Jamie Vardy equalled Ruud van Nistelrooy’s record of scoring in 10 successive Premier League games as Leicester City moved top of the table with a 3-0 win over Newcastle United on Saturday.
The England international’s sensational run of form in front of goal showed no signs of abating as he netted the opener, before Leonardo Ulloa and Shinji Okazaki sealed victory at St James’ Park.
Having been denied on two earlier occasions, Vardy moved level with Van Nistelrooy in first-half stoppage time as he cut inside Moussa Sissoko and rifled a low shot past Rob Elliot.
Ulloa added the second after 62 minutes with his fourth goal in three appearances against Newcastle, the 29-year-old given a free header by Newcastle’s woeful defending.
Steve McClaren’s side were unable to raise themselves as frustration grew in the stands, boos ringing out at the final whistle after Okazaki pounced following Elliot’s save from Marc Albrighton.
It leaves Newcastle hovering one point above the bottom three, while Claudio Ranieri’s side climb to the summit above Manchester United.
Having passed a late fitness test prior to kick-off, Vardy was presented with an early chance to equal Van Nistelrooy’s record after six minutes.
Newcastle – unchanged from their 1-0 win over Bournemouth – failed to deal with an Albrighton corner and the loose ball dropped to the England international, but his effort was well blocked.
Leicester were making all the running in the opening minutes and a swift counter-attack from Riyad Mahrez created an opening for Ulloa – in for Jeff Schlupp as Ranieri’s only change – however Vurnon Anita made a crucial interception before the striker could tap home from close range.
The hosts – who lost Cheick Tiote to a groin injury after 20 minutes – struggled to create anything in attack, Ayoze Perez blazing their best chance over the crossbar.
Eventually Leicester’s pressure told as Vardy’s latest milestone moment came in first-half stoppage time, the 28-year-old drifting past Sissoko before rifling past Elliot.
McClaren’s attempts to cajole Newcastle at the break initially had the desired impact, but they slowly lost any momentum and allowed Leicester to control proceedings.
The pace of Vardy and Mahrez were a constant threat and, after a number of wasted chances, Vardy rattled the crossbar. Weak defending from Chancel Mbemba allowed him a free shot at goal but the woodwork came to Elliot’s rescue.
Newcastle failed to heed that warning and Ulloa doubled the away team’s advantage just after the hour with his first of the campaign, the striker left unmarked at the back post to head home Mahrez’s pinpoint cross.
Georginio Wijnaldum was denied a late consolation as Danny Drinkwater headed off the line but it was too little, too late as Leicester wrapped up an easy win, substitute Okazaki pouncing to net the third while Newcastle’s defence stood and watched.
Key Opta stats:
-Vardy has now scored 13 goals in the Premier League this season, equalling their highest scorer in a single Premier League season (Tony Cottee scored 13 in 1999-00).
-The Foxes have now scored in 14 successive Premier League matches.
-This was Leonardo Ulloa’s 44th Premier League appearance, but the first time that he’s scored and assisted in the same game in the competition.
-The 13 Premier League games involving Leicester City this season have seen 48 goals scored; more than any other side.
-Leicester City were bottom of the Premier League after 13 games last season – following this result (and before the Man City v Liverpool game) they went top after 13 games this season.
-Newcastle have only scored one goal in their last four Premier League matches.
-In fact, Newcastle have scored just 13 goals in 13 Premier League games this season and six of these came in one match (6-2 v Norwich City).
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