Leicester City 4:2 Manchester City
Leicester finally discovered last season’s level of performance with a 4-2 dismantling of Manchester City at a rain-swept KPS on Saturday evening…
Claudio Ranieri made ten changes to the line-up who were thrashed in Porto, while Pep Guardiola was missing Aguero and Fernandinho after last week’s bust up against Chelsea.
Against a back drop of constant rain, Leicester started this game in determined fashion, and delighted a soaking wet crowd with a third minute goal.
After good work from Mahrez, Slimani threaded a ball between Stones and Kolarov and Vardy raced through to place a precise finish across Bravo, his first goal in 16 games.
If this was a great start for Leicester, it was to get even better three minutes later.
Slimani claimed another assist, teeing up King on the edge of the area for a fine curling effort that eluded Bravo’s grasp.
The home crowd went wild, sensing that last season’s City were back at last.
Leicester continued to press against a shell-shocked looking City.
Mahrez threatened with a dangerous run, while Slimani volleyed a decent chance over the bar.
Just as the visitors managed to get a hold on the game, and started probing at City’s defence -de Bruyne sending a shot narrowly wide – Vardy struck again in the 21st minute.
It was superb goal, out of the 2015-16 handbook. A 60 yard ball from Fuchs was magically cushioned into the path of Vardy by Mahrez, and the England striker glided past Bravo and rolled the ball into the net.
Mahrez then went past two players before curling in a shot that forced Bravo into a decent save.
The visitors managed to mount some pressure of their own towards the break, but City’s defence were alert and efforts from Kolarov, de Bruyne and Fernando were all blocked.
Leicester might have gone in at the break 4-0 up, but Slimani’s header from a fine Albrighton cross missed the target.
Despite the three-goal cushion, there was still an air of tension as Man City dominated possession and created plenty of chances after the break.
Zabaleta and De Bruyne had shots blocked before De Bruyne dragged a shot wide when well placed.
Iheanacho then had a shot saved by Zieler and Gundogan fired narrowly wide before Guardiola introduced Sterling and Yaya Toure to the game.
The one-way traffic continued with Zabaleta seeing his shot deflected wide by King, before the defence were given a breather when Slimani pushed forward and tested Bravo with a 20 yarder.
Ranieri brought Okazaki on for Slimani in the 77th minute, and Leicester went 4-0 up within a minute.
Stones attempted a pass back to Bravo, but Vardy seized upon the ball, took a touch round the City keeper, and then slid the ball in off the far post from the tightest of angles. It was an inch over the line when Sagna cleared it.
Vardy’s goal drought was emphatically over, and this was his first hat trick for Leicester, each one finished with surgical precision.
Vardy was given a standing ovation when replaced by Gray with three minutes left, before Nolito applied a finishing touch to Kolarov’s low cross to further reduce the arrears.
Mahrez then made way for Matty James, making his first appearance since a serious injury in May 2015.
The final whistle was greeted with a huge roar of approval.
It was City’s finest performance of the season, achieved without midfield lynchpin Danny Drinkwater or Kasper Schmeichel, and proved that the spirit of 2015-16 is still in there somewhere.
Claudio Ranieri told the post match press conference: “It was the true Leicester today, maybe because we have played so badly in our last few matches, but today we were so strong. We wanted to do best for our fans because they support us a lot and travel to Portugal and we did not play so well. For this reason we wanted to show our best.”
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