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Dublin: 11 °C Friday 3 April, 2020


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Good evening ladies and gentlemen. You’re very welcome along to what could potentially be the decisive night in this season’s chaotic, barnstorming title race which will officially go down to the final day of the season on Sunday.

Manchester City have just two more hurdles to overcome, with Pep Guardiola’s men safe in the knowledge that back-to-back victories against Leicester City tonight and Brighton at the AMEX this weekend will clinch their sixth league crown.

Liverpool reclaimed top spot after a seismic, last-gasp 3-2 victory over Newcastle on Saturday night, with that man Divock Origi once again popping up with the goods in the final moments just when it was needed.

Reds fans will be watching in their droves tonight, hoping and praying that their former boss Brendan Rodgers can do them a massive, massive favour by securing a result and putting the Merseysiders’ fate back in their own hands ahead of Sunday’s meeting with Wolves.

Manchester City v Leicester City - Premier League - Etihad Stadium Source: Nick Potts

Man City are currently on an astonishing 12 game winning streak in the Premier League. Tottenham were bulldozed, as were Manchester United, as were Burnley at Turf Moor.

Where it looked like the champions might potentially trip up over recent weeks, Pep Guardiola’s side have stood up to the test and been completely unbeatable on the domestic front time after time.

His side will want to put the pain of their Champions League exit to bed by clinching back-to-back titles this week, with an FA Cup final also to come later this month too.

Leicester, who are safe from relegation and with nothing at stake, stand in their way. All possible logic points towards a win for City, but it’s not over until it’s over as this year’s gripping title race nears its conclusion.

Kick-off is coming up in just over an hour’s time at 8.00pm, with tonight’s game live on Sky Sports Main Event.

Let’s get started with the team news…

TEAM NEWS: Pep Guardiola makes one change from his side’s victory against Burnley last weekend, almost opting for the exact same starting XI as that 1-0 victory at Turf Moor.

The only switch sees Leroy Sane make way for Phil Foden, with Bernardo Silva pushing forward to join Raheem Sterling and Sergio Aguero in the front three as the promising England international comes into midfield.

Brendan Rodgers makes zero changes from last weekend as he prepares to face the champions at the Etihad tonight.

His side emphatically overcame Arsenal 3-0 at the King Power thanks to a double from Jamie Vardy and another from Touri Tielemans to all but end the Gunners hopes of Champions League football next season.

MANCHESTER CITY: Ederson, Walker, Kompany, Laporte, Zinchenko, Silva, Gundogan, Foden, Bernardo Silva, Aguero, Sterling.

Substitutes: Danilo, Stones, Sane, Mahrez, Otamendi, Gabriel Jesus, Muric. 

LEICESTER CITY: Schmeichel, Ricardo Pereira, Evans, Maguire, Chilwell, Ndidi, Albrighton, Tielemans, Choudhury, Maddison, Vardy.

Substitutes: Morgan, Gray, Iheanacho, Ward, Barnes, Mendy, Fuchs. 

Pep Guardiola has given his thoughts to Sky Sports ahead of kick-off, insisting that nothing but six points will do over the next week against Leicester and Brighton. He’s a man on a mission.

“Two games left — so, we have to take six points,” Guardiola said.

“The first three is today. Then we will see. The quality they [Leicester] have, a lot of quality in the middle. The full-backs, they are so, so strong going forward.

“Good [goalkeeper] experience. We’ll see if we can control it and react well. Vardy? It’s difficult to control him.

“His movement, his runs in behind, are one of the best in the world. We have to try to play our game. We’ll see what’s going on.

“We need two more wins. Every game is different, every opponent has its own quality. We want to do our best in the last two games.”

The players have made their way out onto the pitch, with kick-off just moments away now. A great reception from the Etihad faithful. Man City can’t secure the title tonight, but they can potentially take a big, penultimate step.

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KICK-OFF: We’re underway at the Etihad for the first half!


Early chance straight from tip-off for Man City. Bernardo Silva puts his head down and tries to battle his way into the box after finding time and space down the righthand side. Ben Chilwell stands his ground and hoofs the ball clear.


Pep Guardiola’s side trying to settle whatever few nerves might be out there. His side are full of restless energy, pinging the ball left and right with speed and intensity pining for an opening to attack.

Manchester City v Leicester City - Premier League - Etihad Stadium Source: Nick Potts


David Silva dances through outside the box and successfully offloads to Sergio Aguero. The Argentine tries to do the same, dribbling around one challenge and then another, but Jonny Evans keeps his composure and nicks the ball off the striker’s toe just as he prepared to shoot.


