Manchester City’s unstoppable march at the Premier League summit shows no signs of slowing down as goals from Gabriel Jesus and Kevin De Bruyne secured a 2-0 win over Leicester City at the King Power Stadium.
Pep Guardiola’s side have been in irresistible form so far this season and Saturday’s result moved them nine points clear of second-placed Chelsea, with rivals United playing later in the day and Tottenham having lost at Arsenal.
Jesus gave City the lead a minute before the half-time break with a simple tap-in after a move that had sliced open the hosts’ defence.
De Bruyne then doubled their advantage just three minutes into the second period as he thumped home from 25 yards for his third league goal of a sparkling campaign.
The only blot on City’s copybook was the enforced first-half withdrawal of England defender John Stones, who pulled up holding his right hamstring.
David Silva and Jesus missed chances to extend City’s lead as the second half wore on, but two blistering attacks either side of half-time were enough to secure another impressive success.
Guardiola handed a first Premier League start since August 26 to Vincent Kompany, but the Belgian started sluggishly and was lucky not to be dismissed after just three minutes.
The 31-year-old hacked down Jamie Vardy as the England striker latched onto Vicente Iborra’s pass, but referee Graham Scott deemed Stones to be in a covering position and opted to give the City captain only a yellow card.
Kompany was involved again soon after, stretching well to divert Riyad Mahrez’s dangerous cross just wide of his own goal as the hosts continued to impress going forward.
City’s trademark swashbuckling approach was largely absent in the early stages, but a typically incisive move involving Fabian Delph and Leroy Sane resulted in Kasper Schmeichel tipping over Silva’s shot from just inside the penalty area.
Raheem Sterling was then only inches away from connecting with Sane’s fizzed cross as the visitors started to hit their stride.
City finished the half strongly as Silva thrashed over from the edge of the area before the Spaniard teed up Jesus for the opener. Sterling carved open the Foxes defence with a threaded pass into the path of Silva, who had the simple task of rolling it across the six-yard box for the Brazilian to grab his eighth league goal of the season.
Leicester’s positive approach at the start of the second period was nearly rewarded when Harry Maguire’s effort from a corner was deflected onto the post.
City took full advantage of that reprieve to deliver a stunning counter-attack, which resulted in Sane finding De Bruyne on the edge of the area for the former Chelsea man to unleash a superb left-footed strike into the roof of Schmeichel’s net.
Jesus was then denied his second just moments later as Schmeichel thwarted him from just six yards out and Silva once again fired over as his wait for a goal continued.
City comfortably kept Leicester at arm’s length in the final 20 minutes as the hosts desperately tried to find a way back into the game and were ultimately able to claim yet another three points at something approaching a canter.
Key Opta stats:
– Man City are only the second team to win their first six away games to a Premier League campaign, after Chelsea in 2008-09 (won their first eight).
– This is just the second time a Premier League side has won 34 points from their first 12 games of the season, with Man City also achieving this back in 2011-12.
– Leicester City have lost their last nine Premier League games against sides who started the day top of the table, conceding at least two goals each time.
– The Foxes failed to land a single shot on target in a Premier League game for the first time since October 2016 versus Chelsea.
– Kevin De Bruyne has now had a hand in 50 Premier League goals (16 goals, 34 assists). He has done this in 76 PL apps, which is the quickest by any out-and-out midfielder in the history of the competition.
– Gabriel Jesus has been directly involved in 20 goals in his 21 Premier League appearances (15 goals 5 assists).
– David Silva provided his 72nd assist in the Premier League, more than any other player since his debut