danny Ings, these two sides clashed last in the East Midlands – and the visitors found it uncomfortable against Leicester from the start, with Theo Walcott and Che Adams proving a handful.
Leicester, who had lost four of their previous eight home league games, sporadically threatened when Vardy dummied Marc Albrighton’s pass for Barnes to fire for the first time, but McCarthy saved with two firm hands.
Kasper Schmeichel was alert to keep out Adams’ fierce shot at his near post on his 400th outing for the Foxes, but the hosts started to turn up the pace and went ahead in the 37th minute.
What Leicester coach Brendan Rodgers Said
Brendan Rodgers, Leicester boss: “It was always going to be a hard-fought game, Southampton had a very good team and worked really hard. In the first half, we were too passive, but then we began to find our way into the game and we talked about doing the dirty stuff a bit better at half-time.
“Not every Premier League game is about decent football, you have to struggle like hell to get the results and in the second half we were even more physical. With the three points, we’re pleased. In the second half, the spirit of the squad and the overall unit was very strong.
“We’ve got lots of young English players and those playing for us today all impressed. I’m sure Gareth Southgate will be pleased with what he saw, especially in the second half.”
What Southampton coach Ralph Hasenhuttl Said
“Ralph Hasenhuttl, Southampton boss: “We gave our best to a good side. In the first half, we had more opportunities than them. As the game goes on, it’s natural that you take more risks and they had counter-attacks. We missed not only Danny [Ings], but at least one in any main place, so it was hard for us, but the team fought well and this was an opportunity for the young lads to step in.
Losing a game is never good, but we had chances. We reached the bar and struggled for everything we had. We are certainly a band that never lets in. The opponent’s standard was higher than ours today.
It was brilliant from Maddison, the first shot, you don’t shoot at goal like that every day. We had decent opportunities, but we couldn’t finish and that was the difference.At the moment, it doesn’t look good.
We have a lot of casualties, and not a lot of solutions. The good news is that we’ve got 29 points, and they’re not taking them away from us.