Premier League
LeicesterLeicester City1NorwichNorwich City0

Leicester City 1-0 Norwich City

By Stephan ShemiltBBC Sport
Ulloa scores for Leicester
Leonardo Ulloa gave Leicester victory with his third goal of the season

Leonardo Ulloa's 89th-minute goal extended Leicester's lead at the top of the Premier League to five points and denied Norwich a deserved draw.

Ulloa slid in at the far post to convert Marc Albrighton's cross at the end of an otherwise limp Foxes display.

Norwich earlier had the better chances, Cameron Jerome heading wide and Nathan Redmond off target from distance.

Leicester had largely been restricted to shots from distance until substitute Ulloa had the final say.

Until the Argentine's intervention, the Foxes were facing the prospect of losing top spot if either of Arsenal or Tottenham win on Sunday - instead they are guaranteed to remain at the summit with 11 games remaining.

Norwich are still outside the relegation places, but level on points with Newcastle, who have a game in hand.

5 live Football Daily: The biggest goal of Leicester's season

Stuff of champions?

For so long, Leicester looked likely to be frustrated into a stalemate by a tactically sound Norwich performance and their own lack of guile.

As the Canaries dropped deep, forming a five-man defence when they did not have the ball, Leicester looked to the trickery of Riyad Mahrez. As the clock ticked down, the hosts had only managed two shots on target - both from distance, both dealt with by John Ruddy.

Enter Ulloa, who arrived at the back post to convert into an empty net after Albrighton's low cross had crucially been poked past Ruddy by Jamie Vardy.

If champions find a way to win when they are not at their best, then Leicester have hinted at another reason why the Premier League title could be coming their way.

Leonardo Ulloa's late goal
Leicester worked from back to front for Marc Albrighton's cross, with Jamie Vardy getting a crucial touch that took the ball past John Ruddy and into the path of the unmarked Leonardo Ulloa

Cruel on the Canaries

It was so cruel on Norwich, who arrived at the King Power with the perfect plan to prevent Leicester from the sort of pacy counter-attacks that have carried them to the top of the league.

Vardy was given no space behind the defence and was largely anonymous, while the tricky Mahrez, bar a couple of jinking runs, was often crowded out.

But Norwich did not only defend - they had opportunities to win it.

Ranieri hails Leicester players' belief

Jerome should have scored when he climbed highest to meet a first-half corner, while Redmond fizzed a shot past the post from long range with home goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel beaten.

More of the same?

While Leicester can revel in a dramatic win that keeps their unlikely title bid on track, they must also consider how to better cope when teams set up in the same manner as the Canaries.

This was only the third time this season that Leicester had the most possession in a Premier League match as Norwich were happy to concede the ball in order to not leave the sort of space in which Vardy and Mahrez have thrived.

In their final 11 fixtures, Leicester will face only three clubs in the current top nine, and perhaps plenty of others willing to follow the template set by the Canaries.

Ulloa's late winner was further evidence of the momentum and belief that has carried Claudio Ranieri's men this far in a remarkable story, but problems that the Foxes may yet encounter had already been revealed.

Action areas
Leicester had the most of the possession for only the third time this season, but spent no more time attacking than Norwich did

Man of the match - Leonardo Ulloa

Leonardo Ulloa
Not for performance, but for impact. Ulloa only came on to the pitch in the 78th minute, but may well have provided a defining moment in the title race

What they said

Leicester manager Claudio Ranieri: "It was a difficult match. Norwich played well and closed the space, but we believed until the end. This victory was very important to restart after the Arsenal defeat.

"I said before the Arsenal match that Norwich would be more difficult. Both teams could have scored a goal in the final 20 minutes.

"The conclusion I have drawn from this is that my players believe until the end. That, for me, is very important. If the other teams start to win, they can win all the matches. But for us, the next match is always the final match. That is our mentality."

Norwich manager Alex Neil: "I don't think we deserved that. In the game we had good chances and defensively we were solid.

"We kept Vardy and Mahrez quiet and we certainly deserved something. There are a lot of things to take from it.

"We have a game on Tuesday and we'll get it out of our system before then."

Late defeat tough to take - Neil

The stats

  • Leicester did not record a shot on target until the 58th minute
  • Norwich's only shot on target in this game came in the 43rd minute
  • Leicester have won four of their last five games
  • Two of Leonardo Ulloa's three Premier League goals this season have come as a sub
  • Norwich have taken one point from their last seven Premier League games
  • The Canaries have gone 14 Premier League games on the road without a clean sheet
  • Leicester have conceded only four goals in their last nine Premier League games

What next?

