Ben Chilwell opened the floodgates before Ayoze Prez and Jamie Vardy hit hat-tricks as Leicester thrashed Southampton 9-0 for a record Premier League away win
By the time Jamie Vardy stepped up from 12 yards to add Leicester Citys ninth and put the final nail in Southamptons coffin, the pocket of delirious travelling supporters, well on their way to revelling in a giddying record-breaking away win, were sarcastically singing for the goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel to take aim from the penalty spot. The only other time a team won by such a margin in the Premier League 24 years ago, another Schmeichel was on the winning side for Manchester United. Leicester fans toasted Vardys hat-trick by feverishly waving white scarves bearing the name of their late owner Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha, whose death was a year ago on Sunday, but Saints had long since raised the white flag on a deeply sobering evening.
For Leicester, passage to the record books came after breezing to the biggest victory by an away team in the 131-year history of the English top flight and to second in the table. This victory takes them to 20 points from 10 games, one more than their total at this stage when they went on to win the league against all odds.
For Southampton, who had Ryan Bertrand sent off 12 minutes into this non-event, this was an ordeal from start to finish. The visitors shot Saints to pieces, with Ayoze Prez also helping himself to a hat-trick to celebrate his first goals in a Leicester shirt as Brendan Rodgerss boisterous side cantered to an embarrassing rout that laid bare his sides top-six credentials while exposing familiar flaws in the Southampton defence. By the time James Maddison curled a sweet free-kick beyond Angus Gunn for Leicesters eighth, Ben Chilwell and Youri Tielemans, both of whom were irresistible throughout, had inflicted lasting damage. As Rodgers said, the relentless Harvey Barnes was unfortunate not to get on the scoresheet.
By the time the fourth official Andy Madley signalled for two minutes of second-half stoppage-time, thousands of Southampton supporters had headed for the exits after enduring nothing short of an ordeal. With 18 minutes and 34 seconds on the clock here, home fans filtered out of St Marys safe in the knowledge the visitors were cantering to victory. The retrospective red card awarded to Bertrand, whose studs caught Prez on the shin, did not help matters but, in truth, Southampton were playing second fiddle from the off, long before the brilliant Chilwell opened the scoring from close range.
Record Premier League wins
1995: Man Utd 9 Ipswich 0
2019: Southampton 0 Leicester 9
2009: Tottenham 9 Wigan 1
1999: Newcastle 8 Sheff Wed 0
2012: Chelsea 8 Aston Villa 0
2019: Man City 8-0 Watford
2010: Chelsea 8-0 Wigan
2008: Middlesbrough 8 Man City 1
1999: Nottm Forest 1 Man Utd 8
2005: Arsenal 7 Everton 0 2005
1995: Blackburn 7 Nottm Forest 0
Rodgers insisted his purring side can improve and, on this evidence, that is a frightening assertion. Leicester ran riot and at times the suffering they inflicted on Southampton felt unfair. The gulf between the sides was alarming, reminiscent of a charity fundraiser whereby the scoreline is secondary. But, for Southampton, this capitulation does not only matter but it is also deeply concerning given Ralph Hasenhttls side have conceded 19 goals in their past five matches and, unsurprisingly, have the worst home record in the division. Up next? The champions. Away. Twice: first on Tuesday in the Carabao Cup and then next Saturday in the league. Manchester City, were coming for you, came the ironic chant from crestfallen supporters before the final whistle. Hasenhttl acknowledged his side must solve their wretched home form they have won 15 of their past 62 matches at St Marys but by the time they were put out of their misery here, there was plenty more for the Austrian, forlorn in the dugout, to ponder.
To say Southamptons resistance was feeble would be pushing it. Their submission was meek. Tielemans drilled in Leicesters second after Yan Valery inadvertently prodded the ball into his path following a trademark marauding run by Chilwell. Ninety seconds later, Leicester were wheeling away in celebration once more, with Tielemans again instrumental. Ricardo Pereira kick-started the move, which was finished by Prez after a neat give-and-go with Tielemans. Hasenhttl, whose grey tracksuit was drenched from the bucketing rain, could only grimace from the touchline. Valery did at least muster a Southampton shot on target after Danny Ings plucked Nathan Redmonds pass out of the bucketing rain, before Ings sent an effort wide, but the manner of Southamptons surrender was worrying.
Things went from bad to worse when Prez fired home unmarked at the back post, ghosting in behind Valery. Then Vardy got in on the act, bamboozling Maya Yoshida after Chilwells cross deflected into his path. The visitors, and Barnes especially, were toying with a brittle defence. Southampton kept a clean sheet for the first 12 minutes of the second half but then Gunns net was bulging once more.
Prez completed his hat-trick as he established a gaping hole between Kevin Danso and Yoshida and duly chested a flighted Barnes ball down before applying a thumping finish. Two minutes later, Gunn was fishing the ball out of his net again, with Vardy the culprit. The away end craved eight but got nine, by which point Southampton were broken.