Leicester City shrugged off a recent slump in form to strengthen their grip on third place in the 2019/2020 English Premier League (EPL).
They did so with Ayoze Perez’s late double capping a 4-1 home win over lowly West Ham United on Wednesday.
Victory came at a cost though, as Premier League leading scorer Jamie Vardy hobbled off shortly before half-time.
Back-to-back defeats by Southampton and Burnley had cast some doubt over Leicester’s top-four credentials but goals by Harvey Barnes and Ricardo Pereira had Brendan Rodgers’ side in control by half time.
Skipper Mark Noble gave West Ham a lifeline in the 50th minute when he converted a penalty kick, but Perez’s late double, his first from the penalty kick spot, underlined Leicester’s superiority.
Leicester have 48 points from 24 games, eight ahead of fourth-placed Chelsea, while West Ham, who have 23 points, are only outside the relegation zone by virtue of goal difference.
Leicester have also scored 52 goals, their highest top-flight tally after 24 games since 1930/1931.
While there is no chance of another title charge, as in 2015/2016, barring an unlikely collapse in form Leicester look poised to return to the UEFA Champions League.
They are 14 points ahead of fifth-placed Manchester United.