Vardy tre­ble blasts Guardi­ola’s sorry Man City

Kuwait Times - - SPORTS -

LE­ICES­TER: Jamie Vardy ended his Le­ices­ter City goal drought with a bril­liant hat-trick as the Pre­mier League cham­pi­ons crushed Pep Guardi­ola’s sham­bolic Manch­ester City 4-2 yes­ter­day. Le­ices­ter re­turned to form in style, racing into a 4-0 lead as Vardy ended a run of 16 club games without a goal by scor­ing a fine tre­ble.

Andy King also scored for the cham­pi­ons as Guardi­ola’s men were torn apart, suf­fer­ing an em­bar­rass­ing re­verse de­spite late goals by Alek­san­dar Ko­larov and Nolito halv­ing Le­ices­ter’s win­ning margin.

Af­ter a bruis­ing 3-1 de­feat by Chelsea last week­end, Guardi­ola faces more tough questions, while Le­ices­ter man­ager Clau­dio Ranieri can fi­nally en­joy a much-needed win af­ter a poor de­fence so far of their ti­tle.

A dream start for Le­ices­ter came in only the third minute as Vardy’s bar­ren spell ended with the fin­ish­ing touch to a pleas­ing move. Riyad Mahrez started it with a fine touch to bring down a high ball and lay it off to Is­lam Sli­mani, who slid a pass to the feet of Vardy. The Eng­land striker slot­ted a shot into the bot­tom-left cor­ner with the com­po­sure of a man who had been scor­ing pro­lif­i­cally. The lead was dou­bled within three min­utes cour­tesy of an­other goal from the top drawer as Robert Huth headed down a Chris­tian Fuchs throw and Sli­mani laid off a pass to King.

But it was still no more than a halfchance un­til the Wales mid­fielder un­leashed a fan­tas­tic curl­ing shot that flew in off the fin­ger­tips of goal­keeper Clau­dio Bravo.

On 12 min­utes it might have been 3-0 when an­other Huth knock-down found Sli­mani, but the Al­ge­rian striker sent a shot over. Vis­i­tors City pro­duced a rare mo­ment of prom­ise on 15 min­utes when Kevin De Bruyne tried his luck from just in­side the Le­ices­ter penalty area with a shot that flew just wide. But five min­utes later the dam­age got worse for the vis­i­tors as Le­ices­ter turned on the style for their third goal.

STONES BLUNDER

A long pass from Fuchs was cush­ioned bril­liantly by Mahrez into the path of Vardy, who rounded Bravo and rolled a low shot into the gap­ing goal.

It could have been 4-0 mo­ments later when Mahrez danced his way to the edge of the area with some fine foot­work, but saw his shot turned away to safety by Bravo.

The vis­i­tors were de­nied a penalty in firsthalf stop­page time when Kelechi Iheana­cho went down un­der Marc Al­brighton’s heavy chal­lenge.

Sec­onds later Al­brighton pre­sented a chance for 4-0 on a plate for Sli­mani, only for the striker to head an ex­cel­lent cross wide. The vis­i­tors in­creased their tempo af­ter half-time and be­gan to pin Le­ices­ter back in­side their own half. Pablo Za­baleta and De Bruyne both had shots blocked in a goal­mouth scram­ble be­fore Ilkay Gun­do­gan went close to giv­ing his side a lifeline, shoot­ing nar­rowly wide from Iheana­cho’s lay-off.But Sli­mani had an­other chance when he glided into the penalty area, only to see his shot saved low down by Bravo.

Vardy made it 4-0 on 78 min­utes as he com­pleted his hat-trick, pounc­ing on a ter­ri­ble back-pass from John Stones and scor­ing with a shot that just crept over the line from an al­most im­pos­si­ble an­gle. City made the score­line look a lit­tle more re­spectable in the clos­ing stages with two im­pres­sive goals of their own.

First, Ko­larov curled a fine free-kick into the top cor­ner from 20 yards with City’s first shot on tar­get and then Nolito side-footed home su­perbly from a Ko­larov cross. But Le­ices­ter held on to claim a vi­tal three points and con­demn their vis­i­tors to a crush­ing de­feat. — AFP

LE­ICES­TER: Le­ices­ter City’s English striker Jamie Vardy (2nd R) takes the ball around Manch­ester City’s Chilean goal­keeper Clau­dio Bravo on his way to scor­ing their third goal dur­ing the English Pre­mier League foot­ball match be­tween Le­ices­ter City and Manch­ester City at King Power Sta­dium in Le­ices­ter, cen­tral Eng­land yes­ter­day. — AFP

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