The King Power Stadium
FA Premier League
24/01/2019 3:00 pm
Referee: Mike Dean of the Wirral
|Leicester City||Manchester City|
|Albrighton (19'), Ricardo Pereira (81')||Bernardo Silva (14')|
|1 Kasper Schmeichel||31 Ederson|
|14 Ricardo Pereira||3 Danilo|
|5 Wes Morgan||5 John Stones|
|15 Harry Maguire||14 Aymeric Laporte|
|3 Ben Chilwell||18 Fabian Delph|
|38 Hamza Choudhury||Gray 63'||17 Kevin De Bruyne||Silva 70'|
|24 Nampalys Mendy||8 Ilkay Gündogan|
|25 Onyinye Ndidi||20 Bernardo Silva||Mahrez 83'|
|11 Marc Albrighton||7 Raheem Sterling|
|9 Jamie Vardy||Okazaki 88'||10 Sergio Agüero|
|10 James Maddison||Simpson 78'||19 Leroy Sané|
|2 Danny Simpson||2 Kyle Walker|
|6 Jonny Evans||21 David Silva|
|7 Demarai Gray||26 Riyad Mahrez|
|12 Danny Ward||30 Nicolas Otamendi|
|20 Shinji Okazaki||35 Oleks Zinchenko|
|21 Vicente Iborra||47 Philip Foden|
|31 Rachid Ghezzal||49 Aro Muric|
Johnny On The Spot: #TROUBLEDTIMES. This was arguably the most disjointed, lacklustre performance of the Pep Guardiola era to date. City went swiftly ahead in trademark style at the King Power stadium as Leicester, appearing there for the taking, sat deep from the off. But just as rapidly, the champions unravelled – especially in defence, where The Blues were infrequently reduced to a back two, such were the confused absences of Delph and Danilo. Ahead of a ragged backline Gundogan was finding that Fernandinho’s boots are big boots to fill. All over the park City were coughing up possession far too readily. Now 9 games without a clean sheet, Pep Guardiola’s highly experienced men were looking inexplicably low on moral and confidence and were immensely fortunate to go in at the break having only shipped an equaliser. The Blues had come into the game off the back of two defeats in three league games, as many as had been lost in our previous 61 top-flight matches and seemed rattled.
City’s defence tightened up in the second period but tellingly, when going forward The Blues were struggling to create our customary amount of chances despite the tremendously frustrated shift that Aguero was putting in.
Claude Puel sensed an upset and began to send on forwards accordingly. You got the feeling the longer the game dragged on with a fatigued looking City huffing and puffing that all The Foxes had to do was stick to their guns and keep putting the ball into the danger areas when they could and see what would give. It gave. More slipshod defending and Leicester were ahead. City’s gradual implosion was complete when Delph’s latest rash challenge was punished with a straight red card.
We’ve become used to statistics piling up behind this City squad’s achievements but as we approach the turn of the year, Liverpool hitting 4 and Spurs another 5 are all over us and starting to pull clear with the champions now dropped into third place.
All of a sudden we find ourselves in unchartered waters but I don’t perceive the team’s nosedive in form to be that instant. I think we’ve operated in fits and starts since the draw at Lyon at the end of November and indulged in a dalliance of losing hard fought ground in the title race throughout this month. Admittedly we have been hampered by injuries but with games set to come thick and fast in the second half of winter, the group will have to draw on every ounce of their aforementioned experience if they are to turn the ship around.