Manchester City built a two-goal lead that ultimately proved to be too much for Leicester City. The Sky Blues benefited from a first half advantage as the Foxes pushed toward Willy Caballero’s net with real vigor in the final period.
Here are three things we learned:
1 - Attack or Defend?
The second half was not pretty for the home team. Leicester pressed and prodded with the characteristics of a champion. In the end, it is a point of pride for City to have restrained a team of such quality.
However, the lack of clarity from City in the second half sticks out as a major point to improve in the future. They were slow to attack and slightly vulnerable on defense, never really committing as a team to one or the other.
2 - Cohesion
Although the lineup was unchanged from City’s previous outing, the team was unable to dominate Leicester as they did against Palace.
Even with seventeen shots (five on target) and 66% of possession, they were unable to create a flood of attacking power or to retain possession far away from Willy Caballero’s net.
When Leicester attacked, City were forced into a relatively frantic state and the Foxes nearly equalized with a series of chances.
Whether the pressure came down the wings, over the top, or through incisive passes up the middle, City will have to assess how their networks failed to cut off Leicester’s connections.
3 - The numbers
City have suffered from too many games in which they have played incredibly well but failed to get the goals they needed for a win. Saturday’s result against Leicester proved to be the opposite: an instance of good luck for the Sky Blues.
Although the game wasn’t the prettiest for Pep Guardiola’s men, although the second half left a lot of questions to be asked, City walked off the pitch with the three points, which is the number that matters.
It will be interesting to see how City finish the final matches of this season and begin preparing for the next campaign.
A lot of positive things have developed at the Etihad but consistency still eludes the team. While football is unpredictable, the City Project is meant to produce the focus and skill of teams like Juventus and Chelsea. It doesn’t appear to be too far off, but it will take some adjustments this summer.