EFL

Wilfred Ndidi and Jamie Vardy goals secure vital Leicester win over West Brom

By Sports Desk April 20, 2024

Leicester returned to the top of the Championship with a 2-1 win over West Bromwich Albion and two more victories from their remaining three games would secure promotion back to the Premier League at the first time of asking.

Enzo Maresca’s side could go up on Tuesday if they beat Southampton at the King Power Stadium.

Jamie Vardy’s 15th league goal of the season effectively sealed the victory and made up for him missing a penalty in the first half.

Leicester took the lead through Wilfred Ndidi in the 22nd minute after Albion had dominated the early stages and missed a string of chances to take the lead.

West Brom manager Carlos Corberan will wonder how his side managed to squander so many oppportunities to score, and their second successive defeat means their play-off place is by no means certain.

They did eventually find the net through their captain, Jed Wallace, with 14 minutes left, but could not force an equaliser.

Leicester’s win owes much to central midfielder Hamza Choudhury who made three goal-line clearances – two of them coming within seconds of one another.

But with both teams recording a combined total of almost 30 shots, the game was partly a tale of the opportunities that were squandered.

West Brom could have had the match won inside the first 20 minutes. With Maresca’s team playing out from the back, Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall passed the ball straight to Okay Yukuslu, but he put his hurried shot over the bar.

Mikey Johnston was then involved on three occasions, seeing an effort cleared off the line after 14 minutes. He then had a shot saved by Leicester keeper Mads Hermansen before putting another chance over the bar.

Leicester made Albion pay for their wastefulness in front of goal by taking the lead. Stephy Mavididi pulled the ball back for defender Wout Faes who crossed for Vardy. His header was kept out by Albion goalkeeper Alex Palmer but Ndidi converted the rebound from close range.

Maresca’s side looked set to take a two-goal advantage into the break. Vardy ran on to a long ball from Hermansen a minute before half-time and was pushed over by West Brom defender Conor Townsend in the 18 yard box. Vardy had scored four penalties from four this season, but he hit the post from his fifth spot kick of the campaign.

Choudhury then cleared off the line twice in the space of a few seconds after 51 minutes. First, he blocked a shot from Yann M’Vila and then denied Grady Diangana. The drama continued as, from the resulting corner, Kyle Bartley headed against the bar with Diangana unable to get the vital touch from close range.

Again, Albion were punished for missing their chances as Vardy increased Leicester’s lead after 65 minutes. Choudhury found Abdul Fatawu on the right and his cross was met by Vardy who headed in from close range.

West Brom finally found the net when defender Cedric Kipre’s inch-perfect pass found Wallace who slid the ball past Hermansen.

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