Manchester City maintained a nine-point gap at the top of the table in difficult conditions at the King Power Stadium, with a comfortable 2-0 victory against Leicester City
Manchester City maintained a nine-point gap at the top of the table in difficult conditions at the King Power Stadium, with a comfortable 2-0 victory against Leicester City thanks to the inspired efforts of Kevin De Bruyne and Leroy Sane.
A Gabriel Jesus tap-in on the stroke of half time ended a controversial 45 minutes in which club captain Vincent Kompany was lucky to stay on the pitch.
In the second half, it was the De Bruyne show as the Belgian fired a sumptuous effort into the top corner on his 'weaker' foot.
Manchester City Manchester City began the match in the same way that they have started the season, rampant and dominating from the first whistle. However, it was Leicester City who claimed the first big chance of the match.
Reintroduced Citizens captain Vincent Kompany should have seen his marching orders inside fifteen minutes, after bringing down Jamie Vardy in what appeared to be a last man challenge.
Already on a yellow card after an early reckless tackle, the Belgian international was lucky to remain on the pitch in a challenging first game for referee Graham Scott.
For the visitors, David Silva created the first sight of goal, after good work down the wing from Leroy Sane, as his well-timed pass found the Spanish play maker for the opening chance of the game, fizzing an effort into Kasper Schmeichel that needed to be tipped over the bar.
Disruption then reduced the pace of an exciting end-to-end first half when in-form John Stones went down unchallenged with a hamstring tear, forcing an early substitution for the Premier League leaders.
As Manchester City tried to work their way into the game, passing and moving with confidence, the Foxes defence held firm as De Bruyne led the attacking cavalry. The likes of Sane and England international Raheem Sterling looked the most likely to carve out an opportunity in the first half.
Repeatedly knocking on the door for the opening goal, the patient play finally paid off on the stroke of half-time after some delightful and intricate passing carved open the Foxes back four. Sterling weaved his magic again on the edge of the box, sliding through Silva with a incisive through ball, for the Spanish midfielder to put the put the goal on a plate for a Jesus tap in.
Starting the second half in a more positive fashion, Harry Maguire nearly got the hosts back into the game, smashing a shot against the post from a well worked free-kick. Although it was a great effort, not taking your chances against the big teams can be costly as it proved from the resulting counter attack.
Racing up the other end of the pitch, De Bruyne on the half way line collected the ball and found Sane with a perfectly weighted through ball. The German winger, who was a menace throughout the match on the left side of midfield, found the Belgian on the edge of the box.
The undoubted player of the season so far, who has been influential in so many games during the Citizens dominant start to the campaign, brilliantly shifted the ball on to his left foot 25 yards out before smashing a pile driver of a shot with his opposite boot into the top corner.
With their tails up, the floodgate opened as chance after chance fell Manchester City's way. Jesus should of then had his second of the match, after being given the goal at his mercy following a teasing and fizzed in cross by Kyle Walker. As the ball ricocheted off Jesus, Schmeichel got down instantly to parry the effort wide.
In a hat trick of chances, the dangerous Sane again found Silva, who with his third glorious chance of the match fired another effort over the bar, much to the annoyance of manager Pep Guardiola who wanted to kill any chance of a comeback.
Pushing to get back into the game, Vardy twice came within inches of the opening goal for the Premier League champions from two seasons ago. Bordering just offside, the energetic England striker was through in a one on one situation against Ederson, but could not hold his run for long enough to profit, then with his second effort, headed over the Brazilian shot-stopper before a Kyle Walker goal line clearance.
Breaking through time and time again, Sterling was close to wrapping the game up for the Citizens. In a lightning quick one two with Silva, as the two seemed to have a telepathic understanding the whole game, the England winger was played through on goal after a well-timed pass. Feeding the ball across goal, the intervention of Schmeichel kept the scoreline manageable.
The Citizens could not add to the scoreline but ensured there was no late shocks by keeping ball till the end, to wrap up a well-deserved three points in a game of relative ease and increase the pressure on their rivals at the top of the table.