Premier League
Leicester2Stoke0

Leicester City 2-0 Stoke City

Wilfred Ndidi
Both of Wilfred Ndidi's goals for Leicester have come from outside the box

Leicester City boss Craig Shakespeare continued his 100% winning start as a Premier League manager as his side edged further from the relegation zone with a convincing win over Stoke City at the King Power Stadium.

The Foxes, who have now won four consecutive league games, had the better of the opening stages before Wilfred Ndidi put them ahead with a superb strike from 25 yards out, the ball curling past Stoke goalkeeper Lee Grant and into the top corner.

Stoke were unable to put Leicester under any sustained pressure and paid the price when Jamie Vardy exploited the space in front of the goal to beat Glen Johnson and volley home.

The visitors grew into the second half but were left infuriated when Marko Arnautovic, after sliding Mame Diouf's pass into the net, was wrongly judged offside.

Grant's agility in goal kept Leicester from scoring again but Peter Crouch fluffed a simple header from close range in the final minutes to add to Stoke's woes.

The result means that Shakespeare, who took over at the club in February, is the first British manager to win his first four Premier League games in charge.

The Foxes are now 13th in the league and six points clear of the relegation zone, while Stoke, who have only won three away league games this season, remain ninth.

Foxes grow in confidence

Jamie Vardy & Wilfred Ndidi
Jamie Vardy (left) as been directly involved in six goals in his last four Premier League games

When Shakespeare took over at Leicester the Foxes were low on confidence, hovering one point above the relegation zone and searching for the fluency and unity they had last season as they won the Premier League title.

They will face sterner tests than Stoke as the season winds down but they looked fresh and energetic here, with Demarai Gray outpacing Stoke's defence throughout the match.

The Foxes, for all their struggles, are the only Premier League side yet to drop a point from a winning position this season and Ndidi put them ahead in emphatic style, taking a touch from Danny Simpson's cross before volleying powerfully past Grant.

Vardy's goal - his 11th of the season - brought back memories of last year's successful campaign as he darted around Johnson to meet Simpson's floated cross, and he received a standing ovation from the Foxes fans as he left the pitch.

The home side dominated possession and were only denied a further goal by Grant's athleticism, the Stoke keeper twice diving at full-stretch to deny the Foxes.

Stoke struggles on the road continue

Stoke have picked up just four points away from home since the start of December, and their fragile defence against Leicester hinted at those struggles.

While Leicester looked rejuvenated after the international break, Stoke seemed more cautious. They struggled to find their feet as Leicester continued to press, and Gray and Riyad Mahrez were able to work the ball into the box with relative ease.

When they attacked, they looked more solid, with Joe Allen twice sending well-flighted deliveries into the box, but their final touches lacked enough quality.

The offside decision against Arnautovic came when Stoke were on top, pushing Leicester's defence, and they struggled to regain that fluency afterwards.

It means Stoke have failed to score in four consecutive top-flight away games - their worst run since a five-match streak between January and March 2011.

Shakespeare joins big-hitting names

Craig Shakespeare
Craig Shakespeare was assistant to Claudio Ranieri after being brought to the club by Nigel Pearson

Pep Guardiola, Jose Mourinho, Guus Hiddink and Carlo Ancelotti are the other four managers to win their first four Premier League matches in charge.

Shakespeare is a more unassuming figure than some of those names but has undoubtedly had a positive effect on Leicester, with the Foxes showing more belief in their play.

"I am proud of the record but I'm proud for everyone associated with the football club, especially the players," Shakespeare said after the match.

He has overseen a turn in form that has seen Leicester reach the quarter-finals of the Champions League and begin to look more composed.

Their defence still has moments of weakness but Leicester seem more controlled and more willing to attack. Gray's extra pace has lifted them while Vardy, Riyad Mahrez and Shinji Okazaki seem to have found a fluidity that was missing for much of the season.

