Leicester City 0-1 Manchester City: More VAR farce as Blues are controversially awarded penalty – but Kasper Schmeichel keeps out Sergio Aguero’s effort – after Foxes were denied TWO penalties before Gabriel Jesus nets late winner
- Man City were awarded a penalty by VAR after Gundogan’s shot cannoned off the arm of Praet
- Aguero’s effort was saved by Schmeichel as their miserable form from 12 yards continued
- Leicester were denied a penalty by VAR after Maddison’s free kick was deflected by De Bruyne’s hand
- They should have also been awarded a penalty after Iheanacho was clattered by goalkeeper Ederson
- Substitute Jesus scored the winner for the visitors in the 80th minute at the King Power Stadium
- He had been on the pitch less than three minutes before converting a pass from ex-Foxes winger Mahrez
Manchester City’s Gabriel Jesus spared the blushes of strike partner Sergio Aguero to earn his side a morale-boosting victory ahead of their big Champions League trip to Real Madrid.
In a match littered with VAR controversy, Aguero missed the visitor’s fifth penalty in seven attempts midway through the second half after handball had been awarded against Leicester’s Dennis Praet.
The Argentine was later replaced by Jesus, who was on the pitch less than three minutes before converting a pass from ex-Foxes winger Riyad Mahrez for his 80th-minute winner – the Brazilian’s 17th goal of the season.
Gabriel Jesus (left) celebrates scoring the winner for Manchester City with former Leicester winger Riyad Mahrez
Leicester, who remain third but are now seven points behind Pep Guardiola’s side, felt aggrieved that Pep Guardiola’s goalkeeper Ederson wasn’t penalised for punching Kelechi Iheanacho shortly before half-time as they challenged in the air.
Despite his trip to the Bernabeu next week, Guardiola went strong with his line-up at The King Power. Aguero and Kevin De Bruyne started, so did Mahrez whose name was booed by fans who once adored him.
For Leicester, Brendan Rodgers opted for a back-five to compensate for the absence of holding midfield players Wilfried Ndidi and Hamza Choudhury.
Manchester City striker Gabriel Jesus slotted the ball past Leicester goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel in the 80th minute
MATCH FACTS AND LEAGUE TABLE
Leicester (5-3-2): Schmeichel 8: Pereira 6, Soyuncu 6.5, Evans 6, Fuchs 6.5 (Perez 90), Chilwell 6; Tielemans 6.5, Praet 5 (James 85) , Maddison 7; Vardy 6, Iheanacho 6 (Barnes 45 6)
Subs unused: Ward (Gk), Justin, Morgan, Albrighton
Man City (4-2-3-1): Ederson 6: Walker 6, Laporte 5 (Otamendi 58 6), Fernandinho 6.5, Mendy 6.5; Rodri 6, Gundogan 6.5; Mahrez 7, De Bruyne 7.5, B Silva 6; Aguero 5 (Jesus 77 7)
Subs unused: Bravo (Gk), Stones, Cancelo, D Silva, Foden
Referee: Paul Tierney 5.5
Season at a glance
The game’s first chance fell to the home side as City central defender Aymeric Laporte showed rustiness after his long injury lay-off and was robbed inside his own half.
Quick-thinking Youri Tielemans released Vardy and the Premier League’s leading scorer raced clear and beat Ederson only for the ball to strike the base of the left-hand post and bounce to safety.
City recovered from the early scare to dominate possession as usual. Mahrez fired in the game’s first shot on target which his former team-mate Kasper Schmeichel saved.
City’s sense of purpose despite the league title conceded to Liverpool fitted in with Guardiola’s demand for unity following the club’s two-year Champions League ban, which they are appealing.
Manchester City were awarded a penalty by VAR after Ilkay Gundogan’s cannoned off the arm of Leicester’s Dennis Praet
Leicester goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel kept out Sergio Aguero’s spot kick just after the hour mark on Saturday night
Manchester City’s miserable form from the penalty spot continued as Sergio Aguero had one saved by Kasper Schmeichel
The choice of a loud third kit, fizzy yellow and Georgia peach, was a further statement that City aren’t hiding in the face of Uefa pressure.
Leicester are a very good side however and even though they didn’t see a lot of the ball, they remained dangerous in patches.
