Report on Man City’s 1-0 victory over Leicester City at the King Power Stadium, won on a second-half free-kick by Kevin De Bruyne. Until Arsenal plays Nottingham Forest on Sunday, City is atop the Premier League standings; Leicester remains in last place at the moment, in 17th.
De Bruyne’s swerving 49th-minute free-kick soared up and over the Leicester wall from 25 yards out, finding the back of the net off the inside of the post with Danny Ward helpless, giving Pep Guardiola’s side “a massive win” in a tightly contested match at the King Power on Saturday lunchtime.
Because of this, City was able to move a point ahead of Arsenal before their home match against Nottingham Forest on Sunday despite missing the Premier League’s leading scorer, who had started every game this season after his summer move, scoring 22 goals, but had not recovered from an ankle knock in time to feature.
The loss ended Leicester’s three-game winning streak at home where they had not conceded a goal, but they remain one place above the relegation zone heading into the rest of Saturday’s Premier League matches.
The Key To City’s Championship
Leicester faced City with renewed confidence after winning three consecutive home games without surrendering a goal, but in a new formation after manager, Brendan Rodgers opted for a 3-4-3.
However, City’s three-at-the-back formation expanded to five in the first half, as the visitors pushed the home team back from the get-go without seriously testing Ward’s goaltending.
After that goal, the game opened up, and Leicester almost tied it up right away in spectacular fashion when James Maddison’s left-wing corner found Youri Tielemans on the edge of the area, and Ederson brilliantly tipped the Foxes captain’s first-time volley over the bar.
After that, the home team pushed for an equalizer, but City saw the game out to take the lead, at least temporarily.
The Feared De Bruyne Has Returned, And He Is More Brilliant Than Ever
Pep Guardiola, manager of Manchester City, recently said that Kevin De Bruyne is just beginning to regain the form that has earned the Belgian the title of the best midfielder in the Premier League.
On Saturday night, Kevin de Bruyne scored the game-winning goal for Manchester City in a 1-0 victory over Leicester City at the King Power. His free-kick from 25 yards out in the first half of the second half settled a tightly contested match and propelled City to the top of the Premier League.
The goal was the 31-year-third old’s of the Premier League season, following his goals against Brighton and Watford. He also leads the league with nine assists.
Kevin has the ability to convert free kicks, as Guardiola remarked postgame. “Nonetheless, he is a dynamic player who can’t do without him. He’s got it when he’s on the move; he has to be on the go, and he returned today.
“Quite well, actually. Regardless of what happens, I will always respect him for all he has done for this team and for me.
“However, it is my responsibility to express my desire for advancement within my current role. His goal against Brighton was magnificent, but we’ll need more like that to win. The fact that he can do it while completely blind is no surprise. Today was a day when both were necessary.”
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Leicester Leave It Too Late
Even though Leicester knew they couldn’t start out hot against a team as talented as Manchester City, they may feel they took too many safe plays in their narrow loss.
The Foxes appeared content to sit back in the first half as if they would have immediately accepted a draw if it had been offered.
It was always going to be difficult to implement such a drastic change of gameplan after Manchester City scored, as they were always likely to do, and so it proved when De Bruyne turned on the magic right after halftime.
Leicester manager Brendan Rodgers was left frustrated by his team’s success when they were forced to take a more offensive stance. This was evidenced by the ferocious Tielemans strike that Ederson touched onto the bar and the late incident in which John Stones sent a nervous header straight at Ruben Dias, with the rebound narrowly missing his own goal.
Leicester’s fans approved of the strategy, as evidenced by their enthusiastic applause when the team made it to halftime without conceding a goal, but they also clapped when Rodgers made positive substitutions by bringing on strikers Kelechi Iheanacho and Patson Daka.
Due to a foot injury, Erling Haaland was not included in Man City’s roster to play Leicester. Manchester City’s Erling Haaland won’t be making the trip to face Leicester City in the Premier League.
To add insult to injury, Pep Guardiola has elected to start Phil Foden on the bench instead of in the starting lineup.
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