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Result: Riyad Mahrez hat-trick fires Leicester City top of Premier League

Jamie Vardy fails to score for the first time in 12 matches, but Riyad Mahrez's hat-trick moves Leicester City top with a 3-0 win over Swansea City.

Jamie Vardy's scoring run has come to an end, but Riyad Mahrez's hat-trick has sent Leicester City clear at the top of the Premier League table with a 2-0 victory over Swansea City at the Liberty Stadium.

After Manchester City slipped to defeat at Stoke City in the lunchtime kickoff, Leicester knew that victory would see them lead the Premier League outright, and they got off to the perfect start in South Wales.

Vardy's tenacity won a corner for the visitors in the opening minutes and when Marc Albrighton whipped it in towards the front post, Bafetimbi Gomis missed his defensive header and Mahrez bundled past Lukasz Fabianski to break the deadlock.

Riyad Mahrez of Leicester City celebrates scoring his team's first goal during the Barclays Premier League match between Swansea City and Leicester City at Liberty Stadium on December 5, 2015© Getty Images

The hosts began to find something of a foothold in the match after going behind, but their deficit was almost doubled when Vardy robbed Ashley Williams and ran in on goal only to see Fabianski's strong hand turn his low effort away.

Claudio Ranieri's side were in the ascendancy, and they extended their lead midway through the first half when N'Golo Kante's lofted pass found Mahrez unmarked on the right flank, and the winger cut inside to slot home.

Leicester continued to cut through the Swans defence before the break and it could have been three when Fabianski denied Mahrez a hat-trick, before Leonardo Ulloa shot wide when he perhaps should have played in Vardy.

The home side were booed off at the whistle, but they gave Leicester something to think about shortly after the restart when Ki Sung-yeung's header came back off the crossbar.

Leicester City's Algerian midfielder Riyad Mahrez celebrates after he scored his second goal during the English Premier League football match between Swansea City and Leicester City at The Liberty Stadium in Swansea, south Wales on December 5, 2015© Getty Images

Garry Monk brought Jefferson Montero off the bench in an attempt to find a way back into the game, and the winger's pace caused immediate problems for the visitors' defence as he set up Gylfi Sigurdsson, but the Icelander could only fire over the bar.

That brief improvement was short-lived, however, as Leicester put the result beyond doubt with 22 minutes remaining as Kante charged forward on the break and played in Vardy, and the striker unselfishly played in Mahrez on the overlap to smash home his third.

Vardy should have extended his scoring run to 12 matches when he was played in by Danny Drinkwater's fine pass but he could only fire well over the crossbar with just the goalkeeper to beat as Ranieri's side looked for more.

Neither Bafetimbi Gomis nor Andre Ayew could beat Kasper Schmeichel in rare chances for the poor home side, but Leicester cruised home to move two points clear at the summit.

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Swansea player Andre Ayew in action during the Barclays Premier League match between Swansea City and Newcastle United at the Liberty stadium on August 15, 2015
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Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Chelsea54101211113
2Liverpool54101211113
3Manchester UnitedMan Utd5410134913
4Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton540174312
5Manchester CityMan City53111111010
6Everton5311107310
7Tottenham HotspurSpurs530236-39
8West Ham UnitedWest Ham522111748
9Brentford52215238
10Aston Villa52128717
11Watford520368-26
12Leicester CityLeicester520358-36
13Arsenal520329-76
14Crystal Palace512258-35
15Southampton504146-24
16Wolverhampton WanderersWolves510425-33
17Leeds UnitedLeeds5032512-73
18Newcastle UnitedNewcastle5023613-72
19Burnley501439-61
20Norwich CityNorwich5005214-120

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