Swansea City 0:3 Leicester City
City regained top spot in the Premier League with a 3-0 win at Swansea, thanks to a Riyad Mahrez hat-trick…
Claudio Ranieri made one change to his side for this long trip to South Wales, with Ulloa back in for Okazaki.
City started brightly against a Swans side desperate for a win, and were ahead by the 5th minute.
The persistence of Vardy won a corner on the left, which Albrighton swung into the six yard area. Mahrez gained half a yard on Ki Sung-Yueng and appeared to divert the ball past Fabianski with his hip to give City an early lead.
Ten minutes later the lead should have been doubled as Vardy intercepted a Bartley clearance to go clear on goal. However, he failed to find the net placing his shot too close to Fabianski, who saved comfortably.
City went further ahead in the 22nd minute when Kanté delivered a perfect crossfield pass to send Mahrez in on goal, and he jabbed the ball to Fabianski’s right for a cool finish.
Mahrez should then have completed a first half hat-trick when Ulloa set him up, but his finish was too casual and Fabianski denied him.
Mahrez then returned the favour teeing up Ulloa with a chance but the Argentinian sent his shot well wide from a good position.
City had to be content with a 2-0 lead at the break when it could have been 5-0.
Swansea, with Montero on for Routledge, began the second half in more determined fashion. An early Sigurdsson free-kick from the right was headed against the bar by an unmarked Ki.
Sigurdsson then launched a shot over when well-placed but City weathered this spell of pressure from the home side and were soon running proceedings again.
In the 67th minute they put the game beyond the home side’s reach. Kanté charged forward on the break and fed Vardy in the box, who set up Mahrez, who fired beyond Fabianski’s reach to complete his first ever hat-trick.
With the match won, the game within a game was trying to set Vardy up for a goal to keep his record breaking scoring run going.
Vardy applied a fantastic first touch to a Drinkwater ball but fired his shot over the bar, and then found the side-netting from an acute angle.
At the other end Schmeichel instinctively blocked a Gomis effort and Sigurdsson’s struck the post.
King and Schlupp came on late, but the fresh legs couldn’t tee Vardy up for a chance and the final whistle brought an end to his incredible run.
However, a Mahrez hat-trick and City returning to the top of the Premier League meant it had been another fantastic day for Leicester in this amazing season.
Claudio Ranieri commented: “It was so pleasing to see that when Jamie had a chance to score, he passed to Mahrez so he could have his hat-trick. It was like giving him a penalty kick, it is a good link between them.
I am so pleased with the performance because I was worried about Swansea. They had only one win in 10 games and wanted to react, so I asked us to stay together and not spread out as they would kill us.”
Swansea: Fabianski, Naughton, Bartley, Williams, Taylor, Britton (Barrow 63), Ki (Cork 78), Sigurdsson, Ayew, Routledge (Montero 46), Gomis. Subs Not Used: Nordfeldt, Rangel, Fernandez, Cork, Emnes.
Leicester: Schmeichel, Simpson, Huth, Morgan, Fuchs, Mahrez (Schlupp 90), Kanté, Drinkwater, Albrighton, Ulloa (King 87), Vardy. Subs Not Used: Okazaki, Wasilewski, Benalouane, Schwarzer, Inter.
Referee: M Oliver. Attendance: 20,836.
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