How Leicester demolished sorry Saints

The rain lashed down ahead of kick-off at St Mary’s, and little did Southampton know that the frightful weather was an omen for their performance. Leicester went ahead inside 10 minutes, with Angus Gunn initially saving Harvey Barnes’ effort, but Chilwell was lurking to fire home the rebound.

Southampton’s early problems were not done there, though. A VAR check took place after the goal to look at the build-up, where the officials in Stockley Park spotted a horrendous challenge from Bertrand as he dragged his studs down Perez’s shins. It was a straight red card for the Southampton full-back after 12 minutes, with no complaints from the home fans when the challenge was shown on the big screen.

Leicester’s next two goals came within two minutes of one another. Barnes got away down the left-hand side – skipping over challenges from Yan Valery and Oriel Romeu – before his cross was deflected into Tielemans’ path by Valery inside the area. The Belgian then swept through the box into the bottom corner.

And inside 19 minutes, Leicester were 3-0 ahead as Southampton began to disintegrate. Perez played a neat give-and-go with Tielemans, who slipped him in at the top of the area, with the forward lashing an effort past Gunn for his first Premier League goal for Leicester

Southampton had a few shots of their own as the half went on, but their defences were breached once again in the 39th minute. It was a wonderful, curling cross from Chilwell as he spotted the run of Perez towards the back post. Valery lost him completely and the Leicester forward smashed home from a tight angle for his second of the evening.

If there was going to be a scoring party, you could bet Vardy would be involved and he nabbed his first goal on the stroke of half-time. It was another poor bit of defending from Southampton as James Ward-Prowse nodded Chilwell’s cross into Vardy’s path, with the striker easily taking the ball around Maya Yoshida before hammering past an onrushing Gunn.

Just 12 minutes into the second half and Perez completed his hat-trick. Barnes was in the thick of the action again and he clipped a delightful ball over the top of the Southampton defence for his team-mate, who took a touch before slotting home for his third – and Leicester’s sixth – of the evening.

A minute later, it was seven. It was all to easy for Leicester as Chilwell darted to the by-line before standing up a cross into the area. Vardy was free inside the six-yard box, getting between Yoshida and Bednarek, before heading home.

Southampton looked to have stemmed the tide, but there was more to come. Leicester were awarded a free kick in the 85th minute around 20 yards out. Only one man was going to step up as Maddison whipped the ball over the wall and into the top corner.

Leicester could sense the record in their reach and broke it when they were awarded a penalty in the final minute of two added on. On the slick surface, Bednarek slid in to stop the on-running Vardy with referee Andre Marriner pointing to the spot. With the hat-trick in his grasp, Vardy himself stepped up and dispatched coolly to give the Foxes a record-breaking win.

In reality, there were two or three Leicester players who could have taken home the man of the match award, but Ayoze Perez’s hat-trick just shaded it. They were three goals of real quality and he racked up some impressive numbers.

After nine Premier League games without a goal for Leicester, he popped up with three in one very special evening. He had seven shots, five of which were on target and three – as we know – were goals. It is the second time this calendar year that he has scored a hat-trick and they have both come against Southampton.

Special mention must also go to Jamie Vardy. Three of his five shots overall were goals and he now tops the Premier League top scorers chart ahead of the weekend with nine goals for the season.

Source: skysports.com

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