A Robert Huth brace, as well as a well-taken strike by Riyad Mahrez, helped the travelling Foxes to an impressive three points against one of their main title contenders at the Ethiad earlier today.
A brace from centre-back Robert Huth, as well as a well-taken strike from Riyad Mahrez, helped seal all three points for the travelling Foxes – despite Sergio Agüero‘s late consolation in the dying minutes, which was assisted by City academy graduate Bersant Celina, on his Premier League debut.
Visitors start quickly, and receive timely reward
Despite their excellent campaign overall this term, most of Leicester’s success has stemmed from relentless counter-attacking football, and the game’s opener was directly linked to just that at Eastlands.
After just three minutes, Huth fired past a helpless Joe Hart from close-range moments after a set-piece was drilled into the area by Mahrez, taking advantage of some lacklustre marking in the area to break the deadlock.
Mahrez – a constant handful for the visitors – won the free-kick on the edge of the area having been bundled to ground by fullback Aleksandar Kolarov as the tricky Algerian weaved his way towards the box with attacking intent.
Defending has been a particular weakness in an otherwise inconsistent season for the Citizens, and Huth’s strike was no exception – as man-marking was sloppy and allowed the hefty German space to latch onto the ball virtually unopposed in a tight area.
Sky Blues fail to sufficiently utilise chances
Yaya Touré, David Silva and Agüero all had opportunities of their own to equalise for the hosts, to no avail. It was clear that the sky Blues were in pursuit of an equaliser to settle supporters’ nerves, so when it didn’t arrive, fans were gradually getting more disgruntled as Leicester grew into proceedings.
Instead, their defensive frailties were punctuated by the second goal just minutes after the start of the second-half.
Mahrez danced his way past City’s backline with relative ease before finishing coolybeyond Hart – swerving his weak-foot effort goalwards as though he’d practiced it plenty of times beforehand.
Parts of the Ethiad crowd were fuming, silenced, effectively in disbelief. Other sections were joyous, incredulous and overwhelmed by the sheer quality on-display.
If there were questions about whether Leicester were serious title contenders or not prior to kick-off, Claudio Ranieri’s side certainly were answering them in emphatic style.
The victory was sealed with Huth’s second of the afternoon, this time, a towering header from a corner-kick. Again, poor marking meant the centre-back was seemingly unmarked until the ball was floated into the area, allowing the former Stoke man space to pick his spot – angling his effort into the top corner, leaving Hart stranded in the process.
Agüero extended his run of scoring in consecutive Premier League matches to four with a well-placed header from Celina’s inswinging delivery, leaving Kasper Schmeichel scrambling to his right.
Despite hints of an offside, it was a deserved consolation for the hosts, moreso their supporters, who didn’t have much to cheer about during the game.
A surprise defeat, which may prove decisive
The result is ultimately a disappointing one for City, meaning they drop points in the title race, which may prove costly come the month of May.
Time will tell, but Leicester continue to gather momentum week-by-week and following today’s other results, lead at the top of the League by an impressive five-point gap.