Man of the match - Demarai Gray (Leicester City)

Demarai Gray
Demarai Gray (left) outran and outfoxed the Stoke defence and was responsible for Leicester's bright start to the game

Vardy's good run continues - the stats you need to know

  • Craig Shakespeare is the first British manager to win each of his first four Premier League games.
  • Leicester City have won three successive home games in the Premier League for the first time since February 2016 - a run that also included a victory against Stoke City.
  • Leicester had 10 shots on target against Stoke; their most in a Premier League game since 2003-04.
  • The Potters have failed to score in four consecutive Premier League away games for the first time since March 2011 (five in a row).
  • Jamie Vardy has been directly involved in six goals in his last four Premier League games (four goals and two assists).
  • The England striker has now either scored or assisted in each of his last four Premier League outings; his longest such run in the competition since December 2015 (a run of 15).
  • Both of Wilfred Ndidi's goals for Leicester City have been scored from outside the box (one in the Premier League, one in the FA Cup).
  • Stoke have now kept just one clean sheet in their last eight Premier League away games (won one, drew one, lost six).
  • Danny Simpson assisted both of Leicester's goals, while his only other assist in the competition came in his first Premier League appearance (October 2007 for Man Utd v Wigan).

What the managers said

Leicester City manager Craig Shakespeare: "I always thought there was moments in the game where Stoke came back into it.

"I always thought the first goal in the game would be crucial. It gave us a foothold in the game. The second goal just after half-time gave us that confidence to go on and win the game.

"We're still not safe. I'm really not looking too far ahead - we've got to concentrate on each game and there's still a lot of points of play for. We're on a good run and full of confidence but we've got another tough game against Sunderland."

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Leicester 2-0 Stoke: Foxes still not safe - Craig Shakespeare

Stoke City manager Mark Hughes: "We didn't perform. What you don't want to happen is to go behind against Leicester. It becomes more of a basketball game, end to end, and we ended up chasing the game.

"Whatever we said at half-time didn't work because straight away we conceded the second. From that moment it was difficult to see a way back for us.

"We never produced the quality that was required. It was not a great day for us and we didn't make it hard enough for Leicester. We've got a difficult fixture against Burnley and we will have to be better than we were today."

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Leicester 2-0 Stoke: Potters lacked quality - Hughes

What's next?

Leicester host Premier League strugglers Sunderland at the King Power Stadium on 4 April (19:45 BST) while Stoke are away at Burnley on the same day (19:45 BST).

Line-ups

Leicester

  • 1Schmeichel
  • 17Simpson
  • 29Benalouane
  • 6Huth
  • 28FuchsBooked at 60mins
  • 26Mahrez
  • 4Drinkwater
  • 25Ndidi
  • 22GraySubstituted forChilwellat 87'minutes
  • 20OkazakiSubstituted forAmarteyat 73'minutes
  • 9VardySubstituted forSlimaniat 81'minutes

Substitutes

  • 3Chilwell
  • 7Musa
  • 10King
  • 13Amartey
  • 19Slimani
  • 21Zieler
  • 23Ulloa

Stoke

  • 33Grant
  • 8Johnson
  • 17ShawcrossBooked at 16mins
  • 15Martins Indi
  • 3Pieters
  • 10ArnautovicBooked at 90mins
  • 4Allen
  • 6WhelanBooked at 29minsSubstituted forAdamat 70'minutes
  • 32Sobhi
  • 19WaltersSubstituted forCrouchat 54'minutesBooked at 69mins
  • 9BerahinoSubstituted forDioufat 70'minutes

Substitutes

  • 5Muniesa
  • 14Afellay
  • 16Adam
  • 18Diouf
  • 21Imbula
  • 24Given
  • 25Crouch
Referee:
Lee Mason
Attendance:
31,958

Match Stats

Home TeamLeicesterAway TeamStoke
Possession
Home48%
Away52%
Shots
Home23
Away10
Shots on Target
Home10
Away2
Corners
Home10
Away4
Fouls
Home7
Away11

Live Text

Match ends, Leicester City 2, Stoke City 0.

