Post by Football News on Nov 18, 2017 18:01:56 GMT
Leicester 0 - 2 Man City
Manchester City sink Leicester with Kevin de Bruyne super strike
Away team scorers Fernando Gabriel Jesus 45 Kevin De Bruyne 49
Hard to believe now that Manchester City lost this fixture 4-2 a year ago, putting in a shambolic performance that fatally undermined any pretensions they might have had of a title challenge.
Pep Guardiola’s side arrived here 18 points ahead of the Foxes and deservedly increased the gap to 21 with an impressive display of control, even with two centre-halves who were rusty through lack of games. Leicester City did not play badly; they might have taken something from the game against most opponents, but the whole point about Manchester City these days is that they are not any old opponents.
This was their 10th league win in a row, their 16th of an all-competition sequence, and it could have been even more emphatic, with Leroy Sané finding space and running past defenders at will.
When Pep the perfectionist puts together his weekly mistake compilation for training-ground analysis he will probably point to a couple of occasions in the second half when his side were grateful to see offside flags raised against Jamie Vardy, but will mostly be wanting to know why his forwards did not finish with the sort of precision they showed in their build-ups.
Making his first start in more than two months, Vincent Kompany was nearly in trouble after a couple of minutes for a professional foul on Vardy. A delicately weighted pass from Vicente Iborra hit Vardy’s stride before Kompany had recognised the danger and all the defender could do was bring down the Leicester striker before he raced into the penalty area. The home supporters clearly felt Graham Scott took the easy option in producing a yellow card, for although it was hardly the clearest of goalscoring opportunities, it was just the sort of chance Vardy thrives on. In what was turning out to be a busy return for the Manchester City captain, Kompany almost turned the ball past his own keeper in cutting out a cross from Riyad Mahrez moments later.
The first real chance arrived midway through the first half when Kasper Schmeichel had to be alert to tip a David Silva shot over his bar. The visitors had been stroking the ball around expansively without managing to find Gabriel Jesus on the end of any of their approach work, but when Fabian Delph played Leroy Sané into space on the left, his cut-back brought a first-time shot on target from David Silva. Sané was enjoying plenty of freedom on the left, though the accuracy of his crossing sometimes let him down. His next attempt flashed harmlessly across goal, too far ahead of either Jesus or Raheem Sterling.
A Manchester City backline already missing the suspended Nicolas Otamendi was further depleted on the half-hour, when John Stones had to go off with a hamstring injury. The England defender pulled up in evident pain after chasing the elusive Demarai Gray down the left, and was replaced by Eliaquim Mangala, making only his second league appearance of the season. Guardiola was worried about the pace in Leicester’s frontline even before he lost both his first-choice central defenders so a goal on the stroke of the interval must have come as a relief.
The visitors had been threatening to take the lead for a while, with David Silva shooting over and Sané bringing a save from Schmeichel, and the only surprise about the opening goal was the identity of its scorer. Jesus had been having such an unproductive afternoon it was easy to forget he was on the pitch, but he popped up in exactly the right place, as goalscorers often will, to complete a neat passing move with a tap-in.
Silva could probably have scored on his own after Sterling played a one-two with Kevin de Bruyne and left him with only Schmeichel to beat; instead, he opted to make sure, aware that Jesus was up in support to his right.
Manchester City underlined their superiority with a goal of real quality at the start of the second half, though one had to feel slightly sorry for Leicester, who effectively began the move when Harry Maguire had a shot cleared off the line. David Silva was the player who rescued his goalkeeper after Ederson had come out to make a half-save, before Fernandinho moved the play swiftly upfield to De Bruyne, who accepted a return pass from Sané then shuffled the ball on to his left foot to beat Schmeichel with a glorious rising drive from outside the area.
There were no more goals after that, although there could have been. Perhaps Manchester City are not yet as clinical as they would like to be, but towards the end of the game, when Maguire was eventually booked for fouling Sterling twice in the same move at either end of the pitch, you could tell Leicester had had enough of being run ragged. They just wanted the match to be over. While this draining effect on opponents might be nothing new for Guardiola, it is a significant, not to say ominous, development for Manchester City.