Birthday boy Gabriel Jesus on target as leaders Man City ease past Leicester

Nick Mashiter, PA
·3-min read

Birthday boy Gabriel Jesus continued in-form Manchester City’s march to the Premier League title after a classy victory at Leicester.

The striker, who turned 24 on Saturday, wrapped up a 2-0 win at the King Power Stadium as Pep Guardiola’s men made it 15 straight away wins in all competitions.

Benjamin Mendy’s second-half opener sent them on their way and City are 17 points clear at the top with seven games left after a 26th win in their last 27 games.

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Fernandinho had a goal ruled out while Kevin De Bruyne’s free-kick hit the crossbar.

Jamie Vardy also had a goal disallowed for offside but the third-placed Foxes missed the chance to climb above Manchester United into second after being outclassed.

They thumped City 5-2 at the Etihad in September but there was to be no repeat this time.

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The leaders dominated the ball early and thought they had a breakthrough after five minutes.

Fernandinho cracked a first-time half volley into the bottom corner from 30 yards only for it to be disallowed because Sergio Aguero was offside and in Kasper Schmeichel’s eyeline.

The visitors pinned the Foxes in their own half and, while Leicester still looked to pass their way out of any trouble, they never had the ball long enough to make a dent going forward.

Aguero volleyed over after Timothy Castagne’s clearance was charged down but the Foxes had kept any City chances to a minimum.

Leicester had few answers to Manchester City's dominance
Leicester had few answers to Manchester City’s dominance (Tim Keeton/PA)

De Bruyne, though, came close to an opener after 23 minutes. The midfielder was fortunate to earn a free-kick after minimal contact from Wilfred Ndidi and stepped up to smash the bar from 25 yards.

The warning signs were there but Leicester’s concentration levels in the face of City pressure were excellent.

A goal would have capped a first-half masterclass from Guardiola’s side but Schmeichel denied Riyad Mahrez with his legs four minutes before the break and De Bruyne curled wide seconds later.

Jesus also fired over but City escaped in first-half stoppage time.

Gabriel Jesus scores Manchester City's second
Gabriel Jesus scores Manchester City’s second (Michael Regan/PA)

Ndidi beat De Bruyne to the ball and Ayoze Perez fed Vardy to round Ederson and score, although his celebrations were cut short by an offside flag.

It at least gave the Foxes encouragement and they began the second half with more intent, Youri Tielemans shooting at Ederson before Ruben Dias blocked Vardy’s drive.

But City got the opener their display deserved after 58 minutes from an unlikely source.

Schmeichel parried Mahrez’s effort and City regained control of the ball to cross for Jesus, who could not get a shot away. It fell for Mendy and he cut inside Marc Albrighton to curl in just his second Premier League goal from 10 yards.

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Leicester had no response and Jesus grabbed a second with 16 minutes left.

De Bruyne’s sumptuous throughball sent the striker clear and he passed to Raheem Sterling, who held the ball up and squared for Jesus to stab in his fifth goal in six top-flight games against the Foxes.

Former Leicester winger Mahrez should have made it 3-0 soon after but curled wide, while James Maddison shot at Ederson as the Foxes chased a late consolation.