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Manchester City vs Leicester City at Etihad Stadium

Etihad Stadium Referee : Chris Kavanagh
26th December 2021 3:00 PM (GMT)
  • 6 Manchester City

    • ‘5' Kevin De Bruyne
    • ‘14' Riyad Mahrez (Pen)
    • ‘21' Ilkay Gündogan
    • ‘25' Raheem Sterling (Pen)
    • ‘69' Aymeric Laporte
    • ‘87' Raheem Sterling
  • 3 Leicester City

    • ‘55' James Maddison
    • ‘59' Ademola Lookman
    • ‘65' Kelechi Iheanacho


Commentary By David Clayton


OK, with that, it's a wrap, folks. Thanks so much for following the game here and we'll see you all again against Brentford. Until then, stay safe and healthy and enjoy the holidays!!


More from the boss...

"It was weird. Even at 4-0 in the first half, every time they had the ball they arrived in the final third delivering good passes. They moved a lot of players. They have a lot of quality. They are a master of counter-attacks.

"They changed in the second half. They way they played they didn’t play to press high. They were close. The game was so dangerous. We didn’t play bad in the second half. Ruben Dias was not aggressive because he was one yellow card away from being suspended so he was more cautious. The game was not over. With set-pieces we could win the game."" 


Pep: 'It was a roller-coaster'

It was a  roller coaster. It was a typical Boxing Day game, lots of goals. It was entertaining for everyone. Another victory, so important to continue our run. Now we rest for three days and go to the next game."  


Sterling reaction

"Credit to Leicester..."

"The manager warned us at half-time. Leicester conceded four in the first half, but every time they attacked, they created chances.

"It's disappointing. We just had to control the game. It was slick football. At 4-0 up you have to kill the game. Leicester have some really good players. They didn't get disheartened and kept going. Credit to them."


Remember, you'll be able to see this nine-goal thriller at 19:00 (UK) in our short highlights package, then, from midnight, you can see the extended highlights and on CITY+ we'll have the Full Match Replay


Michael Brown on BBC 5 Live

"It was a wonderful game with some great goals but if I was Maddison or Iheanacho I would go into that dressing room and say 'how do we sort this out because it is killing us' because at set pieces they are one of the poorest in the Premier League."


Ruben Dias headed the corner down into the six-yard box and Sterling sweeps home his second of the game to put City 6-3 up in this crazy, wonderful game


City looking to kill the game off (again) - still wouldn't fancy the last few minutes if Leicester score another. At least these fingerless gloves mean I can bite my nails - as Albrighton misses a great chance


Goal count in last two meetings between these clubs at the Etihad? 15 - as The Jam once sang, 'That's Entertainment!'

More goals to come I reckon....



And there it is!!! Aymeric Laporte makes it 5-3!!! 

The Spanish defender rises to meet Riyad Mahrez's corner and thumps a header in off the right-hand post to give City much-needed breathing space


I can't get my head around this but Leicester are tearing us apart on the break. Not often we concede three ever, but three in 10 minutes? Wow....


So, within 15 minutes of the restart, the Foxes have halved the deficit and again, we were caught on the counter-attack. Pep looking on a bit bemused. Not panic stations yet but if they were to get another...


Pep won't be happy with that. It was two on one and Iheanacho fed Maddison who scored from close range with a low shot. That wasn't in the script!


So what's next? Will the game fizzle out as a spectacle or will City go for goals - obviously hope it's the latter but would expect a few subs in the second half with Brentford to come in three days


Matchday Live verdicts so far...

Given on first half: Absolutely brilliant. It’s like PlayStation stuff. It’s 4-0 but could be six or seven. Just seeing the movement and chances created, it’s a masterclass from City."

Dickov on first half: "It’s just ridiculous. It’s the best 45 minutes I’ve ever seen as a team performance. Even at 4-0 they’re pressing. A lot of teams would take their foot off the pedal. This is the difference with this team. It should really be 6-0." 


