Leicester boss Brendan Rodgers hailed his team as “ruthless” for their record-equalling 9-0 rout of Southampton in the Premier League on Friday as besieged Saints coach Ralph Hasenhuttl insisted: ‘Blame me’.
Ayoze Perez and Jamie Vardy both hit hat-tricks as Rodgers’ side moved second in the table.
The rout equalled Manchester United’s 9-0 demolition of Ipswich at Old Trafford in March 1995 for the biggest win in Premier League history.
“We were ruthless. I’m very proud to stand and be the manager of that team,” said Rodgers after a game played out in driving rain at St Mary’s Stadium.
“A mark of the good sides is you don’t let up. We wanted to show we’re a good side and we certainly did that in the second half.
“We were ruthlessly simple in our game. When you’re so many goals up you can easily slow but we kept focused. We want to be a top team and to be a top team you must be clinical.”
Hasenhuttl saw his team slip into the bottom three and he pulled no punches after a performance which also saw Ryan Bertrand red-carded after 10 minutes.
“The performance was a disaster and I have to apologise and take 100 percent responsibility -– I’ve never seen a team act like this, there was no fight for anything,” admitted the Saints’ coach.
Southampton midfielder Nathan Redmond added: “It was an embarrassing performance, the stuff of nightmares.”
Leicester are just five points behind league leaders Liverpool, who host Tottenham on Sunday, after recording the biggest-ever victory by an away side in an English top-flight match in the 131-year history of the Football League.
Ben Chilwell began the destruction in the 10th minute when he tapped in on the rebound, and Ryan Bertrand’s red card – awarded via VAR for a late tackle on Perez in the build-up to the opener – helped the away side open the floodgates.
Quickfire strikes from Youri Tielemans and Perez put Leicester three goals to the good with less than 20 minutes gone amid a downpour on the south coast.
Perez struck again seven minutes before the break from a Chilwell cross to make it four before Vardy scored his first of the evening as Leicester racked up five goals in the first half of a league match for the first time since 1984.
It was also the first time that a side had crashed home that many goals in the opening period of a Premier League game since Manchester City beat Burnley 6-1 in April 2010.
That didn’t stop Leicester from raining down goals on Southampton however, with two coming within a minute just before the hour mark.
First Perez completed his treble after collecting Hervey Barnes’ superb lofted through ball in the 57th minute, and Vardy headed home from another precise Chilwell cross seconds later.
James Maddison made it a record-breaking away scoreline with five minutes remaining when he swung home a perfect free-kick that zipped past the desperate Angus Gunn.
And Vardy sealed Leicester’s place in the record books with his ninth of the season deep into stoppage, firing home a penalty that also took him top of the Premier League scoring charts with nine goals after he was brought down by Jan Bednarek.