Kevin De Bruyne’s sublime free-kick was enough to give Man City a 1-0 win at Leicester City as they lost to Arling Haaland, with the Premier League champions top of the table.
Pep Guardiola’s side secured a “huge win” at the King Power on Saturday lunchtime thanks to De Bruyne’s 49th-minute free-kick that sailed up and over the Leicester wall 25 yards. Danny Ward netted helplessly inside the post.
As a result, City eased the absence of the Premier League’s top scorer, who has started every game this season since his summer move, scoring 22 goals, but did not recover to score in time with an ankle sprain. Arsenal were eliminated at the top of the table ahead of their home clash with Nottingham Forest on Sunday.
Leicester, meanwhile, remain one place above Saturday’s other top-flight fixtures after seeing their three-match winning run at the King Power, during which they haven’t conceded, come to an end.
Leicester Ward (7), Justin (7), Amartey (6), Faes (7), Soyuncu (7), Castagne (6), Dewsbury-Hall (6), Tielemans (7), Barnes (7), Maddison (6 ) ), Verdi (6)
Subtitles: Iheanacho (7), Daka (6), Mendy (6)
City of Man: Ederson (7), Cancelo (7), Stones (6), Laporte (6), Akanji (6), Gundogan (6), Rodri (7), De Bruyne (8), Grealish (7), Alvarez (6) Silva (7)
Subtitles: Diaz (6), Foden (6)
Man of the Match: Kevin De Bruyne
How the city moved up the table
Leicester made a late return to form after winning their last three games unbeaten at home, but the shape changed with Brendan Rodgers switching to a 3-4-3.
However, three at the back actually became five in the first half as City dominated both possession and territory, pushing their hosts back from the start, but without really testing Ward.
That all changed, however, after half-time when City came out in a different gear, taking the lead almost from the restart and Rhodri curling an inch-low drive past the post, before the visitors went ahead.
Leicester manager Brendan Rodgers made two changes, with Jamie Vardy back in attack in place of benched Patson Daka.
Meanwhile, centre-back Cagler handed Soyunku his first Premier League start since May as Leicester switched to a 3-4-3, with Boubakari Soumare out injured.
Meanwhile, the big news coming out of the City camp was that Premier League top scorer Erling Haaland was out injured as manager Pep Guardiola made seven changes from the side that won the Champions League game at Borussia Dortmund in midweek. The striker has started every game this season since his summer move and scored 22 goals, but has not recovered from an ankle sprain.
Kevin De Bruyne, Ederson and Jack Grealish also started, but England’s Phil Foden was only fit for a place on the bench.
Jack Grealish obliged City from 25 yards with a free-kick down the middle to the left, De Bruyne doing what he does best, curling a beautiful shot over the wall for his seventh goal from the outside of the box since the start of last season.
That attack opened the game and Leicester leveled almost instantly in spectacular fashion as James Maddison’s corner from the left was picked out by Youri Tielemans, who brilliantly headed the Foxes captain’s first-time volley over the bar. Ederson’s outstretched hand.
Then, the home team pushed for an equaliser, but in vain, at least for the time being saw City go up.
Opta Stats – Can Man City play Leicester every week?
- Leicester City have now gone without a goal in their last four Premier League home games against Manchester City, City’s longest losing streak at home in the competition.
- Leicester City have now lost 100 home games in the Premier League, becoming the 12th team to suffer 100 home defeats in the competition.
- Manchester City have not conceded a first-half goal in any of their last eight Premier League matches, their longest run since November-December 2021 (10), which also included a win over Leicester City (6-3).
- Manchester City have now won 22 Premier League games in 2022, more than any other team in the competition, with their two defeats the fewest by any side this year.
- Leicester City had just 35% possession against Manchester City, their lowest in a Premier League game this season; In fact, they have registered 35% possession or less against Manchester City in four of the last seven seasons.
- Despite being without Erling Haaland, Manchester City attempted 29 crosses in this match (including corners); Their combined in a Premier League game this season (also 29 v Crystal Palace).
What the managers said…
Leicester boss Brendan Rodgers:
“I think a lot of credit goes to the players, they executed the game plan we wanted in terms of staying in the game.
“It’s not the way we usually play, but we have to respect the best team in the world. We defended well in those situations.
“They had a lot of the ball, but our players stood up to it very strongly and didn’t give away too many chances.
“At the end we could have got something out of the game. It’s unfortunate we didn’t get something.”
Man City boss Pep Guardiola:
“No one knows what will happen to Arling Holland.
“Arling played against Bournemouth in the same shape as Leicester played with five at the back, four in the middle and dropping Vardy. It was difficult.
“The best I can say is, in this kind of game, don’t get frustrated when you attack, if you concede a goal, it’s almost an uphill climb, it will be impossible. So don’t get frustrated. Free kicks and corners.
“We won, but sometimes a situation with one corner, one set and you can draw the game.
“It’s a massive win because it’s always difficult for Leicester to get away. We came at the best moment for them. It’s good to go up in the league.”
Guardiola says Haaland will definitely miss the midweek Champions League game with Sevilla and will be assessed ahead of Fulham next week.
“I’m very confident against Sevilla, no. First of all we’ve qualified. We’ll see against Fulham. We’ve got seven days until then and we’ll see,” he added.
Man of the match – Kevin De Bruyne
In a game of low quality, one man stood out and that was Man City’s match-winner, whose beautiful free-kick at the start of the second half was enough to decide a cagey match at the King Power.
As De Bruyne stood over the ball four minutes after the break, many in the stadium knew what was about to happen, as the Belgian has a history of scoring from outside the area.
When the playmaker’s swerving strike flew off the Leicester wall and into the net, it was his 25th Premier League goal – the ninth-highest by anyone in the competition’s history, and the most by any active player.
In fact, of players with 50 or more goals in the Premier League, only David Beckham (55 per cent) and Christian Eriksen (44 per cent) have scored more goals than Kevin De Bruyne. (42 – 25/60 percent).
It was City in the battle for potential England players at this winter’s World Cup Jack Grealish It remains to be seen who will win this unique individual competition, but whether it will be enough to convince Gareth Southgate to start in Qatar.
Grealish was a constant threat to the hosts’ defense at the King Power, always willing to move the ball up the field even under pressure, as he did during the run that brought his team their winner.
James MadisonIn contrast, he was quiet throughout and when his side needed a response, he struggled to make an impact.
The city There are four home games in a row between now and the World Cup break. Pep Guardiola’s champion hosts Seville Before taking on three west London sides in a row at the Etihad Stadium on Wednesday night to wrap up their Champions League group stage campaign.
City host Fulham Premier League on November 5, before taking over Chelsea Four days later in the Carabao Cup. Brentford The last visitors to the City Stadium before the World Cup break.
LeicesterThe next challenge of a Saturday Night Football collides with Everton Next weekend, live Sky Sports, at 1 p.m. With a 5.30pm start. Brendan Rodgers’ side then host Newport County in the third round of the Carabao Cup before rounding off this pre-World Cup campaign in the Premier League with a trip to West Ham.