After all the talk of the European Super League, this was like the Premier League staging the Champions League against the Championship.
West Bromwich Albion were simply no match for a Leicester City side who, far from showing a hangover from reaching the FA Cup final, carried on with the same hunger as they showed at Wembley.
Fortified by the return of James Maddison to their starting line-up for the first time in two months, Brendan Rodgers’s side swept away a hapless Albion by scoring three times in the first half – and they could have had more.
Many more returns of this abysmal defending from the early days of Sam Allardyce’s reign like we saw at King Power Stadium will hasten the Baggies’ exit from the Premier League, while Leicester continue to show why the ESL would be folly.
Leicester should have taken the lead inside the first three minutes.
A long ball saw Conor Townsend slip and let in Kelechi Iheanacho, who was clean through on goal.
But after taking the ball wide of goalkeeper Sam Johnstone, the striker turned back on to his left foot and Johnstone blocked his shot before Maddison scooped over from the edge of the box.
Almost immediately, West Brom could have been ahead themselves.
Matt Phillips’s cross was headed clear by Wesley Fofana but only as far as Matheus Pereira, who teed up Mbaye Diagne, only for the Senegalese striker to completely miss his kick from six yards out.
Leicester took the lead in the 23rd minute with a sweeping, first-time move that carved Albion open.
Youri Tielemans’s superb pass released Timothy Castagne, who squared to Vardy to curl home to Johnstone’s left from the edge of the box.
It was Vardy’s seventh goal in his last eight Premier League starts against West Brom but his first in 12 games in all competitions.
Three minutes later it was 2-0 with a goal that brought back unhappy memories of Albion’s atrocious defending earlier in the season.
Tielemans’s corner was missed by Iheanacho and Wilfred Ndidi at the near post and the ball hit the arm of Callum Robinson before Jonny Evans steamed in to head home against his former club.
Leicester were firmly in control and Castagne, this time ignoring the calls of Vardy to his left, went alone and rattled the foot of the post with a low, angled drive, before Vardy fired straight at Johnstone.
A Pereira corner that hit the top of the bar was mere respite for Albion as rampant Leicester grabbed a third goal in the 36th minute.
Vardy left Dara O’Shea standing on the Leicester left before unselfishly squaring to Iheanacho.
The Nigerian calmly found the roof of the net from eight yards out for his 13th goal in as many games in all competitions and that was that – game over.
Schmeichel 7; Fofana 6 (Albrighton 62 mins, 6), Evans 7, Soyuncu 6; Castagne 8, Ndidi 7, Tielemans 7, Thomas 7; Maddison 8 (Pérez 72 mins 6); Iheanacho 8, Vardy 8.
Johnstone 8; Furlong 6, Bartley 6, O’Shea 5, Townsend 4; Phillips 5, Yokuslu 6, Maitland-Niles 5, Robinson 5 (Ajayi 46 mins, 6); M Pereira 5 (Grant 73 mins, 6); Diagne 5 (Robson-Kanu 61 mins, 6).
Andy Madley 7.