Goal fest at the Etihad as Manchester City overcome Leicester’s second-half fightback

Manchester City ensured they head into 2022 top of the Premier League after surviving a second-half comeback from Leicester by putting six goals past Brendan Rodgers’ out-of-sorts side. 

Pep Guardiola’s team were cruising towards a win with early goals coming from Kevin De Bruyne, Ilkay Gundogan and a penalty apiece from Riyad Mahrez and Raheem Sterling, all inside 26 minutes. 

But Leicester fought back with three goals in 12 minutes after the break, and it needed responses from Aymeric Laporte and another from Sterling to make completely sure of the result. 

De Bruyne spoke recently about the effects of Covid-19 meaning he is yet to return to his best form this season, but he was at full-tilt as he opened the scoring. 

After collecting Fernandinho’s pass and being afforded time to turn, the Belgian passed the ball into the bottom corner. 

Hopes of Leicester fighting back were extinguished by VAR, who referred Chris Kavanagh to his pitchside monitor to look at Youri Tielemans holding Aymeric Laporte from a corner. When the penalty was awarded, Mahrez powerfully put his spot-kick into the top corner.  

Gundogan added the third goal, striking into an unguarded net after Kasper Schmeichel could only parry Joao Cancelo’s cross into his path, 

Sterling took the next penalty after winning it himself, drawing a foul from Tielemans. After a discussion with Mahrez, he was given the ball and put it in the same top corner as his team-mate. 

James Maddison had struck the crossbar in the first half and his efforts were rewarded with a goal 10 minutes into the second half, after riding the challenges of Laporte and Ruben Dias before exchanging passes with Kelechi Iheanacho and finishing confidently. 

Their supporters were urging an improbable comeback when Ademola Lookman added another when City were cut apart again. Kelechi provided his second assist, sending Lookman through to finish under Ederson.  

Their third goal came when Maddison tried his luck from long range and Ederson could only palm onto the crossbar, with Kelechi scoring from the rebound. 

City kept them at arms’ length with Laporte heading into the top corner from a corner. Then Sterling added a sixth by tapping in after Dias nodded a corner into his path. 

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