Leicester pile on the pressure
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.