Leicester Lashes Man City

Saturday’s English Premier League encounter at the Etihad Stadium ended in a 3-1 defeat for Manchester City as Leicester City moved six points clear at the top of the log.  Goals from Robert Huth and Riyad Mahrez led Leicester to victory, while Sergio Aguero netted a late consolation goal for Man City after an excellent goalkeeping display from Kasper Schmeichel.  Leicester got off to a flying start opening the scoring in the second minute, courtesy of a poacher’s effort from Huth. 

At 1-0, the visitors were in control and had opportunities to extend their lead.  First Jamie Vardy was denied by Joe Hart after beating the Citizens’ defence for pace.  Then Danny Drinkwater, following a through-ball from Mahrez and finally, Shinji Okazaki, who could not get studs onto Vardy’s cross with the goal staring at him in the 20th minute.

At the other end, the hosts grew in confidence as the minutes ticked by, eventually dominating possession after starting with their backs toward the visiting goal.  Manuel Pellegrini’s players continued to exhibit the slick passing game they have become known for, but could only manage one shot on target at the end of the first 45 minutes, despite completing 323 passes and controlling 73 percent of possession.  Aguero had his side’s only shot at goal, however the home team could feel outdone by the referee, who awarded a free kick instead of a penalty after Pablo Zabaleta was brought down on the line bordering the inside and the outside of the box.

The rules state, any foul on the line bordering the penalty area is a spot kick.  The second half was a case of de ja vu for Pellegrini’s players as the Foxes extended their lead within two minutes and forty seconds of the restart.  Mahrez continued his fine run of form, finishing off a quick counter-attack with a neat step over and a clinical finish.

The goal prompted Pellegrini into a double substitution, opting for a more attacking approach with the introduction of Fernando and Kelechi Iheanacho.  In the 53rd minute, Fernando came close to repaying his manager’s faith in him, but could not find a way past Schmeichel after doing well to get on the end of David Silva’s corner.  Instead, it was Claudio Ranieri’s team who went on to net a third, an open header for Huth following Christian Fuch’s corner.

Vardy twice went close to making it four for Leicester, however it was Aguero whose persistence would pay off when he headed in for the Manchester side in the 87th minute.  The Argentine maestro had an opportunity to make it two, two minutes later but failed to take advantage of a Danny Simpson backpass.  The home team finished strong, however the afternoon belonged to Leicester who were outstanding all-round.

Teams:

Manchester City: Hart; Zabaleta, Otamendi, Demichelis, Kolarov; Fernandinho, Delph; Silva, Toure, Sterling; Aguero. Subs: Caballero, Clichy, Sagna, Fernando, Celina, Garcia, Iheanacho.

Leicester City: Schmeichel; Simpson, Morgan, Huth, Fuchs; Mahrez, Drinkwater, Kante, Albrighton; Okazaki, Vardy. Subs: Schwarzer, Chilwell, Wasilewski, King, Dyer, Gray, Ulloa.

Venue: Etihad Stadium