Paul Dickov believes City’s devastating first-half Boxing Day display during our 6-3 win against Leicester ranks as ‘the best 45 minute team performance’ he’s ever seen.

In what was one of the most incredible Premier League games in many a year, Pep Guardiola’s league leaders stormed into a 4-0 lead inside 30 minutes, illuminating the Etihad with our pace, power and precision.

It was a textbook display of vibrant, powerful attacking football with Kevin De Bruyne, Riyad Mahrez (penalty), Ilkay Gundogan and Raheem Sterling all finding the target.

And according to former City striker Dickov – one of our Matchday Live special guests for the Boxing Day showcase – that opening half was as good as anything he has ever witnessed in the game.


“That first half was just ridiculous. It’s the best 45 minutes I’ve ever seen as a team performance,” Dickov asserted.

“Even at 4-0 up they were pressing. A lot of teams would have taken their foot off the pedal. It was incredible to watch.”

Dickov’s ringing endorsement was echoed by Shay Given, his fellow Matchday Live special guest for the visit of the Foxes.

For his part, the former City and Republic of Ireland goalkeeper believed City served up a treat that would have entertained everyone watching.

“It was absolutely brilliant. It’s like Playstation stuff. It’s 4-0 but could be six or seven. Just seeing the movement and chances created, it was a masterclass from City,” Given declared.

“You pay your money to come and watch this. Even any neutral fan to watch something like that will have gone home and said: ‘My goodness I was entertained today!’


“To score 112 goals in a calendar year is just absolutely phenomenal and (to think) some people all talk about City not having a striker!

“The goals are coming from all over the park, everyone is chipping in and it’s just great to see.”

A ninth successive Premier League victory saw the reigning champions extend our lead at the top of the table to six points at the halfway stage of the season.

However, reflecting on what was a goal-laden, incident-packed match, Dickov also added how he believed the ‘freaky’ nature of a second-half which saw Leicester score three goals in 10 minutes to at one stage narrow the deficit to 4-3 before efforts from Aymeric Laporte and Sterling sealed victory could actually serve as a blessing in disguise.

“Pep being as intense and brilliant as he is, a little part of him might be quite happy that that has happened - just to get everybody to refocus again,” the former Scotland striker asserted.

“Brentford will be difficult and then its Arsenal away and if we had run out winning 6-0 or 7-0 again against Leicester, maybe complacency would set in.


“The fact we have conceded three goals and got a bit of a fright means that we will reset again.

“But don’t forget, we had conceded three goals in the last eight games before Boxing Day.

“So to concede three goals in 10 minutes does show you that it is a bit of a freak really in what was a freaky match.”