Leicester hammer hapless Villa in EPL

Leicester's Jamie Vardy scores his side's second goal from the penalty spot against Aston Villa

Leicester City cruised to a 4-0 victory against Aston Villa in a Monday night Midlands derby, as Villa failed plunged further in the Premier League's relegation zone.

Harvey Barnes scored the first goal five minutes before half-time after he rounded Villa goalkeeper Pepe Reina, who came charging outside of his penalty area to give Barnes an easy score.

The video assistant referee (VAR) was called upon on 63 minutes, and awarded a controversial Leicester penalty after the ball appeared to hit Villa defender Tyrone Mings on the shoulder, but it was ruled as a handball offence.

Jamie Vardy stepped up to convert the penalty on his 300th Leicester appearance before adding a second goal on 79 minutes and Barnes doubled his tally with five minutes to play.

Manager Brendan Rodgers believes Leicester's intensity and desire were key to the thumping victory.

"The intensity is very important to how we play so the pressure was much better this evening," he said.

"That desire is so critical for us because at the start of the season we were talked about as a team that might scrape into the top six and it's been that spirit, desire and collective confidence to allow us to be in the position that we are in.

"Our ambition is to stay there."

Leicester sit comfortably in third place on 53 points after their latest win, while Villa are three points back from relegation safety with 25 points in 19th.

Villa boss Dean Smith believes the penalty awarded for Leicester's second goal proved to be Villa's downfall.

"It's a massive moment," he told Sky Sports. "One-nil, we are still in the game. Massive moments but it went against us.

"I didn't even know what it was given for at the time. Obviously they checked for handball and for me it's hit his shoulder, but it gets given and they score.

"It becomes a bit of a basketball match (after that) because we have to try and get back in it and then we end up conceding a poor goal."