Man City had initially taken the lead through Riyad Mahrez, but a Vardy treble, Maddison's exceptional goal and a Youri Tielemans penalty meant City, for the first time in their history, made it three wins from three at the start of a top-flight season.
The Foxes lined up with Ghana international Daniel Amartey – making his first Premier League appearance for 23 months – in defence, as well as Jonny Evans, who returned from suspension to make his first start of 2020/21.
The hosts started with significant intent, and led after just four minutes. James Justin initially cleared the corner, but former Fox Mahrez’s first-time half-volley flew into the top corner of the net.
A chance for Harvey Barnes to reply arrived midway through the first period, but after latching onto Dennis Praet’s neat pass, he was dispossessed by Eric Garcia after entering the Manchester City box.
Schmeichel was forced into another stop shortly after, saving from Fernandinho, while Justin’s attempt at returning the ball to Vardy in the Man City area nearly led to another opportunity for the Foxes.
Then came a frenetic few minutes. Rodri had a goal disallowed for offside, before the Foxes raced up the other end and won a penalty. Barnes found Vardy, who was tripped by Kyle Walker, and the No.9 coolly fired into the top corner past Ederson for 1-1 – his third spot-kick of 2020/21.
After the interval, efforts from de Bruyne and Mahrez followed, but it was City who next struck. Timothy Castagne sprinted into a pocket of space and pulled it back to Vardy, whose beautiful flick at the front post made it 2-1.
The Foxes continued their goalscoring intent and it paid off just before the hour mark. After Çağlar Söyüncü had a penalty appeal turned down, City were awarded one shortly after when Vardy was fouled by Garcia.
This time, Vardy went low to Ederson’s left, but the result was the same, as he completed his hat-trick from the spot and took his 2020/21 tally to five goals in three Premier League appearances.
City weren’t finished there, though. Substitute Maddison drifted in from the left wing before unleashing an unstoppable, curling strike over Ederson and into the top corner to extend the visiting outfit’s advantage with 13 minutes to go.
Summer recruit Nathan Aké briefly reduced the deficit with a header six minutes from time, but another penalty - won by Maddison and converted by Tielemans - made it 5-2 at Etihad Stadium.
Jamie Vardy's equaliser came just moments after Rodri had a goal disallowed for offside.
Spanish midfielder Rodri’s disallowed goal on 35 minutes was immediately followed by a leveller for Leicester City after Jamie Vardy won and converted a penalty.
A crucial moment in the match, Vardy’s calm finish from 12 yards restored parity, before he went on to net two more in the second period.
Vardy, the Premier League’s 2019/20 Golden Boot winner, now has five goals in just three games and his record is matched only by Everton’s Dominic Calvert-Lewin.
Jamie Vardy completes his hat-trick from the spot.
Speaking on LCFC Radio, co-commentator Gerry Taggart said: “Who do you pick?! It’s ridiculous, because the performances today have been sensational. I’ve been busy writing down my nominations. James Justin I thought had a fantastic performance. Again, Harvey Barnes is growing all the time and his decision making is fantastic.
"Dennis Praet had an excellent game but went off injured. Again, it was a flawless performance from Timothy Castagne. It’s come down to two players, I really wanted to give it to Papy Mendy because that’s the best game I’ve seen him play today.
"But I have to give it to Jamie Vardy because he scored a hat-trick. He was the man at the right place at the right time."
Where do we stand?
James Maddison's breathtaking strike made it 4-1 at Etihad Stadium.
Leicester City reclaim top spot in the Premier League after maintaining their 100 per cent record to the start of the 2020/21 season. They sit level on points with Everton, who also have nine from three games.
With Jamie Vardy off the pitch, penalty duties fell to Youri Tielemans, who made it 5-2 from the spot.
City’s next Premier League outing comes in a week’s time, when they entertain West Ham United at King Power Stadium on Sunday 4 October (12pm BST kick-off) before the international break pauses league proceedings.
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