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Talking Points: A Case for the Defence



City saw out 2015 with a hard-fought draw at high-flying Leicester.

Here are five things we learned from the clash at the King Power Stadium…

Springing to the defence

Much has been said about City's record without Vincent Kompany in the starting line-up this season - and you can understand why.

This encounter marked the Blues' first clean sheet of the season without their skipper, with Manuel Pellegrini's men having conceded in their previous 17 games in his absence!

Finally, the run came to an end - and that fact was even more pleasing as it meant the hosts failed to score on their own turf for the first time since March.


Bacary Sagna told press he believes Eliaquim Mangala is destined for great things and his compatriot certainly showed what he's capable of.

Up against the joint-highest Premier League scorers and most potent attacking players, the Blues' back four certainly had their work cut out but alongside the equally-impressive Nicolas Otamendi, Mangala produced a much-improved display to keep the Foxes at bay.

With Kompany sidelined for a further month, here's hoping last night's display sparked a new era for this defensive pairing.

Away day Blues

Six Premier League away games without a win isn't the form of Champions.

The last time the Blues returned to Manchester with a league victory was back in September when Kelechi Iheanacho's last-gasp strike snatched all three points at Crystal Palace.


Since then, they've lost three times on the road and drawn three, scoring just twice.

Tuesday's stalemate ended a run of successive away defeats - but City's title hopes could depend on how soon they can start picking up points away from home.

They have the chance to do so at the first opportunity with Saturday evening's trip to Watford.

Sterling work

Raheem Sterling ensured the footballing world were discussing more than his new hairstyle with a lively, positive display.

City's best attacking moves came through the 21-year-old, who hit four shots on goal - three on target.

The England star had received plenty of stick for his new barnet before the game, and fans were far more impressed with his pace and hunger at the King Power Stadium.


Voted Sky Sports' Man of the Match, he earned a 9/10 player rating from the press to cap a fine December which heralded three goals, two assists and plenty of praise.

Until Sergio Aguero and David Silva return to full sharpness, creative responsibilities fall at the feet of Sterling and Kevin De Bruyne.

On another day, the England forward would have had his goal against the Foxes. More displays like Tuesday night's will ensure he adds to his tally.

Everything but the goal

Sterling asserted the all-important goal was the only thing missing from City's performance.

Although many had deemed the clash a 'must-win' for the Blues, a point should not be sniffed at, considering it was picked up at a ground where only Arsenal had emerged victorious this season.

The visitors certainly dominated in the first half, creating three chances to break the deadlock, but they perhaps should have been punished at the other end when Jamie Vardy robbed Fernandinho of possession only to blaze over.


With chances few and far between in the second 45, it looked as though one goal would be enough to secure all three points.

Alas, it never came - but whether you view the result as a point gained or two dropped, the fact is, City earned a draw away from home at second-placed Leicester to end 2015 just three points away from table-topping Arsenal.

Was it a penalty?

One of the key moments in the game saw Aguero floored in the box just after the hour-mark under pressure from Gokhan Inler.

It definitely looked as though the Leicester man made contact with the Argentine without touching the ball - but referee Craig Pawson waved away the appeals, presumably of the opinion the striker fell to the ground too easily.


Kun was furious and vented his thoughts on the incident to the fourth official.

The press are divided on the subject, though most feel Aguero was unlucky not to be awarded the spot-kick.

BT Sport pundit Robbie Savage insisted it was a 'stone wall' penalty and recreated the challenge back stage in the studio to prove his theory!

What do you think? Let us know on Twitter.

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