Leicester City 0-1 Manchester City: The Foxes’ tough year continues

Photo courtesy of Matt Teagle: The King Power Stadium before the game

By Ben Sanderson

A late winner from Gabriel Jesus proved the difference at the King Power Stadium as Leicester City succumbed to Manchester City in a 1-0 defeat.

It was Leicester’s former player Riyad Mahrez who provided Jesus with the ball to slot home from close-range, the Algerian running through the middle of the Leicester defence.

VAR, which found itself steeped in yet more controversy on Saturday night, found that Caglar Soyuncu just about kept Jesus onside and gave the goal.

Just before the half-hour mark, Kevin De Bruyne’s literal save of a James Maddison free-kick was not found by VAR to be a penalty-worthy offence, becoming one of the most serious mistakes of VAR so far this season.

Leicester did concede a penalty for handball, though, thirty minutes later, as a long shot from Ilkay Gundogan hit Dennis Praet’s hand.

The Belgian, who played in the central defensive midfield position usually occupied by injured Wilfred Ndidi, was judged to have not done enough to move his hand out of the way.

Sergio Aguero’s penalty was saved by ex-City ‘keeper Kasper Schmeichel, who dived to the right and blocked Aguero’s tame shot with his knee.

Jamie Vardy’s goal drought (no league goals this year) continued as Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang levelled with him at the top of the Premier League’s scoring charts this weekend, and Vardy will rarely have better chances as he did early on in this encounter.

One-on-one with Ederson just outside of Manchester City’s penalty area, his shot trickled onto the post as he squandered Leicester’s best chance of the game.

The visitors had a great chance not long later as Ilkay Gundogan’s shot from the right ot the six-yard box was blocked by Kasper Schmeichel’s foot.

Photo courtesy of Matt Teagle: The King Power Stadium before the game

Vardy played in a strike partnership with former Manchester City player Kelechi Iheanacho in a changed 3-5-2 formation, and Iheanacho was on the end of a battering-ram punch from Ederson while jumping for a Maddison through-ball which Ederson reached first.

After two minutes of treatment, he was able to carry on in the 42nd minute.

Near the end of the first-half, Manchester City had the ball in the back of the net through Aguero, but he was offside by some distance in an easier decision for VAR.

In the 65th minute, pressure from Manchester City almost culminated in the easiest of shots for Aguero, but a cross to the striker who jumped for the ball in the six-yard box was reached by Schmeichel first.

Leicester piled on more pressure towards the end of the game and had shots through Vardy and Pereira, but Jesus’ goal proved decisive as Manchester City took all three points.

Matty James came on in the 85th minute for his first Premier League game since March 2018, making the most of a defensive midfield crisis for Leicester.

Ndidi and Papy Mendy were injured, while Hamza Choudhury was suspended following a red card last week against Wolves, leaving the door open for the Englishman who has struggled for months with injury himself.

As Manchester City prepare to take on Real Madrid in a now-or-never tie (they were banned from the Champions League by UEFA for two years for falsifying sponsorship revenue), Leicester missed a good chance to defeat a Manchester City side keen on saving their energy.

The Foxes played a cautious and stubborn game without key midfielder Ndidi. but ultimately the tough 2020 continues, with the Foxes winning two of six league games, and beginning to look over their shoulders.

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