Newcastle all but secured their place in the Premier League with a 4-2 victory over a Leicester City who finally woke up when it was too late at the King Power Stadium.
Joe Willock and Paul Dummett gave the visitors a deserved 2-0 half-time lead. Callum Wilson’s second-half double then added the gloss to complete an excellent night for the Magpies.
The Foxes pulled a couple back late on via Marc Albrighton and Kelechi Iheanacho but it was too little too late.
Leicester’s plans were hit just before kick off as Jonny Evans picked up an injury warming up and was replaced by Albrighton.
Newcastle’s intentions were clear from the off as they set about trying to attack the Foxes. But they nearly came unstuck early on as James Maddison’s cross found Youri Tielemans at the back post.
However the Belgian headed over under pressure from Dummett. The Foxes were given a warning on nine minutes as Caglar Soyuncu’s mistimed tackle on Wilson was inches from being a penalty.
The hosts defended the free-kick but should have been behind in the 16th minute. Allan Saint-Maximin was clean through after being picked out by Wilson but the legs of Kasper Schmeichel saved Brendan Rodgers’ side.
Almirón splits the Leicester defence with a wonderful pass before Wilson’s initial effort strikes the post – but he makes no mistake with the follow-up, finding the net from a difficult angle.
— Newcastle United FC (@NUFC) May 7, 2021
But it was a temporary reprieve as Newcastle were ahead on 22 minutes through Willock. The on-loan star profited from some woeful Soyuncu defending to beat Schmeichel from a tight angle.
Leicester’s response was muted. All they had to show for their efforts was a Wesley Fofana header comfortably dealt with by Martin Dubravka.
The Magpies then had a penalty shout when Miguel Almiron seemed to be felled by Timothy Castagne. However, VAR confirmed the referee’s initial decision was correct.
But there was nothing to save the home side as the Tynesiders doubled their lead on 33 minutes. Matt Ritchie’s corner found Dummett, whose header was too powerful for Schmeichel to keep out.
Iheanacho was a virtual passenger for most of the first period but did force a decent save from Dubravka on 36 minutes. And the Newcastle keeper was called into action when Jamie Vardy tried to chip him on the stroke of half time.
Wilson brace sees off Leicester
Rodgers altered his formation during the break, with Ricardo Pereira moving to the right of defence and Albrighton to the left.
The East Midlanders piled on the pressure and Wilfred Ndidi headed wide when he should have done better on 55 minutes. Leicester were made to pay as Wilson ended the match as a contest on 64 minutes.
The England striker latched on to Ritchie’s hopeful ball after Castagne fluffed his clearance. He rounded Schmeichel to bag his first goal since January.
And the former Bournemouth man then netted his second and Newcastle’s fourth on 73 minutes. His first shot found the post but there was no mistake with the rebound.
Albrighton smashed home Leicester’s first of the night with 10 minutes to go. And Steve Bruce would have begun to worry when Iheanacho added another three minutes from time.
Ayoze Perez almost bagged a third for the home side right at the death but Dubravka saved well from close range.
Newcastle were worthy winners and, now 13th in the table, will be playing in the Premier League next term barring a bizarre sequence of results.
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