|Chaplow 67||Venue: The Den
|Knockaert 6, Nugent 48, Schlupp 90|
LEICESTER City maintained top spot in the Championship with a 3-1 win over managerless Millwall at The Den on New Year's Day.
The scoreline somewhat flattered the visitors, who had been camped inside their own half defending a one-goal lead until Jeffrey Schlupp scored the killer third goal.
The Foxes went ahead early on through Anthony Knockaert's strike and doubled their advantage after the break when top-scorer David Nugent headed in.
Jermaine Easter should have equalised at 2-1 with five minutes to go before Schlupp made the points safe for Nigel Pearson's side in stoppage time.
Millwall were able to name an unchanged starting XI for only the third time this season as Neil Harris and Scott Fitzgerald kept faith with the side that drew at Doncaster.
Despite beating Bolton at the weekend, Leicester made five changes with Marcin Wasilewski, Ignasi Miquel, Dean Hammond, Andy King and Gary Taylor-Fletcher all starting.
Kasper Schmeichel was tested early on when Nicky Bailey caught hold of a powerful half-volley which the goalkeeper parried wide.
But the league leaders went ahead when Lowry was dispossessed 30 yards from goal and Knockaert strode forward before driving a low shot into the far corner.
Schmeichel punched away Richard Chaplow's long-range effort in the eighth minute before Gary Taylor-Fletcher spurned a glorious chance to make it 2-0, firing wide with David Forde on the deck and the goal gaping.
But the Lions soon settled and began to create good chances of their own.
Schmeichel rushed off his line to smother Steve Morison's effort after the striker got goal-side of Marcin Wasilewski.
Morison headed over from Martyn Woolford's cross in the 25th minute before McDonald's clever turn and shot drew another save from Schmeichel.
McDonald went close again soon after when, with minimal back lift, he bent a shot towards the top corner which sailed agonisingly wide.
But having finished the half strongly, Millwall found themselves 2-0 down two minutes after the restart.
Taylor-Fletcher sprung the offside trap and crossed for strike partner Nugent, who headed in from inside the six yard box.
That goal looked to have knocked the stuffing out of the Lions, but Chaplow pulled one back after McDonald's shot was parried in the 67th minute to give them hope.
Substitute Lee Martin was inches away from converting Chaplow's cross moments later as Millwall pushed for an equaliser.
Harris and Fitzgerald introduced Easter from the bench and the striker should have levelled when Morison's flick on put him through on goal, but he chipped wide of the target with Schmeichel in no man's land.
McDonald and Chaplow both sent efforts wide of the target as the fourth official held up the board indicated six minutes of additional time.
But as the Lions poured forward in search of a second goal, they were caught on the break.
After a foul on Martin went unpunished, Knockaert fed sub Schlupp, who finished cooly past Forde to put a gloss on the scoreline.