Leicester Rediscover Winning Ways
It was a win at Manchester City last season that finally made people believe that Claudio Ranieri’s Leicester City could go on an win the title and the Foxes were as impressive today as they were back in January as they blew City away to win 4-2 at the King Power stadium.
Leicester roared out of the starting blocks and from the start City were struggling to deal with their pace. Jamie Vardy has had a difficult start to the season, having scored just once before this game but this was a throwback to last season. Islam Slimani, starting up front alongside Vardy in an orthodox 4-4-2 formation, slipped his strike partner through the static City defence and Vardy was clinical with his finish as he smashed the ball past Bravo in just the third minute.
Leicester continued to press and City continued to struggle. A long throw caused chaos in the Man City box, and when the ball fell to King, he rifled the ball in to the top corner from the edge of the box for his first goal of the season. 2-0 to Leicester with just five minutes on the clock.
We said in our preview that Leicester had to rediscover their pace and aggression and they did just that, giving City no rest as they pressed and harried Pep’s side all over the park.
City began to settle and string some passes together in the middle of the park but Leicester were happy to let them have the ball and looked dangerous on the break.
After 20 minutes Leicester made it three. Again City’s defence were playing a high line and when their attack broke down thanks to an unlucky interception from referee Michael Oliver, a long punt up field left City’s defenders totally exposed. A silky first touch from Mahrez left Vardy one on one with Bravo and last years top scorer made no mistake, rounding the Chilean to score his second.
Kolorov went close on 30 mins to reducing the deficit when he headed just wide from a Kevin de Bruyne corner but it was Leicester who always looked more likely to score the next goal and they almost had a third when Slimani had a free header that should have put the game beyond City as the first half drew to a close. Pep disappeared quickly down the tunnel with a lot of work to do, his side were all at sea and had no answer to Leicester’s direct tactics.
The teams were unchanged at the restart and the teams settled back into the same pattern, City hogged the ball and De Bruyne continued to put quality balls in to the box but they failed to make anything of them and they needed to make a change. Yaya Toure and Raheem Stirling entered the fray on the hour mark and City started to create more chances but couldn’t conjure any clear cut opportunities as Leicester defended resolutely and continued to threaten on the break
Their pressing paid off in the 78th minute when Vardy was alive to John Stones’ lazy pass back. The Leicester striker gleefully accepting the gift and rounding Bravo again to finish expertly from an incredibly tight angle. A hat trick for Vardy and the home crowd were in dream land.
City pulled one back through a Kolorov free kick a few minutes later and Nolito produced a neat finish in the final moments but it was too little too late and in truth the two goals flattered the visitors. City dominated possession, they finished the game having enjoyed 78% of the ball but they failed to create any chances of note until the game was all but over. The result leaves City with just 12 points from last possible 27 and a win for Spurs tomorrow would see the Citizens drop out of the top four. For Leicester and their fans this was a timely reminder of what they are capable of and they will be hoping they can repeat this kind of performance when they travel to Bournemouth in midweek.LIKE/FOLLOW