Premier League
Leicester2Sunderland0

Leicester City 2-0 Sunderland

Islam Slimani
Islam Slimani's header was his first goal for Leicester since New Year's Eve

Leicester made it six wins from six under boss Craig Shakespeare as seemingly doomed Sunderland marked the two-month anniversary of their last goal with another defeat.

The Foxes looked below their recent best for the first hour, but Shakespeare's decision to bring on Marc Albrighton and Islam Slimani was the game-changing moment.

Seven minutes after coming on, Albrighton's left-wing cross was headed home by Algeria striker Slimani.

Albrighton then ran from halfway before crossing to Jamie Vardy, who took a touch before firing an unstoppable effort into the top corner.

Sunderland - in the first game since boss David Moyes' comments that a BBC reporter might "get a slap" were made public - are increasingly looking destined for the Championship.

Without a victory or a goal since 4 February, the Black Cats are eight points adrift of Premier League safety with only eight games left.

Their best chance came 96 seconds before Vardy's goal when Victor Anichebe's deflected shot hit the post, with Jermain Defoe smashing the rebound into the side of the net.

Foxes revival under Shakespeare continues

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Leicester not at best despite win - Shakespeare

Leicester are a team reborn under Claudio Ranieri's replacement Shakespeare, who became the first British manager to win his first four Premier League games at the weekend. He has extended that record to five.

While beating Sunderland is not as eye-catching as his opening victory over Liverpool, or the win over Sevilla in the Champions League, it took them into the top half of the table and nine points above the relegation zone.

The hosts were below par in the first half - think Ranieri's side of earlier this season rather than the Italian's title winners of last year. But after the break, more specifically after Shakespeare's changes, they took control.

Albrighton, returning from an illness, had a hand in both goals - his cross setting up Slimani's first Leicester goal of 2017.

Vardy's goal was his fifth in five Premier League games under Shakespeare. He took 22 matches to score that many under Ranieri this campaign.

In the end it was a comfortable win for the Foxes, who could have won by more after dominating the final 30 minutes of the match.

They became only the second team in Premier League history to lose five consecutive games and then win their next five, following on from Tottenham in October-December 2004.

Moyes' woes continue with another defeat

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Sunderland did enough to win - Moyes

Shakespeare is enjoying the golden touch at Leicester, while Moyes' team look doomed.

The latest defeat came on the back of criticism for his comments to a BBC reporter after being unhappy with her line of questioning. After the interview last month he told Vicki Sparks she "might get a slap even though you're a woman" and told her to be "careful" next time.

He apologised and the club have stood by him. After the Foxes game he said "the matter's finished".

His problems at the moment are both on and off the field.

Moyes' men were not awful in the first half, matching Leicester for the most part. But a series of weak headers and long-range shots were all they really offered, Anichebe's second-half chance aside.

But it is a sixth game in a row without a goal, with only one point during that time.

They now need at least three wins, realistically a few more than that, from their final eight games to stay up. With five victories from their opening 30 league matches, those odds look slim.

There were positives from the game - Lee Cattermole made his first appearance since September following a hip injury. But he was shown a yellow card for a trip on Demarai Gray. Anichebe also returned from injury, with his first outing since January.

The story of their season can perhaps best be summed up by this - Anichebe remains their joint-second top scorer this season with defender Patrick van Aanholt [now at Crystal Palace] on three goals. He is 11 behind Defoe, who never really looked like scoring at Leicester despite a few half chances.

Man of the match - Marc Albrighton

Marc Albrighton
Marc Albrighton was the key player, despite only spending 28 minutes on the pitch - assisting both goals. Jamie Vardy joked that he was like Lazarus having recovered from missing Saturday's win over Stoke through illness

'Sunderland are doomed' - BBC analysis

Former Republic of Ireland defender Mark Lawrenson on BBC Radio 5 live: "Sunderland are doomed, I'm afraid to say.

"It's been a strange year for them and that's come on the back of a few strange years.

