LEICESTER, England (AP) – Kevin De Bruyne’s perfectly deflected free kick was enough to overcome the absence of Erling Holland as Manchester City moved to the top of the Premier League with a 1-0 win at Leicester on Saturday. arrived
De Bruyne planted in a set piece from 25 yards that went over the Leicester wall and through the post in the 49th minute to give City the lead ahead of the Gunners’ game against Nottingham Forest on Sunday. Raised a point.
“He’s back,” City manager Pep Guardiola said of De Bruyne, recently publicly urging the Belgian midfielder to produce more. “He didn’t play well in the last game. (Today he) was amazing. He knows it.”
City dominated the first half but lacked a clear focal point in attack after Haaland was ruled out with an ankle problem, the first time the Norwegian striker has missed a game this season.
Julian Alvarez was instead given his second league start of the season but was unable to make many starts despite being camped in Leicester’s half for most of the game.
Leicester manager Brendan Rodgers’ tactics were clear as the hosts sat deep and defended tightly while waiting for counter-attacking opportunities.
“There was no space. (Alvarez) moved really well but if you put the ball there it’s difficult,” Guardiola said. “When they defend in that position it’s very difficult for all strikers.”
Youri Tielemans equalized for Leicester in the 53rd with a stunning volley from outside the area that forced a reaction save from Ederson as he hit the crossbar.
It was as close as Leicester came to rescuing a point. Substitute Kelechi Iheanacho squandered two good chances when he shot well wide after tiring in the area and then forced Ederson into a comfortable enough save.