Derby assistant manager Richie Barker was delighted with the way the Rams executed their game plan in Tuesday night’s 3-0 League One victory at Exeter to boost their promotion hopes.

The home side saw more of the ball – they enjoyed 70 per cent possession – but the ruthless Rams were clinical with their chances and won the game with goals from Max Bird, Nathaniel Mendez-Laing and Tom Barkhuizen.

“I am pleased for our fans, given the long journey and to take something back is pleasing,” Barker said. “It is nice to get the clean sheet and it doesn’t do the goal difference any harm either.

“We were patient out of possession and I am sure – if you look at the stats – it will look like they have dominated the game.

“They are obviously a very good technical side and very well coached. We came with a plan to ensure we only pressed certain passes and we did it really well.

“There is a lot of work that goes on to ensure we give them the correct information. No two games are the same and we will have a totally different game on Saturday than tonight.

“We have to make sure the players are best prepared we we can. That is why we do the work we do and sometimes you have to sacrifice your principles in terms of letting certain teams have it and pressing certain passes.

“The lads took the information on really well.”

Exeter manager Gary Caldwell rued the mistakes that led to Derby’s goals and said: “I think they punished us for every mistake we made.

“In those big moments, against the big teams, we have to be more ruthless when we lose the ball.

“We have to foul and we have to penetrate the (defensive) line more. I thought we played well in two thirds of the pitch.
They sat back and allowed us to have the ball.

“We have to recognise that having the ball is not enough and we have to penetrate and we have to create better moments from having the ball.

“I think it is a lesson that we have to take. I don’t think it’s a disaster to lose to a team that is second in the league, but there are definitely moments where we can improve and we have to learn that very quickly.

“I thought we played well in possession in two thirds of the pitch, but we could have created more.

“There are details within the game that I feel we can improve. There are details that we did very well and the biggest lesson for me is that against these teams with physicality, speed, power and quality, they punish you for any mistake you make and we have to take that on the chin.”

Oxford head coach Des Buckingham was delighted with his team’s second-half performance as they beat Wigan 4-2 at the Kassam Stadium for their first win in six games.

He praised 20-year-old Tyler Goodrham who provided the icing on the cake with the fourth goal as the U’s moved back into the top six.

United’s other goals came from Josh Murphy, Cameron Brannagan and Ruben Rodrigues, with Brannagan also seeing a long-range shot smash against the bar.

Buckingham said: “We weren’t at our best in the first half.

“The pleasing thing for me was our response in the second half – and we’ve had players come on who have had a massive impact.

“You have to remember that when players have been out for a while it takes them time to get their match fitness and match sharpness back.

“But we have given them valuable game time now.

“At half-time we spoke about making sure we move the ball quicker and it was trying to give them clarity – simplifying things rather than complicating them.

“With players coming back we now have a lot more options and hopefully with four games unbeaten we can make this a bit of a run.

“Tyler Goodrham’s a wonderful young man who has grown massively.

“It’s a pleasure to watch him and to have a player here who is so bright and so mature for his age.”

Wigan had led through Jordan Jones’s 41st-minute shot, but their level dropped in the second half and Thelo Aasgaard’s second goal for the Latics late on proved not enough.

Wigan boss Shaun Maloney was unhappy with his team’s mentality.

Maloney said: “We were very good up until they scored and the mentality dropped.

“I put myself in the group because it’s all of us – I’ll change that mentality.

“There were two sides to our performance – and one I didn’t like.

“What I didn’t see at half-time and in the second half was an understanding of why we had been so dominant.

“We can’t take things for granted. As soon as we start to think we’re better than we are, we get hurt. You saw that in the second half.

“I’ve got some really good lads in the dressing room and some young ones who are learning.

“They have to understand that football is hard.

“As soon as you think you’re doing OK, other teams will hurt you and that’s what happened tonight.

“What we did with the ball was as good as anything we’ve produced this season.

“But that second half wasn’t. We’ve had second halves like that and games like that because of where we are as a club.

“It’s on me to change the culture at the club.”

Second-half goals from Sam Bell, Rob Dickie and Harry Cornick put a dent in Southampton’s bid for automatic promotion as Bristol City won an entertaining Championship clash 3-1 at Ashton Gate.

The home side grabbed a 52nd-minute lead when Anis Mehmeti and Jason Knight exchanged passes on the right of the box and Mehmeti crossed low for Bell to net from six yards.

