Leicester manager Claudio Ranieri hails front pairing's partnership

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Leicester manager Claudio Ranieri hailed the teamwork of Jamie Vardy and Riyad Mahrez as the Foxes returned to the top of the Barclays Premier League.

Ranieri's men swept aside struggling Swansea 3-0 at the Liberty Stadium with Algerian striker Mahrez scoring his first hat-trick in English football.

It was the first time Vardy had failed to score in a Premier League game since August 22 as he missed out on equalling the record of Irishman Joe Dunne, who scored in 12 consecutive top-flight English games for Sheffield United between October 1931 and January 1932.

But Ranieri said: "He (Vardy) is not disappointed, he is okay.

"He is happy because he knows over anything else this is a team, it comes above them.

"I would have liked him to have a chance, we thought there were a few handballs near the end for him to have a penalty. But it is okay."

Mahrez's hat-trick moved him into double figures for the season but Ranieri said he was more delighted with his strikers' link-up play than the efforts of any particular individual.

"I don't like to say it is all about one player, they played like a team," Ranieri said.

"They help each other and talk to each other, the dressing room leads our play.

"Everyone talks about Vardy scoring but now Mahrez has done so.

"It was so pleasing to see that when Jamie had a chance to score, he passed to Mahrez so he could have his hat-trick.

"It was like giving him a penalty kick, it is a good link between them.

"I am so pleased with the performance because I was worried about Swansea.

"They had only one win in 10 games and wanted to react, so I asked us to stay together and not spread out as they would kill us."

Swansea have now taken six points from the last 33 on offer to leave them in relegation bother and manager Garry Monk under huge pressure.

Monk's position will surely come under further scrutiny after an abject performance where they did not muster a single attempt on goal until after Mahrez had completed his hat-trick after 67 minutes.

"It was a very bleak performance, in the first half especially," said Monk.

"I could debate their first two goals. I thought the first was handball and the second was offside, but there is no point.

"It is very frustrating and it is hard to put a finger on it.

"We were extremely poor, the results are not acceptable for the players, myself or the fans.

"The club deserve better than what we are giving them."

But Monk, who steered Swansea to a best Premier League finish of eighth last season, insists he remains the man to turn around the club's fortunes.

"I will work as hard as I can and continue to do so until I am told not to," Monk said.

"I believe I am the man to turn things around but it is out of my hands.

"It is about looking deep inside yourself and making sure the club gets what it deserves, Whether that be with me or someone else."

Premier League

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