Chance! Out of absolutely no-where Leicester break away at the other end with a gilt-edged chance. Marc Albrighton slams a low effort aiming for Ederson’s bottom corner, but Vincent Kompany heroically throws himself in the way. A crucial intervention from the captain. City look a bit shaken after that.


Close again, this time at the other end. Phil Foden angles his way into the box and manoeuvres a difficult shot on target with a clever chest of the ball to test Kasper Schmeichel for the first time so far this evening. Foden’s volleyed shot is directly at the goalkeeper though, and Schmeichel deals with it comfortably with safe hands.

Manchester City v Leicester City - Premier League - Etihad Stadium Source: Martin Rickett


Brendan Rodgers’ men respond in kind. Youri Tielemans finds time and space on the edge of the penalty area and slams a powerful right-footed effort from the guts of 25 yards out. Again it’s right at Ederson and the Brazilian gathers along the ground.


This has been a really decent start by Leicester here. The Foxes were mightily impressive last weekend to punish 10-man Arsenal 3-0. They are prone to conceding in the first 15 minutes of games this season (City are just as likely to score in that timeframe), but Harry Maguire and Jonny Evans have held their own patrolling their defence tonight.


Bernardo Silva again tries to find some space down that right flank. Hamza Choudhury sees him all the way and executes a precise slide tackle to end the danger and keep Man City at bay. It’s like a game of cat and mouse out there right now.

Manchester City v Leicester City - Premier League - Etihad Stadium Source: Mike Egerton


Ricardo Pereira, probing down the right, bombs forward and has the beating of Olexandr Zinchenko. The Leicester right back tries to hook a cross into the box, but the ball peters out of play just before he can do so. City looking just a little bit nervous.


David Silva picks up the first yellow card of the night. He slide tackles Youri Tielemans from behind cynically and finds himself in Mike Dean’s little black book as a result.


Bernardo Silva rises high at the back post to try and head on goal. David Silva picks out his namesake with a floated cross, but the ball flies out wide for a goal kick. Just past the twenty minute mark and no breakthrough for either side as of yet.

Leicester City v Manchester City - Premier League - King Power Stadium Source: Nick Potts


Leicester again venture forward. Ben Chilwell fizzes a cross looking for Marc Albrighton out the opposite wing, but the defender’s pass is overhit and drags out for a Man City throw-in.


Unlike last weekend at Turf Moor where Burnley accepted their fate to sit back and try and batter and bate everything away like Ireland against Russia way back in 2011, Leicester are daring themselves to try and break the deadlock. Rodgers’ side have been lacking in possession but are carving out a handful of chances.


David Silva is living on the edge right now. Already on a yellow card, the Spaniard sticks a loose leg out at James Maddison, drawing yet another foul. Silva will want to be careful here lest his side be reduced to 10 men.

Manchester City v Leicester City - Premier League - Etihad Stadium Source: Martin Rickett


Close! Guardiola’s men pushing the envelope further and further, putting Leicester under a sustained period of pressure. Sergio Aguero’s deflected strike looks like it might have crossed the line there, but the referee’s goal-line-technology watch gadget thingy didn’t beep… so we play on.


Aguero’s header was a matter of millimetres from crossing the line there. Well, maybe not that close, but still very, very close. It was very similar to his winning strike against Burnley a week ago, but this time there’s no breakthrough.


Ten minutes to go before the break and Liverpool fans will be quite happy with what they’ve seen. I’m sure Leicester fans will too. Their side have battled valiantly tonight as Man City continue to try and find their feet before the clock runs out.

Manchester City v Leicester City - Premier League - Etihad Stadium Source: Mike Egerton


The home supporters inside the Etihad had just started to celebrate for a few brief moments after it looked like Aguero’s header had gone in. Credit where it’s due, Kasper Schmeichel did incredibly well to get a strong hand to the effort and claw it off the line.


Bernardo Silva has led City’s attack all night. Once again he battles down the right wing, but can only see his right-footed shot low along the ground be blocked away for a corner kick. Frustration just builds and builds for the hosts at the moment.


Two strikes in succession for Man City on the edge of the area. Bernardo Silva has a go after the ball fell invitingly on a plate, but his shot was blocked. The ball is recycled out to Ilkay Gundogan who strikes at goal too, but the German snatches at the effort and fails to hit the target.

