QPR 0 Leicester 1: Foxes manager Nigel Pearson praises clean sheet after they leave frustrated Rangers with all three points

Leicester moved level on points with QPR at the top of the Championship

Leicester moved level on points with Sky Bet Championship leaders QPR after what manager Nigel Pearson conceded was a much-needed victory in west London.

Fresh from Tuesday's comprehensive 3-1 defeat to Manchester City in the Capital One Cup, the Foxes headed to Loftus Road with just one point to show from a possible nine.

That poor run came to an end at Loftus Road, though, with Jamie Vardy's fine first-half strike securing a 1-0 win that brought QPR's unbeaten home record to a halt.

"We did well today and it was needed," Leicester boss Pearson said. "Results haven't gone the way that we would have liked of late.

"It was always going to be important to get something out of the game today, so to get away from here with three points is a very good return.

"They are a good side. I felt we created good opportunities, but they will probably feel they should have got something out of the games, especially after the first-half situations they had. We are delighted.

"We've only scored one goal again, but they key to it is that we've actually kept a clean sheet and we've not kept enough of those this season.

"Away from home at QPR, for us to still be creating the chances that we did I think was positive for us.

"The added bonus for us today is that collectively we defended very well and we had to because they put you under a lot of pressure here.

"I thought it was a good game. We felt at times this season that we've not come out of those sort of games with probably what we deserve and it just nice to start this Christmas period with a very important win."

Home clashes with Reading and Bolton now await Leicester, while QPR will try to make amends for this disappointing defeat when they face at Nottingham Forest on Boxing Day.

"It is very frustrating, really," assistant manager Kevin Bond said. "We have had this conversation before.

"We haven't created as many chances as we perhaps want to over the course of the season so far, which is why it has been vitally important we keep clean sheets.

"If you look at the way the game panned out, it just played into their hands. They got men behind the ball, got a bit of pace about them and in the end were a threat on the break.

"As much as we tried, we couldn't get the break we needed today. We had half a dozen good chances to make the difference and it just wasn't our day.

"It is going to happen, we just need to pick ourselves up as we obviously have a big game with Forest coming up next week."

QPR's inability to make their advantage pay saw frustration grow as the match wore on.

Benoit Assou-Ekotto and Charlie Austin almost came to blows in first-half stoppage-time and Joey Barton was sent off as the game came to a close for two bookings in quick succession.

"Joey seems to be the focus on lots of things," Bond, speaking instead of Harry Redknapp, said. "He had already had conversations with the ref.

"He seems to be the focal point and, in his position, he can't afford to put himself up for anything, really. His reputation doesn't do him any favours, for sure."

PA

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