SWANSEA, Wales (AP) — Leicester took the outright lead of the Premier League on Saturday, despite striker Jamie Vardy failing to extend his record scoring run.
The Foxes beat struggling Swansea 3-0 at Liberty Stadium, with Riyad Mahrez scoring all the goals. The 24-year-old Algerian got an early brace before securing his hat trick in the 67th minute after being set up by Vardy.
Vardy had scored in the previous 11 games, setting a Premier League record.
Leicester started the day second to Manchester City on goal difference but now leads second-place Arsenal by two points.
Garry Monk-led Swansea remains near the relegation zone with 14 points from 15 games.
Vardy was hoping to match the best top-flight mark of goals in 12 successive games set by Joe Dunne for Sheffield United in 1931-32. His best chance Saturday came when facing Lukasz Fabianski after 15 minutes but the goalkeeper saved smartly and Vardy took a backseat for once as Mahrez took his tally for Premier League goals this season into double figures.
Leicester went ahead after five minutes when Kyle Bartley needlessly conceded a corner and Swansea failed to deal with Marc Albrighton's delivery. The ball appeared to strike Mahrez on the arm before squeezing past Fabianski as Leicester scored for the 16th consecutive Premier League game.
Leicester's second arrived after 22 minutes with Mahrez appearing offside when he raced onto N'Golo Kante's pass but he made no mistake to stroke the ball past Fabianski.
The game was settled in the second half when Kante ran 40 yards (meters) unchallenged to find Vardy, who unselfishly laid the ball off for Mahrez to finish in style.
Vardy had late chances to equal Dunne's record before Bafetimbi Gomis finally brought a save out of Kasper Schmeichel at the other end.