Centre-back Dickie rose above the Saints defence to head home a Joe Williams corner from the left after 72 minutes and Cornick set the seal on an impressive City display by lashing home an 82nd-minute cross from fellow substitute Ross McCrorie.

Southampton had to wait until stoppage time to reply when Adam Armstrong netted from the spot following a foul on Kyle Walker-Peters.

The visitors could have no complaints after failing to find a finish to match some slick passing moves. It was Liam Manning’s best win since replacing Nigel Pearson as City boss.

His side edged an open first half in which both teams produced some attractive football without conjuring up a telling final touch.

Manning’s team were quicker off the blocks and the first seven minutes saw Bell, Tommy Conway and George Tanner have attempts on goal without troubling goalkeeper Gavin Bazunu.

It was Southampton who came closest to breaking the deadlock after 18 minutes when a looping volley from Samuel Edozie clipped the crossbar.

Knight sent a low volley wide for the hosts before City goalkeeper Max O’Leary had to save bravely at the feet of Will Smallbone.

Walker-Peters and David Brooks were combining well on Southampton’s right flank, but the Saints defence looked vulnerable as Mehmeti had a shot saved and Bell fired inches wide at the far post from a right wing cross.

City defender Zak Vyner had to block two shots from Armstrong, who also forced a save from O’Leary.

At the other end Bazunu did well to race outside his box to rob Mehmeti as he broke on to a clever Knight pass, before the half ended with a Mehmeti shot deflected into the side-netting.

Saints looked sure to go ahead a minute into the second half when Edozie sent a low left-footed drive across goal and Brooks just failed to get a touch as he slid in, colliding with a post and requiring treatment. It proved a key moment.

Russell Martin had sent on Stuart Armstrong in place of Shea Charles. But it was City who struck with Bell’s close-range finish to take a deserved lead.

From then on, Manning’s men dominated with some fast attacking football. The goals from Dickie and Cornick rammed home their superiority.

Other chances went begging, but Ashton Gate was rocking at the final whistle as home fans contemplated a late play-off challenge.

January signings Mikey Johnston and Andreas Weimann scored in either half as West Brom beat Cardiff 2-0 for a fifth straight Championship home win.

Johnston struck inside the first minute when he turned home Tom Fellows’ delivery from the right. In the 80th minute, Weimann scored his second goal in Albion colours when he rounded off a smart move involving his captain Jed Wallace.

It took West Brom all of 30 seconds to open the scoring. Darnell Furlong clipped the ball down the wing for Fellows and he was afforded the space to run at Jamilu Collins before pulling the ball back into the path of the onrushing Johnston who, on his full debut for the hosts, steered tidily beyond visiting goalkeeper Ethan Horvath.

The Hawthorns rose in the 12th minute to pay tribute with applause to stricken forward Daryl Dike. The United States international ruptured his Achilles in the 2-2 draw at Ipswich on Saturday and he is due for surgery and an extended period on the sidelines. Dike’s team-mates had worn T-shirts with his name and number on their backs while they were warming up before kick-off.

Despite the early setback, Cardiff were by no means deterred. Josh Wilson-Esbrand hit an admittedly hopeful shot tamely into Alex Palmer’s arms, before Nat Phillips caused problems from a David Turnbull free-kick and sparked panic before Albion hurried a clearance.

The hosts had an opening to double their advantage 25 minutes in, when the ball was worked down the left and Okay Yokuslu turned the ball into the path of midfield partner Alex Mowatt, but he could not keep his curling attempt beneath the crossbar.

While the score remained at one, Cardiff were always encouraged, yet there was little to report by way of second-half action until Kion Etete passed up a glaring opportunity to level for the visitors.

Wilson-Esbrand sent a deep cross to the back post, where the ball was cushioned down by Aaron Ramsey for Etete. From inside the six-yard box, he could only lift the ball over the bar.

While those Cardiff substitutes did not combine successfully, West Brom’s did. With 10 minutes remaining, Albion broke through Nathaniel Chalobah who set loose winger Wallace down the right. His cross was pinpoint for Weimann, who rolled the ball home to make the points secure.

Brahim Diaz provided a stunning response to the challenge of deputising for the injured Jude Bellingham by firing Real Madrid to a 1-0 Champions League victory at RB Leipzig.

Diaz’s superb 48th-minute solo effort secured a last-16 win at the Red Bull Arena to put the Spanish side in the driving seat ahead of the second leg at the Bernabeu, although he later limped off in a fresh blow for boss Carlo Ancelotti.

