LONDON: Jamie Vardy struck in the final minute to move Leicester up to third in the Premier League with a 2-1 win at Sheffield United on Sunday.
The Foxes moved above both Tottenham and Liverpool in the table after ending a four-game winless run at an empty Bramall Lane, to push the Blades ever closer to a return to the Championship.
Clubs in tier-three areas of coronavirus restrictions in England still have to play behind closed doors, while tier-two zones such as London and Liverpool can have crowds of up to 2,000.
Sheffield United still have just one point from 11 games and were punished for a lack of ruthlessness as John Egan let Vardy run through rather than bringing down the striker outside the box and taking a red card, before the former England international kept his cool to beat Aaron Ramsdale.
The late winner was just reward for Leicester’s domination of the game as they hit the woodwork twice in the first half through Vardy and James Maddison.
Instead it was Ayoze Perez who put Brendan Rodgers’s men in front when he pounced on Marc Albrighton’s deflected shot.
However, Chris Wilder’s men hit back immediately for only their fifth league goal of the season when Oli McBurnie showed good strength to head home from a corner.
The hosts then held out more comfortably in the second period until they gifted away possession inside their own half and Maddison picked out a perfect pass to release Vardy for the winner.
Earlier, Wilfried Zaha and Christian Benteke both scored twice as Crystal Palace made West Brom pay for Matheus Pereira’s first-half red card in a 5-1 rout at the Hawthorns.
The Eagles had struggled for goals in recent weeks, but with Zaha restored after missing defeats to Burnley and Newcastle due to coronavirus, Palace were a team transformed as they moved to 11th and within three points of the top four.
At the other end of the table, the margin of defeat sees West Brom sink behind Burnley to second bottom.
Zaha made an instant impact as Palace took the lead after eight minutes when his low cross was turned into his own net by Darnell Furlong.
Furlong made amends on the half hour mark when his cross was swept home by Conor Gallagher.
But just four minutes later the game swung decisively in the visitors’ favor when Pereira was sent off after kicking out at Patrick van Aanholt.
Zaha restored Palace’s lead 10 minutes into the second half when he brilliantly curled in from 16 yards.
Four minutes later, Benteke marked his return to the starting lineup with a first goal since July by stooping to head home Van Aanholt’s cross.
Zaha made it 4-1 after 68 minutes when he stabbed in following Eberechi Eze’s strong run into the box and Benteke rounded off the scoring in style by turning his marker and powering home a left-footed drive from just inside the penalty area eight minutes from time.