Manchester City humbled second place Leicester City with a controlling 3-1 win at the Etihad Stadium on Saturday
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Jamie Vardy gave Leicester a surprise lead against the run of play, but the Foxes failed to make up ground on Liverpool.
Three things we learned
1. Lessons for Rodgers, Leicester City: The Foxes have been very good this season, no question about that, but for the second time this season they were shown how much work is left to keep up with the leaders. Liverpool barely beat Leicester in terms of the score line, but controlled the match.
This was worse for Brendan Rodgers‘ boys, who will meet Liverpool on Boxing Day.
Leicester was out shot 18-2 in the aforementioned loss to Liverpool.
This was probably worse. Man City had 63 percent of the ball and a 23-5 edge in shots. *Twelve* of those were on target as Kasper Schmeichel bailed out his men. Seventeen of the 23 attempts came inside the box.
Pep Guardiola surprised Brendan Rodgers by leaving Rodri out of the midfield in a bid to out-sly the Foxes, and Gundogan, De Bruyne, and Bernardo Silva were very, very creative. Wilfred Ndidi did his best to keep the group from being overrun, but the remaining midfielders were absent aside from Barnes’ great assist.
2. No one’s quite like KDB right now: There are better dribblers and players with quicker pace, but there is no Premier League attacker quite as complete as De Bruyne. The Belgian’s work on Man City’s deserved this goal showed just that. It wasn’t his only moment on the day, of course, but his show of power down the right side was unstoppable in setting up Jesus’ sliding goal. And the PL’s top assist man also strikes the ball about as pure as anyone.
3. Sensational Schmeichel saves Foxes from uglier outcome: Leicester City’s goalkeeper is the reason this one wasn’t a massive and deflating blowout for Brendan Rodgers’ Foxes. He stopped some pummeled shots from the champs, and kept Leicester alive for a point.
Man of the Match: Mahrez over De Bruyne and Schmeichel, but just.
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Man City came out of the gates with vigor, and was nearly rewarded with a goal when Kevin De Bruyne blasted the far post in the 13th minute.
Riyad Mahrez stung a deflected shot to Kasper Schmeichel soon after, the hosts all over the Foxes. The Algerian then set up Gabriel Jesus for a half-chance that Schmeichel did very well to slap away from the line.
Vardy scored out of nothing when Harvey Barnes, fresh off a miscue, hit a sensational outside of the boot pass to find the industrious English striker on the break.
Vardy had blazed past Fernandinho, and the Man City defender hoped his goalkeeper would save him blushes. Ederson charged out hard, but Vardy’s little chip was perfect and found its way into the goal.
Mahrez continued to have his way with Ben Chilwell to set up the equalizer, his drive taking a wicked turn to beat Schmeichel. The Leicester keeper then did very well to stop a De Bruyne rocket in the 41st.
Sterling chased after a loose ball when Mike Dean played advantage moments later, and the Englishman sidestepped Ricardo Pereira to win a penalty.
James Maddison swung a hopeful shot through traffic and Ederson did well to palm it wide of the goal.