Match ends, Aston Villa 1, Leicester City 4.
Jamie Vardy scored twice as Leicester City thrashed Aston Villa to make it a club-record eight Premier League wins in a row and keep alive their hopes of catching leaders Liverpool.
Brendan Rodgers' side reduced the deficit on top spot to eight points once more with a clinical display at Villa Park, in which former England striker Vardy netted for the eighth successive match.
Vardy linked up with Kelechi Iheanacho to open the scoring after 20 minutes, skipping round Villa keeper Tom Heaton and finishing at the second attempt.
Iheanacho added the Foxes' second from close range as the visitors looked to have taken control before the break, only for Villa captain Jack Grealish to whip an effort into the bottom corner on the stroke of half-time.
The hosts' comeback was short lived, however, with Jonny Evans heading in from a corner shortly after the interval.
Vardy then dashed clear with 15 minutes remaining to slide an effort beyond Heaton and put the game out of Villa's reach.
Leicester remain second in the top flight, but now have a six-point advantage over Manchester City after Pep Guardiola's side were beaten by Manchester United on Saturday.
Foxes make it eight on the bounce
The last time Leicester City visited Villa Park they were en route to the most remarkable of Premier League triumphs, while the hosts were heading towards the Championship.
Four seasons on and, while no bookmaker will give you odds of 5,000-1, a repeat of those league-winning heroics would seem almost as unlikely, despite their lofty position.
Liverpool's dominance means any talk of Leicester's name being etched on the trophy again has been little more than a whisper, but is it time to start shouting about the Foxes' chances?
This victory means Rodgers' side have now won more top-flight games in a row than at any time in their history and have more points at this stage of the season than when Leicester won the league.
In fact, in 15 of the past 27 Premier League seasons they would be sitting top of the table after 16 games with such a tally.
Rodgers, who signed a new contract this week, is leading a side in ruthless form.
Vardy pounced for his first after a neat ball from Iheanacho, making the most of the space left behind by a limping Tyrone Mings to open the scoring - after which the Villa defender was immediately replaced.
He might have had another moments later after another neat Iheanacho pass, but instead it was the Nigerian who bundled home from close range to double the Foxes' lead.
Leicester seem to have a knack of scoring in timely fashion this season, too.
Evans' header from a deep Maddison corner stemmed Villa's fightback after Grealish had struck before the break and Vardy's second from Dennis Praet's assist ensured a club record-breaking eighth successive win in the top flight.
Many might be writing them off but no-one has told Leicester, who face their title rivals as part of a packed Christmas schedule.
Frustrating afternoon for Villa and Grealish
It has been a testing week for Villa in which they have had to mix it with two of the top four and face a trip to Manchester United.
That was coupled with the sad news former league-winning manager Ron Saunders passed away on Saturday.
After earning a draw at Old Trafford and suffering a narrow defeat by Chelsea at Stamford Bridge, boss Dean Smith said in his programme notes that his side had proved they can compete with those towards the top of the division. But they were blown away by Leicester on Sunday.
At times, captain Grealish must have felt like he was leading the fight on his own, and he cut a frustrated figure - sarcastically applauding the award of a throw-in in the first half and getting booked in the second.
The 24-year-old was up against another number 10 in Maddison who, albeit a playmaker of a different ilk, will be challenging him for a place in England's European Championships squad next summer.
Grealish, cutting in from the left, where he has been deployed in recent weeks despite saying he sees himself as more of an '8', got on the scoresheet and started the move in which Anwar El Ghazi scuffed Matt Targett's low cross against the bar with the game goalless.
Grealish is yet to get the Three Lions call at senior level, while Maddison made his debut against Montenegro last month and has been told by national boss Gareth Southgate to be "high-performance and low maintenance".
It was the Leicester man who left Villa Park the happier of the pair after his corner was headed in by Evans to effectively seal the visitors the points, and the 23-year-old might have got on the scoresheet himself after Vardy unselfishly teed him up on the edge of the Villa area, but his effort was narrowly wide.
