Leicester ensure top half finish with win over Southampton at the King Power

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Leicester 4-1 Southampton: Foxes end season with enjoyable win over Saints to ensure that they finish in the top half on a day of endless Premier League drama

  • Leicester and Southampton play out last day of the season dead rubber clash
  • Goals from James Maddison and Jamie Vardy put the Foxes 2-0 up
  • James Ward Prowse penalty halves the deficit before Ayoze Perez restores two-goal lead 
  • Ayoze Perez then adds another goal late on to ensure Leicester of top-half finish 
  • Jamie Vardy silences the taunts of the Southampton fans with goal 

Jamie Vardy silenced the taunts of the away fans to help Leicester inflict a 10th defeat in 13 matches on Southampton boss Ralph Hasenhuttl.

Vardy was targeted by the Saints crowd during the first half, who referred to the ‘Wagatha Christie’ trial involving his wife Rebekah. Yet after James Maddison had controversially put Leicester in front early in the second half with his 18th goal of the season, Vardy doubled the lead and made sure he let the Saints supporters know about it.

James Ward-Prowse responded for Southampton from the penalty spot only for substitute Ayoze Perez to score moments later and then claim his second in stoppage time, ensuring Leicester finished the season with an emphatic win.

Jamie Vardy ensured he let the Southampton fans know after he scored his goal that doubled the Foxes' lead

Jamie Vardy ensured he let the Southampton fans know after he scored his goal that doubled the Foxes’ lead

In his final game before retirement, referee Jon Moss enraged Southampton for his part in the opening goal, yet their performance merited no more than what they got as they end the season with a whimper. That did not stop Hasenhuttl from approaching Moss at full-time and making his feelings clear.

Maddison has been inspirational in recent weeks and he was dangerous immediately here, tricking his way past Jack Stephens and sending in a perfect cross that Timothy Castagne was disappointed to head over from close range. There was little to excite either set of fans in the first half after that.

Five minutes before half-time, Vardy nearly answered the taunts with a goal but could not make good contact on Castagne’s cross.

Two of the goal scorers, James Maddison (L) and Ayoze Perez (R) celebrate after Leicester made it 3-1

Two of the goal scorers, James Maddison (L) and Ayoze Perez (R) celebrate after Leicester made it 3-1

After a sleepy opening period, the match came to life in bizarre fashion four minutes after the break. Vardy went down off the ball after a tussle with Oriol Romeu and when referee Moss was happy there had been no foul, Wesley Fofana resumed the game with a pass back to Kasper Schmeichel.

Saints defender Lyanco made a hash of controlling the clearance, leaving Vardy one-on-one with Alex McCarthy. McCarthy saved but the ball ran free to Maddison, who tapped home his fifth goal in four matches.

Southampton boss Ralph Hasenhuttl raged on the touchline, believing that one of his players – rather than Fofana – should have restarted the game.

Ayoze Perez put in a consummate performance to ensure a happy end to the season for Leicester

Ayoze Perez put in a consummate performance to ensure a happy end to the season for Leicester

James Maddison had given Leicester the lead only four minutes into the second half

James Maddison had given Leicester the lead only four minutes into the second half

Jon Moss not giving a foul prior to the first goal for Leicester enraged the Southampton players

Jon Moss not giving a foul prior to the first goal for Leicester enraged the Southampton players

He would have been even angrier moments later had Harvey Barnes played the pass that would have given Vardy a simple finish. Instead, Barnes tried to shoot and was denied by Lyanco.

Soon afterwards, Saints forward Adam Armstrong was taken off following a clash of heads with Jonny Evans that left both men needing extensive treatment.

Saints had struggled to test Schmeichel all afternoon and when their chance did come, Nathan Redmond headed straight at the Leicester captain.

They were made to rue that miss when Vardy doubled Leicester’s lead. Fofana set Barnes away on the counter and the winger found Vardy, who cut inside Lyanco and beat McCarthy at his near post. Given the taunts he had received, it was no surprise to see Vardy run towards the Saints fans before turning his back to them and pointing to the name on his shirt.

It had been a miserable afternoon for the visitors until then but they dragged a goal back when Youri Tielemans – on what may be his final appearance for the club – tripped Stuart Armstrong and James Ward-Prowse converted from the spot. Yet Leicester restored their two-goal lead instantly, Maddison crossing superbly for Perez to turn in at the far post. Perez added his second in the sixth minute of injury time by drilling in fellow sub Ricardo Pereira’s low cross, following a fine pass from Tielemans.

James Ward Prowse had looked to make it a nervy last ten minutes but Ayoze Perez restored the two-goal lead

James Ward Prowse had looked to make it a nervy last ten minutes but Ayoze Perez restored the two-goal lead

Jamie Vardy and Ayoze Perez celebrate after one of the Spaniard's two goals on an entertaining final day

Jamie Vardy and Ayoze Perez celebrate after one of the Spaniard’s two goals on an entertaining final day

Match facts 

Leicester (4-3-3): Schmeichel 6; Castagne 7 (Pereira 70, 6), Fofana 6.5, Evans 7, Justin 6; Tielemans 6, Mendy 6, Dewsbury-Hall 6.5 (Perez 63, 7.5); Maddison 8 (Amartey 82), Vardy 7, Barnes 6.5 (Lookman 77, 6). 

Subs not used: Ward, Soyuncu, Albrighton, Iheanacho, Daka.

Scorers: Maddison 49, Vardy 74, Perez 81, 90+6

Booked:

Manager: Brendan Rodgers 7

Southampton (): McCarthy 6; Walker-Peters 6, Stephens 7, Lyanco 5, Salisu 6; Ward-Prowse 6.5, Romeu 6 (Smallbone 90); S Armstrong 6.5, Elyounoussi 5.5 (Djenepo 72, 6); A Armstrong 6.5 (Adams 63, 6), Redmond 5.5 (Long 83). 

Subs not used: Caballero, Diallo, Walcott, Bednarek, Valery.

Scorers: Ward-Prowse (pen) 79

Booked: Romeu

Manager: Ralph Hasenhuttl 5.5

Referee: Jon Moss 6

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