Leicester City returned to form as Aston Villa were thrashed 4-0 at the King Power Stadium.
Dean smith suggested he was pleased with his side’s defensive shape despite folding in a second-half showing worthy of their relegation-threatened status.
Pepe Reina and Conor Hourihane both came into a Villa side that faltered after their respectable showing in the Carabao Cup final last time out. Though it was a familiar Premier League showing for Villa who has now conceded six more away goals than bottom-placed Norwich City.
Reina was culpable for Villa’s tenth individual mistake of the campaign to have directly led to a goal against Smith’s men who for the first ten minutes seemed up for the fight.
As Harvey Barnes raced through on goal, Reina ran out to meet the former Baggie, but Barnes converted with aplomb to leave the Spanish ‘keeper red-faced.
Five minutes from half time is never a good time to fall behind but
Smith didn’t act at half time, in fact, it took until the 70th minute for Ahmed Elmohamady to be replaced by Anwar El Ghazi.
By then, Villa was two down. Tyrone Mings was adjudged to have handled the ball inside the area as Barnes attempted to link up with Vardy on the hour mark. Vardy dispatched his controversial spot-kick which on second viewing, or indeed through VAR failed to spot the ball hitting the top of Mings’ shoulder.
It wasn’t an excuse, however – Villa simply failed to turn up in a second period where it all unravelled for Smith’s beaten side.
Conceding four goals was a ‘harsh reflection’ according to the Villa boss. Leicester’s third of the night once again came through Vardy who went 644 minutes without scoring before tonight. The substitute slammed into Reina’s near post as the Foxes ran out clear winners on home turf.
Barnes set up a late hat trick competition with his strike partner by converting Marc Albrighton’s cross from the right flank.
“How, how, how” were the words of Mings, as he glanced across his despondent backline.
Villa look to end their run of five consecutive loses at home to Chelsea this Saturday.