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Leicester City vs Arsenal. Premier League.

The King Power StadiumAttendance32,047.

Leicester City 2

  • J Vardy (13th minute, 89th minute)

Arsenal 5

  • T Walcott (18th minute)
  • A Sánchez (33rd minute, 57th minute, 81st minute)
  • O Giroud (93rd minute)

Leicester 2-5 Arsenal: Alexis Sanchez hat-trick ends City's unbeaten start

Alexis Sanchez of Arsenal scores his team's third goal  against Leicester City
Image: Alexis Sanchez beats Kasper Schmeichel to score the second of his three goals in Arsenal's 5-2 win at Leicester

Alexis Sanchez broke his goalscoring drought with a hat-trick as Arsenal won 5-2 at the King Power Stadium to end Leicester's unbeaten start to the season.

The Chilean had gone eight games without a goal, but Arsene Wenger predicted an upturn in fortunes before kick-off and Sanchez obliged big-time, helping Arsenal come from behind to win a breathless game and move above their hosts into fourth.

In the process Wenger's side doubled their tally of Premier League goals, and new leaders Manchester United - next week's visitors to the Emirates - are just three points ahead.

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Theo Walcott says Arsenal played with patience and freedom

Jamie Vardy's opener (11) was quickly answered by Theo Walcott (18), and Sanchez (33) sent his side into the break ahead before adding two more (57 & 81)as Arsenal pulled away.

Vardy (89) and substitute Olivier Giroud (90) then exchanged late strikes on an afternoon when Leicester's gung-ho style finally met its match and more.

Claudio Ranieri's 'Tinkerman' moniker has stuck fast, but he sent his side out with two men up top and the same up-and-at-em approach which has made his side so thrilling to watch so far this season.

Jamie Vardy of Leicester City celebrates scoring his team's first goal against Arsenal
Image: Jamie Vardy celebrates putting Leicester ahead with the first of his two goals

And Vardy had already scuffed against a post by the time he cut in from the left to bend his side in front, the goal coming seconds after Arsenal had been caught overmanned in the Leicester box.

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The sight of big Wes Morgan losing World Cup winner Mesut Ozil with a drop of the shoulder deep in his own half summed up City's spirit of adventure, and Vardy was close to a second when he headed Marc Albrighton's cross onto the top of the crossbar.

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Claudio Ranieri admits he was worried by Arsenal's strength on the counter-attack but the Leicester boss was still proud of his side's efforts

A gameplan of relentless pressing and high-line defending always looked risky with Walcott about, though, and the England forward had already called Kasper Schmeichel into action by the time he equalised seconds after Vardy's near miss.

An early Sanchez pass released Cazorla to shovel the ball on for Walcott, who seemed to have overrun it before finding the far corner with a precise left-footer across Schmeichel.

Theo Walcott of Arsenal celebrates scoring his team's first goal against Arsenal
Image: Theo Walcott answered Vardy's opening goal and was a threat all afternoon

Walcott was on the premises again when Arsenal went ahead 15 minutes later, attacking a Hector Bellerin centre which squirmed through to give Sanchez a tap-in, and only a couple last-ditch Ritchie De Laet tackles denied him further one-on-ones late in the half.

It was all too much for Ranieri, who sacrificed Shinji Okazaki's nuisance value, bulked up his midfield with Andy King and asked his defence to drop deeper to negate Walcott's pace.

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Reaction from Jamie Vardy, who scored twice for Leicester but ended up on the losing side

The move backfired as Leicester's threat diminished while Walcott showed glimpses of a genuine centre-forward's nous as he continued to find space even with none in behind.

Three times he came close to teeing up Sanchez before Ozil showed him the way, the German's dink leaving Schmeichel punching thin air as Sanchez headed into the empty net.

Alexis Sanchez of Arsenal celebrates completing his hat-trick v Leicester
Image: But Sanchez will take the headlines after completing a hat-trick in the second half

Ranieri reverted to two strikers as he brought on Leo Ulloa, and Arsenal in turn reverted to a counter-attacking mindset, churning out half-chances by the half-dozen on the break before Sanchez settled the argument from 20 yards.

Leicester continued to engage slug-for-slug, Petr Cech coming to the visitors' rescue on three occasions before Vardy beat him with a finish identical to his first, but it was Giroud who had the final word as he swept in Nacho Monreal's pass first-time.

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Phil Thompson's Soccer Saturday verdict

"It was Alexis Sanchez's day, absolutely superb - back to his best. Harrying people, he gets three goals on the run - he was absolutely magnificent but so was [Santi] Cazorla and so was [Theo] Walcott.

"It was just great to watch it, both teams going for it. Both teams were worried about pace, but Riyad Mahrez was actually very quiet today.

"[Arsenal] were the better team, they could've had more as shown by the amount of chances but there was great football in between it; maybe you could say they were a bit open at the back but it was Arsenal back to their best. A game game though; praise for both sides."

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Arsene Wenger says he always felt the goals were coming and hopes the win gives Arsenal a confidence boost

Player ratings

Arsenal: Cech (7), Bellerin (6), Mertesacker (6), Koscielny (7), Monreal (7), Flamini (6), Cazorla (7), Ramsey (7), Ozil (7), Sanchez (8), Walcott (8).

Subs used: Arteta (6), Chamberlain (5), Giroud (7)

Leicester: Schmeichel (5), De Laet (6), Morgan (5), Huth (5), Schlupp (6), Drinkwater (7), Kante (5), Mahrez (6), Albrighton (6), Okazaki (7), Vardy (8).

Subs used: King (6), Ulloa (6), Kramaric (5)

Man of the match: Theo Walcott

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