Leicester comfortably overcame Bristol City at King Power Stadium to continue their outstanding run of form with a fifth straight npower Championship win.
David Nugent’s fifth goal of the season after 20 minutes and a second-half own-goal from Robins defender Richard Foster made it five wins out of five on home soil for Nigel Pearson’s men.
Professional and efficient if not as dazzling as they have been in recent weeks, the win was enough to take the Foxes to the top of the Championship table for the first time in nine years.
And while Cardiff’s evening victory at Ipswich ensured their spell at the summit was rather brief, Pearson’s side will take huge confidence into the forthcoming international break after an impressive start to the campaign.
Showing some signs of fatigue at the end of a gruelling first 10 games, Leicester remained a class above their visitors from the West Country, whose manager Derek McInnes went on to tip them for promotion following his side’s defeat.
Whether the Foxes can back up such an early claim remains to be seen, but the early indications are extremely promising.
Searching for answers after inconsistent results in their first three games, Pearson’s men have roared back with six wins in their last seven to join the early-season pacesetters.
They look a side comfortable in their shape and setup, with every player aware of the requirements of his role. From the solid foundations laid by the relentlessly consistent Wes Morgan, to the metronome-like passing game of Danny Drinkwater and the tireless running of Nugent – it is a side bang in its stride, for which the games simply cannot come quickly enough.
It is also a side sprinkled with stardust, not least from the magical young Frenchman Anthony Knockaert, whose performances continue to catch the eye.
Knockaert was almost on the end of a dangerous Lloyd Dyer cross after just four minutes, before setting up Nugent for a low shot that Tom Heaton saved with his feet soon afterwards.
Bristol City, who saw Sam Baldock’s header force a save from Kasper Schmeichel in the very first minute, were now up against a storm of blue attacks. Dyer was the latest to work Heaton after tip-toeing his way in from the left on seven minutes.
An opener looked on the cards and Nugent delivered on 20 minutes, having blown a glorious chance to do it moments before.
Both Andy King and Jamie Vardy neglected to shoot when the chance presented itself inside the box, leaving Knockaert to jink down the right and chip to the far post, only for Nugent to head wastefully over.
But his fifth goal in three home games was right around the corner, as he held off Lewin Nyatanga to get on the end of a Vardy pass and slot confidently past Heaton.
Those expecting the floodgates to open were mistaken as the hosts continued to control proceedings, without tearing forward at every opportunity.
Nugent might have done better after Knockaert and Vardy had combined to set him up on the counter attack, but scuffed his shot straight at Heaton.
At the other end, Morgan produced key blocks from Cole Skuse and Albert Adomah to ensure an untroubled half for Kasper Schmeichel.
The loss of Paul Konchesky to illness at the break brought about a return to action for Ritchie De Laet, while an exhausted Vardy saw his afternoon was given a break when he was replaced by Marshall soon afterwards.
The loss of Sean St. Ledger, apparently to a hamstring injury, will have caused a few more concerns and the Republic of Ireland international is likely to be scanned early next week before his involvement in the forthcoming internationals are confirmed.
King and Knockaert were both denied by last ditch tackles after being put clear by Dyer and Nugent respectively, while Schmeichel continued to observe from the relative tranquillity of the Leicester penalty area.
The game was eventually taken out of Bristol City’s reach 18 minutes from time. Drinkwater clipped a pass into the inside-left channel, where his central midfield partner King was charging into space. King chipped intelligently to the far post and Foster, under pressure from Nugent, headed into his own net.
All that remained was for the hosts to cruise home, although Heaton did have to produce a fine save to deny Knockaert a third goal in two games on a late break forward.
Fortress King Power Stadium remains insurmountable and hope continues to grow.
Leicester (4-4-2): Schmeichel; Moore, Morgan (c), St. Ledger (Whitbread 63), Konchesky (De Laet 46); Knockaert, Drinkwater, King, Dyer; Vardy (Marshall 51).
Unused subs: Logan, Waghorn, James, Futacs.
Goals: Nugent 20, Foster og 74
Bristol City (4-3-3): Heaton; Carey (M. Wilson 70), Fontaine (c), Nyatanga, Foster; Skuse, Morris (Anderson 82), Pearson; Taylor, Baldock (Davies 59), Adomah.
Unused subs: Gerken, J. Wilson, Woolford, Stead.
Booked: Carey, Morris.
Attendance: 22,529 (632 away)
Referee: Trevor Kettle (Rutland)