Manchester City does not hide from the pressure, and not only because of their vibrant yellow and Georgia peach kits.
Already shaken by the ban on Uefa’s Champions League and running away from Liverpool with the Premier League, Pep’s players could have forgiven them for having eliminated last night with their biggest game of the week in the Bernabeu against Real Madrid.
But nothing, not even another penalty and a few VAR controversies, quenched the desire of City, even in a battle for second place.
Gabriel Jesus (left) celebrates scoring the winner for Manchester City with former Leicester winger Riyad Mahrez
MATCHING FACTS AND LEADING LIST
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
- League One
- League Two
- Scottish premiership
- Scottish Div 1
- Scottish Div 2
- Scottish Div 3
- Ligue 1
- Series a
- La Liga
The heads didn’t even drop when Aguero took the ball after one hour after Dennis Praet’s handball and saved his spot kick by Kasper Schmeichel – their fifth penalty miss of the last seven.
Aguero was taken off by Guardiola after 77 minutes and within three minutes his replacement, Gabriel Jesus, had won the game.
Much of the honor was due to Riyad Mahrez, the former Leicester title winner whose name was booed by Foxes fans who once worshiped him.
Striker Gabriel Jesus from Manchester City hit the ball past Leicester goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel in the 80th minute
He made a dynamic run from close to the center line and let Jesus go at exactly the right moment, with the Brazilian turning his 17th goal of the season cool.
Guardiola has won more important matches in his career, but few have given him more pride.
“You can’t doubt the attitude of these guys. They have won seven of the last eight games. “Guardiola said, whose strong attitude suggested that he considered a good test at the King Power better preparation for Real Madrid than letting his stars rest.
Manchester City received a penalty from VAR after Ilkay Gundogan was shot off the arm of Dennis Praet of Leicester
Leicester goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel held Sergio Aguero’s free kick just outside the hour on Saturday night
The miserable form of Manchester City from the penalty area continued, as Sergio Aguero had saved one by Kasper Schmeichel
“Leicester is an incredibly good team. How fast are they with Vardy and Kelechi in front. But we showed our personality even if we missed a penalty. “
Leicester-Manchester City games are usually full of quality and have a lot of drama. Guardiola’s first visit to the King Power ended in a 4-2 defeat and the infamous statement: “I am not a coach for the tackles”. Last season Vincent Kompany’s winner at The Etihad was decisive in the title race.
This also did not disappoint from the moment that Jamie Vardy shot clear and early on, and his shot hit the post.
Leicester City striker Kelechi Iheanacho was left behind in a heap after being clattered by Manchester City goalkeeper Ederson
Fernandinho controls Leicester striker Iheanacho after being beaten by goalkeeper Ederson of Manchester City
Approaching the rest, Ederson came out to challenge Iheanacho in the air, perhaps touched the ball but certainly connected to the head of the striker, making him drowsy and unable to continue after the break.
VAR looked but did not pay a penalty – the same Stockley Park officer David Coote who had failed earlier in the day by failing to send Giovanni Lo Celso from Tottenham.
It was the second technology escape for Manchester, Kevin De Bruyne previously blocked James Maddison’s free kick with his hands, VAR decided that the Belgian protected his face.
James Maddison’s free kick was deflected by Kevin de Bruyne’s hand, but Leicester did not get a penalty
The incident was assessed by VAR, but official David Coote did not think his hands were in an unnatural position
The decision was given a new meaning when Dennis Praet of Leicester punished for having an arm in an unnatural position when he blocked Ilkay Gundogan’s shot.
Leicester manager Brendan Rodgers was fuming about the inconsistency in the two decisions.
“Their punishment was a punishment – Dennis’ arm was extended. But it was also a clear punishment for us, Kevin’s arm was at the end of the wall. He saw the flight of the ball and Maddison’s free kick was on goal, he said.
Man City striker Sergio Aguero had the ball in the net in the first half, but his attempt was rightly excluded from offside
“It is absolutely clear. Not getting that was enormously disappointing. I think we are all looking for consistency in the game. “
Fortunately for The Foxes, Manchester City cannot take a penalty to save their lives. Jesus (twice), Raheem Sterling and Gundogan have all failed to convert from 12 yards since December and this time it was Aguero whose shot was too close to Schmeichel, the 13th penalty career of the South American of 49 attempts.
“It is not normal to miss penalties with the quality that we have,” Guardiola said. “I told the players, I am convinced that you will score. The next time.
Manchester City fans are holding a banner in protest against UEFA’s decision to ban the club from the Champions League for two years
“Kevin De Bruyne is an option, but they (the players have to decide). I like it when Sergio takes the initiative. I love that mentality. “
That said, Guardiola knows that he cannot afford to take advantage of this kind of opportunity against Real. Last season they went from the Champions League to Spurs after Aguero missed a penalty.
At VAR, the Manchester City boss accepts that something needs to be done for consistency. “The match against Chelsea, Maguire will not be sent. Then the son is sent away. Why is it? It’s weird. Now Lo Celso is not sent. Maybe next season they can learn how it works and be better. “
Manchester City midfielder Kevin De Bruyne rides in Leicester’s defense while being chased by Caglar Soyuncu
At least Guardiola goes to Spain with three points in his pocket, even if he knows that the 19-point lead over Liverpool will not be broken.
The winning goal was a beauty, the light feet of Mahrez, the finishing of Jesus. “At first I didn’t think he would give me the ball,” the scorer admitted, delighted to save Aguero’s blush. “Sometimes I come to help the defenders because we win, but this was a different time. I had to try to score a goal. “
He eliminated the fear that Aymeric Laporte, who felt his hamstring go away after an hour, could miss the final-16 draw against Real. Raheem Sterling could also be back after missing the last three weeks with a hamstring injury.
“Raheem is much better. I think he will be ready, but frankly I don’t know, “Guardiola said.
Sergio Aguero had a clear shot on goal from around 10 meters away, but he shot his effort straight to Kasper Schmeichel
Kevin de Bruyne was involved in the early movement of City and Benjamin Mendy hit a shot that was narrowly deflected
Jamie Vardy made a lively start and had an effort that was cleared for goalkeeper Ederson of Manchester City
Leicester City defender Ricardo Pereira (left) challenges Manchester City defender Benjamin Mendy
Leicester City striker Jamie Vardy almost came to an impasse after he was put on goal in the eighth minute
Vardy was played one-on-one and he shot the ball past keeper Ederson, but his attempt hit the base of the post
Leicester City midfielder James Maddison takes on Manchester City duo Rodri and Kyle Walker in the first half