Premier League
LeicesterLeicester City1SouthamptonSouthampton0
By James GheerbrantBBC Sport
Wes Morgan scores
Wes Morgan (third right) scored his first goal of the season

Leicester moved seven points clear at the top of the Premier League with six games remaining after Wes Morgan's header saw off Southampton.

The Foxes skipper connected with Christian Fuchs' first-half cross to score his first goal of the season.

Southampton came closest when Sadio Mane rounded Kasper Schmeichel, but his goalbound shot was superbly blocked by Danny Simpson.

Leicester will win the title if they win four of their remaining games.

Claudio Ranieri's side have now won five of their last six matches by a 1-0 scoreline, and after main title rivals Tottenham slipped up with a draw at Liverpool on Saturday, the most unlikely title triumph in Premier League history must surely be considered a probability now.

Southampton remain seventh after a first defeat in four matches.

Leicester's title-winning blueprint?

Leicester heatmaps before and after the goal
Until the goal on 38 minutes, Leicester's main area of activity was attacking down the right, and they had relatively little defending to do in their own area (left); after the goal, they defended deep, with most of the play focused in their own area

Only two of the Foxes' first 26 league games were 1-0 wins, but at a crucial stage of the season, they have found the knack of grinding out narrow victories based on defensive solidity and clinical finishing.

They have also been able to rely on finding vital goals from unlikely sources - with Danny Drinkwater, Andy King and Leonardo Ulloa all having chipped in in recent weeks - and this time it was Morgan who found the net.

Leicester 1-0 Southampton: Claudio Ranieri praises captain Wes Morgan

The defender outmuscled Jordy Clasie from a cross by Fuchs - the Austrian's fourth assist of the season.

Thereafter the hosts had to weather persistent Southampton pressure, as their possession dropped from 52.5% in the first half to 40% after the interval.

But once again their back four proved impregnable, with Morgan and Robert Huth making 20 clearances between them.

Koeman rages at decisions

Leicester 1-0 Southampton: Ronald Koeman unhappy Saints denied two penalties

Southampton slipped to only a second defeat in six away games, but manager Ronald Koeman felt his side were on the receiving end of two bad decisions.

The Dutchman alleged Simpson's first-half block was a handball, and cited a similar infringement in the second half when Huth blocked a cross.

"For the third match in a row we don't get a 100% penalty - Stoke City away, Liverpool at home, and today two penalties," Koeman said.

"The big one is when Sadio Mane's shot hits Danny Simpson and it is a red card and a penalty. If it is not a handball, it is a goal. I don't know what they are doing.

"The second one was when Robert Huth handled. I don't say [Leicester] don't deserve the victory, but if it is a penalty and a red card, they don't win."

Man of the match - N'Golo Kante

N'Golo Kante takes the ball away from Jordy Clasie
The week after making his debut for France, Kante (left) was in inspired form, making eight tackles - twice as many as anyone else on the pitch - and also a team-high four interceptions

What they said

Leicester captain Wes Morgan: "We saw the Tottenham game yesterday [Saturday] was a draw and wanted to make the most of our opportunity. We really wanted it today.

"I've been getting a lot of stick because I haven't scored all season so it's great to shut them up."

The stats you need to know

  • Eighteen of Leicester's 20 Premier League wins this season have come despite having a lower share of possession (it was 46.4% v Southampton).
  • Leicester have scored in a league-high 29 Premier League games this season (three more than Spurs and West Ham).
  • Leicester have made a league-low 25 changes to their starting line-ups overall this season in the Premier League, while only Manchester City (83) have made more than Southampton (81).
  • Leicester are the first team to register four 1-0s in a row in the top flight since Liverpool in May-September 2013.

What's next?

Leicester visit Sunderland on Sunday, while Southampton host Newcastle on Saturday.

Line-ups

Leicester

  • 1Schmeichel
  • 17Simpson
  • 5Morgan
  • 6Huth
  • 28FuchsBooked at 88mins
  • 26MahrezSubstituted forGrayat 79'minutes
  • 4DrinkwaterBooked at 51mins
  • 14Kanté
  • 11AlbrightonSubstituted forDyerat 90'minutes
  • 20OkazakiSubstituted forUlloaat 64'minutes
  • 9Vardy

Substitutes

  • 10King
  • 13Amartey
  • 22Gray
  • 23Ulloa
  • 24Dyer
  • 27Wasilewski
  • 32Schwarzer

Southampton

  • 44Forster
  • 17van Dijk
  • 6José Fonte
  • 21Bertrand
  • 2Cédric Soares
  • 4ClasieSubstituted forAustinat 73'minutes
  • 12WanyamaBooked at 46mins
  • 33TargettSubstituted forTadicat 45'minutesBooked at 75mins
  • 8DavisSubstituted forWard-Prowseat 73'minutes
  • 10Mané
  • 19Pellè

Substitutes

  • 3Yoshida
  • 9Rodriguez
  • 11Tadic
  • 14Romeu
  • 16Ward-Prowse
  • 22Stekelenburg
  • 28Austin
Referee:
Michael Oliver
Attendance:
32,071

Match Stats

Home TeamLeicesterAway TeamSouthampton
Possession
Home46%
Away54%
Shots
Home11
Away10
Shots on Target
Home4
Away2
Corners
Home7
Away8
Fouls
Home12
Away13

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Leicester City 1, Southampton 0.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Leicester City 1, Southampton 0.

  3. Post update

    Charlie Austin (Southampton) wins a free kick on the right wing.

  4. Post update

    Foul by N'Golo Kanté (Leicester City).

  5. Post update

    Graziano Pellè (Southampton) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  6. Post update

    Foul by N'Golo Kanté (Leicester City).

  7. Post update

    Charlie Austin (Southampton) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  8. Post update

    Foul by Jamie Vardy (Leicester City).

  9. Post update

    Foul by Cédric Soares (Southampton).

  10. Post update

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

  11. Post update

    Corner, Leicester City. Conceded by James Ward-Prowse.

  12. Substitution

    Substitution, Leicester City. Nathan Dyer replaces Marc Albrighton.

  13. Post update

    Foul by Dusan Tadic (Southampton).

  14. Post update

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

  15. Booking

    Christian Fuchs (Leicester City) is shown the yellow card.

  16. Post update

    Attempt saved. Jamie Vardy (Leicester City) right footed shot from a difficult angle on the right is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Marc Albrighton with a through ball.

  17. Post update

    Sadio Mané (Southampton) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  18. Post update

    Foul by N'Golo Kanté (Leicester City).

  19. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Wes Morgan (Leicester City) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Demarai Gray with a cross.

  20. Post update

    Corner, Leicester City. Conceded by Virgil van Dijk.

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