Premier League
Leicester4Swansea0

Leicester City 4-0 Swansea City

Leicester
Leicester have lost just one of their last 21 league matches at home

Leicester City restored their eight-point lead over Tottenham Hotspur and took another stride towards the Premier League title with a ruthless demolition of Swansea City.

The Foxes were without suspended top-scorer Jamie Vardy and had watched Spurs start to apply pressure at the top of the table.

But Claudio Ranieri's side responded emphatically by equalling their best Premier League win and scoring four for the first time since Sunderland were beaten 4-2 on the opening day.

Riyad Mahrez took advantage of Ashley Williams' poor clearance to score with a composed finish before Leonardo Ulloa stepped into the space left by Vardy to ensure this was a win achieved in style and comfort.

Analysis: 'I voted Vardy but Mahrez deserves PFA award'

Ulloa headed in Danny Drinkwater's free-kick before the break, then scrambled in the third goal from a loose ball on the hour to give Leicester the advantage their superiority deserved.

Substitute Marc Albrighton added a fourth to leave Leicester needing a maximum of five more points to win the title for the first time in their history. They could even clinch it with victory at Manchester United next weekend if Spurs slip up at home to West Bromwich Albion on Monday night.

Relive Leicester's win against Swansea

Leicester City
If Tottenham fail to beat West Brom on Monday and Leicester win at Manchester United next Sunday then the Foxes will be champions.

Ulloa answers the Vardy question

What would Leicester City do without Vardy? That question has been asked plenty of times this season - and more so in recent days, after he was suspended for being sent off in the 2-2 draw with West Ham and then hit with a follow-up Football Association charge for his reaction to referee Jon Moss.

The emphatic answer came in the shape of Ulloa, who fully repaid manager Ranieri's faith in his ability to replace the man with 22 Premier League goals this season.

When Ulloa earned the Foxes a vital point with a stoppage-time penalty last weekend against West Ham, he showed he was not a man to be perturbed by pressure - and he relished the responsibility put on his shoulders against Swansea.

Jamie Vardy
Suspended striker Jamie Vardy, Leicester's top scorer with 22 goals this season, watched on from a box at the King Power Stadium

The 29-year-old Argentinian striker, an £8m buy from Brighton in July 2014, ran selflessly all afternoon to compensate for the darting, pacy threat of Vardy, and most importantly contributed two goals that eventually made this a stroll for Leicester City.

Ulloa reacted decisively to head Drinkwater's inviting free-kick past Lukasz Fabianski on the half-hour, then showed determination to make sure he was first to a loose ball to bundle home his second, Leicester's third, after Jeff Schlupp had broken clear.

The two-goal striker was rewarded with a standing ovation when he was substituted late on. Vardy was not missed - and there is no greater compliment to Ulloa's performance.

Fans roaring the Foxes home

Leicester
Television cameras were shaking at the King Power Stadium, such was the noise from the home fans throughout

Leicester's King Power Stadium demonstrated its first signs of tension during the draw with West Ham United last Sunday - a result that left the door ajar for title rivals Spurs.

Mauricio Pochettino's side took full advantage with a 4-0 thrashing of Stoke City on Monday night, and that could easily have played on Foxes' nerves.

Not a bit of it. Well before kick-off, there was a mood of expectation and optimism sweeping around this atmospheric arena, with Leicester closing in on the finale to the greatest Premier League story.

Former Leicester forward Alan Birchenall, now master of ceremonies at the stadium on match day, whipped the crowd into a fervour with a rallying speech. The traditional pre-kick-off playing of Post Horn Gallop was accompanied by a deafening greeting for Leicester's players.

And once Mahrez gave Leicester the lead, there was never a doubt about the destiny of the points. This ground reverberates on most occasions - but it has surely never been more thunderous than this.

The final seconds were played out to roars of "Barcelona, we're coming for you" - the perfect soundtrack to this wonderful, unlikely story of success.

This win, however, means that a day of yet greater celebration for the most unlikely of Premier League triumphs moves even closer.

