29.04.2024 23:26 h

Vardy leads Leicester to Championship title

Jamie Vardy scored twice as Leicester celebrated their promotion to the Premier League in style on Monday with a 3-0 win at Preston that secured the Championship title.

The Foxes' return to the top flight was sealed after Leeds' shock 4-0 capitulation at QPR on Friday.

Enzo Maresca's men needed victory at Deepdale to guarantee beating Ipswich to top spot with a game to spare and did so with ease, thanks in large part to their 37-year-old captain.

Vardy was one of the heroes of Leicester's memorable Premier League triumph in 2016 and part of the side that also lifted the club's first FA Cup just three years ago.

He played a central role in another night to savour for the travelling fans as he took his tally for the season to 20 goals.

"We knew it was going to be a tough game but we got the job done. Celebrating with the fans is great," said Vardy.

"How could you not love scoring goals? Especially the second one, scoring in front of the fans - you can't get a better feeling than that."

Vardy opened the scoring when his mishit effort found the far corner on 36 minutes before smashing into an unguarded net after Wout Faes' shot came back off the post.

Kasey McAteer set the seal on the title party when he headed in Abdul Fatawu's cross 23 minutes from time.

After retaining much of the squad that were surprisingly relegated last season, Leicester desperately needed to return to the riches of the Premier League at the first attempt with the club running up huge losses.

They were charged in March by the Premier League for alleged breaches of profit and sustainability rules (PSR) relating to their last three years in the top flight.

If found guilty, Leicester could start life back in the top flight with a points deduction.

The battle to join them in the Premier League next season is set to go to the final day of the Championship season on Saturday.

Leeds sit second on goal difference ahead of Ipswich, who have a game in hand away at Coventry on Tuesday.

Ipswich then host Huddersfield, who are practically relegated, on the final day while Leeds face Southampton at Elland Road.

Only the top two are automatically promoted, while teams that finish from third to sixth go into the playoffs to determine the third promotion spot.