Match Report

Sensational De Bruyne strike earns City win at Leicester

Sensational De Bruyne strike earns City win at Leicester
Premier League
Premier League
Sat 29 Oct
0
1
Kevin De Bruyne 
(49')
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Kevin De Bruyne’s stunning free-kick ensured a 1-0 victory for City at Leicester.

The second half strike guaranteed our fourth successive victory at the King Power Stadium without conceding a goal – and sent us top of the Barclays Premier League table.

De Bruyne scored his third of the campaign to date – and his first away from home - following goals against Bournemouth and Brighton.

And what a goal it was!

City supporters serenaded their hero with chants of ‘Oh Kevin De Bruyne’ after watching him blast past Danny Ward with an unstoppable strike from all of 30 yards.

It was a fully-deserved three points for Pep Guardiola’s men despite a late flurry from the hosts.

WHAT HAPPENED

It says a lot about City’s dominance that Leicester’s star man in the first half was goalkeeper Danny Ward.

He had to be in top form to deny Pep Guardiola’s men who pressed and probed throughout the opening 45 minutes in search of a breakthrough.

City remained camped in the Foxes half for large periods but couldn’t get past Welsh international Ward who had to be on his toes to keep out the sky blues.

City stamped their authority from the opening moments and it was skipper Ilkay Gundogan who had the first opportunity as his looped header was collected well by Ward on five minutes.

Kevin De Bruyne, who boss Guardiola felt had been slightly below his sparkling best of late, was back in scintillating form as he created chance after chance for himself and his team-mates.

His whipped left foot cross from the left was met by Rodri on 13 minutes but again Ward made a smart save and, two minutes later, he produced a super ball into the channel to the onrushing Julian Alvarez whose snap shot was saved by the Foxes No.1. He was flagged offside but it would have been very interesting had it been referred to VAR, with the Argentine forward looking just on.

MATCH GALLERY | LEICESTER v CITY

De Bruyne showcased his silky skills on 16 minutes when he somehow managed to brilliantly flick the ball back to an onrushing Bernardo Silva, with the Portuguese watching his blasted effort stopped smartly.

Rodri headed over on 18 minutes, again from the creative output of De Bruyne.

The Foxes, working hard to keep parity in the game at this point, did enjoy their first break into City’s box on 24 minutes as Harvey Barnes showed pace and grace in attack but the winger’s close-range shot was well parried out by the returning Ederson, who was rested for the midweek Dortmund draw.

It was Belgian star De Bruyne who again led the charge after that momentary concern as he created his own space centrally before producing a fierce low drive which again saw Ward deny.

There were calls for a penalty on 34 minutes as Jack Grealish looked initially to have been upended by Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall as the pair flew into the box but the referee waved away appeals.

City continued to threaten as the first half played out but it remained 0-0 as the interval whistle blew.

It was more of the same as the second half began with City back on the attack.

Rodri, a constant attacking threat despite his anchor man role, had his head in his hands on 46 minutes as he showed his frustration at sending a right foot shot wide from just outside the box after being set up by Bernardo.

The breakthrough finally came on 49 minutes – and what a free-kick from KDB!

He showed his unbelievable quality to send a 30 yard bullet past Ward, who genuinely had no chance this time.

City fans, ecstatic to see us go ahead, broke out immediately into welcome chants of ‘Oh Kevin De Bruyne’.

To their credit, Leicester came back strong on 53 minutes and could so easily have been level had it not been for the reflexes of Ederson.

City’s No.31 got his fingertips to a ball that was flying goalwards on the volley by Youri Tielemans.

What followed was clever possession by City as we looked to stay in control and keep the home side at bay.

There was a chance for former City man Kelechi Iheanacho on 77 minutes as he took a shot early, after being subbed on for Jamie Vardy, but it flew wide of Ederson’s right hand post.

Timothy Castagne saw an opening on 83 minutes but the ball rebounded off his shoulder and wide following a whipped James Maddison ball in from the right.

Joao Cancelo saw an opening on 86 minutes but his rising shot flew too high while Ederson, moments later, got down well to deny Iheanacho.

