Brendan Rodgers’ Leicester maintained their 100% start to the season as a Jamie Vardy hat-trick inspired the Foxes to 5-2 thumping over Manchester City at the Etihad.
The away side fell behind following a glorious half-volley from former Foxes star Riyad Mahrez that sailed into the top corner, City unsurprisingly dominating possession for much of the opening period. However, with less than ten minutes to go before half-time, City defender Kyle Walker brought down Jamie Vardy in the box, the Englishman making no mistake from the penalty spot.
Last season’s Golden Boot winner had a second soon after half-time with a delightful near-post flick that deceived ‘keeper Ederson, before wrapping up his hat-trick courtesy of another penalty after being brought down by Eric Garcia in the box.
James Maddison then produced the goal of the day with a curling effort from just outside the box that sailed into the far top corner and, despite a late Nathan Ake header, Leicester’s victory never looked in doubt – Youri Tielemans adding some late gloss with another penalty after Maddison had been tripped by Benjamin Mendy.
The result sees Leicester move to the top of the Premier League table, Foxes boss Rodgers crediting the win to the work rate as well as the ‘tactical discipline’ of his side against such top-class opposition.
“To beat Man City you have to run like hell,” Rodgers told Sky Sports.
”So you have to have that mentality. The tactical discipline was good and because of the counter press you have to get your passes off quick.
“We fell behind to a brilliant finish. We showed good composure and stayed calm and showed enough that we could cause them a problem.”
The former Celtic and Liverpool boss is renowned for his positive and free-flowing style of play, yet altered his system in order to get a result against Pep Guardiola’s men, deploying five at the back and playing on the counter – a tactical approach that no doubt paid off.
“It was a brilliant performance and result. It has taken me 13 years to play that way. I’m very much about attacking and being aggressive. I always try to be positive but I need to think of other ways to get results in theses games.
“Bringing the game into our half of the field, block off one of their midfielders and you have to be good in the transition to get two or three passes to get out. We took out the press from the goal kicks and went direct but overall the players had to work very hard.”
Leicester face West Ham United in their next league fixture next Sunday afternoon.