Here’s Jamie Vardy
“We knew we wouldn‘t have much of the ball so we set up to infuriate them a bit, try and keep the likes of Rodri off the ball. Then when we won the ball we wanted to break through their counter-press and get at their defensive line, and today it worked an absolute treat. We weren’t worried [at 1-0 down] because we knew if we stuck to our plan we’d create chances ourselves. We managed to put them all away, so happy days.
“If you’re both running at speed, whoever gets there first is going to be tripped by the player behind, and that’s what happened. I was clipped both times and they were both definite penalties. I couldn’t tell you myself [how I scored the second goal] – I just got something on it and it went over him.
“The injury’s fine. I’ve got a slight issue with a bit of growth in one of the bones, and sometimes it gives me a bit of pain. I’ll be fine for the next game.”
“Okay,” says Gary Naylor, “let’s never allow a pre-season again.”
I’m not sure what we’re actually watching, but it’s thoroughly moreish.
“I can’t see a huge difference in two of those pens given today versus the one turned down for Brighton yesterday,” says Will Morgan. “Thoughts?”
I haven’t had chance to analyse them forensically, but my feeling is that Connolly was penalised (rightly or wrongly) because he moved his leg back towards Pogba and Mr VAR felt he had manufactured the trip. Vardy didn’t quite do that. On reflection, though, I think it was wrong to overturn the on-field decision at Brighton. It wasn’t a clear and obvious error either way, so whatever decision was made on the field should have stood.
Full time: Manchester City 2-5 Leicester City
Football – effing hell. That was another crazy game in this surreal start to the 2020-21 season. Jamie Vardy tore City apart, scoring a memorable hat-trick as Leicester came from a goal down to humiliate Manchester City. He was sensational, just so ruthless when it mattered. I’m still not sure what we’ve just seen, but the scoreline definitely says Manchester City 2-5 Leicester City. Blimey.
90+2 min “Looking forward to tomorrow’s 9-9 draw in the bizarro league,” says Ben Bennett.
90+1 min Apparently this is the first time a Pep Guardiola team has conceded five in a game.
89 min All three penalties were given away when the attacker was goalside of the defender. That’s the most basic defensive error.
GOAL! Man City 2-5 Leicester (Tielemans 88)
Youri Tielemans sends Ederson the wrong way to complete a jaw-dropping victory. It’s 5-2!
86 min: A THIRD PENALTY FOR LEICESTER! A brainless tackle from Mendy on Maddison, right at the corner of the area, gives Leicester another penalty.
86 min “I’m fully expecting one of those bonkers post-match Pep interviews,” says Stephen Carr, “where he claims he’s ‘so, so proud of my players’ after they’ve been battered.”
85 min The hat-trick hero Jamie Vardy is replaced by Kelechi Iheanacho. He’s limping slightly because of that groin injury.
GOAL! Man City 2-4 Leicester (Ake 84)
Sterling’s free-kick hits the wall and goes behind for a corner. Mahrez swings it towards the far post, where Ake gets between defenders and heads firmly into the net.
83 min Mahrez is fouled just outside the area by Mendy, who is booked.
80 min Jonny Evans, who has had a terrific game on his return from suspension, is limping off to be replaced by Christian Fuchs.
79 min Vardy almost gets through on goal again. This is astonishing. For half an hour, Manchester City battered Leicester. Then all last season’s demons started to resurface, and Leicester – Vardy in particular – have been utterly ruthless.
That was glorious stuff from Maddison. He received the ball in space on the left wing, cut inside and hit a magnificent, booming curler that beat the flying Ederson and nestled in the far corner.
GOAL! Manchester City 1-4 Leicester City (Maddison 77)
James Maddison scores a quite spectacular goal!
75 min Walker smashes an angry cross that flies through the six-yard box. City haven’t responded particularly well to going behind. They might end up winning 4-3 and go on to pick up a record 112 points. But right here, right now, it looks like Liverpool are going to win the league at a canter again. They’re miles better than everyone else.
74 min “Watching Vardy reminds me that part of being a great striker is knowing when to go down and when to keep going when pressed physically,” says Brad Wilson. “ Vardy is a master at that. I am in no way saying he dives — he doesn’t — but he knows how to draw fouls and then he does not miss.”
Yeah, he’s a master at accepting invitations to go down. Whether that’s cheating, I don’t know, but most players do it so I’m not criticising him. He just does it better than most.
73 min Barnes, who has had an excellent game, surges at the heart of the City defence and blasts a shot from the edge of the area. It’s really well struck but too close to Ederson.
70 min “It goes against all one’s natural instincts, but Jamie Vardy is as smart a finisher as… well I was getting carried away and thinking Romario, but he’s probably a notch below him,” says Gary Naylor. “So who? Robbie Fowler? Gary Lineker?”
That’s quite a hard comparison to make. Fowler, for example: was he smart, instinctive or both?
69 min James Maddison comes on for Leicester to replace Dennis Praet, who is also struggling with injury.
68 min Sterling, on the stretch, heads De Bruyne’s deep cross over the bar.
67 min Vardy is holding his groin, and not only because he’s scored a hat-trick. That’s a worry for Leicester, especially as most teams have 12 games in the next two weeks.
67 min “City, just like their crosstown rivals, are rusty having had less rest and played fewer games in the preseason,” says Digvijay Yadav. “Even so, it is telling how easy it is play through them now.”
66 min Vardy has only touched the ball 15 times in the match. That includes three goals and two touches for the penalties.
65 min Phil Foden is replaced by Ferran Torres.
64 min: Delap hits the bar! This game isn’t over yet. Mendy dumps a cross into the middle, where Delap towers over the defence to loop a header onto the top of the crossbar. That was a fine effort.
63 min Walker’s angry long-range shot is well held by the diving Schmeichel.
61 min Vardy has scored nine times (N-I-N-E times) against Pep Guardiola’s City. Nobody else has scored more than five.