Leicester and Man City Battle to a Stalemate

Leicester and City tie

A busy weekend of Premier League action came to a close Tuesday night when Leicester City hosted Manchester City at the King Power Stadium. Going into the match, the Foxes sat just a point behind Arsenal for the top spot in the table, and three points ahead of their visitors. Manuel Pellegrini’s men were coming off a massive 4-1 victory over Sunderland on Boxing Day, but the last time they faced a top-four club, Arsenal handed them a 2-1 defeat. A victory for either side had the potential to put them firmly in the driver’s seat of the title race going into 2016, but would either side be able to steal all three points?

The theme of this clash was missed chances for both sides. City’s summer signing Kevin De Bruyne had the first real chance of the match in the 18th minute, but Kasper Schmeichel comfortably denied the Belgian’s first time effort. Leicester had their first chance of the half less than ten minutes later, sadly, Riyad Mahrez’s shot from distance flew just wide of the woodwork. The Algerian’s optimistic effort was one of the Foxes few bright spots of the half as City began to dominate proceedings.

The Cityzens continued to push for an opener, but nothing could find a way past the Danish keeper. Despite the visitors’ perceived dominance on the match, it was Leicester that closed out the half on the brighter note. In the 38th minute, Christian Fuchs found an unmarked Marc Albrighton at the back post, but Albrighton just couldn’t get enough on his redirection to find the back of the net. Just seconds later, the hottest striker in the Premier League, Jamie Vardy, had a chance to put his side ahead, but his effort was too high and sailed into the stands. The exciting end to the half failed to yield any goals, however, and the two sides went into the dressing room still deadlocked at 0-0.

City started out on the front foot in the second half and should’ve taken lead after less than a minute. De Bruyne perfectly picked out an onrushing Sergio Agüero, but the Argentine’s point blank effort somehow missed the target completely. N’Golo Kanté’s low shot from distance may have caused Joe Hart a moment of terror, only for the ball to fly just wide of the far post. The two sides continued to exchange chances for the remainder of the half, and it seemed like one goal would be good enough to seal all three points.

It looked as if Agüero had earned the visitors a penalty in the 62nd minute after a rash challenge from Gokhan Inler, but no whistle was the blown and the sides remained level. On the ensuing corner kick, Nicolás Otamendi forced Schmeichel into yet another save with a powerful header, and the 29-year-old was more than up to the challenge. Christian Fuchs had Leicester’s last big chance of the match, and Joe Hart’s excellent positioning made it relatively simple for the England international to redirect the free kick out of play. Even though both sides had an ample amount of opportunities to take all three points, neither could find the back of the net and they were forced to share the spoils.

The result means that Leicester remains second in the table to Arsenal, but now they are separated only by goal differential. Manuel Pellegrini’s club, on the other hand, jumped ahead of Tottenham to third in the table, but is still three points behind the leaders. It will be interesting to see whether or not Claudio Ranieri’s men will be able to continue this unbelievable run of form going into the second half of the season, but if they play like they did Tuesday, it will be hard for anybody to beat them.

 

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About the author: Collin Carpio

 

I am currently a senior at the University of Missouri in the Journalism School. I have been an avid follower of Manchester United since 2006 and of course I support the Stars and Stripes. Due to my St. Louis high school allegiances, I am a big supporter of Brad Davis and Sporting KC in MLS.

 

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