Kevin De Bruyne’s fabulous free kick enough for Man City at Leicester

Kevin De Bruyne’s pinpoint free kick elevated Man City to three points against a packed-in Leicester City on Saturday at the King Power Stadium on Saturday.

Man City moved atop the table with the 1-0 win, the champions holding one more point than Arsenal before the Gunners face Nottingham Forest on Sunday in North London.

WATCH LEICESTER v MANCHESTER CITY FULL MATCH REPLAY

Leicester’s 11 points through 13 games are two clear of the bottom three, though the Foxes have played 1-2 more games than the teams beneath it.

Brendan Rodgers’ side looked happy to soak up pressure and hope for counter-attacking chances after securing three wins in their last five games to get their season back on track (back-to-back wins last week eased plenty of the pressure on the Foxes).

Manchester City drew 0-0 at Borussia Dortmund in midweek in the UEFA Champions League, though their passage to the last 16 had already been secured as group winners.

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What we learned from Leicester vs Man City

Man City without Haaland in 2022-23 is Man City 2021-22: With all due respect to Man City’s monstrous team and the huge potential of Julian Alvarez, Saturday was a throwback to Man City’s most-recent title-winning season. Jack Grealish was good one one side and Manuel Akanji was in the Ruben Dias role, but City was all about Rodri holding down the middle of the park and Kevin De Bruyne delivering a moment of genius. That was more than enough.

Ederson shows class: The Man City keeper had to make a fantastic save on Youri Tielemans, with both players entering and leaving the game in fine form.

Tactical focus

Leicester’s contentment with sitting back and looking for chances on the counterattack did not supply much excitement to the proceedings. It did. however, prove an effective plan to keep the Foxes in the match.

Stars of the show

Kevin De Bruyne

Rodri

Youri Tielemans

Ederson

James Maddison

Jack Grealish

What’s next?

Man City has a Champions League group stage finale at home to Sevilla on Wednesday before hosting Fulham at 11am ET Saturday, Nov. 5

Leicester City will visit Everton at 1:30pm ET that day.

Kevin De Bruyne free kick goal video: Stunner

How to watch Leicester vs Manchester City live, stream link and start time

Kick off: 7:30am ET, Saturday
TV Channel: USA Network
Online: Stream via NBCSports.com

Key storylines

The Foxes look much better defensively and have recorded three-straight shutouts and four in their last five. Going forward they have been ruthless with James Maddison, Jamie Vardy, Harvey Barnes and Youri Tielemans all getting back to their best. Daniel Amartey and Wout Faes are developing a solid partnership at center back.

Manchester City sit two points behind leaders Arsenal and a win in the early game on Saturday would move them top of the table. Pep Guardiola’s side missed yet another penalty kick in midweek as they drew at Dortmund and Ederson must be relishing his chance to finally come forward and take a spot kick…

In-form players to keep an eye on

Leicester’s James Maddison is in fine form, while Youri Tielemans is looking focused, sharp and his quality is undoubted. Defensively Wout Faes looks like being one of the signings of the season and that’s handy because he was Leicester’s only purchase after a summer of austerity. Man City’s Kevin de Bruyne is looking imperious, while Rodri is the heartbeat of the team and Joao Cancelo is having a phenomenal campaign. The only weakness in this City side is penalty kicks.

Leicester team news, injuries, lineup options

The Foxes are still without full back Ricardo Pereira and Ryan Bertrand but their injury issues are finally easing, with Jonny Evans and Wilfred Ndidi close to a return. After two superb wins last week, it’s unlikely Brendan Rodgers will change this team.

Manchester City team news, injuries, lineup options

John Stones and Kyle Walker remain out, while Erling Haaland is a doubt. He was taken off at half time at Dortmund after not feeling great and also suffering a whack on his foot. If Haaland is out, Julian Alvarez could start. And if Haaland is out, PL Fantasy managers everywhere will let out a scream laced with both fury and despair.

                    

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Kevin De Bruyne’s fabulous free kick enough for Man City at Leicester originally appeared on NBCSports.com