Vardy hat-trick in stunning Leicester win at Man City


Jamie Vardy completes his hat-trick against Manchester City
Sunday’s defeat was the first time Manchester City have conceded five goals in a home game since February 2003

Jamie Vardy scored a hat-trick as Leicester City inflicted a remarkable defeat on Manchester City to go top of the Premier League.

Despite going behind to a superb fourth-minute strike by former Foxes midfielder Riyad Mahrez, the visitors responded in stunning fashion.

Vardy levelled with a penalty before the break after he had been fouled by Kyle Walker, and he then sealed his second treble against Pep Guardiola’s side from the spot, after he had cleverly turned home Timothy Castagne’s cross to make it 2-1.

James Maddison scored for the first time since 1 January when he curled home a stunning fourth for Leicester.

And although Nathan Ake pulled one back with his first goal since a £40m summer move from Bournemouth, a third Leicester penalty – this time converted by Youri Tielemans because Vardy had already gone off – completed a memorable afternoon for Brendan Rodgers’ Foxes, who have started a top-flight season with three successive wins for the first time.

In contrast, Guardiola was suffering his worst home defeat as City boss, with his team now in the bottom half of the table.

Fearsome Vardy

For most of the opening period, the possibility of Leicester returning to the top of the table appeared remote.

But with Vardy they always have a chance. Even at the age of 33, the striker remains frighteningly fast.

Walker is no slouch but the England right-back was panicked into making a rash challenge when the Leicester forward got ahead of him inside the box. Vardy’s powerful spot-kick gave Ederson no chance of keeping it out.

His second penalty was equally emphatic after another City defender, Eric Garcia, had got himself into the wrong position as he tried to challenge Vardy.

In between, Vardy tucked home a poacher’s effort Leicester’s most celebrated old boy, Gary Lineker, would have been proud of. The supplier was Castagne, who is turning into a very astute purchase, given how willing the Belgian is to push forward from his right-back role as manager Rodgers demands.

Maddison’s return adds the dimension the Foxes lacked so badly as their 2019-20 season petered out into a relatively disappointing fifth-place finish.

The only sour note for the visitors were injuries to midfielder Dennis Praet and defender Jonny Evans.

The latter in particular may prompt some hard thinking among the Leicester hierarchy, given they had a £30m bid for Burnley centre-back James Tarkowski turned down on Friday.

Man City’s market move

It is now just a matter of time before Benfica defender Ruben Dias completes his move to the Eithad. And on this evidence, the Portugal international cannot come soon enough. The fee will be about £65m, with centre-back Nicolas Otamendi going the other way for about £13.7m in a separate deal.

Guardiola has made the purchase of a right-sided central defender a priority before the transfer window closes on 5 October. He does not trust either Otamendi or England international John Stones in that role – and he knows if the situation is not addressed, the chances of City overhauling Liverpool are almost non-existent.

Against Leicester, Eric Garcia, wearing a headguard to protect the 16 stitches he sustained during a training ground incident that kept him out of the season opener at Wolves, started in the position earmarked for 23-year-old Dias.

In defence, it was an orthodox role in a four-man backline. But as soon as the hosts were in possession – which was fairly often – Garcia became the central component of a back three, which skipper Fernandinho was part of, allowing Walker and Benjamin Mendy to turn into wing-backs.

Garcia’s future is unclear. The 19-year-old Spaniard has a year left on his contract, has refused to sign another and wants to go back to Barcelona.

More to follow.

Leicester City

  1. Squad number9Player nameVardy

  2. Squad number10Player nameMaddison

  3. Squad number8Player nameTielemans

  4. Squad number27Player nameCastagne

  5. Squad number15Player nameBarnes

  6. Squad number24Player nameMendy

  7. Squad number4Player nameSöyüncü

  8. Squad number6Player nameEvans

  9. Squad number2Player nameJustin

  10. Squad number26Player namePraet

  11. Squad number18Player nameAmartey

  12. Squad number1Player nameSchmeichel

  13. Squad number14Player nameIheanacho

  14. Squad number28Player nameFuchs

Line-ups

Man City

  • 31Ederson
  • 2Walker
  • 50García
  • 6AkéBooked at 60mins
  • 22Mendy
  • 25FernandinhoSubstituted forDelapat 51′minutes
  • 16Rodri
  • 26Mahrez
  • 17De Bruyne
  • 47FodenSubstituted forTorresat 64′minutes
  • 7Sterling

Substitutes

  • 11Zinchenko
  • 13Steffen
  • 14Laporte
  • 21Torres
  • 48Delap
  • 69Doyle
  • 80Palmer

Leicester

  • 1Schmeichel
  • 27Castagne
  • 18AmarteyBooked at 51mins
  • 6EvansSubstituted forFuchsat 80′minutes
  • 4SöyüncüBooked at 47mins
  • 2Justin
  • 26PraetSubstituted forMaddisonat 69′minutes
  • 8TielemansBooked at 22mins
  • 24Mendy
  • 15Barnes
  • 9VardySubstituted forIheanachoat 85′minutes

Substitutes

  • 10Maddison
  • 11Albrighton
  • 12Ward
  • 14Iheanacho
  • 17Pérez
  • 20Choudhury
  • 28Fuchs

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