Leicester City roared back to their brilliant best with a convincing 3-0 npower Championship win over Blackburn Rovers at King Power Stadium on Tuesday night.
The strike pairing of Chris Wood and Harry Kane were both on the score sheet, along with Andy King for Nigel Pearson’s dominant Foxes in an emphatic display that underlined their promotion credentials with a welcome three points
Wood connected with Ben Marshall’s cross just before the half-hour mark to make it 1-0 – his ninth goal in nine games to continue a stunning start to his City career.
Kane then doubled the advantage on his home debut in the 42nd minute, showing great desire to meet Marshall’s corner at the far post and score his first for the Club
The excellent King then rose unchallenged to head home Martyn Waghorn's corner in stoppage time to seal the victory.
Pearson made one enforced change to the side that drew 0-0 with Blackpool by bringing in Anthony Knockaert for David Nugent, who was suffering with a slight neck injury.
There was also a return to the more familiar 4-4-2 system as on-loan Spurs striker Kane made his home debut alongside Wood up front, with Knockaert starting from the left flank.
An injury-ravaged Blackburn Rovers were also forced into a change as Morton Gamst Pedersen came in for Colin Kazim-Richards, who was suffering from an ankle knock. Former Fox DJ Campbell partnered record signing Jordan Rhodes up front in a side who last beat Leicester away in 1991 – a run spanning eight games.
It was a typically bright start from City, and Kane in particular looked eager to open his City account when in the third minute he turned Rovers skipper Danny Murphy before firing at goal, only for his tame effort to be gathered easily be Jake Kean.
A couple of speculative David Bentley efforts followed, but it was the lively Kane who again proved the sharpest in the early stages, driving a left footed strike goal wards from 20 yards and forcing a scrambling Kean to turn it around the post.
A vibrant opening 10 minutes from Pearson’s men was then almost rewarded with a goal when King leapt highest to meet Knockaert’s left wing cross and head inches wide of the post as Blackburn could count themselves lucky not to be behind.
In the 22nd minute Kane’s injection of pace inside the area saw the ball rebound to Knockaert for a first-time volley on his right, which Kean did well to save, before Danny Drinkwater’s equally powerful 25-yard strike whistled over from the resulting corner.
Despite City’s dominance, Rovers gave them a timely reminder of the threat they carry on 25 minutes when a Pedersen snapshot took a wicked deflection and required a wonder save from a wrong-footed Kasper Schmeichel to keep it out.
The response from City was immediate – Ben Marshall’s corner was flicked on by Michael Keane to Wood, whose overhead kick was cleared off the line and into the path of Keane, only for the young defender to blaze over with City left wondering how they weren’t ahead in the match.
That feeling didn’t last long though as in the 29th minute that man Wood shrugged off any suggestion he might be affected by last weekend’s penalty miss at Blackpool by powering a header past Kean from Marshall’s cross to make it 1-0.
The pressure again told on a creaking Blackburn defence just three minutes before the break.
Marshall’s corner from the right hand side reached a crowd of both blue and white shirts at the far post, but new boy Kane showed the most desire and was on hand to nod the ball past Kean to make it 2-0 with his first goal for the Club.
After the break Rovers manager Appleton responded to the two-goal deficit by introducing Marcus Olsson for Pedersen, and Adam Henley for Karim Rekik, who had endured a torrid evening against Marshall and Ritchie De Laet.
It didn’t do much to put the Foxes off their rhythm though, as in the 50th minute Wood picked out Drinkwater on the right who duly delivered a far-post pass for Kane, who controlled the ball well only to guide his angled drive high and wide.
Marshall and Kane then again fired wide for Leicester as the visitors huffed and puffed without being able to create any meaningful opportunities – City keeping a particularly close eye on the marauding Bentley in the centre of the park.
With the introduction of Nuno Gomes for Rhodes in the 72nd minute in Rovers’ third and final change, the game had began to slow to a walking pace, and if Wes Morgan had got a better connection on Marshall’s in swinging free kick it might have been put to bed, but the captain’s header glanced wide.
In the 75th minute the lively Knockaert was replaced by Lloyd Dyer on the left wing.
Dyer almost made an instant impact, robbing a flat-footed Bradley Orr of the ball and forcing Blackburn ‘keeper Kean into a smart save down low from a narrow angle.
An impressive home debut then came to an end for goal-scorer Kane with eight minutes left when he was replaced by Jamie Vardy, who scored City’s goal against Rovers in the reverse fixture earlier this season.
Still in search of a third goal, City’s main threat was coming from substitute Dyer on the left wing, and on 85 minutes he did well to tee up Wood for a curling right footed shot from the edge of the area which drifted wide.
That was to be Wood’s last involvement in the match as he was replaced by Waghorn shortly afterwards.
With a late Blackburn comeback looking increasingly unlikely, the Foxes put the icing on an emphatic victory through King in stoppage time
Paul Konchesky's 30-yard effort was took a deflection and went out for a corner, which Waghorn chipped in for King to rise unchallenged and head past Kean to earn the Foxes a thoroughly deserved 3-0 home victory.
City (4-4-2): Schmeichel, De Laet, Konchesky, Drinkwater, Morgan (c), Marshall, King, Keane, Knockaert (Dyer 75), Kane (Vardy 83), Wood (Waghorn 86)
Unused subs: Whitbread, Logan, Gallagher, Wellens
Goals: Wood 29, Kane 42, King 90
Blackburn (4-4-2): Kean, Orr, Lowe, Campbell, Rhodes (Gomes 72), Pedersen (Olsson 46), Murhpy (c), Dann, Rekik (Henley 46), Hanley, Bentley
Unused subs: Sandomerski, Givet, Morris, Goodwillie
Referee: Geoff Eltringham
Attendance: 19,561 (381 away)