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Fox in the Box – Leicester City demolish Guardiola’s side

Jamie Vardy
Vardy’s triple-delight saw Leicester put five past Manchester City. (Picture Source: Twitter)

A victory against Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City team is no small feat. But to do it at their home ground and in the convincing fashion that Leicester City did is nothing short of breathtaking. The evening began as usual for City with Riyaad Mahrez firing the hosts into an early lead with a thunderous weak foot strike into the top corner. All Kasper Schmeichel could do was stand and watch.

Normally when Man City start the game like that you expect a rout. But Leicester have proven time and again that they are no pushovers. 8 minutes from half time Jaimie Vardy turned Kyle Walker expertly forcing the Englishman to bring him down from behind. A penalty was given and Walker could have no complaints. The skipper took the penalty himself and equalized convincingly for the foxes.

The second half began as expected with City dominating possession. But Vardy once again proved why he is one of the Premier League’s most elite strikers. New signing Castagne found himself in acres of space on the right side. He fizzed a low and hard cross towards the first post. It seemed like it was far for Vardy to reach or turn into a genuine opportunity. Doubters beware. Jaimie Vardy sprinted expertly towards the first post and pulled out one of the cheekiest finishes in the football dictionary with the back-heel flick. Ederson was left in utter confusion and the ball was in the back of the net.

At this point the obvious expectation was a Man City onslaught in search of a quick equalizer. The visitors however just did not allow City to settle and fought for every second ball creating chances on the counter. Only shortly after taking the lead, Vardy was brought down in the box again. This time by Eric Garcia. Vardy now had the opportunity to become the first player ever to score two career hat-tricks against Pep’s Man City. Having previously shared the podium of being one of the only two players to ever score a hat trick against Pep’s City team with Lionel Messi, Vardy was already in elite company. This was an opportunity to set himself apart from the crowd.

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Vardy made no mistake and Leicester now had a cushion. With Dennis Praet struggling, James Maddison was introduced in the 69th minute. Maddison was just on his way back from injury and with just 20 minutes to play made an instant impact. He cut inside from the right and unleashed an unexpected shot right into the top corner. Ederson was left helpless and Leicester now had a commanding lead. This was becoming humiliating for Pep and his team. In an attempt to save face youngster Liam Delap and Aymeric Laporte were introduced. City thought they had a ray of hope when Nathan Ake headed home Mahrez’s corner in the 84th minute.

Leicester however wasted no time in extinguishing any such hope. This time Benjamin Mendy was the culprit as he brought James Maddison down in the box. With Vardy subbed off with a groin strain, Youri Tielemans took the responsibility of the spot-kick. He left nothing to doubt and fired comfortably past Ederson.

This was an astonishing 21st penalty in 25 Premier League games so far. There is widespread controversy on the ease with which penalties are being given this season. Managers of winning and losing teams alike are concerned about this having an adverse effect on the game we all love. Most games this season have been decided by penalties. This is not something we want to see.

This being said there was no doubt Leicester deserved the win on the night. They had more passion, desire and quite frankly quality on the pitch. A 5-2 thumping is not what the doctor ordered for Pep to start the season with. The defensive frailties of City’s backline were exposed once more. City has spent 345 million pounds on defenders since Pep took over. The latest addition of 65 million pound Benefica defender Ruben Dias has taken the tally up to more than 400 million pounds. With that much money spent on defenders, you would expect a lot more from that backline. The reality of the matter is however that this defense is just not good enough. Pep has some thinking to do after being humbled at home by a team working on a much smaller budget than Man City.

Take a bow Jaimie Vardy!! You’ve done it again!!

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