Ranieri rewards 'best performance of the season' with cake

The Premier League champions were much improved as they prevailed on Saturday, and they will be receiving a delicious gift from their delighted manager

Claudio Ranieri hailed Leicester City's 3-1 win over Crystal Palace as their best performance of the season and will allow the team to celebrate with cake.

The Italian motivated his players at the start of last season by promising pizza if they were able to get a shutout in a Premier League match, but this time birthday cake was the incentive.

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Ranieri ensured a cake was present in the changing room following his 65th birthday on Thursday and after what he dubbed their most complete display as champions, the Leicester team will be able to tuck in.

"We have cake in the dressing room.  I said I wanted a clean sheet – maybe they don't want a piece," he joked with reporters.

"I feel good. The first 20 minutes were not so good but after that we started to play, press, play fast, and I enjoyed it a lot. We deserved to win.

"We were very solid, after the first 20 mins. But yes, I think that was our best performance this season."

The out-of-form Jamie Vardy was left on the bench after failing to score since September 10, but Ranieri insisted his decision merely came down to wanting to rotate.

"No, it was not a game for him today," he added. "Against Chelsea I left out Slimani and Mahrez; today I wanted to rotate. 

"Everybody is ready to fight for a place on the pitch. Ahmed Musa is slowly getting better and starting to understand the Premier League too."