Leicester City relegation fears deepen with Swansea City defeat

Champions Leicester City fell deeper into the Premier League relegation mire as fellow strugglers Swansea took another stride towards survival with a 2-0 win at the Liberty Stadium.

First-half goals from defenders Alfie Mawson and Martin Olsson made it four wins in six league games for the Welsh club and five defeats in a row for Leicester.

At the end of a week when the Leicester hierarchy had publicly backed manager Claudio Ranieri, this was not what the Italian needed as the threat of his side becoming the first English champions to be relegated in the following season since 1938.

They are the first champions to lose five straight games in a season since Chelsea in 1956, are still without a league goal in 2017 and remain a solitary point above the bottom three.

Swansea, meanwhile, are four points clear of the relegation zone as they continue to build momentum under Paul Clement.

Under the circumstances it was a predictably cagey opening.

The visitors survived an early penalty appeal when Gylfi Sigurdsson’s strike hit Wes Morgan’s hand, but referee Jon Moss waved the claims.

Swansea were forced into an early change as Nathan Dyer — who had been on loan at Leicester during their title-winning campaign — limped off with an ankle problem to be replaced by Wayne Routledge.

Leicester looked to the pace of Riyad Mahrez, Jamie Vardy and Demarai Gray to unsettle Swansea, and Mawson had to be alert to deny Vardy after a rapid break.

The centre-half made another telling contribution as he stood up well to block a Mahrez effort after Swansea had given the ball away cheaply in midfield.

It took 34 minutes for either keeper to make a save, with Kasper Schmeichel getting down well to repel Routledge’s volley from a Sigurdsson flick before the Iceland international bent an effort narrowly wide.

There was a bit of niggle about proceedings too, with Leroy Fer and Jack Cork booked for cynical fouls and Robert Huth getting the same punishment for a clumsy tackle on Tom Carroll.

As the temperature rose, Swansea grabbed the lead. Huth’s clearing header only found Federico Fernandez, who knocked the ball down for centre-half partner Mawson to volley home his third goal in six games.

Swansea began to find some fluency and landed a heavy blow in first-half stoppage time by doubling their lead.

Sigurdsson and Fernando Llorente linked up superbly to find Olsson’s overlapping run and the Sweden international rifled his first Swansea goal past Schmeichel.

 Ranieri sent on Islam Slimani and Ben Chilwell for Marc Albrighton and Christian Fuchs for the second half and saw his side dominate possession.

But they struggled to create anything of note, and when they did manage to set Gray free down the left he could only slice his cross into the hands of Lukasz Fabianski.

Eventually they did give Fabianski a meaningful save to make as Mahrez slipped in Slimani, who was denied by a good stop.

Swansea dropped ever deeper but Leicester could not summon the guile to take advantage as attack after attack foundered against a determined rearguard.

Their day, and perhaps their season, was summed up when Vardy — finally afforded a clear view of goal — sliced high and wide.

Credit:@PA Sports