Table
These are the remaining fixtures for Leicester and Tottenham

Ranieri gets his selection spot on

Ranieri has spent the season flouting his reputation as 'The Tinkerman' - earned during his days at Chelsea when his penchant for squad rotation sent heads spinning.

He has relied on a bedrock of the same 11 players - but he needed to make selection decisions against Swansea, and got them spot on.

Once Vardy was suspended, the Italian announced within minutes that Ulloa would be his replacement. He talked up the player's character and ability and got a two-goal performance.

He backed another winner when he dropped Albrighton down to the bench and brought in Schlupp.

The 23-year-old Ghana international may be an erratic figure but his direct, strong running unsettled Swansea and he set up Ulloa for his second goal. He may be slightly unconventional but he was another to earn a standing ovation when he was substituted.

And just to confirm Ranieri had the magic touch, Albrighton emerged from the bench to score the fourth late on.

Man of the match - Leonardo Ulloa

Leonardo Ulloa
Leonardo Ulloa made the most of his first start in five months with two goals

What they said

Leicester manager Claudio Ranieri: "It's a fantastic performance. Without Jamie Vardy everyone gave something more.

"We knew we had some difficulties but with the fight of everybody we had a good match.

"We know it will be tough because Tottenham are a good team but we will fight until the end."

Swansea boss Francesco Guidolin: "We began really well, but then we conceded the first goal and we had to change our mentality and the way we played.

"We fought for 90 minutes. Claudio is my friend and now I can say it, I hope Leicester go on and win the title because they deserve it. Leicester are a really strong team and they deserve to win the Premier League."

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Leicester deserve to win league - Guidolin

BBC Radio 5 live pundit and former Leicester player Robbie Savage: "Leicester winning the league would have to be the best achievement in domestic sport. Ever. It is that incredible. And I don't think we'll see anything like this ever again.

"I just can't believe it. Everybody here is the same from when I was around; the kitman, the people holding the doors open. But on the pitch they are transformed. It's one of those moments when you think: I was there."

The stats you need to know

  • Leicester registered their 22nd victory of the season, their biggest haul of wins ever in a top-flight season (21 in both 1928/29 and 1965/66).
  • Swansea have enjoyed just two victories in their last 13 Premier League away games, drawing three and losing eight.
  • Riyad Mahrez has been involved in a joint-league-high 28 top-flight goals this season (17 goals, 11 assists), level with team-mate Jamie Vardy.
  • Mahrez has netted four goals in his two Premier League games against Swansea this season.
  • Swansea lost by a margin of four or more goals for only the fourth time in their Premier League history (also two 5-0 defeats and one other 4-0 loss).
  • Danny Drinkwater provided his sixth Premier League assist of the season, but his first for anyone other than Jamie Vardy.
  • Leonardo Ulloa has scored three goals in his last two PL games, as many as he'd scored in his previous 25 this season.
  • Only Steed Malbranque (26 in 09/10) has been substituted more often in a single Premier League campaign than Shinji Okazaki this season (23).

What next?

Leicester travel to Old Trafford to play Manchester United on Sunday, 1 May, while Swansea host Liverpool on the same day.

Line-ups

Leicester

  • 1Schmeichel
  • 17Simpson
  • 5Morgan
  • 6HuthBooked at 81mins
  • 28Fuchs
  • 26Mahrez
  • 14Kanté
  • 4Drinkwater
  • 15SchluppSubstituted forAlbrightonat 82'minutes
  • 23UlloaSubstituted forKingat 79'minutes
  • 20OkazakiSubstituted forGrayat 73'minutes

Substitutes

  • 10King
  • 11Albrighton
  • 13Amartey
  • 22Gray
  • 27Wasilewski
  • 30Chilwell
  • 32Schwarzer

Swansea

  • 1Fabianski
  • 22Rangel
  • 33FernandezBooked at 63mins
  • 6WilliamsBooked at 72mins
  • 3Taylor
  • 7Britton
  • 10A Ayew
  • 24Cork
  • 8FerSubstituted forPaloschiat 45'minutes
  • 15RoutledgeSubstituted forMonteroat 45'minutes
  • 23SigurdssonSubstituted forKi Sung-yuengat 76'minutes

Substitutes

  • 2Amat
  • 4Ki Sung-yueng
  • 9Paloschi
  • 13Nordfeldt
  • 20Montero
  • 26Naughton
  • 58Barrow
Referee:
Mark Clattenburg
Attendance:
31,962

Match Stats

Home TeamLeicesterAway TeamSwansea
Possession
Home38%
Away62%
Shots
Home18
Away9
Shots on Target
Home9
Away1
Corners
Home4
Away6
Fouls
Home15
Away10

Live Text

Match ends, Leicester City 4, Swansea City 0.