Manchester City v Leicester City - Premier League - Etihad Stadium Source: Nick Potts


It’s been all Manchester City these last few minutes. Chilwell, Maguire, Evans and Pereira are working their socks off on the edge of their own area trying to keep the attacks at bay, but it’s tiring work. Something might give sooner or later, it seems.


Another yellow card. Vincent Kompany slides into James Maddison harshly and goes into Mike Dean’s book. The captain insists, insists he got the ball, but the referee is having none of it.

There will be one minute of stoppage time to come at the end of the first half.

Manchester City v Leicester City - Premier League - Etihad Stadium Source: Martin Rickett



There we are, halfway there. Man City have enjoyed 58% possession and enjoyed 11 shots to Leicester’s four, but you get the sense that the visitors will be much the happier of the sides heading into the dressing rooms.

Pep Guardiola’s side have spent large chunks of that opening 45 minutes camped outside their opponents box, with Bernardo Silva, Sergio Aguero and Raheem Sterling trying and trying to find an opening.

Aguero’s header hooked off the line dramatically is as close as City have come to going ahead, but Brendan Rodgers’ men have done really well to dig in and hold their own at the back while also carving out the odd dangerous chance of their own for Jamie Vardy and Marc Albrighton.

More action at the Etihad to come very shortly!


SECOND-HALF: We’re underway for another 45 minutes!


No changes for either side at the break. As it stands, Liverpool will remain top of the table heading into the final matchday on Sunday as the Reds face Wolves and Man City take on Brighton. A massive 45 minutes ahead.

Bernardo Silva picks up where he left off in that first half. He peels away down the right and fires a shot to try and test Kasper Schmeichel, but his effort flies wide of the target and the wrong side of Ederson’s post.

Britain Soccer Premier League Source: Rui Vieira


Man City win a seventh corner of the game. Jamie Vardy happily fulfils his defensive duties to head clear at the first hurdle. The ball finds its away back into the box where it comes back down to earth for Raheem Sterling to header, but his looping effort flies over the crossbar. He really should have hit the target there with the goal at his mercy.


City upping the ante in search of a breakthrough. Bernardo Silva hasn’t had any success on his right foot tonight, so instead he goes for goal on his left — but his shot fails to hit the target.

Wide! Raheem Sterling opens up a pocket of space on the edge of the box and slams a low effort trundling along the surface, but yet again it drags wide as Schmeichel watches on. Chance after chance for the hosts here.

Manchester City v Leicester City - Premier League - Etihad Stadium Source: Nick Potts


Pep Guardiola has decided to make a change. Phil Foden replaced Leroy Sane in the starting XI tonight — the German started last week’s win against Burnley, but comes on off the bench tonight for the final 35 minutes.


Almost, almost the breakthrough. Ilkay Gundogan ventures forward and lets fly from distance. The Germany international tries to bend a very delicate effort into Schmeichel’s bottom corner, but his shot bends a little far and ends up wide of the target. 

There are cries for a penalty from the home supporters as Sterling goes down under the challenge of Harry Maguire. The England team-mates seemed to collide together after a loose ball, but Mike Dean is not interested and waves play on.

Manchester City v Leicester City - Premier League - Etihad Stadium Source: Nick Potts


After a prolonged period of sitting back and soaking up pressure, Leicester finally find a breakaway. Vardy storms down the right trying to find an opening but City flood bodies back and dispossess the striker down in the corner as he awaited reinforcements.


Chance! Leicester are causing Man City all sorts of problems now. James Maddison sets himself up and slams a well-hit effort goal-bound. He hit it really smoothly, but his chance drifts the wrong side of the post. Almost a massive shock there with less than half an hour to go.

Guardiola’s men fight back down the other end. Sterling is working himself into the ground at the moment. He cuts inside the box and tries to edge a low effort on target on his right boot, but Hamza Choudhury does well to stay on his feet, not commit, and get the block in.

Britain Soccer Premier League Source: Rui Vieira


The clock ticks on and on but Leicester are staying resolute at the moment. Credit to Rodgers and his side, they have put in a very commendable performance tonight, especially considering they have nothing left to compete for at either end of the table.


Man City push on again, wave after wave of attack in relentless fashion. They seemed a little nervous throughout the opening half and that sense of urgency to break the deadlock has doubled since the interval.


ALMOST. Deary me, that looked like it was it. Sergio Aguero with a right-footed effort from inside the box, but Kasper Schmeichel gets his leg down in the nick of time to force it away for a corner kick. The home fans thought it was going to bounce in there.



