Leicester outfox the Citizens
Table-toppers strengthen their case for the title by downing second-placed Manchester City
Leicester City further strengthened their case for the Premier League title after recording a surprise 3-1 victory over fellow hopefuls Manchester City at the Etihad yesterday afternoon. The visitors went into the half-time break with a slender advantage, following Robert Huth’s thirdminute opener, and they doubled their lead just three minutes into the second half when Riyad Mahrez bagged an impressive goal from just inside the Citizens’ box.
Huth netted his second on the hour mark with a welltaken header, before Sergio Agüero bagged a consolation goal with a header of his own two minutes from full time.
The Foxes came flying out of the starting blocks and claimed the lead after just three minutes of play, centre back Huth finding the back of the net via a deflection off the leg of Martín Demichelis.
Leicester kept up the early pressure and very nearly added to their advantage just six minutes later, but Citizens goalkeeper Joe Hart did well to keep out Jamie Vardy’s goal-bound effort.
The visitors looked like scoring every time they broke on the counter, and Hart had to be at his best a few minutes later to deny Danny Drinkwater’s shot from a tight angle.
City eventually lodged their first shot on goal in the 14th minute, but David Silva was unable to direct his shot on target, firing just wide of the mark.
Manuel Pellegrini’s side then had a strong penalty appeal turned down after Pablo Zabaleta was brought down on the edge of the area by Christian Fuchs, with referee Anthony Taylor signalling for a free kick.
The Citizens continued to press for an equaliser, but Leicester’s organised defence did well to snuff out the danger at each and every turn.
With just three minutes remaining in the first half, City had another penalty appeal rejected after Marc Albrighton tangled with Fernandinho on the left-hand touchline.
Any hopes of a City comeback were quickly quashed at the start of the second half as Leicester doubled their advantage in the 48th minute. Mahrez skipped past challenges from Zabaleta and Demichelis before cutting inside and firing a right-footed shot into the left side of goal, with Hart left rooted to the spot.
Pellegrini responded by making two substitutions, with Yaya Touré and Fabian Delph making way for Fernando and Kelechi Iheanacho.
The changes did little to stem the tide, however, as Leicester netted their third of the afternoon on the hour mark, Huth finding the left corner with a looping header from Fuchs’ inswinging corner.
Leicester continued to create chances, with Vardy the danger man for the visitors. The Englishman was unable to add his name to the scoresheet, though, as Hart kept out two later efforts from the 29-year-old striker.
The Citizens had been forced to endure a frustrating afternoon, but they eventually netted a consolation goal two minutes from time as Agüero nodded home a glancing header from substitute Bersant Celina’s pinpoint cross.
ON BALANCE Manchester City's Kelechi Iheanacho (right) in action with Leicester City's Daniel Drinkwater at the Etihad Stadium in Manchester yesterday afternoon