Full Time

Second Half ends, Leicester City 4, Swansea City 0.

Attempt missed. André Ayew (Swansea City) left footed shot from the left side of the box misses to the right. Assisted by Jack Cork.

Foul by Alberto Paloschi (Swansea City).

Demarai Gray (Leicester City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Attempt blocked. Ashley Williams (Swansea City) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

André Ayew (Swansea City) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Christian Fuchs (Leicester City).

Goal!

Goal! Leicester City 4, Swansea City 0. Marc Albrighton (Leicester City) left footed shot from the centre of the box to the centre of the goal.

Attempt saved. Demarai Gray (Leicester City) right footed shot from the right side of the six yard box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Andy King.

Attempt missed. Andy King (Leicester City) header from the left side of the six yard box misses to the right. Assisted by Demarai Gray with a cross.

Neil Taylor (Swansea City) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Foul by Demarai Gray (Leicester City).

Ashley Williams (Swansea City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Demarai Gray (Leicester City).

Substitution

Substitution, Leicester City. Marc Albrighton replaces Jeffrey Schlupp.

Booking

Robert Huth (Leicester City) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

André Ayew (Swansea City) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Robert Huth (Leicester City).

Attempt missed. Andy King (Leicester City) right footed shot from the left side of the box is close, but misses the top right corner.

Attempt saved. Andy King (Leicester City) right footed shot from the left side of the box is saved in the bottom right corner. Assisted by Riyad Mahrez.

Attempt missed. Jeffrey Schlupp (Leicester City) left footed shot from the left side of the box is high and wide to the left. Assisted by Christian Fuchs.

Substitution

Substitution, Leicester City. Andy King replaces Leonardo Ulloa because of an injury.

Attempt missed. André Ayew (Swansea City) header from the right side of the six yard box is close, but misses to the right. Assisted by Ki Sung-yueng with a cross following a corner.

Corner, Swansea City. Conceded by Christian Fuchs.

Delay over. They are ready to continue.

Delay in match Leonardo Ulloa (Leicester City) because of an injury.

Substitution

Substitution, Swansea City. Ki Sung-yueng replaces Gylfi Sigurdsson.

Jefferson Montero (Swansea City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Danny Simpson (Leicester City).

Substitution

Substitution, Leicester City. Demarai Gray replaces Shinji Okazaki.

Booking

Ashley Williams (Swansea City) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Foul by Ashley Williams (Swansea City).

Daniel Drinkwater (Leicester City) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Attempt blocked. Daniel Drinkwater (Leicester City) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Riyad Mahrez.

Corner, Leicester City. Conceded by Jefferson Montero.

Attempt missed. Jeffrey Schlupp (Leicester City) right footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses the top right corner.

Foul by Neil Taylor (Swansea City).

Riyad Mahrez (Leicester City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Attempt missed. Shinji Okazaki (Leicester City) left footed shot from the centre of the box is high and wide to the left.

goal

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Leicester352210363333076
2Tottenham341911464253968
3Man City35197966343264
4Arsenal351810758342464
5Man Utd34178942301259
6West Ham341414657431456
7Liverpool341510958451355
8Southampton351591149371254
9Chelsea341211115346747
10Stoke35138143751-1447
11Everton34914115348541
12Watford34118153340-741
13Bournemouth35118164261-1941
14West Brom341010143142-1140
15Swansea351010153449-1540
16Crystal Palace35109163645-939
17Sunderland34710173957-1831
18Norwich3487193560-2531
19Newcastle3579193864-2630
20Aston Villa3537252569-4416
View full Premier League table

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