Leicester 0-1 Man City: 3 things learned

Patson Daka of Leicester City (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)
Patson Daka of Leicester City (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images) /
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Leicester City
Patson Daka of Leicester City (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images) /

With the hope of three back-to-back wins dashed by a piece of Kevin De Bruyne magic, Leicester City fans went home with an air of optimism and a few things to ponder.

Defensive solidity shows more positives

Large parts of this game seemed like the football equivalent of chess. Leicester concentrated on shuffling their rooks into position to deny opportunities for Man City to get into attacking positions. Brendan Rodgers and his coaching staff had drilled into the team a well-oiled defensive operation. Caglar Soyuncu made the centre-back pairing of Wout Faes and Daniel Amartey into a three with Timothy Castagne and James Justin not pushing too far forward and exposing the backline. This helped consistently push the Citizens out wide as they pursued chances, with Youri Tielemans and Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall offering expert support throughout.

Manchester City struggled to find decent spaces throughout with the foxes giving them space to keep possession but very little to thread passes through the lines. This was no mean feat against one of the best footballing teams in Europe – although admittedly without their talisman striker. Brendan Rodgers had produced a defensive masterclass with Danny Ward doing his job solidly with some decent saves and expert handling. When Leicester City were deep in their bad run and shipping more goals than Tory cabinets were having reshuffles, this game was looking down on us with impending doom. To have turned the defence around to concede only one goal in the last four games is remarkable. The set-piece defending has also improved significantly since the set-piece coach Lars Knudsen arrived in September.

But for all this defensive quality – when a player produces a piece of magic like Kevin De Bruyne did on a dead ball, crashing an amazing shot in off the woodwork, there’s little answer. Except for LCFC’s best moment from a nearly goal-of-the-decade volley from Youri Tielemans that Ederson pushed onto the crossbar.