Goals: Manchester City – Leicester City – Played on 04/15/2023
Defending champions Manchester City claimed a crucial victory on Saturday evening against Leicester City with a score of 3-1 in the 31st round of the English Premier League. The win puts the pressure on league leaders Arsenal, who are three points ahead of City but have a postponed match. Arsenal will play against West Ham in the same round on Sunday. Kelechi Iheanacho scored Leicester’s only goal in the match, while John Stones and Erling Haaland (2) scored for Manchester City.
Guardiola’s Tactical Approach
In the match against Leicester City, Manchester City’s coach Pep Guardiola opted for a 3-2-4-1 formation. The backline comprised Kyle Walker, Ruben Diaz, and Aymeric Laporte. In midfield, John Stones partnered with Rodri, and he had the flexibility to play as a left-back if needed. On the wings were Jack Grealish and Riyad Mahrez, while Kevin De Bruyne and Bernardo Silva played behind striker Haaland.
Leicester coach Dean Smith opted for a 3-5-2 formation, with the backline consisting of Harry Sutar, Caglar Soyonko, and Fat Weiss. Timothy Castagne and Victor Christiansen played on both sides. Wilfried Ndidi played the role of the fulcrum player and moved in front of Youri Tielemans and Kieran Dusbury Hall. James Madison and Jamie Vardy formed the attacking duo.
Early Goals and VAR Controversy
Manchester City took the lead in the fifth minute when John Stones scored a goal after a corner. In the ninth minute, Grealish fell inside the Leicester penalty area, but the referee ordered to continue playing. However, he was quick to award a penalty after Ndidi’s handball, which Haaland converted in the 13th minute.
Leicester Responds and City’s Second Goal
Leicester’s Maddison and Dusbury Hall combined on the outskirts of the City penalty area, with Maddison taking a shot that rebounded from the defense in the 21st minute. Moments later, Vardy passed goalkeeper Ederson before shooting into the net from outside the box. However, Haaland scored the second goal for Manchester City in the 25th minute, elegantly putting the ball into the net after receiving a through pass from De Bruyne.
Second Half Changes
Argentine striker Julian Alvarez came on for Haaland at halftime, while Rodri left the field in the 53rd minute, replaced by Calvin Phillips. In the 61st minute, Ederson saved Leicester’s goal from a left shot from Mahrez, and De Bruyne left the field to make way for young Cole Palmer. Defender Sutar stood in front of Grealish’s shot in the 68th minute, and Sergio Gomez came on to replace Grealish.
Leicester’s Late Rally
Leicester managed to reduce the score in the 75th minute when Iheanacho scored a goal after Sutar headed the ball toward the net. City almost conceded a second goal in the 85th minute when Diaz lost the ball naively, and Madison’s shot was blocked by Ederson. Leicester missed a golden opportunity in stoppage time when Madison’s perfect cross found Iheanacho, who hit the post.
Manchester City’s crucial win over Leicester City puts them in a strong position in the Premier League table, just three points behind league leaders Arsenal. Guardiola’s tactical approach and the team’s strong performance were the key factors in securing the victory. Leicester City