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Manchester City 3-1 Leicester: Mahrez and Kevin De Bruyne inspire hosts to victory as former Foxes winger cancels out Jamie Vardy’s opener

Manchester City came from behind to win 3-1 at home to Leicester City in a vital victory for their slim Premier League title hopes.

Leicester took the lead at the Etihad Stadium on Saturday through Jamie Vardy’s 17th Premier League goal of the season.

But champions City showed grit and determination despite Leicester’s threat on the counter-attack and Riyad Mahrez equalised against his old club with a deflected drive.

Raheem Sterling won a penalty that Ilkay Gundogan converted and Gabriel Jesus struck after the break to move City within a point of their second-placed visitors, who remain 10 behind leaders Liverpool.

Kevin De Bruyne was outstanding against Arsenal last time out and his low 20-yard drive rattled the outside of the post with Kasper Schmeichel scrambling, but it was Leicester who took the lead with their first shot in the 22nd minute.

Harvey Barnes sent Vardy free down the left channel and he burst away from Fernandinho with ease before expertly lifting a deft finish over the onrushing Ederson.

Mahrez had been giving Ben Chilwell a tough time and, after he beat the full-back again, the former Foxes star’s shot flew past Schmeichel, clipping the unlucky Caglar Soyuncu on its way in.

City were ahead by the interval, Ricardo Pereira clumsily bringing down Sterling with Gundogan squeezing his low penalty past Schmeichel despite the goalkeeper getting a hand to the kick, though Ederson had to deny James Maddison on the stroke of half-time.

Mahrez missed two clear chances to extend City’s lead early in the second half before De Bruyne tried to set up Jesus when he had Schmeichel’s goal at his mercy.

Leicester continued to post a threat on the break, Barnes failing to convert a Vardy centre, but Schmeichel had to make a brilliant save to keep out another Mahrez effort.

City clinched it in the 69th minute, De Bruyne – who later went off with apparent cramp to be replaced by the returning Sergio Aguero – evading Soyuncu to cross for Jesus to tap in, and they may yet exert pressure on Liverpool during the second half of the season.

MATCH RATINGS AND STATS

Manchester City (4-3-3): Ederson 7; Walker 7, Otamendi 7, Fernandinho 6, Mendy 8; De Bruyne 9 (Aguero 90+1′), Gundogan 7.5 (Rodri 79′), Bernardo Silva 8; Mahrez 8.5, Gabriel Jesus 7.5, Sterling 7.5 (Foden 89′)

Subs not used: Bravo, Zinchenko, Joao Cancelo, Garcia

Goals: Mahrez (30′), Gundogan (43′ pen), Jesus (69′) 

Bookings: De Bruyne, Gundogan 

Manager: Pep Guardiola 8

Leicester (4-1-4-1): Schmeichel 7; Ricardo Pereira 5, Evans 7, Soyuncu 6.5, Chilwell 5.5; Ndidi 6; Perez 5 (Gray 68′, 6), Tielemans 5 (Praet 77′), Maddison 6.5, Barnes 6 (Albrighton 64′, 6); Vardy 7

Subs not used: Justin, Morgan, Ward, Iheanacho

Goals: Vardy (22′)

Bookings: Soyuncu, Ndidi

Manager: Brendan Rodgers 6

Ref: Mike Dean 6

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