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Manchester City 2-1 Leicester City: Six things we learned

Vincent Kompany of Manchester City

Manchester City triumphed in the battle against last season’s Premier League winners in what was one of the most engaging afternoon games in the league this season. Winning this game meant that the Citizens are now in 3rd place, 2 points above Liverpool and 5 points behind 2nd placed Tottenham.

Silva and Gabriel Jesus were the goal scorers for City before Okazaki’s volley brought Leicester back into the game. But that’s not it! The match, which almost clocked 100 minutes, provided its share of multiple controversial decisions, rough tackles and end to end chances. The atmosphere was brilliant and the result a crucial one for the Sky Blues, who, even though comfortable on the ball most times, felt they were lucky winners here due to the multiple circumstances. Let’s look at some talking points of the game, followed by what lies next for both clubs.

 

Silva’s goal was offside

David Silva calmly slotted the ball into the net from Sane’s cross, but Leicester City players went screaming to Bobby Madley after they thought that Sterling’s outstretched leg interfered with play after being in an offside position. This was the first controversial decision of the game, and the goal stood anyway. From the looks of it, Raheem Sterling didn’t touch the ball, but he was in the line of sight of goalkeeper Schmeichel when the ball went in, rendering most of them, except anyone associated with Leicester City, to agree that giving the goal was the right decision. This was a game sparker!

 

 

Toure has a heart

Moments later Madley was called for again after Sane tripped in the penalty box. No controversy attached to this one, and this was a clear penalty. Everyone assumed it would be the birthday boy taking the penalty. It is worth noting that Toure has never missed a penalty while playing for the Manchester club.

But it came as a surprise when Toure, who could have scored to cap off a better birthday than previous ones, handed the ball to the young Brazilian, trusting him to score (much to the joy of Fantasy Premier League managers!). Gabriel Jesus didn’t disappoint and accompanied his celebrations with a broad grin and a high five to Toure, who responded by patting him on his head. The Ivorian does seem to be soft-hearted.

 


Okazaki can strike the ball

Manchester City seemed to be cruising into the game and Leicester feared it might turn into a goal riot at the Etihad. Out of nowhere, an Albrighton cross was connected ever-so-sweetly by Shinji Okazaki, who could be a contender for goal of the month. The Japanese international may rarely score, but he can hit the ball really really well. He scored a bicycle kick against Newcastle last season and came up with this superb strike at the Etihad. Under the shadow of Vardy, perhaps what Okazaki needs is more goal-scoring chances created by his team-mates and also more playing time. Completing 90 minutes only once this season, perhaps he could have more opportunities to score if he played a little longer. He still has a lot to offer.

 

The Mahrez penalty

The most controversial decision of the afternoon came in the form of a penalty awarded against City in the second half after a careless tackle from Clichy. First of all, replays proved that the tackle, in fact, didn’t take place inside the penalty box and a free kick would have been the right decision. City fans had their hearts in their mouth as Riyad lined up to take the penalty. He slipped and scored. But the joy was short-lived, as the penalty was disallowed and City were awarded an indirect free kick, which was followed by gasps all around the stadium, discussions among the referees and players and frustrated Leicester City fans.

 

The goal had been disallowed because Mahrez’s left-footed strike hit his right foot before going into the net, which resulted in a two-touched penalty. A decision like this had never been made before, which resulted in all the debates and discussion, but according to the rulebook, Bobby Madley was right in not giving the goal. Credits to the referee for spotting that!

Also Read: Jamie Vardy leading the Shakespeare Revolution at Leicester City

 

Along with anyone associated with Leicester City, several FPL owners who owned Caballero were also in for a disappointment.

 

Manchester City in dire need of full backs

Fernandinho and Gael Clichy were the full backs starting for Manchester City in today’s game, and after the game ended, it became clear why City need some fresh juice in those positions.

The Brazilian, though not particularly bad, wasn’t altogether effective, and hasn’t been since he was shifted from being a defensive midfielder to a full-back by Pep Guardiola. He couldn’t go forward in positions he likes to and was involved in plenty of fouls, the notable one coming against Albrighton. Although accidental, the Brazilian could face a 5 match ban for an elbow on the Leicester winger’s face, who had a damaged eye and a grudge for the City player after that incident. Fernandinho as a full back is clearly not working out, and it doesn’t do justice to how good a player he is.

His full back counterpart Gael Clichy didn’t impress either. Although okay in the first half, his reluctance to shoot and slow pace showed City’s vulnerability.

 

The second half turned bad for Clichy, who after a reckless tackle on Mahrez which gave Leicester a penalty, completely lost the plot. Confused on the pitch, he let Mahrez dominate him too easily at times, and will thank his lucky stars that the score still remained 2-1 after that display from his, which could have cost his side 2 points or more today.

 

With Zabaleta who hasn’t been offered a contract, Kolarov who isn’t impressing either and an ageing Sagna being the only other options, it’s time for Manchester City to hunt for new full-backs this summer.

 

What’s next for both clubs?

Manchester City, who are involved in a double gameweek, face West Brom at home and Watford away, both easily winnable fixtures. Although highly optimistic for second place, third place is what Manchester City would be happy with, as they face Liverpool and Arsenal as their competition, mainly Liverpool, who are just 2 points of the Citizens. Although not the greatest season for Pep, direct Champions League qualification after winning the last 2 games would keep him and the club happy.

 


Leicester City, who also enjoy a double gameweek, have home games against Tottenham and Bournemouth coming up. Considering their home form, they might find it difficult, but not impossible to beat the London club. The last game should be winnable, which can take the club upto 8th place in the Premier League if all goes well. Not so bad considering they spent weeks near the relegation zone and the terrible season they have had. The Shakespeare era has looked good.

 

 

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