West Bromwich close on top tier thanks to Koren double

West Bromwich 3 Leicester City 0

The prospect of Black Country derbies in the Premier League drew closer as West Bromwich dispatched Leicester, an eighth consecutive home victory taking Wolves' neighbours 12 points clear of third-placed Nottingham Forest in the fight for automatic promotion from the Championship.

Albion, who visit Watford on Monday afternoon, could be up by the evening if Forest falter in their two games in three days. However, their rivals from the East Midlands fare, Albion's vastly superior goal difference means five points from their remaining five fixtures will guarantee their fourth ascent to the elite division in nine seasons.

James Morrison, with his first goal of an injury-scarred season, and Robert Koren, who will soon lead Slovenia against England in the World Cup, landed the decisive blows late in the first half of Roberto di Matteo's 100th match as a manager. Koren danced through for a third five minutes from time.

Di Matteo praised a "great performance, considering the importance of the game". He added: "We're a step closer, definitely, and it's a great position to be in." The Italian's opposite number, Nigel Pearson, also reached a century of matches in charge of Leicester. Their fourth successive defeat, allied to Blackpool's surge, means the play-off place that once seemed secure is hanging by a thread. "We're now in what's essentially a five-game season," he said. "I've told the players we've worked too hard to let it pass us by now."

Leicester paid a high price for failing to contain Chris Brunt. The winger's free-kick saw Jonas Olsson's back-header hit the foot of the far post, and when Brunt's left-wing cross was headed away by Jack Hobbs, Morrison's half-volley tore into the right corner of Chris Weale's net.

On the stroke of half-time Leicester again failed to deal with Brunt's delivery from the flank. Once more Hobbs headed the ball away but this time it struck his team-mate Andy King and dropped obligingly for Koren to score with a scuffed shot from 14 yards.

Leicester's Steve Howard needed treatment to a head wound after Gabriel Tamas' arm caught him. Koren, taking Morrison's through-ball and rounding Weale before stroking home, added insult to injury.

West Bromwich Albion (4-1-4-1): Carson; Reid (Méité, h-t), Tamas, Olsson (Mattock, 78), Cech; Mulumbu; Koren, J Morrison, Dorrans, Brunt; Miller (Bednar, 58). Substitutes not used: Kiely (gk), Barnes, Slory, Cox.

Leicester City (4-4-2): Weale; Neilson, M Morrison, Hobbs, Berner; Oakley (Adams, 61), Wellens, King, Dyer (Vaughan, 54); Waghorn (Gallagher, h-t), Howard. Substitutes not used: Logan (gk), Brown, Kermorgant, Spearing.

Referee: D Deadman (Hertfordshire).

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
The data shows that the number of “unlawfully” large infant classes has doubled in the last 12 months alone
i100Mike Stuchbery, a teacher in Great Yarmouth, said he received abuse
Arts and Entertainment
The starship in Star Wars: The Force Awakens
filmsThe first glimpse of JJ Abrams' new film has been released online
Sport
Rio Ferdinand returns for QPR
sportRio Ferdinand returns from his three-game suspension today
News
people

Watch the spoof Thanksgiving segment filmed for Live!
Sport
Billy Twelvetrees will start for England against Australia tomorrow with Owen Farrell dropping to the bench
rugbyEngland need a victory against Australia today
Arts and Entertainment
The cover of The Guest Cat – expect to see it everywhere
books
Sport
Tyson Fury poses outside the Imperial War Museum in south London ahead of his fight against Dereck Chisora
All British heavyweight clash gets underway on Saturday night
News
i100 Charity collates series of videos that show acts of kindness to animals
Arts and Entertainment
One of the installations in the Reiner Ruthenbeck exhibition at the Serpentine Gallery
artCritics defend Reiner Ruthenbeck's 'Overturned Furniture'
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: ‘We give them hope. They come to us when no one else can help’

Christmas Appeal

Meet the charity giving homeless veterans hope – and who they turn to when no one else can help
Should doctors and patients learn to plan humane, happier endings rather than trying to prolong life?

Is it always right to try to prolong life?

Most of us would prefer to die in our own beds, with our families beside us. But, as a GP, Margaret McCartney sees too many end their days in a medicalised battle
Thomas Cook's outgoing boss Harriet Green got by on four hours sleep a night - is that what it takes for women to get to the top?

What does it take for women to get to the top?

Thomas Cook's outgoing boss Harriet Green got by on four hours sleep a night and told women they had to do more if they wanted to get on
Christmas jumper craze: Inside the UK factory behind this year's multicultural must-have

Knitting pretty: British Christmas Jumpers

Simmy Richman visits Jack Masters, the company behind this year's multicultural must-have
French chefs have launched a campaign to end violence in kitchens - should British restaurants follow suit?

French chefs campaign against bullying

A group of top chefs signed a manifesto against violence in kitchens following the sacking of a chef at a Paris restaurant for scalding his kitchen assistant with a white-hot spoon
Radio 4 to broadcast 10-hour War and Peace on New Year's Day as Controller warns of cuts

Just what you need on a New Year hangover...

Radio 4 to broadcast 10-hour adaptation of War and Peace on first day of 2015
Cuba set to stage its first US musical in 50 years

Cuba to stage first US musical in 50 years

Claire Allfree finds out if the new production of Rent will hit the right note in Havana
Christmas 2014: 10 best educational toys

Learn and play: 10 best educational toys

Of course you want them to have fun, but even better if they can learn at the same time
Paul Scholes column: I like Brendan Rodgers as a manager but Liverpool seem to be going backwards not forwards this season

Paul Scholes column

I like Brendan Rodgers as a manager but Liverpool seem to be going backwards not forwards this season
Lewis Moody column: Stuart Lancaster has made all the right calls – now England must deliver

Lewis Moody: Lancaster has made all the right calls – now England must deliver

So what must the red-rose do differently? They have to take the points on offer 
Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

It's in all our interests to look after servicemen and women who fall on hard times, say party leaders
Millionaire Sol Campbell wades into wealthy backlash against Labour's mansion tax

Sol Campbell cries foul at Labour's mansion tax

The former England defender joins Myleene Klass, Griff Rhys Jones and Melvyn Bragg in criticising proposals
Nicolas Sarkozy returns: The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?

Sarkozy returns

The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?
Is the criticism of Ed Miliband a coded form of anti-Semitism?

Is the criticism of Miliband anti-Semitic?

Attacks on the Labour leader have coalesced around a sense that he is different, weird, a man apart. But is the criticism more sinister?
Ouija boards are the must-have gift this Christmas, fuelled by a schlock horror film

Ouija boards are the must-have festive gift

Simon Usborne explores the appeal - and mysteries - of a century-old parlour game