EPL: Leicester extend lead as United close in on Champions League spot

  • AFP, London
  • Updated: Apr 04, 2016 01:34 IST
Leicester City's defender Wes Morgan celebrates after scoring during the English Premier League. (AFP Photo)

Premier League leaders Leicester City went seven points clear at the top of the table after skipper Wes Morgan scored in a 1-0 win at home to Southampton on Sunday as Manchester United beat Everton by the same scoreline to maintain their bid for a top-four finish.

Morgan’s 38th-minute header at the King Power Stadium, his first goal in nearly a year, was good enough to secure Leicester’s fifth 1-0 victory and extend the East Midlands club’s advantage over second-placed Tottenham Hotspur, held to a 1-1 draw by Liverpool on Saturday.

Now Leicester need just 12 points from their final six games to claim the first top-flight title in the club’s 132-year history.

Jamaica centre-back Morgan scored the only goal of the game when he got on the end of a Christian Fuchs cross.

The joyous scenes at full time told the story of just how much this latest win meant to a Leicester side who this time last year were battling to stay in the Premier League and who had been rated as 5,000/1 rank outsiders for the title before this season started.

“We saw the (Tottenham) game yesterday was a draw and wanted to make the most of our opportunity. We really wanted it today,” Morgan told Sky Sports.

Meanwhile Leicester manager Claudio Ranieri urged his players to keep their feet on the ground during the run-in.

“Everyone is expecting something more for us and we are in the cloud, but we have to keep concentrating,” said the Italian. “There is a chance for us to be champions this season, but we have to be professional.”

Anthony Martial celebrates with Jesse Lingard, Matteo Darmian and Juan Mata after scoring the first goal. (Reuters Photo)

In Sunday’s other top-flight match, United striker Anthony Martial’s goal was good enough to give his side all three points on a day when Old Trafford’s south stand was renamed in honour of club great Bobby Charlton.

The win moved United up into fifth place, just a point behind local rivals Manchester City, who currently occupy the fourth and final Champions League spot on offer to English clubs.

Both Manchester teams have seven league games left to play this season.

It looked like being a frustrating day for United until French forward Martial struck from close range when he swept in a ball from substitute Timothy Fosu-Mensah as the hosts exploited some lax Everton defending.

Everton were almost level barely a minute later when defender Phil Jagielka headed against the crossbar from a corner with United goalkeeper David de Gea beaten.

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