Manchester City 2, Leicester City 5
Jamie Vardy hit a hat trick to expose Manchester City’s defensive frailties once again as Leicester City thrashed five goals past them at the Etihad.Embed from Getty Images
Vardy, who has now scored nine goals against Pep Guardiola’s City, made himself at home against a slow City defence which was missing the authority of Aymeric Laporte despite a great start that saw Riyad Mahrez open the scoring after just 4 minutes.
James Maddison’s wonderstrike beat Ederson and, while Nathan Ake pulled one back with a header, Youri Tielemans rounded off the scoring with Leicester’s third spot kick of the game as Kyle Walker, Eric Garcia, and Benjamin Mendy were all at fault with abysmal mistakes to give them away.
City had fired off 16 shots with 5 on target but the lack of an experienced striker up front ended up costing them as Leicester City kept things tight, blocked off the passing lanes around Rodri, and then hit them on the break with some clinical finishing.
A depleted Manchester City saw Garcia starting alongside Nathan Ake wearing a Petr Cech style skull cap following head injury suffered soon after the restart against Arsenal.
There will be defensive changes for City in the coming weeks as rumours of a swap deal involving Nicolas Otamendi and Ruben Dias of Benfica gained ground in the last few days.
Without the injured Gabriel Jesus, who joined the lengthening injury list alongside John Stones, Raheem Sterling played up front with Riyad Mahrez coming into the side on the right flank.
There were three youngsters on the bench in Liam Delap, Tommy Doyle, and Cole Palmer as City boss Pep Guardiola rang the changes again following the Thursday win over Bournemouth in the Carabao Cup.
In all Guardiola made two changes from the Premier League side that beat Wolves last Sunday with Garcia replacing Stones and Mahrez coming in for Jesus.
And Mahrez opened the scoring against his former club o his 200th Premier League appearance after just four minutes with a straight arrowed finish on his weaker right foot into the top corner after collecting James Justin’s clearing header from Kevin De Bruyne’s corner.
Rodri looked like a player who had been encouraged to get forward more and fired over the bar from long range while Mahrez fed Sterling who shot straight at Schmeichel.
Fernandinho met De Bruyne’s free kick but his header was an easy catch for Schmeichel.
There were precious few chances for Leicester, with one half chance which Vardy almost got on the end of in the first half, but that was just the first signs of trouble to come.
De Bruyne’s cross was cleared by Daniel Amartey, who started for the Foxes in the Premier League for the first time in almost two seasons with Wilfried Ndidi missing injured.
The crossing remained dangerous by City though and De Bruyne’s free kick into the box was converted by Rodri’s well taken header after 35 minutes but it was clearly offside as the Spanish midfielder went too soon.
City’s dominance wasn’t turning into enough clear cut chances, and Leicester soon punished them.
Jamie Vardy punishes Manchester City’s defensive frailty yet again
Just a minute later Kyle Walker hauled down Jamie Vardy who was going clean through on goal in City’s penalty area after an astute through ball by Harvey Barnes.
The Leicester striker made no mistake with his spot kick, a fierce effort into the top left corner which Ederson could not reach.
Nerves were starting to show for City – Barnes was sent through by a long ball forward from Leicester which Garcia got back in time to deal with.
The Foxes kept their deep lying 5-4-1 shape off the ball to frustrate City after the break, and it wasn’t long before Guardiola shook things up by introducing Liam Delap for a Premier League debut in place of Fernandinho and becoming the fourth youngest debutant in the league for City after Daniel Sturridge, Phil Foden, and Micah Richards.
But it was Leicester who took the lead for the first time after Timothy Castagne was set free down the right and his cut back was turned in with a superb flick by Vardy who had got in front of Garcia.
Barnes forced Ederson into a save to parry a goal bound shot as City’s defence went into melt-down without Fernandinho helping to anchor it.
Garcia gave away another spot kick for Leicester after allowing Vardy to get in front of him again.
The lethal Foxes striker smacked in his hat trick from the penalty spot low and to the right, beating Ederson to the punch again to register his ninth goal against Guardiola’s City – including two hat tricks – one more than a certain Lionel Messi.
It was expecting a lot to have 17-year old Delap rescue City – his header from Mendy’s left wing cross came off the top of the cross bar before Ferran Torres was brought on for Foden, who had had a quiet game.