What a goaaaaaaaal! Holy moly, Vincent Kompany breaks the deadlock with just twenty minutes left to go. The skipper takes possession 25 yards out from goal and blasts an outrageous effort right into Kasper Schmeichel’s top corner. It was Gerrard, Scholes and Lampard all rolled into one. My oh my, where did that come from? City lead 1-0.

Manchester City v Leicester City - Premier League - Etihad Stadium Source: Martin Rickett


Honestly, who on earth knew Vincent Kompany had that in his locker? For one reason or another the captain had ventured forward to the edge of the box, the ball falls in a decent position where you expect him to move possession on, but he whacks a phenomenal effort top bins. Wow.


As it stands Manchester City will return to the top of the table ahead of Sunday’s final set of games. A draw tonight could have been their undoing in their quest to win back-to-back titles, but now they lead with fifteen minutes left. A crucial goal from the skipper.


Brendan Rodgers, meanwhile, has made his first change of the night. Harvey Barnes is on in place of Youri Tielemans for the final stretch as Leicester seek to find an equaliser late on.

Manchester City v Leicester City - Premier League - Etihad Stadium Source: Nick Potts


The Etihad has been rocked into life after more than an hour of anxiety and nerves. Guardiola’s side still have plenty of gaps at the back which Vardy, Maddison and Albrighton look like exploiting on the counter, but the hosts are looking for another to but this game to bed. A massive final few minutes to come.


Rodgers makes his second switch of the second half. Former Man City striker Kelechi Iheanacho is sent on to try and reignite Leicester’s attack, coming on in place of James Maddison. You’d imagine Iheanacho would love a goal against his old club.

Another long-range effort. David Silva tries to follow Kompany’s lead with a strike from distance, but the Spaniard fails to hit the target and smashes over the crossbar to keep it at 1-0.

Britain Soccer Premier League Source: Rui Vieira


The hosts earn a corner and Ilkay Gundogan is in no rush to take it. The German is keen to see the clock down in any way possible. Eventually he swings a cross into the box, but Leicester beat it away as Ben Chilwell tries to race forward on the counter only to be dispossessed.


A third and final change from Brendan Rodgers. Demarai Gray is on in place of Marc Albrighton, while Pep Guardiola also opts for a switch — Gabriel Jesus on in place of Sergio Aguero.

Close! Kelechi Iheanacho comes agonisingly close to levelling in the 87th minute. He arrives into the box to meet a low cross into the area, but he completely fluffs his shot and fires wide. A really poor effort from the substitute.

Leicester City v Fleetwood Town - Carabao Cup - Second Round - King Power Stadium Source: Tim Goode


Not long to go now as Leicester earn a free-kick which they intend to lump into the box. They do so from inside their own half, but Gabriel Jesus gathers up and runs the ball out of the box before drawing the foul. It’s a mission to see out the clock now for the defending champions.


There will be three minutes of stoppage time at the end of the second half.

Kasper Schmeichel keeps receiving possession as City sit deep to try and hang on, booting every ball away feverishly. The Leicester shot-stopper keeps hoofing it forward as the match turns into a game of hot potato — the ball flying through the air up and down at both ends.

Burnley v Leicester City - Premier League - Turf Moor Source: PA Archive/PA Images


Pep Guardiola’s men have the ball in the corner now as they try and see the clock down. The tension is mighty as whistles holler around the Etihad, but that should be it with seconds to go.


It’s all over at the Etihad! Manchester City have done it, overcoming the tricky hurdle of Leicester to take a huge, giant, massive step towards Premier League glory with just one game left to go.

Truth be told, the Etihad was a cauldron of anxiety and ongoing nerves for the opening 70 minutes of this game.

Brendan Rodgers’ men held their own for more than an hour and dared to go forward in search of a goal to cause the upset of upsets.

But when it all came down to it, one man stood up when it mattered most.

Vincent Kompany’s long-range effort which flew astonishingly into Kasper Schmeichel’s top corner wins it — and what a goal to potentially decide the title race.

A goal worthy to win a game and to decide a Premier League too. There is still one game to go, let’s not forget, but with this win tonight Pep Guardiola’s men have taken a massive leap towards retaining their crown.

Thanks a million for joining us on yet another dramatic night of twists and turns in this brilliant title race. You can read our full match report from tonight’s game by clicking here. I need a nap after that, cya soon!


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About the author:

Aaron Gallagher


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