Manchester City were on the end of a sobering defeat tonight, Pep Guardiola’s side thrashed 5-2 by Leicester City at the Etihad, a Jamie Vardy hat-trick inspiring the Foxes to victory.
The hosts took an early lead inside four minutes as Riyad Mahrez struck a sweet half-volley into the roof of the net against his former club, as Man City took control of the early proceedings.
However, the visitors were gifted an equaliser after Vardy was brought down by Kyle Walker in the box, the former Fleetwood Town man slotting home from the penalty spot.
Despite lining up with a defensive looking back five Leicester’s plan to hit City on the break worked a treat, Vardy flicking home early in the second half after good work from summer signing Timothy Castagne, before the Englishman wrapped up his hat-trick with another penalty after being fouled inside the penalty area by Eric Garcia.
City’s day got even worse when James Maddison bent a delightful curing effort in the top corner from outside the box and although Nathan Ake reduced the deficit late on with a header, Leicester would go on to hit five with Youri Tielemans slotting home another penalty in the 88th minute – this time Benjamin Mendy the culprit by bringing down Maddison in what was a torrid afternoon for City’s backline.
That defeat leaves City already six points behind their opponents, albeit having played a game less, and City boss Guardiola accepted that his side were simply not at their best and must ‘analyze and improve’ in order to prevent a similar situation occurring in the future.
“We have to be more calm and it’s difficult,” Guardiola told his post-match press conference.
”We have to see what we can do to avoid this in the next games.
”I feel bad for the guys – we have to analyze and improve.
“I don’t know how many chances they created. They ran a little and we practiced in training and we tried to avoid it. Their first goal wasn’t a counter attack we were there. We have to accept it.”
Despite being without a number of first-team regulars through injury – including Sergio Aguero, Gabriel Jesus and Bernardo Silva – the former Barcelona manager avoided using enforced absences as an excuse, instead focusing on his side’s inability to break down such defensive opposition.
“The last game v Wolves wasn’t a problem (with injuries) so why is this suddenly a problem?”
“We had problems to attack, its happened many times against this type of defence. They didn’t come up to press for 80 minutes but you have to avoid to let them run in the dangerous positions.”
Manchester City face Burnley in the Carabao Cup on Wednesday night, before a mouthwatering meeting with Leeds United on Saturday in the Premier League.