RESURGENT Leicester City pulled four points clear of the Premier League relegation zone thanks to Leonardo Ulloa’s brace in a 3-0 victory against free-falling Newcastle United at the King Power Stadium on Saturday.
Ulloa headed home inside the first minute and, after Wes Morgan doubled the lead in the 17th minute, fired home emphatically from the penalty spot after Emmanuel Riviere tangled with Marcin Wasilewski in the 48th minute.
Newcastle’s afternoon was compounded when Mike Williamson was sent off just after the hour for a second bookable offence before Daryl Janmaat was dismissed in added time.
Victory lifts Leicester, winners of five of their last six matches, to 16th, one point and two places behind Newcastle who have lost eight successive matches.
Later on Saturday bottom side Burnley travel to West Ham United, 19th-placed Queens Park Rangers visit Liverpool and Sunderland in 18th host Southampton.
Aston Villa face Everton, Swansea City play Stoke and Manchester United take on West Bromwich Albion.
“It was a big performance,” Morgan told BT Sport. “We came out of the blocks firing and the early goal put us in the driving seat.
“But our work isn’t done yet. There’s still games remaining. We’ve got points but we probably need another win to be certain.”
Only champions elect Chelsea have beaten Leicester since March and the confident Foxes’ were ahead after just 38 seconds when Ulloa nodded home Marc Albrighton’s cross.
A shell-shocked Newcastle fell further behind when Morgan prodded past Newcastle goalkeeper Tim Krul after Albrighton’s cross had again caused chaos in Newcastle’s defensive ranks.
That goal sparked an improvement in Newcastle’s play but they struggled to break down a confident Leicester.
Their lack of confidence, however, was personified by forward Riviere — without a goal since joining the club last year — who slipped and kicked thin air after he had burst clear during the closing stages of the first half.
Ulloa’s emphatic penalty, his 10th Premier League goal of the season, three minutes after the break all but ended the Magpies slim hopes of arresting their alarming slump.
Williamson received his first card for a challenge on Riyad Mahrez and was dismissed seven minutes later after clattering the lively Jamie Vardy.
Vardy was again he recipient of a heavy challenge from Janmaat who was dismissed in the 91st minute for a Newcastle side who have not won in the league since February 28.