Jamie Vardy passes Leicester landmark as Brendan Rodgers enjoys home debut
Jamie Vardy passed a century of goals for Leicester as the Foxes piled further misery on doomed Fulham.
The striker scored twice late on to take his Foxes tally to 101 and seal a 3-1 win in Brendan Rodgers’ first home game in charge.
Youri Tielemans’ first goal for the club opened the scoring as Leicester rose to 10th in the Premier League.
Floyd Ayite’s first goal for over a year hauled the Cottagers level but they slipped to a sixth straight defeat.
Scott Parker’s side are second bottom, 13 points from the safety line, and looked destined for an immediate return to the Sky Bet Championship.
They lacked fight and desire and their early distribution would have concerned caretaker Parker, with Vardy finding space and causing problems.
The Cottagers’ high line was playing into Leicester’s hands and only Havard Nordtveit’s excellent block denied Vardy after he broke through after 19 minutes.
But there was no late rescue two minutes later when the Foxes opened the scoring.
Wilfred Ndidi robbed the dawdling Calum Chambers in midfield and slipped Vardy clean through.
Chasing his ton the striker had just Sergio Rico to beat but he unselfishly squared for Tielemans to sidestep Tim Ream and tap into an empty net.
Sloppy Fulham were the architects of their own downfall and, sensing blood, Harvey Barnes and James Maddison shot wide soon after.
Leicester had won just one of their previous eight top flight games with only Fulham earning fewer points – three – than the Foxes’ four during that period.
But the difference in quality was evident with the hosts comfortable and Rico having to gather Tielemans’ drive at the second attempt 10 minutes before the break.
Fulham offered nothing, playing with little purpose and fight for a team battling the drop.
Ayite replaced the anonymous Ryan Sessegnon at the break as Parker desperately searched for a way back – which the substitute found within six minutes of coming on.
The Cottagers scored with their first shot as Ayite collected Chambers’ long ball on the right to breeze past Ben Chilwell into the area and his effort struck Harry Maguire to wrong-foot Kasper Schmeichel and roll in.
Leicester had paid the price for not turning their first-half control into more goals before relying on Vardy’s late show.
Before the striker grabbed the headlines, Rico’s fingertip save just after the hour turned Barnes’ curling effort wide but the Foxes struggled to rediscover their rhythm .
And they nearly fell behind after 68 minutes when the previously quiet Aleksandar Mitrovic forced Schmeichel to turn his glancing header wide after 68 minutes.
But Vardy had the final say as he completed his century of goals in all competitions – including the Community Shield – for the Foxes with 12 minutes left.
Again Fulham imploded and Kevin McDonald gifted the ball to Maddison who found Vardy scampering clear and he slid the ball across Rico.
Then, four minutes from time, he scored a second, rolling in Barnes’ low centre from 12 yards.