Manchester City plays right into Leicester, Jamie Vardy's hands

Monday December 12th, 2016

The last English team to be crowned champion and then relegated the following season was Manchester City back in 1938. Talk before Saturday's game was of how Leicester was in danger of repeating that strange feat, and coach Claudio Ranieri had strong words after the club's 5-0 Champions League defeat at Porto.

The loss of N’Golo Kante in midfield is one of the reasons for Leicester’s poor form; his absence gives the defense less cover and the back four played further from goal and been caught out as a result. The other two star performers of last season, Jamie Vardy and Riyad Mahrez, have failed to hit the same heights as teams play deep against their pace. 

As Vardy admitted after the much-needed 4-2 win game, City was the perfect opponent for Leicester. It played high up and allowed Leicester to attack on the break. This was the Leicester of last season; fast and decisive on the counter, 2-0 up inside five minutes and backed by a raucous home support. Two late City goals put a gloss on the score line. 

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As for City, Pep Guardiola’s side has kept two clean sheets in its 15 games, and there was bafflement among the English press when the Spaniard, responding to the fact that City did not make a single tackle in the opening 35 minutes, reportedly replied: “I’m not a coach for the tackles. What’s tackles?”

The Pep doubters see this current run as proof of the Premier League’s superiority. If anything, it only highlights how bad City’s defense is, and continues to be. 

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