Cityzens boss Pep Guardiola was once again without a host of high-profile names in his squad due to injuries and unavailability amidst the COVID-19 crisis. City were without Sergio Aguero, Gabriel Jesus, Bernardo Silva, Joao Cancelo, Ilkay Gundogan, Aymeric Laporte, and several other talented superstars on the afternoon.
However, Leicester City also faced their fair share of injuries and were forced to name a line up without James Maddison, Wilfred Ndidi, Ricardo Pereira, and several others, including new signing Cengiz Under.
City took a third-minute lead with a stunning goal from Riyad Mahrez, who found the top corner to perfection with his weaker foot through a crowded box. After a sustained period of dominance, the visitors fought their way into the game with a penalty from Jamie Vardy after Kyle Walker clipped him in the box.
The second half was of a stunningly different complexion altogether as Leicester City's razor-sharp counterattacks ripped Guardiola's side to shreds. A swift move early in the second half saw Vardy double the visitors' lead with an excellently-executed backheel finish.
Just minutes later, he would go on to complete his hat-trick with a second penalty after Eric Garcia brought the veteran striker down.
With 13 minutes left to play, James Maddison came off the bench to score one of the most incredible goals this campaign to pile further misery onto Guardiola's men.
While Nathan Ake's late consolation goal briefly gave City some hope of a potential comeback, the hosts' hopes were demolished even further after Benjamin Mendy brought down Maddison. Youri Tielemans made no mistake from the spot and scored Leicester's fifth of the game, giving them one of the most iconic wins in the Premier League's recent history.
Here, we take a look at the major talking points from the game.
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#5 Strength in depth for both sides
Despite the narrative of both clubs' lengthy list of absentees on the afternoon, the Premier League faithful were treated to a delightful contest at the Etihad. Much of this was to do with the quality of players on display on the pitch, which goes on to highlight the quality available to both sides.
Guardiola was able to field an XI against Leicester that, despite the absence of a host of big names, cost nearly £500m, and included the likes of Rodri, Sterling, De Bruyne, and other influential names. The fact that the Catalan does not have up to six other first-team players makes the strength of his squad a terrifying one.
As for Leicester, although the names aren't nearly as high-profile as City's, he was able to call upon creator-in-chief Maddison and Kelechi Iheanacho, and had the likes of Premier League winners Marc Albrighton and Christian Fuchs on the bench. Rodgers also had Ayoze Perez to call upon, and is set to be bolstered by the returns of Ndidi, Pereira, Under, and other noteworthy names as the season goes on.
With European football there to be played for both clubs, albeit at different levels, they look well-equipped to compete on various fronts.
#4 Penalty Premier League?
Manchester City's thrilling clash with Leicester kept up with the ongoing trend of the number of penalties being awarded in the league. Eric Garcia, Kyle Walker, and Benjamin Mendy were the culprits on this occasion as they conceded three penalties, making City the first team in the Premier League to concede as many in seven years.
The Etihad encounter was the 25th fixture of the Premier League campaign, and Tielemans' penalty was the 21st spot-kick to have been awarded — a stunning number in comparison to the state of play last season. Leicester City became the first team in the Premier League to score three penalties in 90 minutes in the process.
While there have been many shocking calls been made so far, including the one right before this game kicked off — Eric Dier's alleged handball against Newcastle United — it is worth noting that none of the three in this game were as controversial. If anything, goes on to highlight the carelessness and naivety of the City defence.
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