Foxes poor or City too good?

Injury-hit and four goals down Leicester might be, but they weren't that bad. They had eight shots in the first half to City's 10 and had that Maddison free-kick gone, there would have had a slightly different complexion to this game



Mahrez a joy to watch today. Slips past a challenge, sends De Bruyne away and is there for the return ball, placing it just wide. He's on a different planet this afternoon



What a goal that would have been. Zinchenko picks out Bernardo in the box who cushions a volley into Sterling's path and his first-time shot is tipped over by Schmeichel from point blank range


Tielemans poised for unwanted treble?

He conceded his second penalty when he floored Sterling - he couldn't do it a third time, could he? And if City do win another spot-kick, will it be the first time back-to-back fixtures against one club has produced three penalties each time? Leicester were awarded three spot-kicks here last season.....


Can we get a quick second? If we do, it could be game, set and match very early in the game which would allow Pep to rest some of is stars' legs in this hectic period. Or am I getting too far ahead of myself?



Kevin De Bruyne!!!!!!

It's a beauty as Fernandinho chips the ball forward, KDB controls it over his shoulder, swivels to his left and buries a low shot past Schmeichel - dream, start for the champions


More from Matchday Live...

DICKOV ON LEICESTER THREAT: "Tielemans is a fantastic player. When he was out for a few weeks he was a real miss. He’s the one that gets them ticking. He’s got the vision and great passing ability too, he’s one of the best midfielders in the Premier League. They’ve had a lot of defensive injuries, big, big players for them. If you don’t keep clean sheets in the Premier League that’s a big problem." 


Kick-off is approaching here at the Etihad. Boxer Campbell Hatton, Ricky's son and the spitting image of his dad, is speaking to Natalie Pike and Danny Jackson down on the pitch.


Michael Brown on BBC 5 Live

"Leicester are missing so many players, especially leaders like Jamie Vardy, but they do score away from home. They are unpredictable and have been inconsistent.

"Man City are flying at the moment, free flowing and it will be tough. Sometimes you feel like you are beaten when you pull your boots on, and I feel like this will be one of those occasions."


Stadium slowly filling up - looks like the Foxes have taken their full 3,000 allocation so should be a good atmosphere. Players just coming out to warm up...


Dickov on Matchday Live

"It’s great to see KDB back! Especially in the second half against Leeds he stepped up to the plate and looked back to his best. History shows it takes him a few games after injury to get back to himself. Sterling is in great goal-scoring form too, Mahrez, Bernardo Silva too - you can just go on and on! I think we’ll see interchanging throughout the game. It could be Bernardo as false 9 or even KDB. I think we may see Gundogan slightly deeper as well to stop their attacks."


Matchday Live - team news reaction

DICKOV ON RODRIGO ABSENCE: "He will be a miss because he’s been outstanding all season. Rodri has been just as important as Bernardo. He’s taken over that Fernandinho role, he sits in there, breaks things up, putting out fires, he’ll be a miss but great to see Fernandinho back in.'

GIVEN ON TEAM NEWS: 'Some of the best players in the Premier League in the team there, some of the best on the bench too! Everyone is fighting for a position. Nice to see Fernandinho back in too, he's a legend around these parts!'


Starting XI and bench

Ederson, Cancelo, Dias, Laporte, Zinchenko, Fernandinho, Gundogan, Bernardo, Mahrez, Sterling, De Bruyne 

Subs: Steffen, Carson, Ake, Jesus, Grealish, Kayky, Foden, Mbete, Palmer


City are unbeaten in eight home league games on Boxing Day (W6 D2), winning each of the last six in a row. Our last such defeat came in 1996-97 against Port Vale in the second tier (0-1).

City have won 10 of our last 11 home Premier League matches against fellow ‘City’ sides, scoring 40 goals in these games. Their only failure to win in this run was against Leicester in September 2020, losing 5-2.


