Posted by News Express | 10 December 2016 | 2,374 times
Jamie Vardy scored a hat-trick as Leicester City pulled off a stunning victory over an out-of-sorts Manchester City.
The Foxes were 2-0 up in five minutes as Vardy ended his 10-game run without a Premier League goal by slotting home, and Andy King curled in moments later.
It was 3-0 within 20 minutes as Vardy added another after skipping past visiting keeper Claudio Bravo, and he completed his hat-trick by intercepting a misplaced John Stones pass and finishing from a narrow angle.
Aleksandar Kolarov, with a free-kick, and Nolito scored late consolation goals for the away side.
They have now lost back-to-back league games for the first time since Pep Guardiola took over in the summer, and are four points adrift of leaders Arsenal.
For defending champions Leicester, victory ended a five-game run without a league win and moved them up to 14th.
Man City pay for chaotic defending
Guardiola said this week he wanted a new rule to allow teams to use up to six substitutes - and after five minutes he may have hoped his wish was a reality.
Manchester City have kept just two Premier League clean sheets this season, and Guardiola reshuffled his formation to start with a back three of Pablo Zabaleta, John Stones and Bacary Sagna.
That strategy was swiftly scrapped, though, when his side fell 2-0 down after just 255 seconds - Kolarov was hauled out of midfield and into a hastily created back four.
The visitors, looking marginally better for the change, still managed to get caught on the break for Leicester’s third and frequently put themselves under pressure by trying to play out from the back – Stones’ misplaced backpass for Vardy’s third the costliest example.
Their fragility could well be a result of their lack of a consistent starting XI, with Guardiola never having kept the same line-up for two consecutive games during his time at Etihad Stadium.
Suspensions for Sergio Aguero, Fernandinho and Nicolas Otamendi had forced the Spaniard to make changes here, and his side were devoid of cohesion.
For all their possession, they did not have their first shot on target until Kolarov scored a well-placed free-kick in the 82nd minute, and only salvaged further respectability when Nolito tapped in the Serb’s low cross late on.
Foxes show championship charm again
Leicester, who were a point above the relegation zone when they kicked off, were superb and, for perhaps the first time this season, showed all the hallmarks of last term’s incredible title-winning campaign.
That most unlikely of championships was built on resolute defending, lightning-quick counter-attacking, Vardy’s goals and Riyad Mahrez’s magic – all of which were on show.
Mahrez pulled off a superb first touch to direct a high ball to Islam Slimani, who in turn slid in Vardy for the opener, and the Algerian repeated the feat when he redirected a long ball into the path of Vardy for Leicester’s third.
Vardy, who scored 24 Premier League goals last season, had endured a 741-minute goal drought in the league, but took his tally for this term to five when he capitalised on Stones’ error and somehow threaded a finish from the tightest of angles. (BBC)
•Photo shows hat-trick hero Jamie Vardy.
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