Leicester City 0-1 Manchester City: Stunning De Bruyne free-kick sends Guardiola's men top

Kevin De Bruyne's stunning free-kick sent Manchester City top of the Premier League after a 1-0 win over Leicester City.

Despite the absence of top scorer Erling Haaland after a fever and foot injury, Pep Guardiola's side jumped ahead of Arsenal at the summit after dominating for large periods at the King Power Stadium.

De Bruyne sealed City’s fourth successive away win at Leicester early in the second half with a magnificent 25-yard strike into the top-left corner.

This result ended a three-match unbeaten run for the Foxes, who missed the chance to move clear of the relegation zone.

The visitors quickly established control, aiming to end their three-game scoreless streak on the road, but found Danny Ward in solid form.

Leicester's goalkeeper repelled headers from Ilkay Gundogan and Rodri, before blocking Bernardo Silva's vicious drive.

The Foxes had to wait until the 23rd minute for their first attack, with Harvey Barnes calling Ederson into action from a tight angle.

De Bruyne then stung Ward's palms with a powerful 25-yard attempt at the other end, but Guardiola's men were unable to convert their first-half dominance into an opening goal.

Rodri drilled narrowly wide within 40 seconds of the restart before De Bruyne broke the deadlock in the 49th minute; sending a pinpoint free-kick past Ward.

Youri Tielemans almost equalised in spectacular fashion four minutes later; Ederson tipping the midfielder's thumping 20-yard volley onto the crossbar after he sweetly connected with James Maddison’s corner.

Despite Patson Daka and former Manchester City striker Kelechi Iheanacho going close for Leicester late on, and Ruben Dias and John Stones almost contriving a freak own goal, the visitors saw out the victory.

Leicester City 0-1 Manchester City
Leicester City 0-1 Manchester City

What does it mean? No Haaland, no problem for Man City

With Arsenal not playing until Sunday, City took advantage to leapfrog the Gunners at the Premier League summit.

Talisman Haaland played no part but the visitors still maintained their dominant recent record against Leicester. They have now won 10 of the last 12 Premier League meetings between the sides, as well as the last four at the King Power Stadium without conceding.

Moment of magic from matchwinner De Bruyne

De Bruyne’s brilliant free-kick came from a game-high tally of five shots on goal, while only Maddison (five) provided more key passes during the match (three).

Among players to have scored 50 or more Premier League goals, only David Beckham (55 per cent) and Christian Eriksen (44 per cent) have netted a higher percentage of their strikes from outside the box than the Belgium maestro (42 per cent).

Alvarez anonymous

Leading the line in the absence of Haaland, Alvarez will be disappointed not to have capitalised on a rare opportunity to shine.

The Argentina international failed to register a shot on target, while his tallies of 12 touches and nine passes were the lowest recorded by any starting player at the King Power Stadium.

Key Opta facts

- Leicester have now lost 100 home matches in the Premier League, becoming the 12th side to suffer 100 defeats at home in the competition.
- Manchester City have not conceded a first-half goal in any of their last eight Premier League fixtures, their longest such run since November-December 2021 (10), which also included a victory over Leicester City (6-3).
- Manchester City have now won 22 Premier League games in 2022, more than any other side in the competition, with their two losses also being the fewest of any side this year.
- Leicester registered just 35 per cent of possession against Manchester City, their lowest in a Premier League game this season; in fact, four of the last seven times where they have registered 35 per cent possession or less have been in matches against Manchester City.
- De Bruyne scored his 25th Premier League goal from outside the box; the ninth-highest tally of any player in PL history, and the most of any active player.

What’s next?

Manchester City complete their Champions League group-stage campaign when they welcome Sevilla to the Etihad Stadium on Wednesday. Meanwhile, Leicester travel to Everton in the Premier League next Saturday.