Manchester City 2-5 Leicester City
As Premier League shocks go, this is up there with the best of them.
Not that the side which finished fifth last side defeating the side which were runners-up is necessarily a surprise.
More the fact the way it was done. Premier League highlights galore at the Etihad, most of them for the terrific Jamie Vardy, and ones which surely tell Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola what many fans have thought for some time.
He will never win another Premier League title until he recruits a world-class centre back.
It also begs the question, has a side ever scored five goals before in a contest where they have had less than 30 per cent possession?
All that side, however, that should not detract from a memorable day for Leicester City Football Club.
Highlights of the game
Early on, the contest seemed to be going to plan.
The home side were firmly on the front foot and, after the first corner was headed clear to the far edge of the box, Riyad Mahrez was waiting to smash a rising, first-time shot into the top corner.
That’s what £60 million gets for you!
If City hadn’t smelt blood before kick-off, four minutes in and they may well have sensed weakness in the visitors’ ranks.
Indeed, at that point, the SBOTOP Premier League betting odds were all in favour of the home side extending their lead and adding to their opening success at Wolves.
Yet moments after Rodri saw a header disallowed for offside, Leicester were level.
Kyle Walker, who seems to have lost some of the sparkle which made him the country’s best right-back, brought down Vardy and he made no mistake from the spot.
If that was a turning point, so was the departure of central midfielder Fernandinho early in the second half and City were twice cut open in quick succession.
First Vardy fired Leicester in front, flicking the ball home following a cross from Timothy Castagne who seems a real astute signing.
Then Eric Garcia clumsily pushed the frontman and he completed his hat-trick from the spot.
World-class finishing from a world-class marksman.
When substitute James Maddison curled a shot beyond Ederson which matched Mahrez’s spectacular opener, Leicester were in dreamland.
Knocks for Vardy and centre back Johnny Evans, who both had to leave the fray, could not take the gloss of Leicester’s performance, nor could a header on his home debut from Nathan Ake.
As if to prove the point, the visitors were awarded a third penalty a minute from time and, with Vardy off the pitch with an ice pack on his right abductor, Youri Tielemens took charge of spot-kick duty with aplomb.
The Foxes have money to spend, based on transfer sales, and are being linked with a move for Borussia Dortmund’s Manuel Akanji as they look to strengthen their defensive ranks.
Based on this, however, there’s only one side which needs defensive reinforcements.
Cut-apart City Two, Fantastic Foxes Five.
Vardy has scored eight goals in his past nine appearances against City in the Premier League. He’s also the only player to score a top-flight hat-trick against a side managed by Pep Guardiola – a feat he also achieved in the Foxes’ 4-2 win against City in December 2016.
Vardy is also the first player to win two penalties and score two penalties in a single Premier League game since Milan Baros for Liverpool against Crystal Palace in November 2004
Leicester City are the first team in Premier League history to score three penalties in one game.
In his 686th game as a manager, this was the first time a side managed by Guardiola has conceded five goals. It was also the first time in 438 games at the Etihad Stadium that City have shipped five goals in any competition.
The Foxes have started a top-flight season with three successive league wins for the first time. This also matches their best start to a league season, having achieved the feat in the second tier in 1899-1900, 1906-07 and 1922-23.
On the occasion of his 200th top-flight appearance, this was Mahrez’s 58th goal but, ultimately, City’s first opening home match defeat since 1989-90 against Southampton.
It is back-to-back away games now for City before the first international break of the new season.
They make the short trip to Burnley in the League Cup in midweek before travelling to newly-promoted Leeds United next weekend (October 3).
Leicester host West Ham in the Premier League at midday next Sunday (October 4).
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