Belfast Telegraph

Leicester boss Claudio Ranieri: let's seize Premier League title dream

Leicester 4 - Swansea 0

By Nick Mashiter

Leicester boss Claudio Ranieri has called on his players to finish the job and win the Premier League. The Foxes cruised to a 4-0 win over insipid Swansea yesterday to move eight points clear at the top of the table.

Tottenham will cut the gap if they beat West Brom at White Hart Lane tonight but if they slip up Leicester can win the title at Manchester United next week.

They need just five points from their final three games to guarantee the title, after being 5,000-1 to win the League at the start of the season.

Leonardo Ulloa replaced the suspended Jamie Vardy and scored twice while Riyad Mahrez and Marc Albrighton also netted.

Ranieri said: "I talked to my players before the match and I said we had a dream so far, now make a dream reality.

"Now is the right moment to push. If Tottenham are better than us, okay, but we have to fight because we'll never have this fantastic moment again.

"Now there are only three matches, we know they are very important for our history but we will give everything. We play with our hearts and it's difficult to beat those who play with the heart and soul."

They breezed past Swansea without the banned Vardy and Ranieri was proud they answered the doubters.

He said: "It's important because everyone wanted to see our answer without Jamie Vardy and that was a fantastic answer in my opinion.

"I am very pleased with Leonardo, he scored twice, I am very pleased with (Jeff) Schlupp and all of my players. Leonardo made a fantastic performance, he jumped, he scored two goals, he attacked, he defended. Well done."

Mahrez was delighted to get on the scoresheet and praised Leicester's team spirit. He said: "I'm happy because it was a difficult game. Now we have three games to go, we know it's closer so we need to keep going because everyone is working for each other and it's a great team spirit.

"In this team we don't need just one player (with Vardy out), we're really together and we play for each other. Sometimes I have to score, or Leo, but it's an achievement, I'm very happy.

"We needed this win because it's closer, three games to go, we're eight points clear as Tottenham haven't played."

After bagging his brace for the hosts, man of the match Ulloa said: "I am happy because this team is unbelievable, we played so well. We missed Vardy - who is a very good player - but we played well."

Swansea boss Francesco Guidolin watched his side capitulate after captain Ashley Williams' mistake gifted Mahrez a 10th-minute opener.

They are safe this season but have now shipped seven goals in their last two games following last week's 3-0 defeat at Newcastle.

Guidolin said: "Leicester deserve to win the league title because they are a very strong team.

"This is a dream for Leicester and I can understand why Claudio had tears in his eyes a few weeks ago (at Sunderland). I am very, very happy for him.

"I saw my team fight for 90 minutes against the strongest team in the Premier League.

"We have to improve, (conceding goals) it is not a problem of defenders, it is a problem of the team."

Belfast Telegraph


From Belfast Telegraph