Match ends, Leicester City 3, Fulham 1.
Brendan Rodgers secured his first win as Leicester City manager to push Fulham closer to relegation, as Jamie Vardy reached a century of goals for the Foxes.
Rodgers - who started with a defeat at Watford after his switch from Celtic - was afforded a warm reception from fans at the King Power Stadium before kick-off and they were able to celebrate with a victory.
Vardy was the key figure throughout, unselfishly setting up a simple first-half finish for Youri Tielemans before rising to the occasion after substitute Floyd Ayite's scrappy equaliser for the Cottagers after the break.
He raced on to James Maddison's perfect through ball to put Leicester back in front with 12 minutes left, then got his 100th goal for the club when he turned a finish past Sergio Rico after 86 minutes.
Fulham, under the interim management of Scott Parker, had no answer and this is a defeat that leaves them cut adrift from safety and surely on their way back into the Championship after just one season in the top flight.
Vardy shows importance
Vardy's relationship with Claude Puel was always a bone of contention before the Frenchman's sacking - but he has demonstrated his continued importance in the first two games of the Rodgers era.
Vardy and Puel always seemed ill at ease and it looked like the coach never fully trusted the former England striker in his preferred style.
Here, and indeed when he scored in Rodgers' first game at Watford, Vardy has made the sort of impact that means he will figure prominently as the new manager formulates his early plans.
Another stylish performer was Belgium midfielder Youri Tielemans, on loan from Monaco, and he is the sort of player Rodgers relishes having.
The 21-year-old ran the show in the first half, not just scoring a relatively simple goal but demonstrating the sort of vision that will make him a hot property whether he stays at Leicester or not.
Rodgers was beaming at the final whistle, delighted to get those first three points on the board.
The Cottagers on the way down
Fulham's fate is surely sealed after this latest defeat - 13 points from safety and 11 behind Cardiff City above them after the Bluebirds' home win over West Ham.
And performances like that produced in the first half on Saturday are why they are where they are - players strolling around without any urgency, seemingly oblivious to the seriousness of their position.
Ayite's equaliser prompted a show of fight, but in the end cheap goals were conceded and relegation is the price they will pay.
This cannot be put at Parker's door. The damage was done in a summer of scattergun recruitment, then poor results under Slavisa Jokanovic and Claudio Ranieri.
It is now merely a question of when their return to the Championship is confirmed - and then it is a question of whether Parker is given the full-time task of rediscovering a club who have lost their way.
Vardy matches Lineker - the stats
- Vardy scored his 100th goal for Leicester in all competitions, becoming the first player to achieve that feat for the Foxes since Gary Lineker.
- Vardy has scored 74 Premier League goals - since the start of the 2014-15 season, only Harry Kane (122), Sergio Aguero (109) and Romelu Lukaku (81) have scored more.
- Since the start of the 2014-15 season, only Riyad Mahrez (27) has assisted more Premier League goals for Leicester than Vardy (24).
- Three of Maddison's past four Premier League assists for Leicester have been provided for Vardy.
- Fulham have lost 14 of their 16 Premier League away matches this season (W0 D2 L14), conceding 40 goals.
- Leicester manager Rodgers has won all seven of his Premier League matches against Fulham, the joint-best 100% record in the competition's history for a manager against one opponent (also Jose Mourinho v Portsmouth and Roberto Mancini v Wigan Athletic).
- The Cottagers have lost their past 18 away top-flight matches when they have conceded the first goal.
- Fulham's Ayite became only the second Togolese player to score a Premier League goal, after Emmanuel Adebayor (97 goals between 2006 and 2016).
Man of the match - Jamie Vardy (Leicester)
Rodgers praises 'world-class' Vardy - what the managers said
Leicester manager Brendan Rodgers: "The first goal typifies the unselfishness of Jamie Vardy. He squared the ball to Youri Tielemans when he was on the brink of his 100th goal - that tells you everything about the player he is.
"All of a sudden they got to 1-1 and it gives them a little bit of momentum, but huge credit to the boys [for their reaction]."
On Vardy: "He's showed over the past couple of years that he's a world-class striker. I'm just really glad that he's here. He's a brilliant focal point for the team."
Fulham manager Scott Parker: "Individual errors have cost us the game and have been a massive part of this year.
"It's going to be really, really tough. I sit here with realism. I understand the situation. I'm not blinded by that.
"The message remains that as long as it's mathematically possible we fight - but we know it's going to be really tough."
Leicester travel to Burnley on Saturday, 16 March (15:00 GMT), while Fulham welcome Liverpool to Craven Cottage the following day (14:15 GMT).
- 14Ricardo Pereira
- 21TielemansSubstituted forGhezzalat 72'minutes
- 10MaddisonSubstituted forMendyat 81'minutes
- 7GraySubstituted forOkazakiat 72'minutes
- 23BryanBooked at 60mins
- 6McDonaldSubstituted forViettoat 82'minutes
- 12BabelBooked at 55minsSubstituted forSeriat 67'minutes
- 3R SessegnonSubstituted forAyitéat 45'minutes
- 20Le Marchand
- 29Zambo Anguissa
- David Coote
- Shots on Target
Second Half ends, Leicester City 3, Fulham 1.
Attempt blocked. Tom Cairney (Fulham) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Luciano Vietto.
Foul by Jonny Evans (Leicester City).
Aleksandar Mitrovic (Fulham) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Nampalys Mendy (Leicester City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Floyd Ayité (Fulham).
Attempt blocked. Harvey Barnes (Leicester City) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Ben Chilwell.
Offside, Fulham. Håvard Nordtveit tries a through ball, but Aleksandar Mitrovic is caught offside.
Goal! Leicester City 3, Fulham 1. Jamie Vardy (Leicester City) left footed shot from the centre of the box to the bottom right corner. Assisted by Harvey Barnes.
Attempt missed. Nampalys Mendy (Leicester City) right footed shot from outside the box is too high. Assisted by Ben Chilwell.
Attempt saved. Shinji Okazaki (Leicester City) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the top centre of the goal. Assisted by Ricardo Pereira.
Substitution, Fulham. Luciano Vietto replaces Kevin McDonald.
Substitution, Leicester City. Nampalys Mendy replaces James Maddison.
Foul by Shinji Okazaki (Leicester City).
Floyd Ayité (Fulham) wins a free kick on the right wing.
Goal! Leicester City 2, Fulham 1. Jamie Vardy (Leicester City) right footed shot from the right side of the box to the bottom left corner. Assisted by James Maddison with a through ball following a fast break.
Corner, Fulham. Conceded by Jonny Evans.
Attempt saved. Joe Bryan (Fulham) left footed shot from the left side of the box is saved in the bottom left corner. Assisted by Tom Cairney.
Ricardo Pereira (Leicester City) wins a free kick on the right wing.