Ranieri praises battling Foxes display

Leicester boss Claudio Ranieri was delighted to see his side stand up to a physical Stoke team on Saturday to emerge 3-0 victors at the King Power Stadium.

The Foxes took a one-goal lead into the break after Danny Drinkwater opened the scoring on 42 minutes, and Jamie Vardy made it 2-0 on 66 minutes before Leonardo Ulloa wrapped up the win at the death.

However, Ranieri hailed a job well down at both ends of the pitch as his defence kept chances to a minimum against the Potters, who managed just three shots on the day.

The victory meant that the West Midlands outfit returned to the top of the Premier League table, three points clear of Arsenal, who are only in action on Sunday against Chelsea, and the Italian felt it was vital to keep churning out results ahead of a tough run of fixtures against Liverpool, Manchester City and the Gunners.

"Yes I'm very pleased because Stoke City are such a strong team," he told Foxes Player HD after the match. "They are tall and tough but we won against this team and I'm very, very pleased.

"We scored at the right moment in the first half. It was our first goal outside of the box and a first goal for Drinkwater. It was amazing and I'm very happy and very pleased with him. The second half we continued to press.

"Today I told the players, 'this is our match'. We must win and we must win because it's very important to go into the little break with three points and at the top of the league as now comes a strong February with three unbelievable matches, so it's important to be ready.

"Everything is an extra motivation because what they are doing is something extraordinary and nobody can believe what Leicester are doing.

"It's important to continue and we are in good condition. It's okay. It's not possible to win and score in all the matches, but it's important that when you can't win to take a point and don't lose.

"The situation is fantastic. Now we are top of the league, it's not important how other teams do. For us it's important to be top of the league, to achieve three points and to be strong."