Vardy ends drought with treble as Leicester beats Man City
ABS-CBN Sports on Dec 11, 2016 09:44 AM
Leicester players celebrate after Leicester's Andy King, hidden, scored against Manchester City during the English Premier League soccer match between Leicester City and Manchester City at the King Power Stadium in Leicester, England, Saturday, Dec. 10, 2016. (AP Photo/Rui Vieira)
ROB HARRIS, AP Global Soccer Writer
LONDON (AP) — Jamie Vardy and Leicester embarrassed Manchester City to rediscover the look of champions.
City's defense disintegrated as Vardy's hat trick powered Leicester to a 4-2 win that delivered an emphatic response to the team's critics on Saturday in the English Premier League.
With his first treble since his days playing for Fleetwood in the fifth tier in 2012, Vardy ended a 16-game goal drought in all club competitions.
"We just wanted to make sure you saw the team fight for the cause," Vardy saw. "We have definitely done that."
The striker took only three minutes to rediscover his scoring touch against Pep Guardiola's side and City goalkeeper Claudio Bravo was beaten again inside two minutes by Andy King. Both of City's goals only came once Vardy eased Leicester into a four-goal lead, with Aleksandar Kolarov and Nolito scoring in the last eight minutes.
On a weekend when Leicester faced the possibility of dropping into the relegation zone of the league it won in May, Claudio Ranieri's team halted a five-game winless run and moved four points clear of danger.
City remains four points behind leader Arsenal in fourth place but has collected only 12 points from a possible 27 in its last nine games.
"It's not about the system," City defender Pablo Zabaleta said. "We played with four at the back today, sometimes we play with three, and we know exactly what we have to do on the pitch. It is more about concentration.
"We know the risk we take every game because we are a very attacking team, and we want to attack all the time and create chances ... but of course at the back when you give space you have to concentrate on the players that you can't let run easily."
Guardiola isn't complaining about his players.
"I have to look inside myself — what I have to do — and they have to follow me," the City manager said. "We have missed points in the last games. We have to change as quickly as possible."
There wasn't only a feast of goals at King Power Stadium. It was the first time in 23 years that six home teams scored three goals each on a single day in the league, according to stats company Opta.
ARSENAL 3, STOKE 1
Arsenal nudged ahead of Chelsea into top spot on goal difference, ahead of its London rival's game against West Bromwich Albion on Sunday.
Arsenal kept its nerve after conceding Charlie Adam's 29th-minute penalty. Theo Walcott leveled before halftime, Mesut Ozil's looping header put Arsene Wenger's side in front, and Alex Iwobi slotted in a third.
SWANSEA 3, SUNDERLAND 0
Swansea is out of the relegation zone after Bob Bradley won for only the second time in eight matches in charge. All the goals came in the second half, with Gylfi Sigurdsson netting from a penalty before a double from Fernando Llorente. Although Sunderland is bottom, Swansea is only a point ahead in 17th place.
HULL 3, CRYSTAL PALACE 3
Unlike its previous away game at Swansea, Palace profited from a late goal this time. Substitute Fraizer Campbell scored the last of five second-half goals in the 89th minute to grab a point for Alan Pardew's side.
Hull led through a penalty in the first half from Robert Snodgrass that was canceled out by another spot kick from Christian Benteke before Wilfried Zaha put Palace in front. The game swung back in Hull's favor when Adama Diomande and Jake Livermore scored but former Hull striker Campbell had the final say.
BURNLEY 3, BOURNEMOUTH 2
As Hull's Mike Phelan and Palace's Alan Pardew saw their sides produce a thriller, the league's other two English managers also faced off. Sean Dyche got the better of Eddie Howe, who managed Burnley during a spell away from the Bournemouth dugout in 2011 and 2012.
Jeff Hendrick's dipping volley and Stephen Ward's strike saw Burnley race in front in the opening 16 minutes. George Boyd netted Burnley's third in the second half either side of goals from Benik Afobe and Charlie Daniels.
Bournemouth is a point ahead of Burnley in 11th place.
WATFORD 3, EVERTON 2
With one win in 10 league games, Everton manager Ronald Koeman's problems are mounting. Watford leapfrogged Everton into seventh place thanks to Stefano Okaka's double and Sebastian Prodl's header. Watford held on after Romelu Lukaku, who opened the scoring, netted a late second.