In a game filled with controversy, Manchester City defeated Leicester City at the Etihad Stadium and set their sights on the Champions League Qualification spots
If this game was a song…
Move your Feet – Junior Senior
As I graduate in a matter of weeks and I have to become an “adult” in the “real world”, I’ve been feeling pretty nostalgic and listening to some Noughties playlists. I’m hoping that if I close my eyes and think really hard then I may be transported back in time to when music had rhythm and politics was simpler. But no, here I am.
Anyway, ‘Move your Feet’ is a beautiful song about passion, love, future, the patriarchy, and the north-south divide. Na, it’s just a song about moving your feet really quick. And that’s what Riyad Mahrez should have done on the 77th minute. Mahrez was handed a penalty and the opportunity to make the game 2-2, but he accidentally double-hit the ball and the goal was ruled out by Bobby Madley.
An excellent decision from the referee which usually goes unnoticed by other officials… but I’m not going to praise him too much as the penalty decision was already incorrect, as Gael Clichy actually made the foul outside of the box. Referees, who’d be em?
Man of the Match
Pep Guardiola has said that he has already decided on whether out-of-contract players will stay with the Club for next season — but this performance from Yaya Touré may make him think twice if he’s planning on letting the Ivorian go. On his 34th birthday, Touré was solid in the first half, and much of the second half. Although it is obvious he does not have the pace that he used to, he rarely loses the ball and can still steamroll through a midfield.
Although often shrouded by controversy, Touré’s time at the Club has been wonderful and has seen him score some of the most important goals in the Club’s history. He has also been an incredible leader in the absence of Vincent Kompany at times, and this was highlighted by Gabriel Jesus’ goal to make this game 2-0.
Leroy Sané won a penalty for the Blues, and the stadium turned to look at Yaya Touré who has never missed a penalty for City. Touré handed the ball to Gabriel Jesus to take the penalty, who converted emphatically. To have the confidence in Jesus, and give the opportunity to a player in fine form, Touré showed signs of a great leader. (Side note: if Jesus would have missed the penalty, I’d probably be calling Yaya Touré all sorts of awful names right now).
Kasper Schmeichel also had a very impressive game. It was almost as if the ex-City goalkeeper was auditioning for Pep Guardiola as he acted as a sweeper-keeper a couple of times quashing City attacked deep into his own half, and showed some excellent distribution kicking long for Jamie Vardy.
He also showed that little bit of craziness that Guardiola likes in his goalkeepers, by rushing up late on for two corners and having a foot race back to the net. His counter-part Willy Caballero also had a good game, but could do nothing from Okazaki’s superb volley, which ended his 26-game goal drought.
It was all over the show today! Despite making the wrong call with the penalty in the first place (and it was very close to be fair to Bobby Madley), he quickly made up for it with an exceptional decision from Riyad Mahrez’s penalty. Of course, this wasn’t the only controversy in the game though, because that would be far too boring.
For City’s opener, Sané pulled back from the left wing for David Silva to get his second in two games. However, Raheem Sterling was stood in an offside position as Silva struck the ball. Although Sterling was not in Schmeichel’s eye-line and therefore wasn’t technically intervening with play… he tried to steal the goal away from Silva and swung a leg at it, so he probably was interfering.
Tight margins, but City were lucky with this one. Good old fair Bobby Madley though levelled things up by missing a penalty that City should have had moments later curtesy of a Fernandinho tumble. I guess that’s good refereeing, right? Referees, who’d be ‘em?
Top Four Sweat
The top four is getting a right sweat on now! City go up to third after this win, two points clear of Liverpool in fourth, with just two games left. It’s very much in their hands, but anything could happen in the final two games of the season.
On paper, City have a simpler run-in with West Brom and Watford… which piles the pressure on and will hopefully bring some very entertaining games.