Leicester 4-0 Derby
Last updated on .From the section Football
David Nugent scored a superbly crafted opener as Leicester City cruised to victory over high-flying East Midlands rivals Derby County.
The hosts led when an incisive counter-attack saw Nugent race on to a glorious first-time Gelson Fernandes pass and slot home past keeper Frank Fielding.
Darius Vassell made it 2-0 when he fired in from six yards.
The Rams improved after the break but substitutes Jeffrey Schlupp and Lloyd Dyer fired late goals to seal the win.
Schlupp's fine 88th-minute turn and finish and Dyer's low injury-time shot which went straight through Frank Fielding was perhaps harsh on a Derby side who controlled possession for large spells of the second period.
Despite showing plenty of confidence on the ball and signs of a team who were third in the Championship table after the afternoon matches and could have gone top with a win, they were unable to create any clear-cut openings.
Gareth Roberts fizzed just about their only meaningful strike well wide in first-half injury time.
Steven Davies also narrowly missed out on getting on the end of a vicious cross from the lively Ben Davies, while Jason Shackell headed over late on.
However, the damage had been done in the first period which saw the Foxes dominate and overpower their opponents.
Leicester played with good tempo and showed some impressive one-touch football and that was typified by a stunning opening goal.
A sweeping move involving some superb interplay from Yuki Abe, Vassell and Fernandes was brilliantly finished by the jet-heeled Nugent as he bore down on Fielding.
Nugent was playing his first game back after a month out with a hamstring injury but showed no signs of nursing his injury and was just what the goal-shy hosts needed having scored just nine goals in their nine league matches before facing the Rams.
The hosts were dominating and Sol Bamba had a towering effort cleared off the line by Roberts before Nugent nearly doubled the lead only to see his effort from Andy King's drilled cross disallowed for handball when the ball bounced up, hit his arm and went into the net.
However, moments later the home fans did have a second goal to cheer. Derby missed a couple of opportunities to clear and Vassell crashed the ball home from six yards after Neil Danns' powerful strike rebounded off the foot of the post.
The visitors' improvement, in a largely uneventful second period, failed to produce much goal threat and Leicester, marshalled superbly by Matt Mills at the back, sealed their win with two late goals.
Schlupp grabbed the first with a neat turn and poacher's finish when Derby failed to clear a set-piece.
And Dyer latched on to Steve Howard's excellent flicked header to fire past Fielding to extend their unbeaten league run to seven games and move them up to within a point of the play-off places.