Premier League: Leicester goes second with 2-0 win over Southampton

Leicester City went second in the Premier League table after goals from James Maddison and Harvey Barnes sealed a 2-0 win over Southampton on Saturday.

Leicester City players celebrate Harvey Barnes' goal against Southampton.   -  Getty Images

Leicester City showed it could have a big say in the Premier League title race with an impressive 2-0 win over Southampton to move above champion Liverpool into second spot on Saturday.

An early thunderbolt by James Maddison and a stoppage-time goal by Harvey Barnes sealed the points although the host did not have everything its own way.

It suffered a late blow when striker Jamie Vardy limped off with a muscle injury but it was a positive night for Leicester which picked up only its fourth home win this season.

Brendan Rodgers' side has 35 points from 18 games, one point behind United and two better off than Liverpool. Manchester City, which also slipped below Leicester ahead of its Sunday clash with Crystal Palace, has 32.

Eighth-placed Southampton, which beat Liverpool in its last game, was unlucky when Stuart Armstrong's long-range effort rattled the crossbar as the visitor pressed for an equaliser.

Ozil to end Arsenal contract, move to Fenerbahce - report  

But Leicester, which started slowly, deserved the points.

"A great win for us. The first 25 minutes I thought we were socially distancing, we didn't get within two metres of them," Rodgers told BT Sport.

"Second half we were much better and should have scored more than two goals. At the same time we defended well."

Southampton, without striker Danny Ings who is isolating after testing positive for COVID-19, was the sharper side early on and could have gone ahead when Che Adams forced Leicester keeper Kasper Schmeichel into action.

Dortmund rues missed penalty in 1-1 draw with lowly Mainz  

At the other end Barnes nearly finished off a slick Leicester move but drilled his shot straight at Alex McCarthy.

Leicester went ahead in the 37th minute when Maddison rolled Jan Bednarek on the edge of the area before advancing inside the penalty area. The angle looked tight but he ripped a rising shot high past McCarthy -- celebrating in novel socially-distanced style with imaginary handshakes.

Southampton was almost level before halftime when left back Ryan Bertrand went clear and took aim with a powerful effort that Schmeichel beat away for a corner.

Bologna beats Hellas Verona 1-0 for first win since November  

Will Smallbone also tested Schmeichel at the start of the second half and Leicester survived a scare when Armstrong thumped a shot against the bar in the 73rd minute.

Leicester could have added to its lead though with Barnes having an effort cleared off the line and McCarthy making a great save from Vardy. But Barnes made no mistake when he went through one-on-one and coolly dinked the ball into the net.

Chelsea picks up crucial win

Mason Mount celebrates after scoring the winner for Chelsea.   -  Getty Images

 

Mason Mount struck in the 78th minute as Chelsea claimed an important Premier League 1-0 victory at Fulham to get back on track after a dreadful run of form on Saturday.

Chelsea had won only one of its previous six league games, slipping way off the pace, and it laboured against a tiring Fulham side which was reduced to 10 men when Antonee Robinson was sent off in the 44th minute for a foul on Cesar Azpilicueta.

But just when it looked as though Fulham might hold out for a sixth successive Premier League draw, Mason Mount rifled in a 78th minute winner after a mistake by keeper Alphonse Areola.

"It was a small step today in terms of getting us a little bit back on track in the league, but it only counts if we take it forward over this month because we have got some big games coming up," Lampard, whose side rose to seventh, said.