Full Time

Second Half ends, Leicester City 2, Stoke City 0.

Booking

Marko Arnautovic (Stoke City) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Foul by Marko Arnautovic (Stoke City).

Ben Chilwell (Leicester City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Attempt saved. Peter Crouch (Stoke City) header from the centre of the box is saved in the bottom right corner. Assisted by Marko Arnautovic with a cross.

Corner, Stoke City. Conceded by Robert Huth.

Offside, Stoke City. Joe Allen tries a through ball, but Mame Biram Diouf is caught offside.

Attempt saved. Daniel Amartey (Leicester City) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Christian Fuchs.

Attempt missed. Peter Crouch (Stoke City) header from very close range is high and wide to the right. Assisted by Mame Biram Diouf with a cross.

Attempt saved. Riyad Mahrez (Leicester City) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Daniel Amartey.

Substitution

Substitution, Leicester City. Ben Chilwell replaces Demarai Gray.

Corner, Leicester City. Conceded by Lee Grant.

Attempt saved. Demarai Gray (Leicester City) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom right corner. Assisted by Islam Slimani with a headed pass.

Offside, Stoke City. Glen Johnson tries a through ball, but Marko Arnautovic is caught offside.

Attempt blocked. Erik Pieters (Stoke City) left footed shot from the left side of the box is blocked.

Foul by Ryan Shawcross (Stoke City).

Demarai Gray (Leicester City) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Substitution

Substitution, Leicester City. Islam Slimani replaces Jamie Vardy.

Attempt missed. Riyad Mahrez (Leicester City) left footed shot from the right side of the box is close, but misses to the right. Assisted by Jamie Vardy with a headed pass.

Charlie Adam (Stoke City) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Wilfred Ndidi (Leicester City).

Attempt missed. Charlie Adam (Stoke City) left footed shot from outside the box is too high. Assisted by Glen Johnson.

Attempt blocked. Marko Arnautovic (Stoke City) right footed shot from the right side of the box is blocked. Assisted by Joe Allen with a headed pass.

Corner, Stoke City. Conceded by Wilfred Ndidi.

Mame Biram Diouf (Stoke City) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Foul by Wilfred Ndidi (Leicester City).

Glen Johnson (Stoke City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Demarai Gray (Leicester City).

Substitution

Substitution, Leicester City. Daniel Amartey replaces Shinji Okazaki.

Offside, Stoke City. Ramadan Sobhi tries a through ball, but Peter Crouch is caught offside.

Offside, Stoke City. Mame Biram Diouf tries a through ball, but Marko Arnautovic is caught offside.

Substitution

Substitution, Stoke City. Charlie Adam replaces Glenn Whelan.

Substitution

Substitution, Stoke City. Mame Biram Diouf replaces Saido Berahino.

Booking

Peter Crouch (Stoke City) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Foul by Peter Crouch (Stoke City).

Shinji Okazaki (Leicester City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Attempt missed. Peter Crouch (Stoke City) right footed shot from the right side of the six yard box misses to the right. Assisted by Marko Arnautovic with a cross.

Corner, Leicester City. Conceded by Ryan Shawcross.

Attempt saved. Riyad Mahrez (Leicester City) left footed shot from the left side of the box is saved in the centre of the goal.

goal

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Chelsea29223460233769
2Tottenham29188357213662
3Liverpool30178564372759
4Man City28176554302457
5Man Utd281411342231953
6Arsenal27155756342250
7Everton30148852331950
8West Brom30128103938144
9Stoke3099123344-1136
10Southampton2897123336-334
11Bournemouth3097144254-1234
12Watford2997133448-1434
13Leicester2996143547-1233
14West Ham3096154154-1333
15Burnley3095163144-1332
16Crystal Palace2994163847-931
17Swansea2983183663-2727
18Hull3076172859-3127
19Middlesbrough28410142033-1322
20Sunderland2955192451-2720
View full Premier League table

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