Leicester beat Newcastle 1-0 to reclaim five-point lead at top

Leicester, March 15 (IANS) Shinji Okazaki’s overhead kick proved decisive as Leicester City beat Newcastle United 1-0 in Rafael Benitez’s first match in charge to go five points clear at the top of the English Premier League football tournament.

The excellent finish by the Leicester forward midway through the first half lit up a relatively quiet match at the King Power Stadium here on Monday.

Leicester have won six of their last eight league matches and show no sign of buckling under the pressure, with only eight more matches left to negotiate for a remarkable title.

They have 63 points after 30 matches. Newcastle have 24 after 29 matches and remained 19th in the table, having suffered defeat in six of their last seven league outings.

Leicester are guaranteed to be top of the pile come the beginning of April.

Benitez made two changes in his first selection and saw his team make a solid start with Ayoze Perez and Moussa Sissoko both off target with early efforts, but it was unchanged Leicester who took the lead on 25 minutes.

Newcastle did not take two chances to clear their lines from a Riyad Mahrez free-kick.

Marc Albrighton’s follow-up cross allowed Jamie Vardy to head back across the face of goal and Okazaki’s acrobatic effort just outside the six-yard box steered the ball into the net.

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