CITYZENS HUNT DOWN FOXES!

CITYZENS HUNT DOWN FOXES!

League leaders Manchester City welcome a bruised Foxes side, seeking to improve their gap at the top.

City were very quickly off the blocks, going forward incessantly in early minutes. All that pressure was rewarded with a goal inside five minutes. Fernandinho’s loopy pass was brought down brilliantly by Kevin De Bruyne inside the box, and with time at hand, turned and shot with his left foot.

 

One soon became two as Youri Tielemans was adjudged to have brought down Aymeric Laporte from a corner inside the box. Riyad Mahrez stepped up and coolly dispatched the VAR-given penalty. Leicester flirted with scoring themselves. James Maddison’s free-kick was superbly tipped onto the bar by Ederson, before Ayoze Perez drew a sharp low save. But they were dealt a further blow within 20 minutes.

 

Joao Cancelo’s cross from the right was palmed at by Kasper Schmeichel straight into the path of Ilkay Gundogan, who made no mistake to score the third. Incredibly, five minutes later it was four. Raheem Sterling managed to wiggle away from Tielemans, who stuck out a leg and felled the attacker inside the box. This time it was Sterling himself who took responsibly and rifled the ball into the net.

 

Sterling almost found a brilliant fifth, as Bernardo Silva touch a wonderful long pass onto him. But Schmeichel was on hand to produce a strong save and put the ball behind. The Foxes had a couple of great look-ins, but Maddison and Keirnan Dewsbury-Hall both blazed over from the edge of the penalty box to spurn them. Gundogan’s shot on target was the final action of the half as the result felt all but secured.

 

The second half started in a sedate manner as one would expect. Mahrez had a shot blocked by Tielemans before Leicester pulled one back. A quick attack through the middle, aided by Laporte’s slip, ended with Kelechi Iheanacho putting Maddison free who side-footed the ball home. And once again, one became two soon.

 

Another rapid fire break through Maddison who found Iheanacho who slipped Ademola Lookman in behind. His neat finish halved the deficit with half an hour to go. The crazy match got even wilder as Iheanacho finally got his name on the scoresheet. Another counter-attack saw Maddison sting the hands of Ederson, whose save rebounded off the crossbar straight to the Nigerian. 4-3 with 25 minutes left.

 

City finally showed some response, but again it was poor Leicester defending. Laporte rose the highest to head home a corner to give a two-goal lead. Marc Albrighton missed a glorious chance to pull the deficit back to one, heading wide from three yards out. City cooled to a large extent, bu Sterling still managed to score his second after a Ruben Dias knockdown from a corner.

 

There were to be no more goals as City claimed a deserved, if nervy win at home.

Here are the three key takeaways from a Boxing Day goalfest:

CITY OUTSCORE FOR FUN

Pep Guardiola has been getting the best out of City for years on end, as they recently became the highest-scorers ever in a single calendar year. Even then, it must have been more perfect than any start he would have wanted to the game. Four goals within 25 minutes with City cutting Leicester up at will.

 

At halftime, it was all supposed to be over but the Foxes came roaring back aided by some hapless defending from City. Ederson did the best he could but still had to pick the ball out of net three times. Expect the defence to hear some harsh words at training tomorrow.

 

LEICESTER FINALLY COME OFF AGE

Yes they conceded six times which is honestly not that big a surprise given the opponents and their defensive absentees. But the second half period where they scored three answered goals should ideally delight Brendan Rodgers. The fact that they did it without Jamie Vardy is another feather in the cap.

 

Lookman is slowly but surely gaining form while Iheanacho is one of the most underrated forwards in the league. However, the major good news is definitely Maddison regaining his sharpness after some early season struggles.

 

CITY LOOK OMINOUS

They are six points ahead temporarily at the top, but even without games in hand, CIty are just looking too good. They seem to have the whole package, while having some of their starters out. Kyle Walker, Rodri, Phil Foden all were not in the starting lineup while Jack Grealish did not even play. All of this goes to show the incredible bench strength they have as well.

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