Manchester City extended their winning run to three matches in the Premier League as they beat Leicester 1-0 in a closely-contested clash at the King Power Stadium.
Pep Guardiola’s side went into the international break having won two of their first three league matches – beating Norwich and Arsenal 5-0. They are now one point off the top of the table after overcoming Brendan Rodgers’ Foxes.
Bernardo Silva scored the only goal of the game, in the second half, as both sides wasted chances and Jamie Vardy saw a goal chalked off for offside.
Whilst the Portuguese international will take the plaudits for scoring the winning goal, another City player stole the show with a sublime performance in midfield; Ilkay Gundogan.
The former Borussia Dortmund maestro was exceptional for City as he ran the game in the middle of the park, leading to SofaScore handing him the highest rating (8.3) out of the 22 starters on the pitch.
Defensively, Gundogan stuck to his task well and was solid. Per SofaScore, he won an impressive 71% of his duels against Leicester players, winning three of his five battles on the ground and both of his duels in the air. He also made one interception and one tackle, whilst only committing one foul all game.
These are not statistics that suggest that he was running about the pitch like N’Golo Kante making tackles here, there, and everywhere, but they do show that he was effective when he did challenge for the ball. It also highlights that he was strong in 50/50 battles, which meant that Leicester were not able to bully him into ceding possession.
Offensively, Gundogan stood out above the rest. Per SofaScore, the German completed 82% of his passes and 100% of his long pass attempts. He was also successful with both of his attempted dribbles and created an eye-catching four chances – including one ‘big chance’ – from central midfield. Gundogan used his technical ability and vision to unlock the Leicester defence, although his teammates ultimately let him down as he ended the match with zero assists.
He was solid defensively and excellent going forward, helping contribute to City’s eventual win by putting pressure on the Leicester defence. Guardiola will surely be delighted by the dynamo’s impact at both ends of the pitch and hope that the rest of his players can start taking the chances that the German is creating from midfield.