Updated: February 28, 2016 12:56:40 am
Leaders Leicester City belatedly grasped their golden opportunity to pile the pressure on their Premier League pursuers on Saturday as a late winner from Leonardo Ulloa sunk struggling Norwich City 1-0 at the King Power Stadium.
With closest challengers Tottenham Hotspur and Arsenal not in action until Sunday, Leicester had the stage to themselves to forge five points clear at the summit and made the most of their chance with a victory they scarcely deserved.
Despite producing one of their flattest performances of their surreal season, Ulloa’s 89th-minute contribution, sliding in to knock home Marc Albrighton’s cross, was decisive.
It stretched Leicester’s advantage to five points over the north London duo although both second-placed Spurs, at home to Swansea City, and third-placed Arsenal, who visit Manchester United, can reduce the deficit again on Sunday.
Champions Chelsea fought back with late goals from Cesc Fabregas and Branislav Ivanovic to earn an excellent 2-1 win at Southampton.
At the bottom of the table, Aston Villa’s mission looked ever more impossible, still seven points adrift of the pack after a Marko Arnautovic double helped Stoke City beat them 2-1 at the Britannia Stadium.
In the day’s early game, West Ham surged into fifth place in the table in what has become their best-ever Premier League campaign in their final season at Upton Park, holding off a stirring fightback from Sunderland to win 1-0.
A fine curling shot on the half hour from winger Michail Antonio sealed the points, yet for Sunderland boss Sam Allardyce, back at his former club, there was nothing but frustration as his side still lie 19th, a point behind Newcastle United and Norwich.
A fine curling shot on the half hour from winger Michail Antonio, courtesy of some poor defending from Patrick van Aaanholt, sealed the points.
Yet for Sunderland boss Sam Allardyce, back at his former club, there was nothing but frustration as his side squandered chances to still lie 19th, a point behind Newcastle United and Norwich.
Bournemouth earned a valuable point in their relegation fight, a goalless draw at Watford taking them to 29 points in 15th place, five clear of the drop zone, even though manager Eddie Howe felt they had played well enough to earn the win.
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