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Man City hold off Leicester to move six points clear

Published on: 26 December 2021

Sterling's first-half penalty meant he has scored in four successive Premier League games for the first time since September 2017

Manchester City held off an unlikely Leicester comeback to clinch a ninth successive Premier League win in thrilling style and move six points clear at the top of the table.

It looked like the defending champions had wrapped up the points by half-time as they led a depleted Foxes side 4-0, with a penalty apiece by Riyad Mahrez and Raheem Sterling on top of strikes by Kevin de Bruyne and Ilkay Gundogan.

Leicester had other ideas, however, with three goals in the space of 10 second-half minutes from James Maddison, Ademola Lookman and Kelechi Iheanacho giving them hope.

A header by Aymeric Laporte restored order and gave the home side much-needed breathing space, before Sterling's second made sure of the points late on, but what had started out as a walk in the park will be remembered as a much sterner test for the league leaders.

With second-placed Liverpool not in action after a Covid outbreak forced the postponement of their game with Leeds, this was a chance for Pep Guardiola's side to open up a significant gap on their nearest rivals, and they were quickly into their stride.

The Foxes had already been fortunate to survive some fierce early pressure when they allowed De Bruyne time to bring down Fernandinho's hoisted pass into the area and he made no mistake with a precise finish.

Mahrez made it 2-0 from the spot soon afterwards when Youri Tielemans hauled down Laporte at a corner and Gundogan added a third after Kasper Schmeichel could only palm Joao Cancelo's cross into his path.

Sterling added a fourth after just 25 minutes, stepping up to take the penalty himself after Tielemans had chopped him down, and with the home side in such ruthless mood, it appeared it was just a case of how many more goals would follow.

Instead, it was Leicester who provided the sparkling attacking play after the break, and for a while a remarkable fightback looked on the cards.

The Foxes' first goal was down to a slip by Oleksandr Zinchenko, allowing Maddison to dart clear, exchange passes with Iheanacho and slot home.

Iheanacho set up their second goal too, this time sliding Lookman clear to fire past Ederson, before getting on the scoresheet himself to continue his side's comeback.

Ederson did well to tip Maddison's shot onto the bar but the rebound fell kindly for Iheanacho, who made no mistake from close range.

That stunned everyone inside Etihad Stadium, including the travelling Leicester fans who had been chanting in jest about winning 5-4 when their first goal had gone in.

Manchester City's wobble did not last long, however, with Laporte rising to nod home Mahrez's corner five minutes later, and Sterling was in the right place to turn in a Ruben Dias knockdown before the end of a remarkable match.

More to follow.

    Follow live text coverage of Sunday's Premier League actionGo to the Manchester City pageGo to the Leicester City page
    Line-upsMatch StatsLive Text

Line-upsMan City

Formation 4-3-3

31Ederson27Cancelo3Rúben Dias14Laporte11Zinchenko17De Bruyne25Fernandinho8Gündogan26Mahrez20Bernardo Silva7Sterling

    31Ederson27Cancelo3Rúben Dias14Laporte11Zinchenko17De BruyneSubstituted forFodenat 71'minutes25FernandinhoBooked at 90mins8Gündogan26Mahrez20Bernardo Silva7Sterling

Substitutes

    6Aké9Gabriel Jesus10Grealish13Steffen33Carson37Chagas47Foden79Mbete80Palmer

Leicester

Formation 4-4-1-1

1Schmeichel11Albrighton18Amartey23Vestergaard33Thomas17Pérez8Tielemans22Dewsbury-Hall37Lookman10Maddison14Iheanacho

    1Schmeichel11Albrighton18Amartey23VestergaardBooked at 45mins33Thomas17PérezSubstituted forCastagneat 45'minutes8TielemansSubstituted forChoudhuryat 71'minutes22Dewsbury-Hall37Lookman10MaddisonBooked at 75mins14Iheanacho

Substitutes

    9Vardy20Choudhury25Ndidi27Castagne35Jakupovic38Daley-Campbell42Soumaré45Nelson49McAteer

Referee:Chris KavanaghAttendance:53,226Match StatsHome TeamMan CityAway TeamLeicesterPossessionHome72%Away28%ShotsHome17Away14Shots on TargetHome9Away8CornersHome14Away4FoulsHome11Away9Live TextPost update

Match ends, Manchester City 6, Leicester City 3.

90'+4'Full Time

Second Half ends, Manchester City 6, Leicester City 3.

90'+3'Post update

Riyad Mahrez (Manchester City) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

90'+3'Post update

Foul by Daniel Amartey (Leicester City).

