Man City beat Leicester City 1-0 at the King Power with Kevin De Bruyne’s second-half free-kick; City tops the Premier League before Arsenal’s match against Nottingham Forest on Sunday; Leicester remains 17th.
Kevin De Bruyne’s second-half free-kick gave a Man City team missing Erling Haaland a 1-0 win against Leicester City to go top of the Premier League.
De Bruyne’s twisting 49th-minute free-kick that soared up and over the Leicester wall from 25 yards out and into the inside of the post with Danny Ward powerless gave Pep Guardiola’s team “a big win” in a close match at the King Power on Saturday lunchtime.
As a result, City moved a point ahead of Arsenal before their home match against Nottingham Forest on Sunday despite the absence of the Premier League’s top scorer, who had started every game this season after his summer move, scoring 22 goals, but had not recovered from an ankle injury in time to play.
Leicester, meanwhile, remain one spot above the relegation zone ahead of Saturday’s top-flight matchups after losing their three-match winning streak at the King Power, during which they had not conceded.
City’s title run
Leicester faced City after winning their past three home games without conceding, but Brendan Rodgers shifted to a 3-4-3.
City dominated possession and territory in the opening half, driving their hosts back without really challenging Ward.
After halftime, City altered gears and almost took the lead immediately as Rodri blasted a low drive inches past the post before the visitors scored.
De Bruyne scored his fifth goal from beyond the box since last season after Jack Grealish was fouled 25 yards out, slightly left of centre.
That strike began the game, and Leicester almost equalised immediately when Youri Tielemans’ first-time volley from James Maddison’s left-wing corner was wonderfully tipped on to the bar by Ederson.
After that, the home team tried to equalise, but City won to take the lead.
Beware, De Bruyne is amazing again.
Sky’s Richard Morgan:
Pep Guardiola’s belief that Kevin De Bruyne is just just regaining his form as the Premier League’s greatest midfielder is worrying for the rest of the league.
De Bruyne’s 25-yard free-kick early in the second half won City’s encounter against Leicester City at the King Power on Saturday night and put them top of the table.
After scoring against Brighton last weekend, the 31-year-old has a Premier League-high nine assists and three league goals.
His boss claims De Bruyne has returned to form.
“We know Kevin can do free-kicks,” Guardiola stated after the game. “He needs his dynamic. He requires mobility and was back today ” Need him. He’s not unable. We’ve won everything but the Champions League in seven years ” I know him well. I’ll always respect him and his contributions to this club and me.
“But my work requires me to desire more. We need more goals like his against Brighton. Naturally. Today we needed both.”
Opta stats: Can Man City play Leicester weekly?
• Leicester City’s longest losing streak at home against Manchester City in the Premier League is four games without a goal.
• Leicester City is the 12th Premier League team to lose 100 home games.
• Manchester City haven’t surrendered a first-half goal in eight Premier League matches, their longest such run since November-December 2021 (10), which included a win against Leicester City (6-3).
• Manchester City has won 22 Premier League games in 2022, the most of any team, with only two defeats.
• Four of Leicester City’s previous seven matches with 35% possession or less have been against Manchester City.
Manchester City tried 29 crosses (including corners) without Erling Haaland, their joint-most in a Premier League game this season (also 29 v Crystal Palace).
“I think the players deserve a lot of credit,” said Leicester manager Brendan Rodgers.
We admire the world’s finest squad, even though it’s not our style. We defended admirably then.” ” Our guys defended well and didn’t give up many chances despite their possession.
“The game may have yielded anything. Unfortunate.”
City manager Pep Guardiola: “Nobody knows what would have occurred with Erling Haaland.”
Erling struggled against Bournemouth when Leicester played with five at the back, four in the midfield, with Vardy dropping. “Difficult.” “When attacking, don’t become irritated. If you surrender a goal it is practically a hill to climb that would not be conceivable. So don’t get irritated and allow free-kicks and corners. \s” We won, but one corner or set-piece may tie it.
“It’s a big win because Leicester away is tough. We came at the right time for them and won the league.”
Guardiola said Haaland will miss the midweek Champions League encounter with Sevilla and be reviewed before the Fulham game next week.
“I doubt Sevilla. We qualified. Fulham will tell. We’ll see in seven days, “said.
Player of the Match – Kevin De Bruyne
Man City’s match winner’s stunning free-kick at the opening of the second half decided a tight encounter at the King Power in a poor game.
Because De Bruyne has a habit of scoring from beyond the box, most fans in the stadium understood what was about to happen when he stood over the ball four minutes after halftime.
The playmaker’s twisting strike over Leicester’s wall was his 25th Premier League goal from beyond the box, the ninth-most in competition history and the most of any active player.
Only David Beckham (55%) and Christian Eriksen (44%) have scored more Premier League goals from beyond the box than Kevin De Bruyne (42%) (25/60).
City’s Jack Grealish won this winter’s World Cup playmaker competition, but whether Gareth Southgate will start him in Qatar is unclear.
Grealish was a persistent menace to the hosts’ defenders at the King Power, always eager to carry the ball up field even under pressure, as he did in the move that led to his team’s winning free-kick.
James Maddison was silent and unable to respond when his team needed him.
City has four home games before the World Cup break. On Wednesday night, Pep Guardiola’s winners welcome Sevilla to conclude their Champions League group stage before facing three west London teams at the Etihad Stadium.
City visit Fulham in the Premier League on November 5 and Chelsea in the Carabao Cup four days later. Brentford are City’s penultimate guests before the World Cup.
Leicester’s next match is a 5.30pm Sky Sports Saturday Night Football match versus Everton. Brendan Rodgers’ side then visit Newport County in the third round of the Carabao Cup before finishing this pre-World Cup tenure of the Premier League with a trip to West Ham.
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