City 1 - Leicester 3


City were soundly beaten 3-1 by Leicester on a miserable afternoon at the Etihad

Stadium.

The Blues never recovered from going behind early in the game and were largely out-

played by a Foxes side that now go six points clear at the top of the Premier League.

Only Liverpool have handed out similar punishment on City´s own turf and too many

of the home side had a bad day at the office.

If there were any doubters in the record 54,693 Etihad crowd as to why Leicester sat

three points clear at the top of the Premier League going into this clash, they were

dispelled in the opening few minutes.

Quicker to the ball, pressing with aggression and dangerous in the attacking third, the

Foxes were ahead inside three minutes.

Riyad Mahrez dashed down the right, skipping past Fabian Delph and Aleksandar

Kolarov before being fouled by the Serbian on the edge of the box.

A simple cross into the six-yard box seemed to catch the Blues off-guard and burly

defender Robert Huth was first to react, poking a deflected shot towards goal that left

Joe Hart stranded.

It was exactly the start City had needed to avoid with the Foxes expert travellers on

the road and having lost just once in their previous 15 away games.

It also allowed the visitors to regroup, defend in numbers and allow the Blues to come

on to them – a job they did comfortably for the majority of the opening period, twice

coming close to doubling their lead in the process.

City had two good shouts for a penalty – the first on 24 minutes when Pablo Zabaleta

was brought down on the right of the box with TV replays showing the infringement

had been on the line and perhaps should have resulted in a spot-kick.

The second was on 41 minutes when Fernandinho was shoved to the ground in the

box – the kind of foul that is given anywhere else on the pitch but more often than not

when it means a penalty being awarded.

The Blues went in at the break having dominated possession but failing to really

threaten the visitors where it really counted. It seemed Manuel Pellegrini would need

to have a rethink during the half-time break in order to find a way back into this

match.

Unfortunately, City hadn´t the learned the lessons of the first half and again, with

three minutes of kicking off, Leicester had increased their lead after breaking at speed

and Mahrez skilfully skipped a challenge before wrong-footing Hart with a powerful

drive.

On the evidence to that point, it seemed as though it was game, set and match in

favour of the East Midlands side. Pellegrini replaced Toure and Delph immediately

after the goal with Fernando and Kelechi Iheanacho coming on.

Fernando came close to scoring within a few minutes, too, as he headed a corner

towards goal but Kasper Schmeichel made a fine save to preserve his side’s two-goal

advantage.

It got worse for the Blues on the hour-mark when Huth scored his second of the

afternoon, rising higher than anyone else from Christian Fuchs´ corner to head past

Hart and effectively end the contest.

Aguero headed home a consolation goal with two minutes to go, glancing home

Bersant Celina´s cross and might have had another a minute later when he intercepted

a poor back pass - but he fired wide from an acute angle.

In truth, it was too little too late on a day when the hosts were second-best in all

departments.

An afternoon to forget and with Spurs up next weekend, the Blues need to move on

and regroup as quickly as possible.

MATCH DETAILS:

Manchester City (1): Hart, Zabaleta, Demichelis, Otamendi, Kolarov, Fernandinho,

Toure (Fernando 52), Delph (Iheanacho 52), Silva (Celina 77), Sterling, Aguero

Leicester City (3): Schmeichel, Simpson, Morgan, Huth, Fuchs, Mahrez (Gray 77),

Kanté, Drinkwater, Albrighton (Dyer 86), Okazaki (Ulloah 80), Vardy

Goals: Huth 3, 60 Mahrez 48, Aguero 88

Referee: Anthony Taylor. Bookings: Morgan, Simpson, Zabaleta

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