Despite the gaudy possession statistics and claims of a penalty that could have turned the tide or wrongly given corners, Leicester City proved why they are the league leaders Saturday the Etihad. They came in, did their business early, jumping over the Blues and almost scoring a second before City started playing. Then when Manchester City were pressing forward, the counter-attacking that has characterized the Foxes all season.
Some clear takeaways from the match:
Jesus Navas is missed
If one area of weakness can be detected with this table-topping Leicester side, it is defending on the left side with Christian Fuchs being a mediocre man marker with little pace and Marc Albrighton often misses his mark when tracking back. But without Navas and a disjointed Blues attack even when in possession deep into Foxes territory, Leicester looked comfortable defending.
Manchester City weak against top opposition
The Blues have three points this season total against teams in the top six. That's in seven matches. Many of the games have seen Manchester City unable to defend on set pieces or against counter--attacking play. The cumulative scoreline of those seven games is Manchester City 6, the opposition 13. Despite a gaudy goal-difference against the rest of the league, that is not title-winning stuff in the least.
Yaya Toure continues to be a liability
Toure was badly exposed in this game as the excellent N'Golo Kante, one of the players of the season bossed the midfield. Toure's work rate was poor, he crowded into David Silva's space and his presence pushed Fabian Delph wide into an unnatural left sided midfielder. Time might be up for City's venerable star.
Sagna's pace missing today
All too often on counter attacks City's defense was caught out. Pablo Zabaleta was reinserted into the team at right back but the option of playing Bacary Sagna at either centre back or left back might have solved some of the defensive problems. Despite not having the size or stature to play centre half, he hardly could have done worse than who was selected.
Leicester now title favorites
As crazy as it sounds, if the Foxes do get through next week's game at the Emirates it is hard not to see them winning the title. The collapse that has been long predicted and even treated as a fait accompli isn't coming.