The importance of a stunning first-half save from Kasper Schmeichel was highlighted by both managers after Leicester went on to comfortably beat Blackburn.

With the game goalless, despite the hosts dominating and creating a host of chances, Foxes goalkeeper Schmeichel brought the majority of the King Power Stadium to its feet after 24 minutes.

When a corner was only cleared as far as the crescent on the edge of the box, Morton Gamst Pedersen struck a volley that took a deflection and looked like wrong-footing Schmeichel. But the Dane changed direction in mid-air to acrobatically tip the ball over the crossbar.

Blackburn boss Michael Appleton described the save as "world class" and its significance was not lost on Leicester manager Nigel Pearson. "It was a fantastic save, and at a key time," said Pearson, whose side ended up winning 3-0 to halt a three-game run in the npower Championship without a victory.

"The first goal in any game is always very important and for him to make that save at that point is clearly very important for us. It would have totally been against the run of play. Sometimes you notice goalkeepers who have a lot to do, but I'd rather have a goalkeeper who has little to do but when he does have something to do he does it well."

Asked if he could remember a better save, Pearson added: "No, not really. It was a very good save. He was going the wrong way and showed a lot of agility and reaction. Kasper is having a very good season for us and he works exceptionally hard at his game. He has been a big part of our season so far.

Headed goals from Chris Wood, Harry Kane - on his home debut - and Andy King reignited Leicester's automatic promotion challenge. The Foxes are now just five points behind second-placed Watford with a game in hand on Gianfranco Zola's team.

"It is good to get back to winning ways,`` said Pearson. ``It was an important win for us and it keeps us in touch. We have still got a bit of ground to make up, but at least our destiny is in our own hands."

Blackburn's hopes of a late surge towards the play-offs are fading after a fourth game without a win. Appleton rued Schmeichel's save midway through the first half and was left wondering what might have been had Pedersen's volley gone in.

He said: "We were beaten by the better side, but who knows what might have happened had we not witnessed a world-class save. If you get the first goal things can turn in your favour, but they got the first goal and went from strength to strength."