Likely Old Trafford coronation as Leicester march on towards title, says Richard Buxton
If Spurs slip tomorrow, Foxes can seal title at Theatre of Dreams on Sunday
LEICESTER CITY 4
(Riyad Mahrez 10, Leonardo Ulloa 30, 60, Marc Albrighton 85)
SWANSEA CITY 0
Dreamland now beckons for Leicester City at the "Theatre of Dreams".
Aided by an incapable Swansea City succumbing to a 4-0 defeat yesterday, the show goes on for Claudio Ranieri's side.
An encore next week may bring down the curtain on the battle for the English Premier League title race this season.
Win against Manchester United next Sunday and the title will be all but guaranteed. This is where things finally threaten to become tricky for the Foxes.
Deep down, they knew this day would come; the period where their season-long stroll to the crown would face potential jeopardy.
Previous challenges have been proven to be misnomers. Swansea can count themselves as the latest in that list.
United, however, are not a challenge for the faint-hearted. They have made and broken champions.
Not so long ago, they were serial champions.
Riding high after Saturday's FA Cup semi-final triumph and on the verge of sealing Champions League qualification, Old Trafford's Red Devils will be no pushovers.
Sealing the title there would be the stuff of legends for Leicester.
West Ham gave them a scare last weekend that Swansea were never going to repeat, but United might.
Ranieri claimed that he had 24 "Caesars" within his ranks, but gladiators will be required in English football's grandest amphitheatre.
Fortunately, they already boast a magician in their midst.
At times, Riyad Mahrez has been taken for granted in the ranks of the current champions-elect.
His brilliance still somehow finds itself overshadowed in a starting 11 that possess a combination of vision, pace, firepower and heart.
The Algerian is all four rolled into one, with an added repertoire of wizardry that comfortably filled the void left by the suspended Jamie Vardy yesterday.
NO VARDY, GOT PARTY
Vardy has been the star, but even in absentia, the headlines went elsewhere.
Leonardo Ulloa may consider it somewhat vindicated by a two-goal haul that safeguarded victory against the Swans.
But Ranieri knows different, hailing Mahrez as both Leicester's light and colour.
He also increases the decibel levels at the King Power Stadium, raising the roof with a 10th-minute strike yesterday, after capitalising on a misplaced pass from Ashley Williams.
No Vardy, no party? Hardly.
The England striker may be the embodiment of the most remarkable fairy tale in EPL history, but Mahrez is a close second, if not his equal.
Picking which of the pair deserves to be crowned the EPL's Player of the Year has become a Sophie's choice for many.
Mahrez's 17th goal of the campaign ensured that there is now little separating the mercurial duo.
He has been directly involved in 28 goals this season, more than any other EPL player with the exception of one... Vardy.
That personal battle of one-upmanship remains the key ingredient behind Leicester's success and has rendered the heel-snapping of Tottenham, now eight points adrift with four games left, a mere afterthought.
On to Old Trafford.
"Without Jamie, everybody made something more. And it was fantastic to see every player fight."
— Leicester City manager Claudio Ranieri, lauding his players in the absence of their suspended top scorer Jamie Vardy
- LEICESTER: Kasper Schmeichel, Danny Simpson, Wes Morgan, Robert Huth, Christian Fuchs, Riyad Mahrez, N’Golo Kante, Danny Drinkwater, Jeff Schlupp (Marc Albrighton 82), Leonardo Ulloa (Andy King 79), Shinji Okazaki (Demarai Gray 73)
- SWANSEA: Lukasz Fabianski, Angel Rangel, Federico Fernandez, Ashley Williams, Neil Taylor, Leon Britton, Jack Cork, Leroy Fer (Alberto Paloschi 46), Gylfi Sigurdsson (Ki Sung Yueng 76), Andre Ayew, Wayne Routledge (Jefferson Montero 46)
LAST NIGHT’S OTHER RESULT
- Sunderland 0 Arsenal 0