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Leicester frustrate Manchester City, keep title hopes alive

Photo courtesy: Getty Images
Photo courtesy: Getty Images

Leicester City continued to prove they are no flash in the pan, producing a fine performance to deny Manchester City, though those watching at the King Power Stadium will probably say it was the home team that deserved to win.

Though supporters will view this game as a testament to Leicester’s resilience, especially after a loss to Liverpool in the previous game, the players and the manager themselves will believe this was a missed opportunity to return to the top of the Premier League table.

As it stands, their 0-0 result, combined with Arsenal’s 2-0 win over Bournemouth means Leicester are second on the table with the same points but with a smaller goal difference.

When Leicester turned in a not-so-good performance that resulted in their second loss of the season, against Liverpool, there were question marks raised over how they would react and whether they would be able to bounce back.

That question was answered emphatically. Claudio Ranieri’s men enjoyed a host of chances in the game, the best of which fell to Jamie Vardy. The Leicester goal machine, however, blazing is shot over the top despite having raced clear of the trailing City defenders. It was a performance of intent, spirit, exuberance and the will to win, no matter the opposition. Bargain summer signing N’Golo Kante almost opened the scoring with a raking 25-yard strike that was just wide. The likes of Wes Morgan and Robert Huth were staunch in defense, while Christian Fuchs put in unbelievable legwork up and down the left.

Meanwhile, City’s away form continues to depress. While Manuel Pellegrini’s travelling team did have chances to score, their efforts were summarised by the usually clinical Sergio Aguero, inexplicably missed from inside the six yard box following a corner.

On the road, City have won three, lost three and drawn three. They have scored eight goals and have conceded eight. Nothing to write home about, especially for title contenders.

At the end of the game, Leicester City manager Claudio Ranieri was exuberant: “I think we made a very good match. It was difficult. We played well, we created some chances. I wanted to see how my players responded after the Liverpool defeat and they responded well.

“Every match is difficult for us. This league is very crazy… nobody wants to win the league. It’s very strange. We’re the basement and the other teams are a villa with a swimming pool. It’s not easy for us but we want to fight with everybody. It’s a miracle what we’re doing.”

Pellegrini, on the other hand, rued missed opportunities: “I think we did more than Leicester to win the game. We had more possession, more attempts, more options but it was a tough game against a tough team playing away. This is a crucial period. I think at the end of January we will know exactly what position we are in.”

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