They initially persevered with a back five after Ryan Bertrand’s early dismissal. But with the visitors looking so dominant, Saints reorganised to create a four-strong defence – which in turn prompted Leicester to move their wingers inside to join Jamie Vardy between the lines, and exploit the spaces within Southampton’s midfield. Direct balls towards the visitors’ attack-minded full-backs were played regularly as they attacked four-on-four, with Ben Chilwell and Ricardo Pereira driving at their opposite number.
The hosts responded to a damaging first half by introducing two more defenders and playing with a higher block, but Leicester wingers Harvey Barnes and Ayoze Pérez capitalised by adopting wider runs (above) as Chilwell and Pereira played more narrowly to support Vardy, with Youri Tielemans adding yet another threat as a late-running number eight. Bigger spaces therefore appeared between Southampton’s full-backs and central defenders – which, when combined with the hosts’ inept defending against Leicester’s relentless attacks, widened the margin of victory.
Manchester City 3-0 Aston Villa
Manchester City were particularly effective on the left in their 3-0 win over Villa, where David Silva regularly found space through the visitors’ fear of leaving Tyrone Mings one-on-one with Gabriel Jesus. Defending right-back Frédéric Guilbert therefore also played with less width, inviting Raheem Sterling to receive and dribble from deeper territory or to penetrate in behind whenever David Silva withdrew towards possession (below), and Benjamin Mendy to provide runs as a potential third man.