Riyad Mahrez superb as Shakespeare revival continues at Leicester
Resilient Leicester City came from behind to secure a vital 3-1 victory over Hull City -- a win that should ensure caretaker boss Craig Shakespeare gets the job until at least the end of the season.
Leicester have suddenly become specialists in 3-1 victories. For the second game in a row the club looked like a side with a point to prove and recovered superbly after falling behind. Riyad Mahrez scored his first league goal since November and although Jamie Vardy couldn't keep his scoring streak going, the England striker was still able to weigh in with an important assist. The victory substantially eases Leicester's relegation fears. Having fallen into the bottom three after Claudio Ranieri was sacked, City now have a handy five-point cushion between themselves and the drop zone.
Leicester perhaps lacked a bit of focus at the beginning of each half. They spurned a number of chances before Hull took a first-half lead and after the break fell asleep as Harry Maguire's header came back off the post. City won the title playing with a commendable intensity for 90 minutes in most games. They must go back to that philosophy between now and May if they are to stay up and also stun Sevilla in the Champions League.
8 -- Shakespeare was right to stick with the same XI that beat Liverpool and will now hold talks with the board about his future. It would be wise to hand him the job until the end of the season, but dishing out a permanent deal straight away would be rash. Two games isn't a long enough trial. Shakespeare certainly deserves the chance to keep the role until May and if he continues to get results can sit with the board to discuss a longer contract over the summer. If he is just appointed Ranieri's permanent replacement right now there's a danger City will be searching for another new boss in a few months.
GK Kasper Schmeichel, 7 -- Could have done a little better with Hull's opener, palming Kamil Grosicki's cross straight to the feet of former Leicester youth player Sam Clucas.
DF Danny Simpson, 6 -- Struggled to police Grosicki but stayed disciplined on a difficult afternoon.
DF Robert Huth, 7 -- Missed a wonderful chance to score in the first half, but was rock-solid at the back.
DF Wes Morgan, 8 -- Excellent against Liverpool and even better against Hull. Didn't give Oumar Niasse a sniff at goal and looked composed at both ends of the field.
DF Christian Fuchs, 8 -- Weighed in with a vital goal and got forwards at every opportunity. Looked untroubled at the back as well. The Fuchs of last season appears back.
MF Marc Albrighton, 7 -- Excellent in the first half, faded in the second.
MF Danny Drinkwater, 7 -- Shakespeare seems to have reminded him to set Vardy off at the earliest opportunity and it's working. Has stopped playing as many defensive passes and is thus a positive and pivotal midfield influence.
MF Wilfred Ndidi, 7 -- Another very solid shift. Is making life a lot easier for Huth and Morgan and winning over fans with his full-blooded performances.
MF Riyad Mahrez, 8 -- A relatively quiet first half, but came to life in the second and scored a sublime individual goal. Still not the player he was last season, but starting to show flashes of brilliance once again.
FW Shinji Okazaki, 6 -- Never really a threat in front of goal, although almost got on the end of a couple of crosses.
FW Jamie Vardy, 7 -- Superb in the first half, even though he couldn't get on the scoresheet. Set up Fuchs for City's equaliser and was, like Liverpool, far more involved than under Ranieri.
MF Demarai Gray, N/R -- Replaced Okazaki and as ever caused problems with his pace without any real end product.
FW Islam Slimani, NR -- A late yet welcome cameo from the club's recording signing. Could be in line for a start against Sevilla.
Ben Jacobs is ESPN FC's Leicester City blogger. Follow him on Twitter @JacobsBen.