City cruised into the fourth round of the FA Cup with Budweiser as they professionally saw off League 2 Burton Albion at King Power Stadium.
A third goal in two games from new boy Chris Wood inside the opening three minutes got the Foxes off to a flying start as they sought to avenge their League Cup defeat to the same opponents back in August.
And once full-back Ritchie De Laet pounced for a second midway through the first half, Nigel Pearson’s men never looked likely to be troubled by their plucky East Midlands neighbours.
They might have extended their margin of victory had Marko Futacs, on his long-awaited first start for the Club, converted two presentable chances that fell his way, while Michael Keane also saw a header cleared off the line.
But progress looked assured as soon as Wood gave them the perfect start on three minutes.
Showing just three changes from their 6-1 win over Huddersfield on New Year’s Day, Nigel Pearson’s men rarely looked likely to be on the receiving end of the kind of upset the Brewers hit them with a little over four months ago.
They may have been coasting for much of the second half, but, by then, they had earned the right to do so. Professional in and out of possession, they seized control of the game with their first attack.
Paul Konchesky spotted Wood peeling away from his marker and dropped a pinpoint diagonal onto the Kiwi’s broad chest from the left. Wood bullied his way past two defenders on the edge of the box, reaching the ball just before Dean Lyness to jab beyond the Burton ‘keeper.
It was the simplest of opening goals and another fine example of Wood’s powerful poaching prowess. The home supporters among the 14,463 in attendance expected the floodgates to open.
Burton, to their credit, continued to plug away and Robbie Weir saw a rising drive fly over Kasper Schmeichel’s crossbar, but the hosts were in total control.
They doubled their lead on 22 minutes after some persistent play from Wood, who battled his way through three challenges on the edge of the box before feeding Lloyd Dyer to his right. Dyer’s shot was blocked, but the adventurous De Laet gave Lyness no chance.
Andy King fizzed a shot over soon afterwards, before Kasper Schmeichel was forced into a rare save from Weir’s well-struck volley.
But the force remained with the hosts before half-time – Futacs frustrated by the woodwork on 37 when his improvised effort from Ben Marshall’s cross smacked the face of the crossbar.
The big Hungarian looked hungry to get on the score-sheet and couldn’t have asked for a better chance when Aaron Webster flicked King’s cross in his direction a minute after half-time. But, after bringing the ball under control with his chest, Futacs fired over from close range.
Calvin Zola brightened things up in the City box with an audacious overhead kick that Schmeichel saved easily, but the Brewers were nearly three down moments later when Manchester United loanee Keane made excellent contact with Marshall’s left-wing corner. The net looked certain to bulge, but John McGrath cleared off the line.
By now City had reduced the tempo of the game to a trot – the in-form Matty James outstanding as the game’s dictator, providing time for team-mates with measured passes before quickening the pace with bursts from deep.
King curled a shot fractionally wide after being set up by substitute Anthony Knockaert with 20 minutes to go, but the hosts’ governance of proceedings meant a third was unnecessary.
They canter comfortably into Sunday’s fourth round draw, where something more taxing could certainly await.
City (4-4-2): Schmeichel; De Laet, Morgan (c), Keane, Konchesky; Marshall (Knockaert 62), King, James, Dyer; Wood (Nugent 63), Futacs (Waghorn 75).
Unused subs: Logan, Gallagher, Schlupp, Moore.
Goals: Wood 3, De Laet 22
Burton (4-5-1): Lyness; Stanton, Honess, Webster, McCrory; Drury (Phillips 73), McGrath (Taylor 62), Bell, Weir, Maghoma; Zola (Kee 73).
Unused subs: Atkins, Palmer, Paterson, Dyer.
Attendance: 14,463 (1,604 away)
Referee: Andy D’Urso (Essex)