"They have had lots of different managers and therefore lots of different backroom staff and then lots of different players. Maybe losing Sam Allardyce to the England job in the summer didn't help - it could be a different story now if that hadn't happened.

"But nowhere along the line has there been any clear plan.

"But sometimes it's not the worst thing in the world to go down to the Championship. Newcastle have proved you can go down and make yourself stronger.

"They will be a big club in the Championship - it's a dog-eat-dog league and you've got to have some guts to come straight back up but it's possible."

Former Black Cats defender Gary Bennett, now a BBC Newcastle pundit: "The fans are obviously not happy with the results, especially tonight. The supporters were excellent, as they have been all season.

"I could not hear any particular support or criticism of David Moyes tonight from the fans."

'It's desperate now' - manager reaction

David Moyes
David Moyes has lost two thirds of his Premier League games as Sunderland boss

Sunderland boss David Moyes: "I'm really disappointed we didn't get something out of the game. We played really well for 60 minutes. If we'd been in front, nobody could have complained.

"At Everton we were 1-0 down and hit the bar - like today. Small margins are important. We just didn't get it today. It's desperate now.

"I felt we had to win one of these past two games. The boys have given a good go of it. We have maybe lacked a bit of quality.

"We'll keep going again - it's still in our hands to stay up."

Leicester boss Craig Shakespeare: "We weren't at our best tonight but the most important thing was the win.

"We know we can play better than that. We're trying to put as many points on the board as we can.

"There's been no talk of it [next week's Champions League quarter-final first leg with Atletico Madrid]. We haven't wanted to talk about it.

"Islam Slimani has had to be patient. Over the past few weeks he hasn't played much. He showed what he's capable of tonight."

Shakespeare joins illustrious company - the stats you need to know

  • Craig Shakespeare is the third Premier League manager to win his first five Premier League matches, following Carlo Ancelotti in 2009 and Pep Guardiola in 2016, who both won their first six.
  • Sunderland have failed to score in six consecutive top-flight matches for the first time since October 1981 [a run of eight].
  • The Black Cats have 20 points from 30 Premier League games this season - all 10 previous sides with this tally or fewer have been relegated at the end of the season.
  • Six of Islam Slimani's seven goals for Leicester in all competitions have been headers, including five of his six in the Premier League. Only West Ham's Michail Antonio (6) has scored more headers in the Premier League this season.
  • Vardy has hit four Premier League goals against the Black Cats, only scoring more against Liverpool (5).
  • Marc Albrighton has four Premier League assists in 2017, second only to Ross Barkley (5) among English players.

What's next?

Leicester City go to Everton in the Premier League on Sunday (16:00 BST), with Sunderland hosting Manchester United earlier that day (13:30).

Line-ups

Leicester

  • 1Schmeichel
  • 17Simpson
  • 29Benalouane
  • 6Huth
  • 28Fuchs
  • 26Mahrez
  • 25NdidiSubstituted forKingat 82'minutes
  • 4Drinkwater
  • 22GraySubstituted forAlbrightonat 62'minutes
  • 9Vardy
  • 20OkazakiSubstituted forSlimaniat 62'minutes

Substitutes

  • 3Chilwell
  • 10King
  • 11Albrighton
  • 13Amartey
  • 19Slimani
  • 21Zieler
  • 23Ulloa

Sunderland

  • 13Pickford
  • 2Jones
  • 23Koné
  • 4Denayer
  • 3Oviedo
  • 6CattermoleBooked at 35minsSubstituted forAnichebeat 73'minutes
  • 17Ndong
  • 8RodwellSubstituted forGibsonat 80'minutes
  • 7LarssonSubstituted forKhazriat 73'minutes
  • 18Defoe
  • 9Borini

Substitutes

  • 1Mannone
  • 5Djilobodji
  • 10Khazri
  • 21Manquillo
  • 24Gibson
  • 28Anichebe
  • 44Januzaj
Referee:
Graham Scott
Attendance:
31,757

Match Stats

Home TeamLeicesterAway TeamSunderland
Possession
Home55%
Away45%
Shots
Home19
Away15
Shots on Target
Home8
Away3
Corners
Home5
Away6
Fouls
Home12
Away13

Live Text

Match ends, Leicester City 2, Sunderland 0.

