Vardy back with a bang as Leicester dent Burnley survival bid

Leicester dented Burnley’s attempt to avoid relegation from the Premier League when Jamie Vardy returned from injury to score a 2-0 win over Turf Moor on Tuesday.

Brendan Rodgers’ side stole the points with two goals in the last eight minutes when Vardy set up James Maddison and then scored himself.

Burnley remain in the relegation zone, one point below Everton, after their unbeaten run of three games came to a painful end.

A win or draw would have knocked Burnley out of the bottom three for the first time since November.

But instead they will have to overcome a defeat that puts their top status in grave danger.

“We weren’t as good as we’ve been, especially in the first half. Without being terrible, we just let soft things against us, didn’t play with enough pace,” said Burnley boss Sean Dyche.

It was a welcome win for Leicester in their first league game in six games since beating Liverpool on December 28.

“It took a long time. It’s hard to get a major injury. To come back and be involved in both goals and get the win, it’s very good,” Vardy said after his first goal since December.

Rodgers added: “He is a real catalyst. He makes runs and presses and is normally in the right areas to score. Having that quality and mentality back will help us.”

Leicester were the first to threaten as Youri Tielemans stole possession from Dwight McNeil and tried his luck with a long range explosion that went over the bar.

Ricardo Pereira was much closer with a snapshot from just inside the area that forced a fine save from Burnley goalkeeper Nick Pope.

With Burnley defender Ben Mee out with an injury before half-time, the hosts were vulnerable and Pope had to come to the rescue again.

Leicester forward Harvey Barnes cut in and unleashed a powerful attack, but Pope was able to palm it away with full force.

Connor Roberts made a good stop from Leicester keeper Kasper Schmeichel early in the second half.

Cornet was only inches from breaking the deadlock when he poked just wide of McNeil’s pass.

Vardy came off the bench for Leicester in the 72nd minute as the striker made his first appearance since suffering a hamstring injury in December.

In Vardy’s two-month absence, Leicester had not won any of their five league games.

He had a direct view of the goal, but hooked his volley wide.

Barnes’ thunderous effort was repelled by Pope, but Maddison finally put an end to the Burnley keeper’s resistance in the 82nd minute.

Vardy controlled Schmeichel’s long punt forward and put the ball in Maddison’s path, who curled a great charge past Pope from the edge of the area.

Burnley’s Wout Weghorst was painfully close to turning in Ashley Westwood’s low cross.

But Vardy took the points in stoppage time with a header from close range from Barnes’ cross.

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