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Leicester 5 Southampton 0: Foxes just one win from immediate EPL return

  /  autty

ABDUL FATAWU scored a stunning hat-trick and Leicester can surely start preparing for Premier League football now.

The winger was scintillating and so were the Foxes who can be promoted as early as Friday.

Fatawu’s 25th-minute opener and Wilfred Ndidi’s bullet 61st-minute header had already put Leicester firmly in charge.

But then with 15 minutes left after picking up the ball on the right flank, he stepped inside to bypass two Saints defender before hammering an unstoppable effort into the top left corner.

Then he laid the ball on a plate for Jamie Vardy to fire in his 16th goal of the season four minutes later.

And it was raining goals as Fatawu smashed in the fifth.

If Leeds lose at QPR on Friday they will go up before the weekend.

But regardless of what Daniel Farke’s men do at Loftus Road, Leicester can wrap it up on Monday night at Preston.

There have been so many butterflies in the stomach at the King Power after seeing a once SEVENTEEN point cushion in the automatic spots evaporate – and even slip out of the top two altogether.

But when the chips are down, good teams pull their sleeves up and get the job done. And that is exactly what Enzo Maresca’s side did.

Their away form of late has been horrendous but the home wins against West Brom and now Southampton has them pretty much holding aloft their arms as they race towards the finishing line.

This was last chance saloon for the Saints. They had to win to stand any realistic chance.

Ndidi was not too far away with a curling effort that just fizzed past the right post.

Saints though created a chance of their own as Joe Aribo released Adam Armstrong on the left and he teed up Che Adams, whose shot was blocked.

Ndidi nodded wide at the far post from a James Justin cross.

But the Foxes were not to be denied when Dewsbury-Hall threated a defence-splitting pass for Fatawu to run on and slot past Alex McCartney.

It was a good job that the VAR spoilsports are not in the Championship – because Fatawu’s toenail, or at least half of it, may have been offside.

Russell Martin then remonstrated with the fourth official after the assistant bizarrely flagged Che Adams offside despite the fact Fatawu had sliced the ball in the air and no Saints player had touched it as it looked like going out for a corner.

After the break David Brooks raced through but just as he was about to pull the trigger James Justin bustled him off the ball.

Hearts were fluttering when Mads Hermansen flapped at a Brooks cross with minimal pressure from Adam Armstrong but was fortunate that Ricardo Pereira was there to clear.

But Leicester grabbed the all-important second when Stephy Mavididi’s cross was met by a bullet header from Ndidi. And then came the late show.