Leicester welcome West Brom to the King Power on Tuesday, while Norwich entertain Chelsea on the same night.

Line-ups

Leicester

  • 1Schmeichel
  • 13AmarteySubstituted forUlloaat 78'minutes
  • 5Morgan
  • 6Huth
  • 28Fuchs
  • 26Mahrez
  • 4Drinkwater
  • 14KantéSubstituted forKingat 70'minutes
  • 11Albrighton
  • 20OkazakiSubstituted forSchluppat 69'minutes
  • 9Vardy

Substitutes

  • 10King
  • 15Schlupp
  • 22Gray
  • 23Ulloa
  • 24Dyer
  • 27Wasilewski
  • 32Schwarzer

Norwich

  • 1Ruddy
  • 25Pinto
  • 24BennettBooked at 51mins
  • 5Martin
  • 17KloseSubstituted forMbokaniat 90+2'minutes
  • 12Brady
  • 22Redmond
  • 27Tettey
  • 8Howson
  • 7NaismithBooked at 48minsSubstituted forJarvisat 82'minutes
  • 10JeromeSubstituted forBamfordat 90+2'minutes

Substitutes

  • 9Mbokani
  • 11Bamford
  • 13Rudd
  • 16Jarvis
  • 21Mulumbu
  • 23Olsson
  • 28O'Neil
Referee:
Neil Swarbrick
Attendance:
32,114

Match Stats

Home TeamLeicesterAway TeamNorwich
Possession
Home58%
Away42%
Shots
Home13
Away9
Shots on Target
Home3
Away1
Corners
Home3
Away4
Fouls
Home9
Away11

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Leicester City 1, Norwich City 0.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Leicester City 1, Norwich City 0.

  3. Post update

    Foul by Marc Albrighton (Leicester City).

  4. Post update

    Matthew Jarvis (Norwich City) wins a free kick on the left wing.

  5. Post update

    Attempt missed. Patrick Bamford (Norwich City) left footed shot from the centre of the box misses to the left. Assisted by Ryan Bennett with a headed pass following a set piece situation.

  6. Post update

    Foul by Wes Morgan (Leicester City).

  7. Post update

    Dieumerci Mbokani (Norwich City) wins a free kick on the left wing.

  8. Substitution

    Substitution, Norwich City. Dieumerci Mbokani replaces Timm Klose.

  9. Substitution

    Substitution, Norwich City. Patrick Bamford replaces Cameron Jerome.

  10. Post update

    Wes Morgan (Leicester City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  11. Post update

    Foul by Nathan Redmond (Norwich City).

  12. Goal!

    Goal! Leicester City 1, Norwich City 0. Leonardo Ulloa (Leicester City) left footed shot from very close range to the centre of the goal. Assisted by Jamie Vardy.

  13. Post update

    Attempt missed. Jamie Vardy (Leicester City) left footed shot from very close range misses to the left. Assisted by Marc Albrighton with a cross.

  14. Post update

    Foul by Leonardo Ulloa (Leicester City).

  15. Post update

    Ryan Bennett (Norwich City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  16. Post update

    Attempt missed. Nathan Redmond (Norwich City) right footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the right. Assisted by Matthew Jarvis.

  17. Substitution

    Substitution, Norwich City. Matthew Jarvis replaces Steven Naismith.

  18. Post update

    Foul by Christian Fuchs (Leicester City).

  19. Post update

    Nathan Redmond (Norwich City) wins a free kick on the right wing.

  20. Substitution

    Substitution, Leicester City. Leonardo Ulloa replaces Daniel Amartey.

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Leicester27168349292056
2Tottenham26149347202751
3Arsenal26156541231851
4Man City26145748282047
5West Ham271110641311043
6Man Utd2611873324941
7Southampton2711793526940
8Stoke27116102933-439
9Liverpool2610883836238
10Watford27107102928137
11Chelsea279994037336
12Everton26811746351135
13West Brom2798102734-735
14Crystal Palace2795132935-632
15Bournemouth2778123044-1429
16Swansea2669112434-1027
17Norwich2766153051-2124
18Newcastle2666142749-2224
19Sunderland2765163251-1923
20Aston Villa2737172148-2716
View full Premier League table

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