Leicester crushes Swansea 4-0, closing in on 1st PL title
LEICESTER, England (AP) Leicester easily coped without suspended top-scorer Jamie Vardy on Sunday, sweeping to a 4-0 victory over Swansea to move closer to winning the English top flight for the first time in the club's 132-year history.
Vardy's replacement, Leonardo Ulloa, scored twice after Riyad Mahrez's opener and Marc Albrighton completed Leicester's biggest win of the Premier League season.
Two wins from the last three games will guarantee Claudio Ranieri's team the title. Tottenham is eight points behind Leicester heading into Monday's game against West Bromwich Albion.
''It was fantastic, without Jamie everyone makes something more and it was a fantastic show to see my players fight and play together,'' Ranieri told British broadcaster Sky Sports. ''We know we had some difficulties but, with the fight of everybody, we made a good match.
''I asked for this kind of performance - `Be hungry, be solid, press a lot.' We knew they keep possession of the ball very well and we were so concentrated and Ulloa made some fantastic goals.''
If Tottenham loses Monday, Leicester can clinch the title win with a win at Manchester United next Sunday.
Leicester doesn't know if Vardy will be eligible then. Vardy, who has scored 22 goals in Leicester's astonishing title run, was suspended for Sunday's game after being sent off the previous weekend.
The England forward accepted his angry reaction constituted improper conduct, but he has requested a Football Association hearing to try to avoid the one-match ban being extended.
On Sunday's showing, Leicester isn't so reliant on Vardy - an encouraging sign as it looks forward to a season of Champions League football when squad rotation will be a necessity.
Leicester got off to a dream start against Swansea, which had little to play for having effectively sealed survival and offered little resistance.
Swansea captain Ashley Williams' attempt at a first-time pass hit Mahrez. It was a gift for the Algeria winger, who cut inside and showed impressive composure to send a left-footed strike inside the near post in the 10th minute for his 18th goal of the season.
Ulloa put Leicester further ahead on the half-hour by heading in Danny Drinkwater's free kick and he turned in another shot at the far post with 30 minutes remaining after fine build-up play by Jeffrey Schlupp.
Albrighton, a second-half substitute, added further gloss to the win in the 85th minute. Andy King's cushioned downward header fell kindly for Demarai Gray, whose shot was kept out by Lukasz Fabianski but Albrighton slammed in the follow-up.