Manchester City vs. Leicester: Winners and Losers from Premier League

Karl MatchettFeatured ColumnistFebruary 6, 2016

Manchester City vs. Leicester: Winners and Losers from Premier League

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    Leicester City's remarkable season continued as they won 3-1 at the Etihad Stadium on Saturday, beating Manchester City to go six points clear at the top of the Premier League table.

    Robert Huth opened the scoring just a couple of minutes in, knocking home after a set piece, while Riyad Mahrez got the second half underway in similar fashion—albeit with a far more spectacular solo goal.

    Manchester City were second best throughout, and Huth headed in a third to send the Foxes into dreamland before Sergio Aguero netted a late consolation.

    Here are all our winners and losers from the game.

Winner: Shinji Okazaki

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    He wasn't on the scoresheet, but Shinji Okazaki was non-stop with his running on and off the ball for Leicester City, giving the front line a second outlet other than Jamie Vardy and creating an out ball for the defence with frequency.

    The Japanese attacker found spaces between the lines, got between the centre-backs and worked the channels relentlessly and, with a little more luck, might have gotten a goal of his own with a couple of cut-backs just evading him.

    He doesn't get the headlines as Mahrez or Vardy do, but Okazaki's influence on the team is enormous.

Loser: Yaya Toure

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    Utterly anonymous in the first half as City failed to dominate play high upfield, Yaya Toure was once again left exposed as Leicester continually broke at pace and with numbers behind the home team's midfield.

    Worse still was Toure's incapacity or unwillingness to race back, leaving Fernandinho alone at times and never tracking the likes of Danny Drinkwater who was a far better performer, defensively and offensively.

    As soon as Leicester scored their second, Manuel Pellegrini made two substitutions—and Yaya, captain on the day, was one of those given the hook just five minutes into the second half.

Winner: Robert Huth

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    The two goals Robert Huth scored were, of course, of enormous importance, but the German was also utterly rock solid at the back, repelling Manchester City's attacks with a number of headed clearances, blocks and vociferous organisation of five or six players around him.

    Huth won all his physical battles, showed good power and acceleration to hold off Raheem Sterling a number of times and sought out his attackers with direct diagonal passes out of defence.

    A good run for the first goal saw him net the deflected opener, while his powerful leap and header netted the Foxes' third.

Loser: Martin Demichelis

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    None of Manchester City's defence played particularly well, but Martin Demichelis was culpable in all three of Leicester's goals.

    He let Huth run across him and reach the ball first for the early opener, even deflecting the ball into the net as he stretched to block, while for the second goal, he was tied up in knots by Mahrez's pace and stepovers.

    For the third, Demichelis was certainly leaned on by Huth in the aerial battle, but the fact he didn't even jump or challenge aerially against his opponent merely meant Manchester City never had a chance to stop the scoring chance.

    A desperately poor display.

Winner: N'Golo Kante

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    Either of Leicester's two central midfielders could be nominated for the final slot, but we'll just edge N'Golo Kante ahead of Drinkwater on account of the sheer amount of times he won back the ball.

    Kante was everywhere, dispossessing anybody in sky blue with fierce tackles, timely interceptions and more than a few instances where he simply outpowered or outpaced them in a straight race to the ball.

    In addition, Kante brought the ball forward quickly, didn't go down under challenges and released passes into the final third to good effect, including in the build-up to Mahrez's goal.