Leicester City equalled the 24-year-old record for the biggest ever Premier League victory as dismal 10-man Southampton were dismantled at a rainswept St Mary’s.
The victory sees Brendan Rodgers’ side climb into second place, leapfrogging Manchester City and moving five points behind leaders Liverpool.
The result, which matches Manchester United’s 9-0 win against Ipswich in 1995, was only confirmed in stoppage time thanks to Jamie Vardy’s penalty.
Both Vardy and Ayoze Perez scored hat-tricks, with the visitors’ task aided by Ryan Bertrand’s red card for a reckless challenge on Perez in the build-up to Ben Chilwell’s opener.
That opened the floodgates for Leicester, who turned on the style just two days before the first anniversary of the helicopter crash that killed the club’s former chairman Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha and four other people.
Youri Tielmans also scored his third goal of the campaign and James Maddison’s added a superb free-kick on a miserable evening for Southampton, who drop into the bottom three.
On a landmark night for Leicester, Rodgers’ side also:
- recorded the biggest ever victory by an away side in an English top-flight league match in the 131-year history of the Football League
- inflicted Southampton’s biggest ever defeat as an English league side in all competitions in their history
- became only the second team in Premier League history to establish a five-goal lead in the first half of an away game in the competition, after Manchester City against Burnley in April 2010 (also 5-0)
- became only the second side in Premier League history to have two players score a hat-trick in the same game (Perez and Vardy), after Arsenal in May 2003 – also against Southampton (Pennant and Pires)
Lethal Leicester serve notice of intent
Leicester may have played a game more than Liverpool but this emphatic result means that they have now scored more goals than the league leaders and are just four behind Manchester City.
And the omens look good for Rodgers’ side who have now collected one point more from the opening 10 games of the current season than at the same stage of their title-winning campaign in 2015-16.
With trips to Crystal Palace and Brighton on the horizon either side of hosting Arsenal, Leicester have every chance to kick on from their strong start, but given the strength and form of Liverpool and Manchester City, a title challenge appears unlikely.