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Last Updated: Saturday, 31 January, 2004, 16:52 GMT
Leicester 0-5 Aston Villa
Villa players celebrate.
Aston Villa enjoyed a resounding win with five second-half goals to keep Leicester City mired deep in relegation trouble, three points from safety.

Darius Vassell and Peter Crouch scored two apiece as Villa ran riot in a one-sided spell of 18 minutes.

Vassell's two long-range strikes sandwiched a far-post Crouch header from a Thomas Hitzelsperger corner.

Dion Dublin made it four, benefiting from poor keeping by Ian Walker, before Mark Delaney set up Crouch's second.

Vassell and Crouch were only starting together because of the continued absence through injury of leading scorer Juan Pablo Angel.

But the pair, after a quiet first-half, took centre stage to help Villa to only their second Premiership away win of the season, and their first at Leicester.

KEY MOMENTS
21 mins: McCann crashes volley against cross-bar
49 mins: Vassell opens scoring
56 mins: Crouch stoops to score his first of the season
60 mins: Vassell nets another long-range effort
64 mins: Walker mistake and Dublin scores from close range
68 mins: Crouch makes it five
The visitors took time to get into their stride, but slowly and surely imposed themselves on the game.

New boy Nolberto Solano, coming in for the injured Lee Hendrie, curled a free-kick over the bar and Gavin McCann thundered a volley onto the woodwork.

Vassell also forced a good save from Walker after breaking down the left.

Villa played the better football in the first-half, and the floodgates opened after the break.

Four minutes in Vassell broke the offside trap and let fly from 20-yards for a deserved lead.

Leicester were also forced into changes in attack with Paul Dickov suspended and Les Ferdinand injured.

Foxes manager Micky Adams pushed James Scowcroft up front alongside Marcus Bent, but the pair struggled to gel.

Scowcroft made little impact and Bent, who was unable to hold up the ball, missed an opportunity to equalise when unmarked at a corner.

Moments later Crouch showed him how to do it, stooping low to meet Hitzelsperger's corner at the far post for his first Premiership goal in 20 months.

From there on in it was one-way traffic, with three goals in eight minutes.

Like the fans I'm devastated - it wasn't good enough and heads went down after the first goal
Micky Adams, Leicester manager
Vassell again let fly with a low first-time left-foot drive from Gareth Barry's lay off.

A Hitzelsperger free-kick caused chaos in the Leicester box, and Dublin, aided by Walker's lax efforts with his mind wandering, turned in Crouch's knock down.

And then the gangly striker made it a five-star show with his second of the match, showing good footwork to collect and score from Mark Delaney's cross.

Leicester's problems could increase, with goalkeeper Walker facing potential disciplinary after pushing a supporter to the ground.


Leicester: Walker, Curtis (Sinclair 78), Scimeca, Dabizas, Thatcher, Gillespie (Hignett 63), Davidson, McKinlay (Elliott 63), Guppy, Scowcroft, Bent.
Subs Not Used: Coyne, Stewart.

Aston Villa: Sorensen, Delaney (De la Cruz 81), Mellberg, Dublin, Samuel, Solano, McCann, Hitzlsperger (Whittingham 71), Barry, Crouch, Vassell (Allback 71).
Subs Not Used: Postma, Ridgewell.

Booked: Mellberg.

Attendance: 31,056.

Referee: J Winter (Cleveland).




WATCH AND LISTEN
BBC Five Live's John Rawling
"Villa simply swamped Leicester"


Leicester manager Micky Adams
"Some of the players have disappointed themselves"




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