Full Time

Second Half ends, Leicester City 2, Sunderland 0.

Attempt missed. Andy King (Leicester City) right footed shot from the right side of the box is high and wide to the right. Assisted by Islam Slimani following a corner.

Corner, Leicester City. Conceded by Lamine Koné.

Attempt blocked. Islam Slimani (Leicester City) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked.

Marc Albrighton (Leicester City) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Foul by Wahbi Khazri (Sunderland).

Yohan Benalouane (Leicester City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Victor Anichebe (Sunderland).

Attempt missed. Marc Albrighton (Leicester City) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the left. Assisted by Islam Slimani.

Attempt missed. Jermain Defoe (Sunderland) right footed shot from the centre of the box is close, but misses to the right. Assisted by Billy Jones.

Corner, Leicester City. Conceded by Billy Jones.

Attempt blocked. Jamie Vardy (Leicester City) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

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

Attempt saved. Andy King (Leicester City) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom right corner. Assisted by Christian Fuchs.

Offside, Leicester City. Daniel Drinkwater tries a through ball, but Riyad Mahrez is caught offside.

Attempt missed. Didier Ndong (Sunderland) right footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the right. Assisted by Darron Gibson following a set piece situation.

Foul by Robert Huth (Leicester City).

Jermain Defoe (Sunderland) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Substitution

Substitution, Leicester City. Andy King replaces Wilfred Ndidi.

Substitution

Substitution, Sunderland. Darron Gibson replaces Jack Rodwell.

Foul by Islam Slimani (Leicester City).

Victor Anichebe (Sunderland) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Goal!

Goal! Leicester City 2, Sunderland 0. Jamie Vardy (Leicester City) left footed shot from the centre of the box to the top left corner. Assisted by Marc Albrighton.

Attempt missed. Jermain Defoe (Sunderland) left footed shot from a difficult angle on the left is close, but misses to the left.

Attempt blocked. Victor Anichebe (Sunderland) left footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked.

Attempt saved. Jamie Vardy (Leicester City) right footed shot from the right side of the box is saved in the bottom right corner. Assisted by Islam Slimani.

Delay over. They are ready to continue.

Delay in match Riyad Mahrez (Leicester City) because of an injury.

Substitution

Substitution, Sunderland. Wahbi Khazri replaces Sebastian Larsson.

Substitution

Substitution, Sunderland. Victor Anichebe replaces Lee Cattermole.

Goal!

Goal! Leicester City 1, Sunderland 0. Islam Slimani (Leicester City) header from the centre of the box to the bottom right corner. Assisted by Marc Albrighton with a cross.

Corner, Leicester City. Conceded by Lamine Koné.

Riyad Mahrez (Leicester City) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Jack Rodwell (Sunderland).

Christian Fuchs (Leicester City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Didier Ndong (Sunderland).

Attempt saved. Robert Huth (Leicester City) header from the centre of the box is saved in the bottom right corner. Assisted by Christian Fuchs.

Substitution

Substitution, Leicester City. Marc Albrighton replaces Demarai Gray.

Substitution

Substitution, Leicester City. Islam Slimani replaces Shinji Okazaki.

goal

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Chelsea29223460233769
2Tottenham29188357213662
3Liverpool30178564372759
4Man City29177556322458
5Man Utd291412343241954
6Arsenal28156758362251
7Everton31149853341951
8West Brom31128113940-144
9Watford30107133648-1237
10Leicester30106143747-1036
11Stoke3199133345-1236
12Burnley31105163244-1235
13Southampton2897123336-334
14Bournemouth3097144254-1234
15West Ham3096154154-1333
16Crystal Palace2994163847-931
17Swansea3084183663-2728
18Hull3076172859-3127
19Middlesbrough29411142033-1323
20Sunderland3055202453-2920
View full Premier League table

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