Our Fan Reporter Scott Davies brings us the view from the stands each week, and this week starts off his email to us “I can’t believe that I’m writing reports whilst top of the league 5 points clear having just stuffed Man a City away! 12 points clear of 5th!!”… well neither can we Scott if we are honest !! Anyway, another brilliant report from our Fan Reporter from another brilliant day in Manchester…. Enjoy !!
FAN REPORT – Man City 1-3 Leicester City
The Foxes visited Manchester to play the blue side of the City. Leicester last won this fixture on away soil in 2003 when they recorded a 3-0 win with Stewart, Dickov and Bent all scoring. Leicester ended up being relegated in 18th whilst Man City finished 16th..
This time round the table tells a very different story and many had already dubbed this a title decider, including SAM (Sports Analytics Machine) which stated anything other than a Leicester win would hand the title to Manchester City. If you are sceptical of the ability of this machine, it is top of the leaderboard in 2015/16 being more accurate than any other participant.
Of course, any result here wouldn’t have really decided the title as there is a long way to go and there are a number of candidates still in he hunt, but the Foxes lead the pack.
Unsurprisingly there was an unchanged squad for this encounter. Amartey seemingly still not ready and Inler once again didn’t make the final cut. Some citing that they’d seen him in photos in Switzerland the night before, although unconfirmed.
Leicester were gunning for victory from the off and with only a minute on the clock, Mahrez worked his magic to win a free kick in a dangerous position on the right side of the Man City 18 yard box. Deliberation took place between Fuchs, Mahrez and Albrighton, but it was the Algerian who floated the ball in to Robert Huth who fired City ahead after only 3 minutes.
On 10 Mahrez raced ahead and slotted Drinkwater through, but Hart was quick off his line to block the passage of the ball conceding a corner. Man City broke forward on 14 when David Silva carved out an opportunity which went just wide. Replays showed that Morgan had actually got a knee to the shot and deflected it out for what should have been a corner.
On 21 Jamie Vardy made a trademark run leaving Otamendi for dead and flashing the ball across goal with Okazaki racing in. The Japanese international only managed to get a toe on the ball and perhaps should have made it 2-0.
On 23 Man City went in search of the leveller and Fuchs was nervously close to conceding a penalty after upending Pablo Zabaleta on the edge of the box. I think the ref got it right, but it was tantalisingly close to a spot kick.
The resulting Kolarov free kick was blocked by the Berlin Wall that is Robert Huth, who got his head in the way conceding a corner in the process.
It wasn’t until 32 minutes that Man City tested Schmeichel when Aguero fired in a low shot which the Dane gathered comfortably getting his body behind the ball. The Foxes back line were incredible and ensured Leicester went in 1-0 at half time.
Leicester once again came out of the blocks the fastest and found themselves 2 up on 48 minutes. Kante and Fuchs combined to win the ball in defence. Kante broke forward finding Mahrez and the Algerian player of the year did the rest as he flicked the ball over the advancing Man City defender with a tremendous piece of skill, sold Dimichelis a dummy with a sublime stopover and smashed the ball past Hart with his right foot leaving the England number 1 rooted to the spot (Hart stopping stuff!). 2-0 and Leicester were in the driving seat.
On 50 Leicester continued to surge forward. The impressive and tireless Albrighton delivered a ball into Shinji Okazaki, but once again the Japanese striker couldn’t quite connect and the ball went through harmlessly to Joe Hart who gathered, with his England team mate Vardy lurking to latch on to any loose ends.
Man City continued to press and almost halved the deficit on 54 as Fernando headed from close range from a Silva cross but Schmeichel saved brilliantly down to his left turning the ball away.
On 58 Vardy showed a terrific turn of pace after Hart punched the ball clear only as far as Kante who got his body in the way of the loose ball to keep the attack alive. Vardy fired in a low cross but it was blocked on it’s way through to Okazaki and out for a corner. The resulting set piece put Leicester 3-0 up as Huth climbed highest to loop his header into the back of the net with Hart again just a spectator.
Vardy had several chances throughout the match and perhaps should have done better on 80 as Albrighton found him with a superb through ball, however the England man fired first time into the side netting.
On 86 minutes, Man City found a breakthrough as the Foxes backline switched off a little. Schmeichel failed to gather the ball conceding a corner which Celina took. Having cleared the first ball in, Leicester failed to defend the second and left Aguero unmarked for an easy header past Schmeichel. There was a hint of offside, but the benefit of the doubt was handed to Aguero.
On 88 Danny Simpson almost gifted Aguero a second, but the Argentine was closed down quickly by Schmeichel and he fired high and wide under pressure from Great Dane and the former Man City stopper.
The match finished 3-1 and few would have predicted this result, although 1 punter placed a £10 stake with SkyBet at a 1000/1 for Huth to score first and the Foxes to run out 3-1 winners.
So is SAM right, have we got our Premier League winners right here in the shape of Leicester City? I still refuse to believe and I am just enjoying the ride as there is lot of football left to play, however, beat Arsenal on Sunday and it’s hard to see the prestigious trophy going to anyone else.
Man of the Match – Almost impossible to pick, but for his work rate alone, Marc Albrighton wins it this week.