Football Features

Leicester City 0-1 Man City: No Haaland, no problem

By Mohamed Moallim

Published: 15:00, 29 October 2022

Manchester City assumed control of the Premier League table after running out 1-0 winners at Leicester City this afternoon.

It could still end up being a temporary lead depending on what happens at the Emirates Stadium tomorrow. That being said, Pep Guardiola’s defending champions did what many expected and that’s securing all three points at the expense of a struggling Foxes side, which they also managed to do so without their lethal Norwegian marksman Erling Haaland who sat out today’s encounter with a ligament injury.

Haaland’s absence undoubtedly buoyed Leicester, considering he’s already bagged 17 top-flight goals across 11 appearances this season, but it was anything but as the visitors thoroughly dominated possession and regularly kept Danny Ward on his toes. In fact, City attempted 29 crosses in this match (including corners); their joint-most in a Premier League game this season (also 29 against Crystal Palace).

As much as Brendan Rodger’s side looked up for the fight a goal seemed inevitable and it came from the game’s most outstanding player. Kevin De Bruyne, the club’s longest-serving player, was brilliant covering every blade of grass and leading City’s attack. Finishing the contest having created three chances, while no one attempted more passes than him in the final third (39), it was his effort — a sublime second-half free-kick — that ultimately decided the match.

“They changed it and it was a difficult game because they had 10 players so deep and it’s so difficult,” Guardiola said afterwards.

“After we scored the goal they changed their rhythm and in the Premier League, the last few minutes are always difficult. It’s a massive victory for us.

“Kevin de Bruyne is back. He was not playing well the last few games but today he was amazing. He knows it. There was no space today, we had to be patient.”

Incredibly, among those who have scored 50 or more Premier League goals, only David Beckham (55%) and Christian Eriksen (44%) have registered a higher percentage from outside the box than City’s wizard (42% – 25/60).

Next up for City is a visit from Fulham while Leicester, who suffered their 100th defeat at home in the Premier League, journeys up north to face Everton.