Iheanacho shines in Leicester’s 3-0 defeat of Preston

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Leicester reclaimed the Championship summit after two second-half goals from Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall either side of a Kelechi Iheanacho strike clinched a 3-0 win at home to promotion rivals Preston.

The victory – the Foxes’ ninth in 10 Championship outings – lifted them back above Ipswich, who had moved a point clear on Tuesday by beating Hull.

Referee Thomas Bramall took charge of this one after initial choice Darren England was stood down as a result of the fallout over his error as VAR in Liverpool’s Premier League loss at Tottenham on Saturday.

Leicester bossed the early possession as third-placed Preston looked to catch them on a counter-attack but Abdul Fatawu’s shot – high and wide from a tricky angle – was all the hosts had to show for the first 10 minutes.

Preston fancied their chances from set-pieces but Jack Whatmough, one of four changes following Saturday’s 4-0 loss at home to West Brom, saw his header from Robbie Brady’s free-kick drop well wide.

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Stephy Mavididi’s quick feet saw him skip past challengers to get into the Preston box on the left but when he slipped in Dewsbury-Hall he was denied by Liam Lindsay’s vital sliding block.

 

Leicester were looking frustrated, prompting defender Wout Faes to have a go from distance and the Belgian scuffed it wide.

Referee Bramall was the centre of attention in the 37th minute by ignoring home shouts for a penalty when Liam Millar barged Mavididi over.

The half’s clearest chance fell to Preston but Duane Holmes, played through on the left by Ali McCann, fired wide with only goalkeeper Mads Hermansen to beat.

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The second period began with Wilfred Ndidi heading wide of the Preston goal and Dewsbury-Hall curling an effort that also failed to trouble North End goalkeeper Freddie Woodman.

Holmes was soon back causing trouble at the other end however – and this time he forced Hermansen into a diving save with a low drive.

Leicester broke the deadlock on the hour – and required a slice of good fortune to do so as Ndidi’s ball towards Jamie Vardy was inadvertently played towards his own goal by McCann, allowing Dewsbury-Hall to seize upon it and slot across Woodman.

Leicester made sure of the points with a 76th-minute clincher from Iheanacho.

Dewsbury-Hall moved swiftly to play Ndidi into a position where he could square the ball across the box for the striker to make a simple back-post finish.

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Preston thought they had pulled one back through Ben Woodburn but referee Bramall penalised the substitute for a pull on Faes’ shirt.

Dewsbury-Hall made it 3-0 in the 90th minute on the rebound after Woodman had parried Iheanacho’s shot. Iheanacho had started the move himself with a ball to fellow sub Marc Albrighton.

 

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