The last unbeaten record of the Premier League season fell on Saturday as Arsenal came away from the King Power Stadium with a 5-2 victory over Leicester City, Alexis Sanchez roaring back into form with a hat-trick.
Claudio Ranieri’s side took the lead early in the game when Jamie Vardy was released down the left and fired home from a narrow angle but Theo Walcott exploited his pace to equalise just five minutes later, the England man’s 12th goal in his last 13 Premier League starts.
Alexis finally scored his first goal of the season to see the Gunners through to half-time with an advantage and the Chilean followed up just short of the hour when he headed in from Mesut Ozil’s cross.
The Arsenal forward then sealed his hat-trick in the 81st minute, skipping inside a defender to shoot long and low into the bottom corner from 25 yards.
There was a consolation for Leicester late in the day when Vardy scored his second of the match, a curling finish after Arsenal failed to properly clear the ball, but there was no question that the Alexis-inspired visitors were going to lose control of the result. That much was confirmed when Olivier Giroud swept in a fifth for Arsene Wenger’s men at the death.
Leicester would have been behind early on if not for a goal-line clearance from Ritchie De Laet but responded well and could have gone ahead themselves as Jeffrey Schlupp drew a fine save from Petr Cech.
Moments after hitting the post with a scuffed effort, Vardy lit up the game as he latched onto Danny Drinkwater’s raking pass and drifted in from the left to curl a superb finish beyond Cech.
The England international was just inches away from second five minutes later, his header clipping the top of the crossbar, and Arsenal hurled themselves level from the resulting counterattack, Santi Cazorla sliding through to Walcott, who raced in behind Robert Huth to squeeze home a finish off the left-hand upright.
Wenger’s men completed the turnaround shortly after the half-hour as Hector Bellerin’s drilled cross was helped on by Walcott, with Alexis on hand to tuck home from close range.
Leicester captain Wes Morgan should have restored parity on the stroke of half-time but he failed to apply the finish after connecting with Marc Albrighton’s pinpoint free-kick.
Arsenal’s goalscorers combined well after the interval, Alexis latching onto Walcott’s flick, but his strike was deflected wide.
Alexis did double his tally just prior to the hour, ghosting in from the right flank to beat Leicester’s offside trap and head in past the despairing reach of Kasper Schmeichel.
And Alexis had his hat-trick with nine minutes remaining, floating inside from the left before firing into the bottom-left corner from 25 yards.
Although Vardy curled in a second for the hosts, Arsenal substitute Giroud swept in from Nacho Monreal’s cross to add a fifth, as the visitors doubled their tally of league goals for the season in one outing.