City have won eight of our last 10 Premier League games against Leicester, losing the other two including a 5-2 home defeat at the Etihad last season. That was a painful 90 minutes!


Today is our In Memoriam fixture, where we take a minute to remember those we have lost in 2021 - former players, supporters, family and friends - and that will be happening just before kick-off today


Leicester had a few injury concerns from their midweek Carabao Cup clash at Anfield, so will be interesting to see who features. They were a coat of paint from going in 4-1 up at Anfield in that game, with Jamie Vardy hitting the inside of the post on half-time. Liverpool recovered to draw 3-3 and win on penalties, but the Foxes looked good, especially in the first 45...


Got to say the Boxing Day fixture was always my favourite as a kid. I'm sure it's a day most football fans look forward to and in my blue-tinted memory, it is a date on the calendar when City always seemed to win. I know that's not a fact, but we do seem to win more than we lose on December 26 so here's hoping for today...


Am icy cold wind has decided to visit the press box so I'm giving a debut to a Christmas gift from one of my daughters - fingerless gloves - it's the future. That said, I do I look a bit like Old Man Steptoe now (ask an older relative who that is, kids)


Well, there are a lot of games that have been cancelled today due to COVID and injury issues. Matches at Burnley, Liverpool and Wolverhampton are all off, plus a host of fixtures in the Championship, League 1 and League 2 so it's a relief our game has survived. If we can win this, we will go six points clear at the top, which is incentive enough


Matchday Live

The very fine Shay Given and Paul Dickov are today's studio guests. The pic above is not a still from a John Lewis Christmas catalogue but a real shot from the Soccer Aid match at the Etihad a few months back...


Between then and now, we'll have plenty of build-up and opinion for you as you recover from the excesses of Christmas Day, and alternative entertainment as you escape the endless repeats on TV


It's matchday! ⚽

Welcome back. We hope you had a wonderful Christmas.

After a week-long break, City are back in Premier League action with the visit of Leicester City.

it's a 15:00 (UK time) kick-off at the Etihad Stadium and as always, we'll have all of the pre-match build-up, live coverage and post-match reaction right here in the Matchday Centre, plus live audio commentary with Alistair Mann and Shaun Goater!

You can also tune in to Matchday Live - our City-focused show, from 14:00, with special guests Paul Dickov and Shay Given providing their expert insight before, during and after the action at the Etihad Stadium. 

Viewer input is always encouraged on Matchday Live, answering questions throughout the broadcast. To have your say, send a WhatsApp to: +447537186538

Come on, City!

Other games that day

  • Wolverhampton Wanderers0
  • Liverpool0
    Leeds United0
  • Tottenham Hotspur3
    Crystal Palace0
  • West Ham United2
  • Burnley0
  • Norwich City0
  • Aston Villa1
  • Brighton and Hove Albion2
  • Arsenal0
    Wolverhampton Wanderers0
  • Leeds United0
    Aston Villa0
  • Leicester City0
  • Crystal Palace0
    Norwich City0
  • Southampton0
    Tottenham Hotspur0
  • Watford0
    West Ham United0

As it stood

P GD Pts
2 Liverpool 18 +35 41
3 Chelsea 19 +29 41
4 Arsenal 19 +9 35
5 Tottenham Hotspur 16 +2 29
6 West Ham United 18 +6 28
7 Manchester United 16 +2 27
8 Wolverhampton Wanderers 18 -1 25
9 Brighton and Hove Albion 17 -1 23
10 Leicester City 17 -3 22
11 Aston Villa 18 -4 22
12 Crystal Palace 18 -3 20
13 Brentford 17 -3 20
14 Southampton 18 -9 20
15 Everton 17 -8 19
16 Leeds United 18 -18 16
17 Watford 16 -10 13
18 Burnley 15 -7 11
19 Newcastle United 18 -23 10
20 Norwich City 18 -31 10
Link To Full Table