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Published: 15:14 | 10/4/16

Vardy edges Foxes closer to league title

Defeat leaves Mackems in deep trouble

Two second-half Jamie Vardy goals were enough to beat Sunderland 2-0 and send Leicester City 10 points clear at the top of the Premier League.

The forward opened the scoring with just 25 minutes on the clock as he emphatically finished past Vito Mannone from a narrow angle.

Signs of title race nerves were rare as the league leaders were superior throughout the game, with only Fabio Borini and Jack Rodwell testing Kasper Schmeichel in the Foxes goal.

Man-of-the-Match N’Golo Kante was superb once again while Wes Morgan and Robert Huth were a rock at the heart of the defence.

Vardy sealed a crucial win for Claudio Ranieri’s side in the fifth minute of stoppage time when he skipped around Mannone before stroking the ball into the empty net.

Spurs must now beat Manchester United later on Sunday afternoon to keep the title race alive while at the other end, Sam Allardyce’s men remain four points adrift of safety albeit with a game-in-hand.

The visitors had the first big chance when a corner was met by Wes Morgan but the ball skidded off the skipper's head and wide of the post from just eight yards out.

They should have had a spot-kick when after referee Anthony Taylor had played a good advantage to the Foxes, Marc Albrighton floated a crossball ball to Shinji Okazaki who chested the ball down but was caught in the ribs by the boot of DeAndre Yedlin. Despite the Japanese attacker being felled, Taylor waved play on.

The hosts then had a penalty appeal of their own turned down 10 minutes before the break when Patrick Van Aarnholt’s cut-back was blocked by Huth on the slide; the home fans claimed he used a hand in doing so but the referee was unmoved.

Sunderland finally threatened Schmeichel in first half stoppage time, Borini’s snapshot from a tight angle forcing the keeper to get down sharply and palm it away from danger.

The home side started the second period brightly and Borini went closer on 51 minutes but his whipped strike just failed to dip under the crossbar with Schmeichel beaten.

Moments later at the other end Danny Drinkwater bombed into the area to receive a return pass from Vardy but his touch was heavy and Mannone was out to smother the ball.

The title-chasers broke the deadlock on 65 minutes when a long ball released Vardy and the England striker steadied himself before clinically finishing past Mannone.

Sunderland should have been level with nine minutes remaining when the ball landed to Rodwell in the box and the midfielder took aim from six yards out but somehow sent his effort over the bar.

That miss aside, Leicester held out comfortably for the three points and Vardy was denied a second by a smart stop from Mannone.

The goal led to the jubilant away fans singing “We’re going to win the league”, a song which was repeated when the final whistle went and unlike many football ditties, this one is completely accurate.

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