His intervention could hardly have been better timed with 20-goal England international Bellingham facing two to three weeks on the sidelines with a sprained ankle and the 14-time European champions misfiring for long periods in his absence.

Indeed, had Leipzig striker Benjamin Sesko made the most of the chances which came his way and Madrid goalkeeper Andriy Lunin not been in inspired form, the Spaniards might have had significantly more work to do on their own pitch.

The hosts set out their stall from the off when Sesko headed into the net after Xaver Schlager had helped the ball back into the box from Lunin’s punch as he dealt with David Raum’s second-minute corner.

However, the assistant referee’s flag went up immediately and the goal was disallowed, with replays showing Sesko was not offside but team-mate Benjamin Henrichs, who made contact with Lunin, was.

Sesko might have had a hat-trick inside the opening 10 minutes, failing to make the most of Xavi Simons’ fine pass and then firing straight at Lunin, although in the meantime, Real defender Aurelien Tchouameni saw a ninth-minute header cleared off the line, with keeper Peter Gulacsi safely claiming Eduardo Camavinga’s follow-up.

Henrichs tested Lunin from distance, but Toni Kroos responded in kind to keep Gulacsi on his toes after Vinicius Jr had made his first real contribution down the left.

Camavinga got in a vital touch to deflect Sesko’s 20th-minute attempt into the side-netting as Real continued to look vulnerable at the back, with Tchouameni having to make a vital challenge to deny Sesko before Vinicius stabbed wide after exchanging passes with Diaz in stoppage time.

But Bellingham’s replacement broke the deadlock within three minutes of the restart, and he did so in spectacular fashion.

Picking up the ball wide on the right, Diaz span away from Raum and cut inside Simons and then Schlager before curling a left-foot shot across Gulacsi and inside the far post.

Leipzig would have been level almost immediately had Lunin not produced a double save from Dani Olmo and Sesko, and the keeper had to race from his line to prevent Sesko from latching onto Olmo’s excellent through-ball as the Germans fought for a way back into the game.

At the other end, Schlager did just enough to put off Rodrygo as he ran onto Vinicius’ 64th-minute pass after Real had broken at pace, and the Brazilian saw a shot come back off a post after he and Diaz had ripped the home defence to shreds with 19 minutes remaining.

Lunin produced a string of saves to deny Simons, Sesko and Amadou Haidara as Leipzig pushed for an equaliser, but the late assault proved to no avail.

Herbie Kane netted a penalty at the death as Barnsley secured a late point in a 1-1 League One draw to Shrewsbury at the Croud Meadow.

The Shrews broke the deadlock in the seventh minute after Dan Udoh drove a dangerous ball into the heart of the box. The cross reached Nicky Cadden, who deflected into the back of his own net.

The Tykes had their first chance just before the 20-minute mark. John McAtee picked up a through ball on the edge of the box, but an acrobatic save by Marko Marosi kept out his curling effort.

Barnsley came close just past the 70th-minute mark when Cadden unleashed a wicked drive from just outside the box, but Marosi managed to tip the ball over the crossbar.

Tom Bayliss went on a surging run through the Barnsley defence with just under 15 minutes remaining, but his shot was parried out for a corner by Tykes goalkeeper Liam Roberts.

Shrewsbury substitute Taylor Perry conceded a penalty right at the death. Kane stepped up and converted it into the top-right corner to earn the away side a share of the spoils.

Manchester City resumed their Champions League defence with a comfortable 3-1 win at FC Copenhagen on Tuesday.

Kevin De Bruyne and Bernardo Silva netted either side of an unexpected Magnus Mattson equaliser as City dominated a last-16 first leg they could have won far more convincingly.

Pep Guardiola’s side dominated in every aspect at the Danish capital’s famously atmospheric Parken Stadium and Phil Foden completed a deserved success late on.

With close to 80 per cent possession, the holders were hardly troubled and will be confident of wrapping up a place in the quarter-finals when the sides meet again in Manchester in three weeks.

The only real downside for City was the loss of Jack Grealish through injury in the first half.

Despite having almost complete control, one thing City could not do was silence the home fans.

As anticipated, Copenhagen’s raucous following produced an intimidating atmosphere and greeted every City attack with loud whistles and even a siren.

Yet it appeared to have no effect on City, who immediately imposed themselves and should have taken the lead when De Bruyne fluffed a header from a Nathan Ake cross.

Ruben Dias also forced a save from Kamil Grabara and Ake fired the rebound over, although a raised flag suggested neither might have counted.