John Stones headed against Ruben Dias as the clock ticked down but, thankfully, the ball went wide.

Gundogan almost made it 2-0 to the visitors as he was played in by an onrushing De Bruyne but the German couldn’t quite connect.

It didn't matter, in the end though, as the referee blew his whistle to ensure three points for City.

TEAMS

CITY XI: Ederson, Stones, Akanji (Dias 72), Cancelo, Laporte, Rodrigo, Gundogan, Grealish, De Bruyne, Silva, Alvarez (Foden 77).

Unused subs: Ortega Moreno, Carson, Ake, Gomez, Mahrez, Lewis, Wilson-Esbrand.

LEICESTER XI: Ward, Amartey, Soyuncu (Daka 72), Faes, Castagne, Dewsbury-Hall (Mendy 45), Tielemans, Justin, Maddison, Vardy (Iheanacho 71), Barnes.

Unused subs: Iversen, Thomas, Albrighton, Ndidi, Praet, Perez.

MAN OF THE MATCH: KEVIN DE BRUYNE

It’s hard to come up with enough superlatives to describe Kevin De Bruyne’s performance at Leicester.

In the first half, he was chief creator. In the second half, he was match winner.

The Belgian playmaker was simply different class with both his dynamic display and his sumptuous goal – and he had the visiting end at the King Power Stadium cheering ‘Oh Kevin De Bruyne’.

Simply put – what a player!

UNDER ORDERS

“Kevin can be better. He’s not playing at his top level, not yet. He knows. I don’t have to tell him. He’s not perfect, he knows that. I spoke with him.”

Those were the words of Pep Guardiola in the aftermath of Kevin De Bruyne earning Man of the Match in the 3-1 win over Brighton.

It appears KDB listened intently to his manager’s words of encouragement as the Belgian sparkled in the 1-0 victory at Leicester.

De Bruyne created chance after chance for his team-mates in the first half and then took matters into his own hands in the second half, scoring a sumptuous free-kick that left the otherwise impressive Danny Ward absolutely no chance.

PAYING RESPECTS

Supporters from City and Leicester cheered their teams on during the 90 minutes.

But the King Power Stadium fell silent just before kick-off as respects were paid to the fallen.

With this being the nearest matchday to Remembrance Sunday, there was a hugely respectful start to proceedings as Pep Guardiola and Brendan Rodgers carried wreaths to commemorate British service members who have died in wars and other conflicts since the onset of World War I.

The haunting Last Post was played as players, managers, staff and supporters bowed their heads during a minute silence that was immaculately observed.

DE BRUYNE REACTION

"When you shoot like that there is a lot of risk and you try to hit it as clean as possible.

"You don't have much time to see it but you hope it's clean.

"Then it is nice when it goes in. You know you've hit it well and know when it goes over the wall it has a chance."

GUARDIOLA REACTION

"I know him (Kevin De Bruyne) quite well. Nothing is going to change my opinion of what he has done for this Club and for me personally. But I have the duty in my job to say, ‘I want more’.

"I want this Kevin and we need this Kevin. The game against Brighton he scored a fantastic goal - but it is not enough.

"The goals and assists he can do blind. But we need this type of involvement in the game. And today that was the case."

WHAT IT MEANS

City moved top of the Barclays Premier League – for one day at least.

The 1-0 victory over the Foxes ensures we’re at the summit, with 29 points from 12 games.

That’s currently one clear of Arsenal in second, who play their weekend fixture on Sunday at home to Nottingham Forest, kick-off 14:00 (UK time).

WHAT’S NEXT

We now see a stretch of four games on home soil leading up to the World Cup winter break.

First up, we are back in UEFA Champions League action this coming week as we welcome Sevilla.

The game takes place on Wednesday 2 November at the Etihad, with a 20:00 (UK time) kick-off.

In terms of domestic action, our next match in the Barclays Premier League sees us host Fulham on Saturday 5 November, kick-off 15:00 (UK time).

Then it’s Chelsea in the Carabao Cup on Wednesday 9 November, kick-off 20:00 and Brentford in the top-flight on Saturday 12 November, kick-off 12:30 (UK time).

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