A Jamie Vardy hat-trick gave champions Leicester a stunning 4-2 win over Manchester City at the King Power Stadium on Saturday.
Leicester, who hadn’t won in the league in five games, raced into a 3-0 lead in just 20 minutes in a first half to forget for Pep Guardiola’s side, as Vardy netted either side of Andy King’s effort from the edge of the area.
Last year’s Premier League top scorer Vardy got his hat-trick with 12 minutes remaining, scoring from an acute angle on the right byline after latching onto John Stones’ poor backpass.
Aleksandar Kolarov and Nolito scored late on for City, who have taken just 12 points from a possible 27 in the league.
The result means City are four points off leaders Arsenal, and could be seven behind Chelsea if they beat West Brom at midday on Sunday.
Guardiola made four changes from the side that lost 3-1 against Chelsea last week, bringing in Pablo Zabaleta, Bacary Sagna, Fernando and Kelechi Iheanacho, with Sergio Aguero, Nicolas Otamendi and Fernandinho suspended.
City were caught out early on as Islam Slimani played Vardy through on goal after a long ball forward, and the England striker found the bottom left corner past Claudio Bravo for his first goal in 16 matches.
Leicester were 2-0 up within five minutes through King, who beat Bravo into the top left corner from the edge of the area, though the Chilean goalkeeper could have done better after getting a palm on the effort.
Leicester could have been 3-0 up on 13 minutes, but Slimani couldn’t keep his effort from six yards down after Robert Huth had nodded the ball on unmarked.
However, they did get their third seven minutes later. After referee Michael Oliver had diverted Kolarov’s pass into the path of Christian Fuchs, the German’s long ball forward reached Riyad Mahrez, whose superb touch into the area found Vardy running through on goal. With City defenders on the back foot, Vardy rounded Bravo and finished into the empty net.
Mahrez nearly made it four himself minutes later, but Bravo this time beat the ball away to his right after the Algerian’s fizzing effort towards the corner.
The visitors pressed intensely for the rest of the half, earning seven corners in total, but Kolarov could not head into the net after Fernando had flicked on Kevin De Bruyne’s set piece from the left.
Slimani went close in first-half stoppage time, miscuing his header to divert the ball wide unmarked from Marc Albrighton’s right-wing cross.
City continued to dominate possession after the break but with no cutting edge, as Zabaleta and De Bruyne both saw goal-bound efforts blocked, before Ilkay Gundogan struck inches wide from the edge of the box before the hour mark.
Vardy got his hat-trick on 78 minutes, capitalizing on Stones’ weak backpass for Bravo by rounding the goalkeeper and netting from an impossibly acute angle on the right byline. The ball rolled off the far post, but the goal-line technology gave the goal as Sagna failed to clear in time.
Kolarov’s superb free-kick from 20 yards gave the travelling fans something to smile about, before substitute Nolito scored in the 90th minute with a near post finish from Kolarov’s cross.
It wasn’t enough to create a nervy finish as Leicester, who registered just 22 per cent possession in the game, claimed a vital win.