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Mahrez on target in 100th game for Leicester

Premier League

Leicester City climbed into the top half of the Premier League for the first time since September with a comfortable 3-0 victory over Watford on Saturday.

With both teams safely in mid-table, the opening exchanges lacked energy until Wilfred Ndidi finished emphatically after Danny Drinkwater’s cross was not dealt with by Watford’s defence.

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Riyad Mahrez had a memorable 100th Premier League appearance for Leicester by scoring a goal. Photo: Carl Recine, Action Images via Reuters

Having earlier hit the crossbar, Riyad Mahrez, playing his 100th Premier League match, doubled the advantage by capitalising on further sloppy defending to stab home in the 58th minute.

Marc Albrighton completed the victory with an excellent third, finishing off the woodwork after Jamie Vardy’s break in the 93rd minute.

Leicester, who fell as low as 18th in February, climbed to ninth with 43 points from 35 games – three more than Watford in 15th.

* Hull City’s hopes of avoiding Premier League relegation suffered a body blow after goals from Billy Jones and Jermain Defoe condemned them to a 2-0 home defeat by already axed Sunderland on Saturday.

The result left Hull one place above the drop zone in 17th on 34 points from 36 games, two more than 18th-placed Swansea, who host Everton later in the day.

Right back Jones headed in a 69th-minute opener against the run of play, and Defoe bundled in the second goal in stoppage time, although video replays showed he was offside when a free kick from the right was delivered into his path.

* Stoke City defender Ryan Shawcross deflected the ball into his own net to earn Bournemouth a 2-2 draw and ensure the Cherries will play Premier League football again next season.

Stoke had not scored away from home since January, and it was Bournemouth midfielder Lys Mousset who broke the drought, heading Marko Arnautovic’s corner into his own goal in the 33rd minute.

Junior Stanislas deftly guided home the equaliser for Bournemouth on the hour mark, before Stoke striker Mame Biram Diouf scored his first Premier League goal of the season.

Shawcross deflected Josh King’s shot into his own net with eight minutes left to leave Bournemouth 10th in the table, three places ahead of Stoke.

* Burnley edged a point closer to Premier League survival as Sam Vokes scored a late equaliser in a 2-2 draw at home to West Bromwich Albion.

Vokes had given Burnley the lead in the 56th minute, but West Brom hit back with goals by Salomon Rondon and Craig Dawson.

With five minutes remaining, Vokes looped a header over Ben Foster, who found himself out of position.

Burnley need one point from two games to be mathematically assured of a second successive top-flight season.

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