Oct 22 (Reuters) - Champions Leicester City left striker Jamie Vardy on the bench but capped a fine week with a 3-1 defeat of Crystal Palace that manager Claudio Ranieri described as their best performance of the season.
Ahmed Musa and Christian Fuchs both scored their first goals for the club while Shinji Okazaki grabbed his first of the season as Leicester returned to the kind of form that propelled them to the title in May.
Yohan Cabaye scored a late consolation for the Londoners.
“That was our best performance so far this season. It was the shape and model of last season and we concentrated on doing our job,” Ranieri, who turned 65 on Thursday, told the BBC.
“I said I would share my birthday cake in the dressing room if I got a clean sheet... They clearly don’t want a piece!”
After continuing their 100 percent start in the Champions League on Tuesday, Leicester’s disappointing domestic form came back under scrutiny but they responded emphatically.
Initially it was Palace who were the more threatening though and Christian Benteke’s powerful header cannoned off the crossbar with Leicester slow to get into their stride.
Leicester had created little until three minutes before halftime when record signing Musa lashed home an unstoppable shot from Islam Slimani’s set-up.
Ranieri’s side doubled their lead when Okazaki fired home in the 63rd minute after Danny Drinkwater’s cross was only half cleared by the Palace defence and Austrian defender Fuchs iced the cake with a thunderous third from 25 metres.
Palace, who were perhaps a little hard done by to be trailing 3-0, grabbed some reward for an impressive 23 goal attempts when Cabaye struck five minutes from time.
Leicester are now unbeaten in 20 Premier League matches at home -- just one short of matching the longest streak in the top flight since Chelsea’s 21 unbeaten run ended in August 2015.
Reporting by Martyn Herman, editing by Ed Osmond and Pritha Sarkar