Leicester City’s 5-2 demolition of Manchester City stuns the footballing world, as a Pep Guardiola team succumbs to 5 goals for the first time ever with Jamie Vardy the only player to score a hat trick against any of the Spaniard’s teams. Oh and the Fox has done it twice!
An eruption rippled across the footballing world on the 27th September 2020 and at the epicentre of it was the Etihad. Stumbling back to the changing room the sky blue contingent were left shell shocked at how easily they were ripped open. Even the most ardent Leicester City fan would have been hard pressed to predict a Leicester win, let alone one with such an emphatic score line. Manchester City were quite simply, annihilated!
Even the 2015/16 team didn’t start with 3 wins in a row. Nevertheless, before we all start dreaming, what three things did we learn most from one of the most shocking results in the Premier League era?
Brendan Rodgers’ tactical nous is growing
“If you watch my sides over the years, i don’t play counter attacking football”
– Brendan Rodgers
Brendan Rodgers has clearly been doing some soul searching. After last season’s poor showing against the eventual top four finishers (6 defeats, 2 draws, 0 wins), it was plainly obvious that Leicester’s possession style and high press wasn’t going to work against Manchester City anymore. Pep has his team well drilled at finding pockets of space and playing between the lines. The higher they get pressed the more those pockets and lines appear. So what did Brendan do next?
Lining up with a back 5 (arguably 5-4-1 but seemingly a 5-3-2 on occasions with Barnes joining Vardy) Brendan had his team allow Ederson all the space he needs at the back whilst the team effectively sat off and allowed Man City to have the possession whilst denying them space through the middle. That way Leicester occupied key spots in the field and invited the Citizens to press high and leave space in behind with a counter attack – yes that’s right – Leicester City are going back to counter attacking football!