Le­ices­ter out­fox the Cit­i­zens

Ta­ble-top­pers strengthen their case for the ti­tle by down­ing se­cond-placed Manch­ester City

CityPress - - Sport - – TEAMtalk me­dia

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.

REUTERS / AN­DREW YATES / LIVEPIC

ON BAL­ANCE Manch­ester City's Kelechi Iheana­cho (right) in ac­tion with Le­ices­ter City's Daniel Drinkwa­ter at the Eti­had Sta­dium in Manch­ester yes­ter­day af­ter­noon

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