It means Villa, and Grealish, find themselves teetering on the edge of the relegation zone with just one point to show from three games this week.
Man of the match - Jamie Vardy (Leicester)
Rodgers effect continues - the stats
- Leicester City have won their last eight Premier League games in a row - their best-ever winning run in their top-flight history.
- Aston Villa suffered their heaviest home league defeat since losing 4-0 to Chelsea in April 2016.
- Leicester striker Jamie Vardy became the first player to score in eight consecutive Premier League appearances since Vardy himself did so back in November 2015 (11 in a row).
- Jamie Vardy became the second player to have scored in eight consecutive Premier League appearances on more than one occasion, along with Ruud van Nistelrooy who did so twice in 2002 and 2003.
- Jack Grealish has scored six goals in all competitions this season, equalling his best tally in a single season for Aston Villa (also six in 2018/19).
- Leicester City have won their last four away Premier League matches by an aggregate score of 17-1.
- Kelechi Iheanacho has been involved in six goals in his two starts in all competitions against Aston Villa (four goals, two assists), scoring three goals and assisting one for Man City in January 2016 in the FA Cup and scoring and assisting today for Leicester.
- Since Brendan Rodgers' first Premier League game in charge on 3 March, Leicester striker Jamie Vardy has scored 25 Premier League goals - eight more than any other player.
Villa travel to Sheffield United on Saturday, while Leicester will look to make it nine wins on the bounce when they host Norwich City at the same time. Both sides are then in EFL Cup quarter-final action - Villa at home to Liverpool on Tuesday, and the Foxes at Everton on Wednesday.
- 27El Mohamady
- 40MingsBooked at 13minsSubstituted forEngelsat 23'minutes
- 18TargettBooked at 50minsSubstituted forGuilbertat 78'minutes
- 11NakambaBooked at 36minsSubstituted forTrézéguetat 59'minutes
- 21El Ghazi
- 7McGinnBooked at 60mins
- 6Douglas Luiz
- 10GrealishBooked at 90mins
- 9WesleyBooked at 45mins
- 21Ricardo PereiraBooked at 45mins
- 3ChilwellSubstituted forJustinat 80'minutes
- 26PraetSubstituted forAlbrightonat 76'minutes
- 14IheanachoBooked at 38minsSubstituted forBarnesat 64'minutes
- Michael Oliver
- Shots on Target
Second Half ends, Aston Villa 1, Leicester City 4.
Corner, Leicester City. Conceded by John McGinn.
Attempt blocked. Harvey Barnes (Leicester City) left footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked.
Attempt saved. Harvey Barnes (Leicester City) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the top centre of the goal. Assisted by Marc Albrighton.
Hand ball by Ricardo Pereira (Leicester City).
Attempt blocked. Ricardo Pereira (Leicester City) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by James Maddison.
Jack Grealish (Aston Villa) is shown the yellow card.
Wilfred Ndidi (Leicester City) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Foul by Jack Grealish (Aston Villa).
James Maddison (Leicester City) wins a free kick on the right wing.
Foul by Trézéguet (Aston Villa).
Ricardo Pereira (Leicester City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Frederic Guilbert (Aston Villa).
Attempt missed. John McGinn (Aston Villa) left footed shot from outside the box is too high. Assisted by Ahmed El Mohamady.
Attempt blocked. Trézéguet (Aston Villa) right footed shot from a difficult angle on the left is blocked.
Attempt missed. Trézéguet (Aston Villa) header from the centre of the box misses to the left. Assisted by Ahmed El Mohamady with a cross.
Foul by Wilfred Ndidi (Leicester City).
Jack Grealish (Aston Villa) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Attempt missed. Anwar El Ghazi (Aston Villa) left footed shot from the centre of the box is close, but misses to the right. Assisted by Wesley.