Le­ices­ter pile on the pres­sure

CityPress - - News -

Le­ices­ter City heaped fur­ther pres­sure on Manch­ester City man­ager Pep Guardi­ola as a Jamie Vardy hat-trick helped the Foxes to a 4-2 vic­tory at King Power Sta­dium last night.

Head­ing into this highly an­tic­i­pated en­counter, much of the pre-match talk cen­tered around Le­ices­ter’s dis­mal form in the English Premier League (EPL) and Manch­ester City’s in­con­sis­tent show­ings in re­cent weeks.

And, with star striker Ser­gio Agüero ruled out through sus­pen­sion, this match pro­vided the Foxes with the per­fect op­por­tu­nity to bounce back to win­ning ways.

Hav­ing been on the re­ceiv­ing end of wide­spread crit­i­cism in the past week, fol­low­ing a 5-0 ham­mer­ing at the hands of Porto in the Premier League, it was the Foxes who came fly­ing out of the traps.

Vardy, who last scored an EPL goal in the 4-1 de­feat to Liver­pool back in Septem­ber, opened the scor­ing for the hosts after just three min­utes of play.

The Cit­i­zens were still reel­ing from the open­ing goal when Le­ices­ter struck again just two min­utes later, Andy King latch­ing on to a neat pass from Is­lam Sli­mani be­fore fir­ing a pow­er­ful ef­fort past Clau­dio Bravo and into the top left cor­ner of the net.

Pep Guardi­ola’s men even­tu­ally mus­tered a re­sponse in the 15th minute, but the chance went to waste as mid­fielder Kevin De Bruyne dragged his shot wide of the right­hand post.

City were made to rue that missed op­por­tu­nity as Le­ices­ter went on to add a third goal in the 20th minute, Vardy fir­ing home from close range after be­ing teed up by Riyad Mahrez.

De­spite boss­ing pos­ses­sion, the vis­i­tors were un­able to claw their way back into con­tention, though, as a well-or­gan­ised Le­ices­ter de­fence did well to keep City’s at­tack­ers at bay.

Hav­ing un­doubt­edly been on the re­ceiv­ing end of a rol­lick­ing from their man­ager at half-time, the Cit­i­zens came fly­ing after the restart. Be that as it may, City were again guilty of a waste­ful touch in front of goal as De Bruyne, Jesús Navas and Ilkay Gün­do­gan failed to test RonRobert Zieler in the Le­ices­ter goal.

Guardi­ola opted to bring on Yaya Touré and Ra­heem Ster­ling in a bid to turn things around, and the in­tro­duc­tion of the duo had a pos­i­tive ef­fect as the Cit­i­zens slowly be­gan to claw their way back into con­tention.

How­ever, it was Le­ices­ter who found the next break­through as Vardy in­ter­cepted John Stones’ back pass, be­fore round­ing the keeper and fir­ing the ball in off the in­side of the left-hand post from a seem­ingly im­pos­si­ble an­gle.

With noth­ing but pride left to play for, the Cit­i­zens re­dou­bled their ef­forts in a bid to pull one back and got the break­through they were look­ing for when Alek­san­dar Ko­larov fired a curl­ing free kick over the de­fen­sive wall and into the bot­tom right cor­ner, fol­low­ing a foul on David Silva.

And, de­spite see­ing City net a sec­ond goal through sub­sti­tute Nolito a few min­utes later, Le­ices­ter just about man­aged to with­stand a late on­slaught on their goal to claim a fa­mous vic­tory.

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