There were penalty appeals when James Maddison’s free-kick struck De Bruyne’s hand but the Belgian was protecting his face so it seemed fair the protests were rejected. Maddison’s second set piece was even closer, forcing Ederson to dive to his right and palm away.
Leicester City striker Kelechi Iheanacho was left in a heap after being clattered by Manchester City goalkeeper Ederson
Fernandinho checks on Leicester striker Iheanacho after he was punched by Manchester City goalkeeper Ederson
Some of City’s football was good enough to be a major concern for Real boss Zinedine Zidane ahead of Wednesday’s big night in the Bernabeu. De Bruyne in particular looks at the peak of his powers.
His slide-rule pass to Bernardo Silva after 34 minutes was perfection and the Portuguese forward couldn’t believe it when his cross into the box evaded three team-mates queuing to put the ball in.
De Bruyne’s strength was impressive too – his duel with Leicester’s tough defender Caglar Soyuncu gripping to watch. Only Laporte, who missed six months with a knee injury, looked off the pace.
Laporte lost a 50-50 to Kelechi Iheanacho shortly before half-time that led to the move that should have seen Leicester awarded a penalty.
James Maddison’s free kick was deflected by Kevin de Bruyne’s hand but Leicester were not awarded a penalty
The incident was reviewed by VAR but official David Coote did not think that his hands were in an unnatural position
Maddison’s cross into the box was nodded on by Iheancho who was then punched in the head by the challenging Ederson. If a centre-half had made the challenge, there would have no doubt a spot-kick would have been awarded.
But this time the Manchester City ‘keeper was given the benefit of the doubt – a VAR check deciding both players had gone for the ball. The prostrate Iheanacho needing lengthy attention to check he wasn’t groggy and though he continued to the interval, he didn’t reappear after half-time, replaced by Harvey Barnes.
These two teams usually put on a good show. Guardiola’s first visit to the King Power ended in a 4-2 defeat that saw him petulantly state: “I’m not a coach for the tackles”. Last season, Vincent Kompany’s winner at The Etihad was seen as the decisive moment in the title race.
Man City striker Sergio Aguero had the ball in the net in the first-half but his effort was correctly ruled out for offside
With only four points between the teams at kick off, it wasn’t surprising the game ebbed and flowed with real pace and quality. Schmeichel pulled off a great stop to deny De Bruyne after 50 minutes.
Laporte, who didn’t inspire confidence, was withdrawn shortly before the hour with Nicolas Otamendi replacing him.
The visitors then got a big VAR decision in their favour on the hour – but couldn’t take advantage. Dennis Praet rushed out to block an Ilkay Gundogan shot leading with his elbow. Furious City players surrounded referee Paul Tierney but had to wait until Stockley Park confirmed a penalty.
Manchester City fans hold a banner in protest at UEFA’s decision to ban the club from the Champions League for two years
Aguero stepped forward but couldn’t alter his side’s rotten record from the spot – hitting the ball firmly with his right foot but not towards the corner, allowing Schmeichel to dive and save.
He follows Jesus (twice), Raheem Sterling and Gundogan as City players who have missed spot-kicks since December.
The crestfallen Argentine, who has failed with 13 of 49 penalties during his career, was sacrificed for Gabriel Jesus after 77 minutes, and then watched his replacement score within three minutes.
Mahrez made an electric break from the halfway line and slipped pass to Jesus who finished neatly from eight yards. There was an anxious VAR check for offside with Jesus playing off the shoulder of the defender but this time the technology worked properly and the goal was given.
Manchester City midfielder Kevin De Bruyne drives at the Leicester defence while being pursued by Caglar Soyuncu
Sergio Aguero had a clear shot on goal from about 10 yards out but he scuffed his effort straight at Kasper Schmeichel
Kevin de Bruyne was involved in City’s early move and Benjamin Mendy lashed a shot which was deflected narrowly wide
Jamie Vardy made a lively start and had an effort which was cleared in front of Manchester City goalkeeper Ederson
Leicester City defender Ricardo Pereira (left) challenges Manchester City defender Benjamin Mendy
Leicester City striker Jamie Vardy came close to breaking the deadlock after he was put though on goal in the eighth minute
Vardy was played in one-on-one and he clipped the ball past goalkeeper Ederson but his effort hit the base of the post
Leicester City midfielder James Maddison takes on Manchester City duo Rodri and Kyle Walker during the first-half
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