Copenhagen, their rustiness amid Denmark’s long winter break evident, were struggling to live with City and it came as no surprise when De Bruyne hit his 11th-minute opener.

The Belgian, who has quickly eased back into gear after a long injury lay-off, timed his run onto a Foden pass superbly and finished clinically with a low shot.

City looked hungry for more and Erling Haaland was inches away from meeting a De Bruyne cross before a Silva ball was deflected onto the woodwork by Denis Vavro.

City suffered a blow when Grealish, making his first start in six games, was forced off after 21 minutes soon after a challenge from Diogo Goncalves but his replacement Jeremy Doku added more energy to City’s attack.

Within moments of coming on Doku set up Haaland for what would have been a spectacular goal with a volleyed cross but the Norwegian’s overhead kick flew over.

City looked capable of running up a huge score but remarkably found themselves level when Ederson gifted the hosts an equaliser on 34 minutes.

The goalkeeper passed straight to Mohamed Elyounoussi and, although the former Southampton forward’s shot was blocked, debutant Mattson followed up with a fine finish.

Mattson, a recent signing from NEC Nijmegen, almost added another soon after but blazed over.

The home fans were animated but their excitement was not to last.

Silva restored normal order before the break with a fine flicked finish after De Bruyne got the better of Mattson to pick out the Portuguese.

De Bruyne almost added to the lead early in the second half when he tested Grabara before Haaland headed tamely at the keeper and Foden had an effort deflected wide.

Grabara also pushed away a long-range Doku strike and Haaland was twice denied by the keeper in stoppage time before Foden wrapped up the win after exchanging passes with De Bruyne.

Captain Gethin Jones scored his first Sky Bet League One goal for almost a year to help promotion-chasing Bolton beat Wycombe 2-1.

The Australia international, recently returned from Asian Cup duties, netted a superb 32nd-minute header from Nat Ogbeta’s cross after the visitors had impressed early on.

Jones’ previous third tier goal had been another fine header on Valentine’s Day, 2023.

Bolton’s win was sealed by substitute Jon Dadi Bodvarsson in stoppage time, before Luke Leahy scored a penalty for the visitors.

Ian Evatt’s side also needed some vital interventions from goalkeeper Joel Coleman.

Coleman, handed a home league debut with Nathan Baxter injured, produced three first-half saves; the best of them denying Dale Taylor a fine solo goal.

Wycombe came close to a 70th minute equaliser but Taylor fired wide with just Coleman to beat and that was as close as the Chairboys came to rescuing a point.

Paris Maghoma almost doubled Bolton’s lead with a stinging drive before Bodvarsson made sure of the points from Kyle Dempsey’s assist in the first minute of time added on.

Coleman’s hopes of a clean sheet disappeared seven minutes later when Leahy converted his spot-kick, awarded after the goalkeeper had brought down substitute David Wheeler.

Freddie Ladapo’s second-half equaliser ensured that Nathan Jones picked up his first point since being appointed Charlton manager.

However, a 1-1 draw against Lincoln at The Valley stretched the relegation-threatened Addicks’ winless run in Sky Bet League One to 14 matches.

The first half lacked quality until Reeco Hackett struck in the 37th minute. The Imps winger was first to latch on to George Dobson’s clearing header and drove a low finish past Harry Isted at his near post.

Ted Bishop put an early effort from a Lasse Sorensen shot wide, while Charlton struggled to fashion openings in a scrappy opening.

Tyreeq Bakinson produced a tame effort from Daniel Kanu’s lay-off inside the penalty area.

Lincoln’s Danny Mandroiu saw a 25-yard attempt crash back off the right upright in the 67th minute after Hackett nudged a short free-kick into his path.

Substitute Ladapo, on loan from Ipswich, had only been on the pitch for a couple of minutes when he levelled, striking the ball beyond Lukas Jensen from the edge of the box.

Lincoln keeper Jensen made a vital late stop to deny Tayo Edun as the visitors extended their unbeaten run to six matches, with this their fourth draw in that sequence.

Hull scored twice in four second-half minutes to boost their Championship play-off hopes with a 2-1 win at rock-bottom Rotherham.

The Millers had taken a surprise lead when Christ Tiehi opened the scoring in the fourth minute, but that proved to be far too early for them.

Their goal had taken a battering, with goalkeeper Viktor Johansson staging a one-man defiance with a string of saves to keep the Tigers at bay.

