Riyad Mahrez scored a hat trick as Leicester City defeated Swansea City 3-0 on Saturday and regained the Premier League lead.
Mahrez got things started with a goal in the 5th minute to give the Foxes the lead. He then extended the lead with another goal in the 22nd minute. The hat trick was completed in the 63rd minute.
The win took Leicester back to the top of the Premier League standings as Manchester City suffered a 2-0 loss to Stoke City. Manager Claudio Ranieri praised his side after the win.
“It was a fantastic performance,” Ranieri told lcfc.com. “We played like a team and when we play in this way, it’s very good for us.
“I asked the players to be compact because Swansea move the ball very quickly, one and two touches and it would be a difficult match. They’d only won one of their last 10 matches so today would have been a day they wanted to come back, they wanted to stay strong with us.
“We have to play like we’re desperate on the pitch and play for each other because the team is the leader. When we play in this way, we can make a very good performance.”
Many eyes were on Jamie Vardy heading into the game, as he had the opportunity to score for the 12th straight game, having set a new Premier League record last weekend. But the English international passed up an opportunity to go for a goal when he instead ending up passing Mahrez for his third goal of the game.
“It’s good because everyone was looking at Jamie Vardy, but Mahrez was fantastic,” Ranieri said. “Riyad worked hard for the team, but also scored the goals. I appreciated it very much when Vardy had the ball, but passed it to Riyad.”