The Portuguese midfielder lashed home from close range in the 62nd minute after Joao Cancelo’s strike deflected kindly into his path off Caglar Soyuncu to give Pep Guardiola’s men a third consecutive victory.
It was just reward for City, who dominated an entertaining contest in which the home side saw a couple of golden opportunities go begging before Bernardo broke the deadlock.
Ederson did brilliantly to keep out an early Harvey Barnes effort and the winger later sent a header against the top of the crossbar before Jamie Vardy saw a goal ruled out for offside after he raced between Ruben Dias and Aymeric Laporte and rounded the goalkeeper.
However, the Foxes chances were few and far between and they were indebted to the superb Kasper Schmeichel, who made a string of saves to prevent the visitors winning by an even greater margin.
He twice denied Gabriel Jesus from point-blank range, made a smart stop from Ferran Torres and was at full stretch to turn a Bernardo drive round the post as City maintained our recent run of fine form.
Bernardo and Grealish inspire
The two formed an impressive partnership down the left flank, with City’s No.20 wriggling free of Soyuncu’s attentions to clip an inviting ball to the far post for Jesus, whose firm header was parried by Schmeichel.
The Dane did similar to deny the Brazilian’s low drive with his legs after Grealish had sent over another tempting ball from the left, whilst our new signing and Bernardo showed some smart interplay to create an opportunity for Torres, whose 12-yard shot was too close to the Foxes goalkeeper to properly trouble him.
Bernardo might have opened the scoring earlier when Youri Tielemans’ poor touch allowed him to steal in and fizz a stinging drive towards the bottom corner, but Schmeichel was equal to it.
The Foxes captain’s determined performance typified his side’s efforts.
They made life difficult for City, and whilst there was an element of fortune about the way in which Cancelo’s effort fell for Bernardo, it meant the three points went home with the team whose attacking intent and play was superior throughout.
Whether Ederson would be able to play or not was one of the big talking points pre-match, as concerns remained the Brazilian FA would ask FIFA to invoke a ban due to the goalkeeper not travelling for international duty.
It never came and instead of ruing his absence, City were left celebrating his performance.
Unlike his opposite number, the 28-year-old didn’t have a great deal to do, but when called upon he was excellent.
He received a bloody mouth for his efforts in thwarting Barnes’ early chance, racing off his line to prevent the winger connecting with Vardy’s teasing cross and he showed great anticipation again to preserve City’s lead late on when he was out quickly to turn substitute Ademola Lookman’s effort behind for a corner.
Pep Guardiola: Excellent performance
"[It was an] excellent performance. After the international break you always have doubts, but the mentality from the players from the first minute to the end was excellent.
"We played well. Unfortunately, we could not score more goals, but we were solid."
Man of the Match: Bernardo Silva
A third impressive performance on the trot for the playmaker, who has been one of City's key men in the opening weeks of the season.
Here, he was a brightest attacking threat, causing the Foxes countless problems with both his passing and driving runs.
What it means
City move up to second in the Premier League, one point behind Manchester United, though that could change if Liverpool and Everton were both to win later this weekend.
City’s Champions League campaign begins at home against RB Leipzig on Wednesday 15 September, with kick-off at 20:00 (UK).
We host Southampton in our next Premier League game, with the Saints visiting the Etihad Stadium on Saturday 18 September.
LEICESTER: Schmeichel (C), Castagne, Vestergaard (Evans 61'), Söyüncü, Bertrand, Albrighton, Tielemans, Ndidi, Barnes (Lookman 73'), Maddison (Iheancho 73'), Vardy.
SUBS: Ward, Amartey, Ricardo, Soumaré, Dewsbury-Hall, Daka.
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