It needed an own-goal from Cameron Humphreys to draw Hull level in the 71st minute and then Noah Ohio completed the turnaround four minutes later.

They moved into seventh position ahead of another batch of games on Wednesday and are firmly in the play-off picture with 15 games to go.

Rotherham look certain to be exiting the division at the other end, sitting 12 points adrift of safety and without a win since Boxing Day.

The hosts made a perfect start and went ahead in the fourth minute as Tiehi latched on to Seb Revan’s cross and saw his side-footed effort deflected into the corner.

The Millers should have doubled their lead three minutes later as Peter Kioso’s header from Sam Clucas’ cross was brilliantly clawed away by Ryan Allsop.

They could have done with that going in as the visitors launched an assault on the Rotherham goal for the remainder of the match.

Goalkeeper Johansson was in inspired form and kept his side in front.

The Sweden international palmed away Billy Sharp’s header and then produced a miraculous stop to shovel away another from Jacob Greaves before getting down well to save Anass Zaroury’s low effort at the near post.

The second half also saw Johansson in early action as he kept out Fabio Carvalho’s header with a flying save.

Rotherham needed to stem the tide and had a rare sighting of goal when Sam Nombe was left free from Kioso’s cross but he could not make sufficient contact with his header.

Hull’s attacking onslaught eventually paid dividends as they equalised in the 71st minute.

Former Millers loanee Ryan Giles thundered a shot off the underside of the crossbar and home midfielder Ollie Rathbone played a pass straight to Jaden Philogene, who twisted and turned and then sent in a rabona cross that flicked off Humphreys and into the far corner.

Four minutes later Hull took the lead as Giles fired in a low cross for Ohio to sweep into the bottom corner for his first goal for the club.

Rotherham have not come from behind to win since last April so that was game over, with Hull returning up the M18 with three points.

New Blackburn boss John Eustace made a losing return to St Andrew’s as his side were beaten 1-0 by former club Birmingham.

Andre Dozzell struck the only goal of the Sky Bet Championship contest in the 77th minute to end City’s 388-minute drought and reward their dominance.

Tony Mowbray’s side were good value for their first win in four matches, which saw them climb to within a point of 16th-placed Rovers.

Marc Roberts hit the post and his namesake Tyler also missed two one-on-one chances for the hosts.

Eustace, who watched Saturday’s 3-1 win at Stoke from the stands, was back in the familiar surroundings after his sacking as City head coach in October.

Birmingham’s former Rovers boss Mowbray did not get the chance to enjoy any pre-match pleasantries with 44-year-old Eustace as the City manager was forced to take a seat in the stands, banned for receiving three yellow cards.

Koji Miyoshi blotted his copybook when he sized up a shooting chance after a Blues corner was partly cleared, slicing horribly wide.

However the Japan attacking midfielder got his next involvement right, threading through Tyler Roberts – only for the striker to steer the ball wide when clean through with only goalkeeper Aynsley Pears to beat.

Roberts’ namesake Marc went even closer to breaking the deadlock in the 35th minute. The towering defender, lingering upfield following a corner, clipped the outside of the post with a glancing header from Miyoshi’s hanging cross.

Little had been seen of Sammie Szmodics until the 22-goal Blackburn marksman lifted a rising effort narrowly over the bar from the edge of the box.

Szmodics forced John Ruddy into his first save when he tried to catch the veteran keeper out with a quick first-time effort which the former Wolves man palmed around the post.

Birmingham then wasted two chances in quick succession. After Marc powered a header over from close range from Dozzell’s free-kick, Tyler Roberts skied high and wide from six yards out after Pears completely mishit a pass to leave him one-on-one.

The hosts lost their momentum and Mowbray made a double switch, bringing Juninho Bacuna and Siriki Dembele on for Paik Seung-ho and Miyoshi.

Dembele flashed a rising angled effort over the bar after Tyler Roberts teed him up deep inside the box.

Dozzell spared City’s blushes when he finally poked home 13 minutes from time.

The scrappy goal came after Dozzell and Adam Stansfield had shots blocked before Cody Drameh’s cross fell back into his path off Kyle McFadzean’s foot.

Bristol Rovers came back from two goals down to defeat play-off-chasing Stevenage 3-2 on their own patch, with a stunner from captain Antony Evans sealing the turnaround.

It allowed the mid-table Pirates to get back to winning ways after back-to-back losses, but the Boro have been replaced in the top six in League One by Oxford.

Stevenage were ahead after just six minutes when Dan Butler’s long throw caused havoc in the six-yard box, which led to Kane Hemmings prodding in.

