Manchester City 2:0 Leicester City
A goal at the end of each half was enough for Champions Manchester City to ease their way past Leicester at the Etihad on Wednesday night…
While Nigel Pearson stuck with the side that drew at Everton, the big team news of the night was City skipper Kompany being relegated to the bench.
Though with City camped in their own third and at one point having just 22% possession chances to test the new-look defence were rare.
In the third minute Bony, met a Silva’s corner, but Cambiasso cleared comfortably off the line. Other than that, a packed Leicester defence managed to restrict City to a long range effort from Toure that didn’t test Schwarzer.
But it was Leicester who should have made a breakthrough when Schlupp broke down the left only to be pushed over by Bony for a clear penalty, but referee Robert Madley waved play on.
In the 25th minute they were more appeals from the visitors when Kramarić, chased a Mahrez through ball into the area and was upended by City keeper Hart, though he appeared to just touch the ball before the man.
The evening then got busier for Schwarzer as he produced good saves to deny Bony and then Toure.
A clever lob from Silva then sent Bony clean through but he blazed his finish high and wide.
Just when it looked as though Leicester could congratulate themselves on surviving the half unscathed, some static defending in injury time saw Silva reacting swiftly to a rebound off Morgan to put the Champions ahead.
Leicester had another penalty denied them early in the second half when Kramarić was tripped by Fernando just inside the area.
This time referee Madley saw the foul but placed it outside the box. Kramarić sent the free-kick inches wide of the left hand upright.
In the 57th minute Pearson made his first changes, with Nugent and Vardy on for Koncheksy and Kramarić.
The hosts started to turn th escrew on Leicester, but some fine saves from Schwarzer kept them at bay. By this point he was flinging himself around his goalmouth to deny efforts from Toure, Kolarov and Silva.
Amidst this action was one great chance for Leicester when Mahrez beat the unsighted Hart with a low shot, but he hit the right hand post.
Soon after that Mahrez made way for Ulloa, but Leicester appeared to run out of steam in the last fifteen minutes.
It was City who added to the scoreline late on when Milner found too much space in the goalmouth to prod home a Navas cross and seal the victory.
While replays showed that City should have been awarded two penalties, we are left wondering what could have been achieved with a more adventurous set-up against a side that have not been at their best in recent weeks.
Man City: Hart, Demichelis, Sagna, Kolarov, Mangala, Silva (Lampard 79), Fernando, Navas, Toure, Aguero (Dzeko 85), Bony (Milner 72). Subs Not Used: Caballero, Kompany, Zabaleta, Clichy.
Leicester: Schwarzer, Konchesky (Nugent 57), Morgan, Upson, James, Huth, Schlupp, Simpson, Cambiasso, Mahrez (Ulloa 76), Kramarić (Vardy 57). Subs Not Used: Drinkwater, King, Hamer, Wasilewski.
Referee: R Madley. Attendance: 45,000.
ALL PHOTOS: Simon Kimber