Manchester City edge nine-goal thriller
Manchester City survived a second-half revival to win their ninth consecutive Premier League game in a Boxing Day classic against Leicester City.
In-form Manchester City had a golden opportunity to extend their lead over Liverpool at the top of the Premier League table, if they could overcome an injury-stricken Leicester side. The hosts made an electrifying start, taking the lead inside five minutes. Fernandinho’s lofted pass picked out Kevin De Bruyne who was criminally allowed to turn inside the box and find the bottom corner. It went from bad to worse for the ‘Foxes’ when Youri Tielemans was judged by VAR to have pulled Aymeric Laporte down in the box. Riyad Mahrez stepped up and thundered the resulting penalty home, doubling the lead inside 15 minutes.
City continued their rampage, adding a third as João Cancelo’s cross was parried by Kasper Schmeichel into the path of İlkay Gündoğan for a simple tap-in. City were far from done there, moments later Tielemans gave away another penalty, this time for bringing down Raheem Sterling. The England international stepped up and smashed the ball home to make it 4-0 after just 25 minutes. Mercifully for Brendan Rodgers, City were unable to find the back of the net again before HT.
Leicester did manage to pull one back at the start of the second-half, as Kelechi Iheanacho teed up Maddison who made no mistake from 10 yards out. The visitors were trying their best to make a game of it, scoring again four minutes later. Iheanacho once again the provider, unleashing Ademola Lookman on the counter-attack to score the sixth goal of the game. The former City striker then got on the scoresheet himself, reacting quickest to Ederson’s save for a tap-in to complete a crazy 20 minutes for the visitors.
Pep Guardiola’s worries were eased when Laporte got on the end of a Mahrez corner to give City some breathing space, re-establishing the two-goal lead. Sterling capped off a breathless encounter, netting his second and the hosts’ sixth, extending their lead over Liverpool to six points.