Leicester City completed a stunning comeback over Manchester United to snatch a memorable 5-3 win in the Barclays Premier League.
The hosts trailed 2-0 and 3-1 at the King Power Stadium but showed tremendous courage to rally for a first victory over United since 1998, having lost their previous nine Premier League meetings.
A week after seemingly kick-starting their Barclays Premier League campaign with a 4-0 win over Queens Park Rangers, United got off to a flying start with early goals via the head of Robin van Persie and an exquisite Angel di Maria scoop. But Leicester had taken a point apiece from Arsenal and Everton at home before winning away at Stoke last time out, and displayed their top-flight credentials again.
Nigel Pearson's charges responded almost immediately to Di Maria's moment of magic, when their own Argentinian record signing Leonardo Ulloa nodded in. United upped the tempo after the break and capitalised on a sustained period of pressure when Ander Herrera deflected a Di Maria shot into the back of the net.
But the hosts would not lie down as a David Nugent penalty and Esteban Cambiasso's low drive put them back on level terms. Jamie Vardy then kept his cool when put clear to make it 4-3 and Ulloa put the icing on the cake with another spot-kick after Tyler Blackett had fouled Vardy and got sent off. For Ulloa, it was his fifth Premier League goal in as many matches.
Radamel Falcao made his expected full United debut, replacing Juan Mata, with captain Wayne Rooney eased back into a slightly deeper role. Vardy was one of four changes for Leicester alongside former United trainee Danny Drinkwater, Cambiasso and the son of Old Trafford legend Peter Schmeichel, goalkeeper Kasper.
Schmeichel was called into early work after Van Persie was played through by Di Maria, but the goalkeeper could do nothing about the Dutchman's deflected header from a superb Falcao cross which put the visitors ahead on 13 minutes.
The lead was doubled in sublime fashion three minutes later when Di Maria linked up with Rooney before the Argentina winger lifted a delightful effort over the helpless goalkeeper.
United were almost immediately caught cold at the other end when Vardy got to the byline and crossed for Ulloa to head home powerfully to David de Gea's left.
The visitors suffered another setback when Jonny Evans limped off and was replaced by Chris Smalling with less than half an hour gone, but both defences just about managed to hold firm for the rest of a fast and furious first period.
Falcao went close to restoring United's two-goal cushion at the start of the second half when controlling a Rooney pass and firing a half-volley against the crossbar, but it proved a temporary respite for Leicester.
It was Herrera who did claim the third when flicking a Di Maria strike from the edge of the area past a stranded Schmeichel on 57 minutes.
However, Leicester showed great heart to rally through a Nugent spot-kick after Rafael da Silva shoved over Vardy in the box and Cambiasso connected sweetly with a shot from just inside the area to level the scores just after the hour.
As United poured forward in search of a winner, they were caught short in defence. Mata, on as a substitute, was robbed by Ritchie De Laet, whose through-ball released Vardy. The former Fleetwood Town man kept his nerve to slot past De Gea one-on-one.
A mesmerising comeback was complete just four minutes later, as Vardy was allowed in on goal again and Blackett chopped him down in the penalty area, earning a straight red card and providing Ulloa the chance to cap a stunning outing for Leicester and a first home win in the top flight since May 2004.
Leicester City manager Nigel Pearson: "To gain back-to-back wins in the Premier League is never easy, especially if you are a newly promoted team.
"For us to win away at Stoke and then follow it up by beating one of the major forces in British football is very satisfying. When you add into that coming from 3-1 behind, it is testament not just to our quality, but also the spirit and self-belief."
Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal: "I have been 25 years in this profession and have already had another experience like that. With Barcelona, we were three goals ahead with a quarter to play and we lost 3-4, so that was also with a top club. You never expect it when you are two goals ahead for the second time - you have to kill the game, you have to keep possession, but we could not do that. We gave it away with penalties.
"We kept possession for the first 10 minutes of the second half and scored a goal from that, but we failed to carry on like that. We created a lot of chances and scored some superb goals but you have to do it for 90 minutes and not 60. After the win against QPR to come and lose here is disappointing, as we gave it away. But I am convinced we shall improve that."
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|13 Dec 2014||v Man City (H)|
|07 Dec 2014||v Aston Villa (A)|