Heroic Huth fires Foxes past City to fly six clear in Premier League
Holly Thackeray | February 6, 2016
Manchester City 1-3 Leicester City
- Defender Huth put the Foxes ahead
- Mahrez doubled Leicester’s lead after half-time
- Huth added sensational second and Foxes third with thumping header
- Aguero found the net late on for City
- Claudio Ranieri and co now six points clear in Premier League
Leicester leap further ahead of Man City in standings
City surged six points clear at the top of the Premier League table after a tenacious 3-1 triumph at the Etihad. No, not Manchester City, but instead a lethal Leicester.
Man City were shocked by unlikely protagonist Robert Huth’s early strike, and failed to get a grip on the game, with a highlight reel worthy Riyad Mahrez goal sandwiched in between Huth’s sublime second to send travelling fans into a furore.
Sergio Aguero struck a late consolation for his stumbling side, but it all proved to little too late with Manuel Pellegrini and home fans left scratching their heads. Leicester are now a superb value 7/4 with Coral to lift the Premier League title!
Heroic Huth hits opening blow
There was a torrential downpour in the rainy city, but soaked Foxes fans were not put off as they packed into the Etihad Stadium with hopes of halting their hosts and marching ahead in the title race.
And, sure enough, in a frenzied start to the fixture, Leicester began in now familiar pulsating fashion, with unsuspecting hero Huth opening scoring after just two minutes.
The defender made bookies across the country sweat, as odds of 5000/1 were on offer from Coral for the Foxes to lift the Premier League title before the season began, by throwing himself into the fray and firing past Joe Hart.
City were out of sorts due to Leicester’s swift start, as wing magician Mahrez’s simple set-piece should have been easily cleared. But, instead, Huth took advantage of Vincent Kompany’s continued absence to beat Martin Demichelis to the ball.
Minutes later, man of the moment Jamie Vardy almost doubled Claudio Ranieri’s delight, latching onto a lovely lofted Marc Albrighton pass. Alas, it was not to be a cinematic moment in his Hollywood story, as Hart cushioned the striker’s contact.
The early appetite was all Leicester’s, as the Sky Blues struggled to keep up with the Foxes’ frantic pace, but eventually the home side began to build.
First, it was down to David Silva to squirm through Ranieri’s robust rearguard, and the Spaniard was able to squeeze a shot in and, though it dribbled wide due to a slight deflection, it seemed to spark a City resurgence.
Shinji Okazaki was inches from firing the Foxes further ahead, after Vardy zoomed past Nicolas Otamendi down the right flank, but the Japanese could not connect more than a toe to it as Leicester lost their verve.
Then, a moment occurred which could have tilted the title race and may well be looked back upon as a crucial moment in both club’s histories. Pablo Zabaleta romped down the right, and was clattered into by fellow full back Christian Fuchs, exactly on the edge of the area. Literally on the line, penalty calls were waved away. How decisive will that contentious call prove?
Man City’s momentum continued despite that however, as Raheem Sterling’s devilishly dinked ball over the top of the Foxes backline fell to Yaya Toure, though the Ivorian blasted wildly over. While Aguero surged to life, seeing his shot smothered by Kasper Schmeichel before his dangerous low delivery was unbelievably wasted.
Still, the Citizens’ pressure set up a thrilling battle for after the break, with Ranieri threatening to guide his plucky side six points clear.
Mahrez makes it a terrific two
Urgency was the name of the game as both teams came out all-guns-blazing, but it was the Foxes who made it count. N’Golo Kante was arguably the difference maker from midfield, breaking up play before riding a tackle to surge up field and slip in Mahrez.
The Algeria attacker danced through Man City’s defence around the 47 minute mark, finishing his fine weaving run with ferociously but precisely-placed finish past a static Hart, who looked rooted to the spot.
Pellegrini responded by shuffling his Citizens pack, and substitute Fernando almost made an immediate impact with an on-target header, but Schmeichel pulled out all the stops with a reflexive one-handed save.
Huth header sinks City, Aguero late consolation
How vital that save would prove to be as powerful then Huth delivered a further sucker punch to the hosts’ hopes, with the defender rising to meet yet another set piece, his leap outfoxing City’s defence yet again.
An incredible 3-0 up, the fired-up Foxes still kept up their va-va-voom, attacking and defending tirelessly as a tight unit from front to back, and the Citizens had no answer.
There was a late goal, in the 86th minute, as the Sky Blues finally drew blood. Of course, it was Aguero who blotted the visitors’ copybook, dashing to the far post to nod past Hart, but the late surge mattered little in the end, despite a few nerves on show.
Energetic Vardy himself had an excellent chance to get on the scoresheet, but it was not to be the England international’s day, with unsung Huth instead finishing as a fitting hero of the hour in the latest fascinating chapter of Leicester’s sensational season.
“We’re gonna win the league”, chanted Foxes fans. They just might, with Leicester priced at 13/4 to next beat another trophy rival in Arsenal.