Goals from Jamie Vardy and Richie De Laet helped move Leicester City 8 points clear at the top of the SkyBet Championship as they beat Middlesbrough 2-0 at a wet and windy Kingpower stadium.
The opening goal arrived in the 52nd minute after some superb work from David Nugent to dispossess Ayala in the area before squaring across goal to Jamie Vardy who had the simplest of tasks to stroke the ball past Shay Given.
The Middlesbrough players were incensed and believed that Nugent fouled Ayala in the build-up to the goal, but their complaints were in vein as referee Stephen Martin let the goal stand.
Leicester should have had another in the 70th minute when Rhys Williams brought down Vardy in the area, leaving the referee no choice but to point to the spot.
The resulting penalty was saved however by veteran Goalkeeper Shay Given who guessed the right way and saved his side from falling further behind.
Nugent’s blushes were spared just three minutes later though when Richie De Laet nodded home from Matty James’ free-kick to put the game beyond doubt and ensure City recorded their seventh straight league win.
The first half saw both sides largely unable to maintain possession after a heavy downpour just minutes before kick-off meant that both defences had to be particularly wary.
Middlesbrough missed several guilt edged opportunities and none more so than in the second minute when Lukas Jutkiewicz pulled his effort wide despite having time and space in the area.
Riyad Mahrez replaced Lloyd Dyer to make his debut as a Leicester City player while Kevin Phillips also joined the action for his home debut, replacing the impressive Jamie Vardy.
Leicester’s irresistible second half display was enough to end Middlesbrough’s six match unbeaten run and send the Foxes fans home knowing that an eight point margin separates themselves from second placed QPR.