The hosts appeared to be cruising in the 24th minute when Jake Forster-Caskey doubled their lead, but Bristol Rovers quickly pulled one back when Luke Thomas bent a superb effort into the bottom corner.

The Pirates then equalised just after the hour mark as Evans got in behind down the left and Chris Martin was there to turn in his low cross.

And a brilliant comeback was completed after 67 minutes when Evans smashed in a fantastic strike from 25 yards, although the visitors finished with 10 men after Kamil Conteh’s second booking in stoppage time.

Fleetwood scored a last-gasp equaliser to earn a 1-1 home draw with Reading.

Brendan Sarpong-Wiredu tapped home on the goal line deep in added time after the Royals had taken the lead through Lewis Wing’s stunning opener.

After 15 minutes, a Fleetwood ball into the box was nodded on by Jayden Stockley to Promise Omochere whose header was tipped over by Royals goalkeeper David Button.

Reading’s Femi Azeez was sent down the right flank after 30 minutes. The winger’s cross was too vicious for Harvey Knibbs who headed over from underneath the crossbar.

Fleetwood felt aggrieved after a deep ball to the back post was scrambled goalwards by Omochere. Button lifted the ball from under his body with Town claiming it had crossed the line. Neither the referee nor the assistant thought it was a goal.

Reading opened the scoring when Wing was set up 25 yards out, before curling into the top right corner.

With one more throw of the dice, Sarpong-Wiredu tapped home unmarked at the far post to nick a point for Fleetwood.

Derby boosted their League One promotion hopes with a comfortable 3-0 victory at Exeter.

The Rams created the first chance with James Collins firing straight at Vili Sinisalo from 10 yards, while Exeter’s Reece Cole was off target with a shot from distance before sending a free-kick straight at goalkeeper Joe Wildsmith.

Derby took the lead in the 24th minute. Ilmari Niskanen lost the ball to Max Bird, who drove forward before firing past Sinisalo from distance as his shot bounced over the goalkeeper’s arm and into the net.

Jack Aitchison fired against the base of the post for Exeter, but it was Derby that ended the first half on top with Bird twice forcing Sinisalo into saves with long-range shots.

The Rams doubled their lead after 52 minutes when Nathaniel Mendez-Laing burst onto a ball over the top and had too much pace for the Exeter defence as he slammed it past Sinisalo and into the bottom corner.

The Rams completed the scoring in the 62nd minute when Tom Barkhuizen received the ball wide on the left and cut infield before curling a delightful shot into the far corner.

Leicester strengthened their position at the top of the Sky Bet Championship as captain Jamie Vardy scored against his boyhood club in a 2-0 victory over Sheffield Wednesday at King Power Stadium.

Enzo Maresca’s side had the game won by half-time and are now 14 points clear of third-placed Southampton as they close in on promotion back to the Premier League.

Vardy, who was released by the Owls for being too small as a teenager, also played a part in the opening goal for Abdul Fatawu after four minutes.

Vardy started a game for the first time in more than two months and, coincidentally, the last Championship game he was on from the start was against Wednesday.

But this was a genuine team display with threats from all over the pitch in a commanding performance against Danny Rohl’s struggling side.

Leicester took an early lead after a mix-up in the visitors’ defence.

Goalkeeper James Beadle’s short pass put Will Vaulks in trouble with Dennis Praet close by. The ball fell to Kieran Dewsbury-Hall who delivered a cross meant for Vardy – but his step-over allowed the ball to go through for Fatawu and he tapped into an empty net.

Wednesday struggled against Leicester’s slick style of play with Harry Winks, Vardy and Dewsbury-Hall all causing problems.

On the half-hour, Dewsbury-Hall twisted and put in a cross which defender Wout Faes could only hook over the crossbar.

But Leicester extended their lead nine minutes before half-time when a long ball from Faes found Dewsbury-Hall and he neatly set up the chance for Vardy to score with an angled drive.

It was his 11th goal of the season and made him Leicester’s top scorer.

The Owls briefly threatened to pull a goal back when Djeidi Gassama’s long-range shot was saved by Leicester goalkeeper Mads Hermansen.

Wednesday substitute Anthony Musaba then sent a shot inches past the far post as the game passed the hour mark.

Vardy received a standing ovation when he was substituted with 10 minutes to go.

Leicester were able to play out the final minutes under no pressure, although there were some encouraging signs for Rohl in the second half.

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