Premier League: Manchester City 1-0 Leicester City - 5 Talking Points and Tactical Analysis
Manchester City battled past Leicester City 1-0 in a nerve-wracking encounter at the Etihad Stadium on Monday evening. The win helped the home side restore its lead at the top and they now sit a point ahead of Liverpool at 95 with just a game to go.
The hosts endured an edgy start to the game and were taken aback by the Foxes’ bravery. The visitors looked to hurt the Cityzens on the break at every possible opportunity.
However, after the initial shakiness, Pep Guardiola’s men dominated the ball and pushed and probed constantly for the opening goal.
Yet, the Cityzens had to wait until the 70th minute to get the goal they craved. Vincent Kompany puffed his chest and strode out from his half before striking a thunderous shot from 25 yards. The ball flew into the top right corner and left Kasper Schmeichel completely helpless.
The visitors went close after going behind but the likes of James Maddison and Kelechi Iheanacho were unable to trouble Ederson despite finding themselves in promising positions.
Thereafter, the hosts managed the game superbly and saw out the game comfortably.
Here is a look at the five talking points from the game:
#5. Manchester City hammer at Leicester’s door and eventually break it down
The hosts came into the game having won their previous 12 league games, scoring 27 and conceding 3 in the process. Thus, many expected them to dispatch Leicester’s challenge with ease. However, the Foxes didn't back down and made it as tough as possible for the home side.
The first half saw the Cityzens switch the play from side to side but they were rarely allowed to get in behind the defence by the visitors. Though City enjoyed the lion’s share of possession, they weren’t able to create any substantial openings with shots from distance seeming their only avenue towards goal.
However, in the second half, the home side turned the screw and amped up the pressure exponentially. After an hour, Guardiola boldly took off Phil Foden and replaced him with Leroy Sane, switching to a 4-1-4-1 system in the process.
The change paid dividends as City looked more of a threat with the German’s pace on the flanks. The fear of letting him run in behind created space for the other midfielders as Leicester dropped deeper and deeper.
The aforementioned freedom in the middle third eventually allowed Kompany to line up his shot and rifle home the winner.
Apart from the goal, the visitors defended pretty resolutely and made the home side work hard for their openings.
Yet, in the end, they were undone by City’s perseverance and a moment of magic by the Cityzens’ captain.