Manchester City keep up relentless pace at Leicester
Gabriel Jesus and Kevin de Bruyne give league leaders another comfortable win
Gabriel Jesus scores Manchester City’s opening goal against Leicester. Photograph: Michael Regan/Getty
Leicester City 0 Manchester City 2
Manchester City’s record-breaking start to the Premier League season continued with a dominant display against Leicester at the King Power Stadium.
Goals either side of half-time from Gabriel Jesus and Kevin De Bruyne, both of them lovely moves from Pep Guardiola’s team, saw City win 2-0 to stretch their lead at the top of the table to nine points ahead of Manchester United’s home game against Newcastle on Saturday evening.
It was an 11th victory in the first 12 Premier League matches and meant City extended their club record run of consecutive wins in all competitions to 16 fixtures.
Vincent Kompany was back in the City side for the first time since the end of August, with Nicolas Otamendi suspended, and the centre-half must have worried that his long-awaited return might be short-lived when he tripped Jamie Vardy after only two minutes.
Vicente Iborra’s defence-splitting through ball set Vardy en route to goal, with Kompany desperately stretching to make a challenge. The speedy striker would have been away and you can only assume the presence of John Stones nearby saved Kompany from a red card.
Whether Stones would have caught Vardy will be debated, but it can be the only reason why referee Graham Scott felt a yellow card would suffice.
Some of City’s approach play was a delight to watch throughout, with De Bruyne, Raheem Sterling, David Silva and Leroy Sane all seamlessly interchangeable in attack.
One such swift offensive down the left-hand side after 20 minutes resulted in Sane setting up Silva, who steered an effort towards the top corner of the net only for Kasper Schmeichel to tip the ball over the crossbar.
City were dealt a blow just before the half hour when Stones pulled up with what looked like a hamstring injury, leaving Guardiola without both of his recent first-choice central defenders. Eliaquim Mangala came on for his first Premier League appearance in over two months.
It did not upset City too much, however, as they took the lead at the end of the first half. A lovely exchange of passes between De Bruyne and Sterling on the edge of the box saw the latter find Silva’s run in behind the Leicester defence and he rolled the ball across goal for Jesus to tap it into an empty net.
If the timing of that goal hurt Leicester, there was worse to come at the beginning of the second half.
Harry Maguire came close to an equalising goal but his effort, after Ederson had dropped a cross, struck a post. Fernandinho then put the wheels in motion for a devastating counter-attack involving De Bruyne and Sane, who cut the ball back to the edge of the penalty area for his team-mate to rifle a left-foot shot into the top corner of the net.
Leicester’s response was good. Vardy twice got in behind the City defence and although he was narrowly offside on each occasion, it gave the visitors something to think about.
Guardiola’s side comfortably saw out the remainder of the match, though, and would have added to their lead had it not been for some last-ditch defending from Claude Puel’s men, who tasted defeat under their recently-appointed manager for the first time.