English Premiership

Huth fires fairytale Leicester past City

2016-02-06 17:13
Robert Huth (Getty Images)

Manchester - Robert Huth scored twice as Leicester City produced an astonishing demonstration of their Premier League title credentials by winning 3-1 at closest rivals Manchester City on Saturday.

As it happened: Manchester City v Leicester City

Huth broke the deadlock in the third minute from a Riyad Mahrez free-kick and after Mahrez had netted a brilliant solo goal early in the first half, the German centre-back headed in his second goal from a corner on the hour.

Sergio Aguero replied for City with a glancing header in the 87th minute - his seventh goal in five games - but a rain-lashed day at the Etihad Stadium belonged to Leicester.

It was the most sensational win to date of their fairytale 12-month rise from the bottom to the top of the table and left Claudio Ranieri's side six points clear of second-place City.

Tottenham Hotspur, who host Watford later on Saturday, and Arsenal, who visit Bournemouth on Sunday, are both two points further back.

Leicester have now won three league games in a row and remain on course for the most improbable English title triumph since promoted Nottingham Forest won the league in 1977-78.

City, playing at home for the first time since Pep Guardiola was announced as the successor to manager Manuel Pellegrini, have now lost six league games this season - as many as when they last won the league in 2014.

With this stunning result, any doubts about Leicester's ability to pull off the most unlikely title victory in Premier League history were removed once and for all.

Furthermore, the four-goal swing in goal difference meant that as well as a six-point lead over City, Leicester's goal difference of +20 is now just one goal worse than their chief rivals'.

Most had predicted an exciting meeting between two sides who believe that attack is the best form of defence and the opening three minutes did not disappoint.

Leicester shot into the lead in dramatic fashion from a free-kick conceded when Aleksandar Kolarov felled Mahrez, who took the set-piece himself.

After much jockeying for position in the area, City did a poor job of marking and Huth was able to ghost ahead of Martin Demichelis, scoring from six yards with a shot that deflected in off the unfortunate home defender.

The goal allowed Leicester to play on the counter-attack -- their preferred modus operandi -- and City mustered just one shot on target in the first half, with Kasper Schmeichel smothering a shot from Aguero.

City goalkeeper Joe Hart had to rush out and save from Jamie Vardy and Danny Drinkwater, but Leicester continued to probe and three minutes into the second half they doubled their lead.

N'Golo Kante won the ball inside his own half and advanced before finding Mahrez, who neatly evaded Pablo Zabaleta's vain sliding effort to intercept.

There was still much for Leicester's in-form winger to do, but he did it, outfoxing Demichelis with a step-over and rifling an unstoppable right-foot shot past Hart from 15 yards.

It was a stunning development and one which prompted Pellegrini to throw on Fernando and Kelechi Iheanacho.

The changes almost brought instant results as Fernando headed a David Silva corner goalwards, only to see ex-City goalkeeper Schmeichel brilliantly claw his effort off the line.

City's recovery was short-lived, however, and Huth punished them for yet more slack defending from Leicester's next attack, a 60th-minute corner won after good work and dogged persistence by Vardy.

Christian Fuchs swung over a left-wing corner and Huth rose high above the static Demichelis to send a perfect header soaring into Hart's top-right corner.

Hart prevented his England colleague Vardy from making it 4-0, but although Aguero reduced the arrears, nothing could overshadow Leicester's magnificent performance.

 

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Fixtures
Saturday, 04 April 2020
Sheffield United v Tottenham Hotspur, Bramall Lane 02:00
Arsenal v Norwich City, Emirates Stadium 02:00
Crystal Palace v Burnley, Selhurst Park 02:00
Brighton & Hove Albion v Manchester United, The American Express Community Stadium 02:00
Watford v Southampton, Vicarage Road 02:00
Aston Villa v Wolverhampton Wanderers, Villa Park 02:00
AFC Bournemouth v Newcastle United, Vitality Stadium 02:00
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Manchester City v Liverpool, Etihad Stadium 02:00
West Ham United v Chelsea, London Stadium 02:00
Monday, 06 April 2020
Everton v Leicester City, Goodison Park 02:00
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