Leicester vs Manchester City: Match Report

Manchester City banished their early season defeat to the Foxes to move 17 points clear at the top of the Premier League, with second half strikes from Benjamin Mendy and Gabriel Jesus enough to overcome their opponents.

Even in the reverse fixture, Leicester had been lucky to benefit from a couple of wondergoals and defending usually seen on a Sunday morning at an U10s game, but today the more familiar version of City exposed the quite frankly embarrassing tactics imposed by Brendan Rodgers.

Leicester did not have a shot in the first half. Or a corner. Or a blocked shot. The only surprise was that they had managed a touch in the City box. One, solitary touch.

In a five minute spell, Manchester City had 100% possession and Leicester failed to complete a pass- despite the Foxes winning back the ball several times. Each time, the ambitious hoofs upfield were easily dealt with by City’s centre back pairing.

City were excellent from the moment they started dictating possession- so about three minutes into the match. Kevin De Bruyne was at his imperious best, and despite Leicester’s deep defensive ranks City were managing to eke out chances.

Fernandinho thought he had scored the opener inside five minutes as he thumped a 25 yard effort into Kasper Schmeichel’s bottom right corner, but Sergio Aguero had been in-line with the shot and obstructing the Dane’s view, with the goal correctly being overturned.

De Bruyne was next to try from virtually the same spot, with his vicious freekick smashing off the bar and out with Schmeichel absolutely helpless.

Shortly before halftime, a throw-in off all things almost unlocked the door for City, as Jesus flicked the ball round the corner to Riyad Mahrez to strike at goal, but he could only find Schmeichel’s legs instead of the far corner.

Jesus curled narrowly over from the next attack, before with the final kick Leicester incredibly managed to score through Jamie Vardy- mainly due to the striker being several yards offside.

Everybody, bar Brendan Rodgers, knew.

Half time: Leicester 0-0 Manchester City

The second half started far more openly, with Rodri failing to sort his feet out from a delightful de Bruyne freekick before Kelechi Iheanacho freed Youri Tielemans in down the right, with a strong Ruben Dias block vital in denying the Belgian.

As in the first half, however, it did not take long for City to start to dominate, but now the chances were coming far more frequently. Aguero was unlucky to see a shot deflect narrowly wide, but moments later City finally broke through.

It was started, unsurprisingly, by a brilliant outside of the foot pass by De Bruyne to Mahrez, whose fierce shot was beaten away by Schmeichel. City recycled the ball to Rodri to whip a cross towards Jesus at the back post, with Jonny Evans deflecting the ball further back to Mendy.

Very few would have imagined the defender finding a gap to power home. Even fewer would have foreseen a delightful cut-back inside Marc Albrighton and the ensuing curling right footed finish into the far bottom corner.

As Leicester made changes and started pushing higher, the space in behind started opening up. If only City had the best midfielder on the planet to find a killer through pass.

Oh wait, they do.

Even by De Bruyne standards, it was ridiculous. Bisecting the sliding Evans and Wesley Fofana, taking the entire defence out of the game, and leaving Jesus clean in on goal.

Jesus exchanged passes with the newly arrived Raheem Sterling to remove Schmeichel from the equation, before rolling the ball into the goal to seal the three points.

Mahrez was found in on goal minutes later thanks to a wonderful pass by… oh shock, Kevin De Bruyne, but shanked his effort well wide to rob the Belgian from the assist he fully merited.

The game became tetchy in the final five minutes, as both Fernandinho and Kyle Walker welcomed the returning James Maddison by flattening him from behind- utterly needlessly, it should be mentioned.

Daniel Amartey then somehow only got booked after swinging an arm into De Bruyne off the ball right in front of the referee Anthony Taylor, something the Belgian was decidedly unimpressed with.

The whistle blew shortly after to prevent any more handbags, with City now at most four wins from yet another Premier League title. Leicester are still the clear favourites for third, but similar performances in the near future could cause them problems in their pursuit of Champions League football.

Full time: Leicester 0-2 Manchester City

Man of the Match: Kevin De Bruyne

Sometimes, it is close. Today, it was not. As well as players like Fernandinho (again) performed, you cannot look past the utter brilliance of Kevin De Bruyne. He simply dominated the team in third place as if they were in the National League, with only luck denying him of a deserved goal or assist.

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