90'+1'Booking

Fernandinho (Manchester City) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

90'+1'Post update

Foul by Fernandinho (Manchester City).

90'+1'Post update

James Maddison (Leicester City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

87'goalGoal!

Goal! Manchester City 6, Leicester City 3. Raheem Sterling (Manchester City) left footed shot from very close range to the centre of the goal. Assisted by Rúben Dias following a corner.

87'Post update

Attempt blocked. Rúben Dias (Manchester City) with an attempt from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Riyad Mahrez with a cross.

86'Post update

Corner, Manchester City. Conceded by Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall.

84'Post update

João Cancelo (Manchester City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

84'Post update

Foul by Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall (Leicester City).

83'Post update

Corner, Manchester City. Conceded by Marc Albrighton.

82'Post update

Offside, Manchester City. João Cancelo tries a through ball, but Ilkay Gündogan is caught offside.

81'Post update

Foul by Riyad Mahrez (Manchester City).

81'Post update

Daniel Amartey (Leicester City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

79'Post update

Attempt missed. Marc Albrighton (Leicester City) header from the centre of the box misses to the right. Assisted by Luke Thomas.

78'Post update

Foul by Riyad Mahrez (Manchester City).

78'Post update

Luke Thomas (Leicester City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

77'Post update

Attempt missed. Riyad Mahrez (Manchester City) left footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the left following a set piece situation.

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    Line-upsMatch StatsLive Text

Line-upsMan City

Formation 4-3-3

31Ederson27Cancelo3Rúben Dias14Laporte11Zinchenko17De Bruyne25Fernandinho8Gündogan26Mahrez20Bernardo Silva7Sterling

    31Ederson27Cancelo3Rúben Dias14Laporte11Zinchenko17De BruyneSubstituted forFodenat 71'minutes25FernandinhoBooked at 90mins8Gündogan26Mahrez20Bernardo Silva7Sterling

Substitutes

    6Aké9Gabriel Jesus10Grealish13Steffen33Carson37Chagas47Foden79Mbete80Palmer

Leicester

Formation 4-4-1-1

1Schmeichel11Albrighton18Amartey23Vestergaard33Thomas17Pérez8Tielemans22Dewsbury-Hall37Lookman10Maddison14Iheanacho

    1Schmeichel11Albrighton18Amartey23VestergaardBooked at 45mins33Thomas17PérezSubstituted forCastagneat 45'minutes8TielemansSubstituted forChoudhuryat 71'minutes22Dewsbury-Hall37Lookman10MaddisonBooked at 75mins14Iheanacho

Substitutes

    9Vardy20Choudhury25Ndidi27Castagne35Jakupovic38Daley-Campbell42Soumaré45Nelson49McAteer

Referee:Chris KavanaghAttendance:53,226Match StatsHome TeamMan CityAway TeamLeicesterPossessionHome72%Away28%ShotsHome17Away14Shots on TargetHome9Away8CornersHome14Away4FoulsHome11Away9Live TextPost update

Match ends, Manchester City 6, Leicester City 3.

90'+4'Full Time

Second Half ends, Manchester City 6, Leicester City 3.

90'+3'Post update

Riyad Mahrez (Manchester City) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

90'+3'Post update

Foul by Daniel Amartey (Leicester City).

90'+1'Booking

Fernandinho (Manchester City) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

90'+1'Post update

Foul by Fernandinho (Manchester City).

90'+1'Post update

James Maddison (Leicester City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

87'goalGoal!

Goal! Manchester City 6, Leicester City 3. Raheem Sterling (Manchester City) left footed shot from very close range to the centre of the goal. Assisted by Rúben Dias following a corner.

87'Post update

Attempt blocked. Rúben Dias (Manchester City) with an attempt from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Riyad Mahrez with a cross.

86'Post update

Corner, Manchester City. Conceded by Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall.

84'Post update

João Cancelo (Manchester City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

84'Post update

Foul by Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall (Leicester City).

83'Post update

Corner, Manchester City. Conceded by Marc Albrighton.

82'Post update

Offside, Manchester City. João Cancelo tries a through ball, but Ilkay Gündogan is caught offside.

81'Post update

Foul by Riyad Mahrez (Manchester City).

81'Post update

Daniel Amartey (Leicester City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

79'Post update

Attempt missed. Marc Albrighton (Leicester City) header from the centre of the box misses to the right. Assisted by Luke Thomas.

78'Post update

Foul by Riyad Mahrez (Manchester City).

78'Post update

Luke Thomas (Leicester City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

77'Post update

Attempt missed. Riyad Mahrez (Manchester City) left footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the left following a set piece situation.

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Source: bbc.com

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