By Ekene Dike
Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City outfit were astonishingly outclassed by Leicester City at the Etihad Stadium as last season’s runners up in the Premier League ended up on the losing side. It was indeed a festival of goals as Manchester City succumbed 2-5 to Leicester City.
Jamie Vardy was on target as he scored a hat-trick to continue his superb goalscoring form. The English talisman has now scored five goals in the Premier League this season and is the joint top-scorer alongside Everton’s Dominic Calvert-Lewin.
Meanwhile, what are the takeaways from City’s humiliating defeat in the hands of the Foxes. Here they are below:
1. Injuries Have Disgruntled the team’s Game Plan: Key players such as Sergio Aguero, Bernardo Silva, Gabriel Jesus and Ikay Gundogan were all sidelined due to injuries. This forced Pep Guardiola to play Raheem Sterling as the striker. Leicester’s defense didn’t have a hard time in keeping the natural winger at bay.
2. Pep Guardiola Is Feeling The Absence Of Mikel Arteta: Mikel Arteta’s decision to call time on his career as an assistant manager to Pep Guardiola has left a gaping hole in the managerial aspect of Manchester City. Since Arteta left, Manchester City have declined in form.
3. Brendan Rodgers Was Tactically Intact: It was a tactical battle between two great managers which Brendan Rodgers emerged as the victor. His 4-1-4-1 formation setup with an aim of playing on the counter and soaking pressure from Manchester City’s attack worked perfectly. No wonder his team is top of the log with three wins out of three matches at this point of the season.
4. Man City’s Starting Lineup Was Discouraging: A combination of Nathan Ake and Eric Garcia in the heart of the defense when Aymeric Laporte was available for the game was a wrong decision. Also, playing Raheem Sterling as the main striker was not the best. Teenage sensation Liam Delap who capped off his debut with a goal against Bournemouth in the Carabao Cup should have been given another chance because he is a natural striker who yearns to impress and would have been more of an attacking threat centrally than Sterling.
5. A Top Four Finish Isn’t Certain: With the likes of Everton, Manchester United, Chelsea, Arsenal, Tottenham, Liverpool and Leicester City all slugging it out for a top four finish, Manchester City’s position isn’t certain. They would have to work harder this season to snatch the league from Liverpool or qualify for Europe’s elite club competition.
6. Vardy’s hat-trick was the second he would record against Guardiola’s Man-City following his first hat trick in a 2016 league game.
It was also the third time that someone would score a hat trick against a team coached by Guardiola.