The injured Dennis Praet was replaced by James Maddison while Vardy looked set for replacement himself after limping around with a groin issue.
Barnes fired straight at Ederson as Leicester continued to look the more effective side while City remained out of sorts up front, with Sterling heading a strong cross over the bar.
Maddison underlined City’s disarray at the back when he was given a free shot from 20 yards out to curl one in past Ederson into the back post in the 77th minute after being slipped the ball by Mendy.
And Vardy was prevented from hitting a fourth for himself as he tried to run clear with the ball as Walker got back in time to edge him away from the ball.
Jonny Evans limped off to be replaced by Christian Fuchs as the visitors’ own injury worries mounted but the game was made safe by more abysmal City defending.
Individual errors cost Manchester City against Leicester City after a bright start
Nampalys Mendy tripped Mahrez with 7 minutes to go but Sterling could only hit the free kick into the Leicester wall to win a corner.
Ake headed in Mahrez’ corner with 6 minutes to go to reduce the deficit as City finally saw the last of Vardy who was replaced by Kelechi Iheanacho.
With Vardy off the pitch City duly gave away another spot kick with Benjamin Mendy hauling down Maddison shortly afterwards.
Tielemans then got himself on the scoresheet and rammed home Leicester’s fifth goal to Ederson’s left with the Brazilian going to his right as the Foxes became the first side in Premier League history to net three goals from the penalty spot in a single game and earn Leicester boss Brendan Rodgers his first win over Guardiola team in six attempts.
It was the first time the Foxes have won each of their first three games in a top flight season and on this occasion sent Leicester City to the top of the league.
It was the first time in 17 years that City had conceded 5 goals at home in a Premier League game and the first time that a Guardiola team had shipped 5 goals in his 686 game managerial career.
GOALS – Manchester City 2, Leicester City 5
Man City 1, Leicester City 0: 4. Riyad Mahrez opened the scoring against his former club with a rocket into the top corner after James Justin failed to properly clear Kevin De Bruyne’s corner.
Man City 1, Leicester City 1: 37. Jamie Vardy’s fiercely struck penalty levelled up the scores – hit into the top left corner out of Ederson’s reach after Kyle Walker had hauled him down as he looked to race clear of the City defence late in the first half.
Man City 1, Leicester City 2: 54. Jamie Vardy doubled Leicester’s advantage with a tap in after getting in front of Eric Garcia to meet Timothy Castagne’s cut back from the right after the full back got on the end of his fellow Belgian Youri Tielemen’s through ball.
Man City 1, Leicester City 3: 58. Jamie Vardy secured his hat trick with a smashed spot kick low into the bottom right corner beyond the grasp of Ederson.
Man City 1, Leicester City 4: 77. James Maddison took aim and fired in a fourth for the Foxes from 20 yards out on the left, beating Ederson with a sumptuous shot.
Man City 2, Leicester City 4: 84. Nathan Ake headed in Riyad Mahrez’ corner from 6 yards out with 6 minutes to go to reduce the deficit.
Man City 2, Leicester City 5: 88. Youri Tielemans sent Ederson the wrong way from the penalty spot after Benjamin Mendy had hauled down James Maddison.
MATCH STATS – Manchester City 2, Leicester City 5
Man City: Ederson, Walker, Garcia, Ake, Mendy, Fernandinho (Delap 51), Rodri, Mahrez, De Bruyne, Foden (Torres 64), Sterling
Man City subs not used: Steffen, Zinchenko, Laporte, Doyle, Palmer
Booked: Ake 60 (foul on Youri Tielemens)
Goals: Mahrez 4; Ake 84
Leicester City: Schmeichel, Amartey, Evans (Fuchs 80), Soyuncu, Castagne, Mendy, Tielemans, Justin, Praet (Maddison 64), Barnes, Vardy
Leicester City subs not used: Ward, Albrighton, Iheanacho, Perez, Choudhury
Booked: Tielemens 22 (pull back on Kevin De Bruyne); Soyuncu 47 (foul on Rodri); Amartey 50 (foul on Kevin De Bruyne)
Goals: Vardy pen 37, 54, pen 58; Maddison 77; Tielemens pen 88
Referee: Michael Oliver