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Leicester City 0-1 Manchester City: Match Report, Player ratings, expert reaction and more

All the reaction from the King Power Stadium


A moment of magic from Kevin de Bruyne saw Manchester City move above Arsenal and back to the top of the Premier League with a narrow win over Leicester City at a sunny King Power Stadium.

The news before the clash focused on Erling Haaland, who had been left out after picking up a knock against Borussia Dortmund in midweek, with questions asked about how the Champions would fare without their seemingly other-worldly striker.

And in a game low on quality, Leicester City’s new-look 5-4-1 formation held strong for the first half, with the visitors reduced to just a series of half chances and looking uncharacteristically off the pace. The Foxes looked a threat on the break too, with Harvey Barnes

However, just minutes after the break they were undone by the first real moment of quality. Following a needless foul from on the weaving Jack Grealish by half-time substitute Nampalys Mendy, Kevin de Bruyne produced a magical effort from almost 30 yards out to fire a free kick home off the post past a despairing Danny Ward.

Leicester almost hit back immediately, with Youri Tielemans seeing his dipping volley tipped onto the crossbar by Ederson, but Pep Guardiola’s side began to exert almost sole control over the tie once again, seeing plenty of the ball without truly threatening.

The Foxes improved after the introduction of striking duo Kelechi Iheanacho and Patson Daka, with both having good chances to level the scoring, and Brendan Rodgers’ side threatened to punish City’s wastefulness in the dying embers of the game.

While by no means a vintage performance from Pep Guardiola’s side, it sees them return to the summit of the Premier League ahead of Arsenal’s clash with Nottingham Forest on Sunday, and keeps the pressure very much on the Gunners as City look to grab their fifth league title in six years.

Player ratings

Leicester City

GK- Danny Ward - 7

Looking much more assured in the Leicester goal and made a few good saves to keep his side in the game. Could do nothing about the opening goal.

CB- Daniel Amartey - 7

Looked solid in defence and didn’t really put a foot wrong.

CB- Wout Faes - 8

Negated the Manchester City threat brilliantly, and will be very happy to have not had to come up against Erling Haaland. Totally dominant in the air.

CB- Caglar Soyuncu - 8

Given his long layoff, the Turkish defender did well in the new-look back three, and will be hoping that any potential injury is not too serious.

RM- Timothy Castagne - 6

Struggled against Jack Grealish and survived a penalty scare in the first half,

CM- Youri Tielemans - 7

Unlucky not to equalise with a great strike, the Belgian was classy in midfield and solid when asked to defend.’

CM- Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall - 5

Was solid defensively but lacked any great threat heading the other way and was replaced at half time.

LM- James Justin - 6

Had a strong outing from wing-back, but blazed a good chance miles over the bar in the second half.

RW: James Maddison - 6

Some of his decision-making left something to be desired but as always he was the Foxes’ main source of creativity.

LW: Harvey Barnes - 5

Had his usual direct running and was Leicester’s biggest threat in the first half, but lacked any great composure in front of goal.

ST: Jamie Vardy - 5

Could not really get into the game and was taken off with the Foxes hunting a goal.

Substitutes:

Nampalys Mendy - 5

Gave away the free kick from which De Bruyne opened the scoring with a needless foul.

Kelechi Iheanacho - 7

Made an immediate impact when he fired just wide.

Patson Daka - 6

Helped change the flow of the game when he came on.

Manchester City

GK- Ederson - 7

Made a fine save to keep Tielemans’ volley out, but had little else to do.

RB- John Stones - 8

Very effective in the inverted position that Guardiola asked his full-backs to take up at the King Power stadium. Kept Harvey Barnes quiet to good effect too.

CB: Manuel Akanji - 7

Had very little to do but did it well and continues to impress since his summer move.

CB: Aymeric Laporte - 7

The Spaniard was solid in just his second start of the season, but will have much harder tests.

LB: Joao Cancelo - 6

Good on the ball as usual but lacked his usual incisiveness in the final third.

DM: Rodri - 7

Hoovered up everything in the first half and recycled possession well at the base of the City midfield.

DM: Ilkay Gundogan - 6

A quiet outing for Gundogan, who saw lots of the ball but could do little with it.

RM: Bernardo Silva - 6

Moved to the right, Silva struggled to really get into the game and find his usual pockets of space between the lines for Manchester City.

CAM: Kevin de Bruyne - 8

A moment of magic underlined another good performance, though not his best, from the Belgian.

LM: Jack Grealish - 7

Ran with the ball well and drew several free kicks, including the one that De Bruyne scored from.

ST: Julian Alvarez - 5

Worked hard but was thoroughly nullified by the Leicester defence and will always be compared to Erling Haaland.

Substitutes:

Ruben Dias - 6

Nearly conceded a bizarre own goal but helped his side survive a late flurry.

Phil Foden - 5

Couldn’t really get into the game upon coming on.

Expert reaction

Fan reaction:

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Ben Browning

Ben Browning

Football writer and analyst. Long-time writer of all things Arsenal and avid watcher of European football. Happy to discuss all things football over on Twitter.



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