Burnley were left to rue Matt Taylor’s missed penalty as Leicester City immediately went upfield and sealed a 1-0 win that lifts them out of the Premier League relegation zone.
Jamie Vardy’s goal was enough to give the visitors three vital points in Saturday’s crucial relegation clash at Turf Moor, as Nigel Pearson’s side climbed to 17th on the back of their fourth successive win.
Burnley, meanwhile, remain at the foot of the table, five points from safety.
It could so easily have been a different story, with the hosts awarded a spot-kick just before the hour mark, only for Taylor – who took the ball ahead of regular penalty taker Danny Ings – to send his effort against the post with Leicester goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel having dived the wrong way.
A minute later, Leicester took full advantage when Michael Duff turned Marc Albrighton’s cross goalwards and Vardy bundled the ball over the line after Tom Heaton’s initial save.
It could be a decisive blow for the survival hopes of Sean Dyche’s side, who have now failed to score in all five matches since a 1-0 win over reigning champions Manchester City last month.
The hosts were slow to get going, with Vardy turning and shooting straight at goalkeeper Heaton with the game’s first chance.
Burnley grew into the encounter after that, and they went close themselves in the 31st minute when Taylor – selected in place of the suspended Ashley Barnes – failed to get a telling touch on Duff’s header and Schmeichel clawed the ball away.
Duff got his head to another cross five minutes into the second half, and this time Leonardo Ulloa diverted the ball over the crossbar from just in front of Schmeichel.
That chance came during a period of Burnley dominance, but then in a breathless 60-second spell the game swung in Leicester’s favour.
After Ings’ drive had been parried by Schmeichel, Taylor took advantage of hesitancy from Paul Konchesky and was felled by the full-back in the area.
However, the midfielder slipped slightly in taking the spot-kick, which thumped against the right-hand upright and went behind for a goal kick.
Then, as Leicester attacked immediately from the restart, Duff deflected Albrighton’s cross and although Heaton just managed to keep it out, Vardy was on hand to knock home the ball on the line.
Burnley threw everything forward in search of an equaliser, but they were denied by Schmeichel seven minutes from time when the goalkeeper produced a superb reaction save from Robert Huth’s deflection following Ben Mee’s driven cross.
Schmeichel made a more routine stop from substitute Ross Wallace three minutes later, as Leicester held on to take another giant step towards safety.