Sunderland suffered their third successive defeat on Tuesday night as they fell to league leaders Leicester City at the King Power Stadium. 

It was perhaps always going to be a free hit for a young Black Cats side against a Foxes outfit that had won 11 from 12 ahead of Tuesday night's meeting. 

And Anthony Patterson was kept extremely busy in the Sunderland goal, Tony Mowbray's side would only lose out 1-0. 

Sunderland could have taken the lead inside six minutes, as top scorer Jack Clarke was found at the far post, but his fierce effort was kept out by the legs of Mads Hermansen. 

On 12 minutes, the hosts took the lead in frustrating fashion, as James Justin was left free to head in Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall's corner.

Sunderland were under serious pressure in the first half, and only a combination of Patterson and the post would keep out Stephy Mavididi. 

Another free-flowing move found Nigerian striker Kelechi Iheanacho in the penalty area shortly before half-time, but his shot across goal came back off the post once again.

Patterson was keeping Sunderland in the game, and he produced two fine saves in the space of 30 seconds to twice deny Chelsea loanee Cesare Casadei, who was a constant thorn in Sunderland's side.

Iheanacho was then played through on goal by the Italian but curled his shot wide, which perhaps gave Sunderland hope they could still nick something from the game, as the hosts continued to waste their chances. 

And they perhaps should have equalised with around 10 minutes remaining when Alex Pritchard beat the keeper to the ball and laid it off for Abdoullah Ba, but the Frenchman fired his effort well over the bar. 

In the end, Justin's early goal would prove enough to seal Leicester's ninth league win in a row as they extended their lead at the top to eight points, while Sunderland drop out of the playoffs ahead of Wednesday night's fixtures.

There's another tricky tie for Mowbray's side at the weekend, as they host Norwich City at the Stadium of Light on Saturday at 3pm.